Imagine you are a battered woman whose abusive husband shows up one evening with a dozen roses and a box of Godiva chocolates. Smiling and cooing, he announces he’s made reservations at your favorite nouveau cuisine café. After years of torment, you’d be justifiably suspicious.
So it is that any American who has been paying attention to politics across the last few decades should look askance at the wave of warm-and-fuzzy commercials recently released by Koch Industries. They sound like something borrowed from a Bernie Sanders speech.
For the past couple of years, Koch has run fairly standard institutional ads that tout its brand and its widely diversified business activities with the tag line “We are Koch.” In sharp contrast, the new campaign strikes chords on several social issues, including prison reform, and makes a tiny gesture towards income inequality. The last line of the script reads as follows: “At Koch, we believe it’s time to replace the barriers… to end the divide… to replace winner-take-all with a system where we all can win.”
Charles and David Koch are avatars for the upper 1/10th of the One Percent. They are not nice people, and they have never – ever – previously demonstrated any concern for the average person.
Their father was a founder of the John Birch Society. David was the Libertarian Party’s vice-presidential candidate in 1980. Over the next 20 years, Charles and David engaged in and won a brutal battle with their brothers Fred, the eldest and Bill, who is David’s twin, for control of the family empire.
Since the 1980s, they have led or actively supported efforts by a host of ultra-conservative outfits, including but not limited to the Cato Institute, Americans for Prosperity and ALEC (the American Legislative Exchange Council) to inflict financially and socially restrictive policy on middle-class workers, women, the poor and minorities. And they, more than anyone else in the right-wing billionaire-donor club, enabled the rise of the Tea Party.
Now, all of a sudden, they are concerned about the rest of us?
It’s ironic as all get-out that two guys who did so much to create the schism in American society are now calling for it to be corrected. So we have a duty to ask “Why?”
Apparently, what has happened is that the Koch brothers are not happy with the GOP’s nominee, so instead of plowing money into his campaign, they are looking to bolster senatorial and congressional candidates — along with their own image.
Don’t buy it. Or any of the products that bear their logos.