Charles Koch is deeply hated by the left wing and has been for decades now. If you don’t know who he is, Charles Koch is the CEO of Koch Industries, the 2nd largest private company in North America, is heavily involved in giving money to political causes, and is a staunch supporter of free markets and classical liberal philosophy.
Due to Koch being incredibly wealthy, successful, involved in various industries including oil and agriculture, and being a big political donor, progressives and left-wingers see Koch as an oil baron who influences politics for his own personal profit. But here is why progressive liberals should love Charles Koch, not viscerally hate him.
Koch donates lots of money towards criminal justice reform. He helps push the “Ban the Box” campaign which works to get businesses to remove the box on their job applications asking if the applicant is a felon. He gives money towards organizations that help ex-convicts re-enter society and the workplace. Koch is in favor of drug reform and increasing accountability over the police.
Koch supports various reforms to help the poor and to increase immigration. He works to get certain types of economic regulation repealed that disproportionately takes job opportunities away from and harms poor people, such as licensing requirements for hair braiding, which discriminate against low-income migrants. They have also heavily funded non-profit organizations that promote entrepreneurship to kids and communities, increase educational quality, and other anti-poverty efforts.
Koch is staunchly anti-war. He opposed the Iraq War and the ensuing war on terror. He takes a more classical liberal or non-interventionist approach to foreign policy, one that sees diplomacy, civility, trade, commerce, and migration between countries as the path towards peace and prosperity, not never-ending conflict, closed borders, and perpetual warfare.
Koch also opposes corporate welfare and corporate favoritism, such as special tax breaks, subsidies, favorable regulations, and other forms of protection and collusion between big government and big business against the rest of the market. Koch has also given millions to the ACLU to fight the Patriot Act and defend our civil liberties.
Left-wingers and progressives share much more in common with Charles Koch, classical liberals, and libertarians than they think. Rather than calling us evil and selfish, they should look into why we support allowing Americans to keep more of their own paycheck, and why we oppose governmental control and central planning.
We believe in individual freedom and wish to see human flourishing. For these reasons, progressives should consider taking a closer look at classical liberal ideas.