Koch Brothers Donate $25 Million To The United Negro College Fund

David Koch

I think it was a smart move by the Koch Brothers to give a $25 million grant to the United Negro College Fund. If their goal is to improve their public reputation in response to the campaign by the Democratic Party to vilify them, such a move is likely to be far more effective than Charles Koch’s whiny and misleading op-ed in The Wall Street Journal. Maybe they hope that this will help counter some of the harm done by their financing of the Tea Party which, while containing a variety of views, far too often looks like the KKK without the white sheets. The willingness and ability of the Koch Brothers to receive this form of favorable publicity also gives an example of why it is foolish for the Democrats to spend so much effort in their campaign against the Koch Brothers personally as opposed to actually learning how to promote a coherent message.

There are many reasons to vote for the Democrats over the Republicans with the Republicans adopting an extremist agenda, acting to undermine the foundations of our Democratic system, and failing to engage in any rational thought as they pursue policies in contradiction of economics, science, and the very principles of individual liberty which this nation was founded upon. There are so many issues for the Democrats to concentrate on, yet Harry Reid wants to concentrate on a pair of brothers who most people have never heard about. Sure attacking the Koch Brothers might be good for fund raising emails, but this is no substitute for coming up with a real message.

The fact of the matter is that the Koch Brothers are not the worst enemy faced by the Democrats and supporters of liberty (true liberty, not the plutocracy and religious authoritarianism promoted by the right wing under this label). There is certainly quite a bit of hypocrisy in the economic views of the Koch Brothers, who made their fortune taking advantage of government programs while selectively arguing for economic libertarianism as a means to escape regulation. However in some ways the Koch Brothers are preferable to the standard Republican line, from opposing the Iraq War to being more libertarian on social issues. David Koch also has a long history of philanthropy. They could even be a force for moderation of some of the extreme views of the Republican Party.

Of course this is not meant to excuse all their behavior, including suspected illegal activity and funding of efforts to deny climate change (which on at least one occasion has blown up in their faces). The most reprehensible has been the funding of dishonest advertisements against the Affordable Care Act. Everyone is entitled to their opinion, but when they spread false information which contributes to mistrust of a law which has resulted in improvements in the lives of millions, they risk doing serious harm to those who remain uninsured based upon misinformation. The Affordable Care Act is also a good thing for the economy, helping to reduce the deficit, reduce unemployment, and enable people to leave jobs they remain in for insurance coverage to work for or form small businesses of their own. Those who truly support freedom, as opposed to giving it lip service as the right wing does, would prefer a system which gives more choice to individuals rather than leaving them at the mercy of an insurance industry which has existed without serious competition in most markets, and which found it to be more profitable to find ways to deny providing care. Support of Obamacare is the only rational position for those who support the rights of the individual over the rights of abusive monopolies. Unfortunately such a choice is beyond the thought process of those on the right who have been brainwashed to see our tradition of self-government as the source of tyranny.

I would find it far easier to ignore the Koch Brothers if they would cease spending their money on these dishonest ads and ideally use their influence to truly promote freedom. Regardless, we could show appreciation for contributions such as this and perhaps it is time for Harry Reed to find a new bogey man–or preferably to do a better job of actually promoting ideas.

Originally Posted at Liberal Values

         

Author: Ron Chusid

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7 Comments

  1. “the Republicans adopting an extremist agenda, acting to undermine the foundations of our Democratic system, and failing to engage in any rational thought as they pursue policies in contradiction of economics, science, and the very principles of individual liberty which this nation was founded upon. ”

    That is why this is a totally empty gesture. Great for the UNCF..they can always use the money, but it won’t buy any black votes. Not when the courts are ruling against affirmative action on campuses and gutting the VRA, because as we all know “racism doesn’t exist in the US anymore”.
    My guess is that this donation will get high profile in the news ( unlike Warren Buffet and many others who give to colleges and universities yearly and never advertise it.)

  2. Ron, you hit the nail on the head.

    If you ever leave medicine you have a second career as a political advisor (I think it is clear you could do both and are).

    You are able to separate emotion from strategy. Rarified.

    Anyway, the brothers are so obscure to potential voters that most energy spent on them is lost in the wind.

  3. Koch bros… trying to buy a bigger tent.

  4. It is a bit absurd to defend themselves against attack ads when they have funded a huge amount of personal attack ads and just bald-faced lies and deceptions. It’s one thing to use the truth and to keep it issue related but in particular, their campaign to make it seem that climate change is in any way scientifically controversial so that they can continue to rape our country and environment through energy exploitation to make billions is the sickest joke on the world. When they are long dead, the damage they have wrought through their greedy love of oil money . How about $250 million to fund research to reverse all of the damage our kids and grandkids will have to breathe through, the trillions in environmental damage to coastal cities from rising water.

    When they fund a team of deniers of climate change that then find that climate change actually exists and don’t change their ways, it’s because they believe they are smarter than science and that their money gives them the right to be smarter than science.

    Saving the world and our freedom and economy for our kids and grandkids is the most important thing we can do in our generation. FIGHT ON!

  5. Great point Cincy. I do not give any praise or any plus side of the scale whatsoever to the Koch Bros for this empty gesture. It is a blatant attempt to grandstand and just to be clear, Let’s put that $25 million in perspective. It is pocket change to them!!
    Warren Buffet , Bloomberg and Bill Gates give money every year to education.
    It is so shamelessly transparent considering where they spend many more $25 million bundles each year…buying legislators, justices, lobbyists and attack ads.

  6. SK writes;

    Let’s put that $25 million in perspective. It is pocket change to them!! …. It is so shamelessly transparent considering where they spend many more $25 million bundles each year…buying legislators, justices, lobbyists and attack ads.

    You said exactly what I was thinking — you said it better tho. $25 million is truly pocket change to these guys — hope folks don’t fall for this. But hope is waning.

  7. This wasnt about black votes, nor was it about helping poor kids get into college. This is about getting out the vote. It is about making Republicans feel less “racisty”. This is in the same spirit as Mr. Sterling giving to the black community and then telling his lover to stop taking pics with black folks.

    This has nothing to do with minorities or minority votes. This is about making white Reps feel better about their party.

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