Saturday, February 20, 2016

Disrupting the narrative. The common ground of the Koch Brothers and Bernie Sanders.

Charles Koch’s Friendly Letter to Bernie Sanders Complicates Campaign 2016’s Effort to Make Us All Dumb - Hit & Run : "Last August, Jon Schwarz over at The Intercept wrote a piss-take about how if the dreaded Koch brothers really cared about corporate welfare and criminal justice reform and intervention-skepticism, instead of just cynically using those issues to make their self-interested policy atrocities go down smoother, then they would be backing the democratic socialist Bernie Sanders...

This kind of binary gotcha game, in which there are forever only Doors #1 and #2, and politics always counts 100 times more than decades worth of philosophically based issue advocacy, is an almost-amusing attempt at enforcing tribal norms via cheap rhetorical entertainment...

Complicating such efforts today is a Washington Post op-ed from Charles Koch himself, in which he spends most of it exploring areas of commonality with—yes—Bernie Sanders. Excerpt: FrontPage Magazine 

The senator is upset with a political and economic system that is often rigged to help the privileged few at the expense of everyone else, particularly the least advantaged. He believes that we have a two-tiered society that increasingly dooms millions of our fellow citizens to lives of poverty and hopelessness. He thinks many corporations seek and benefit from corporate welfare while ordinary citizens are denied opportunities and a level playing field. I agree with him. […] [T]he United States' next president must be willing to rethink decades of misguided policies enacted by both parties that are creating a permanent underclass. Our criminal justice system, which is in dire need of reform, is another issue where the senator shares some of my concerns. Families and entire communities are being ripped apart by laws that unjustly destroy the lives of low-level and nonviolent offenders. 

Koch goes on to explain how his policy solutions differ from those of Sanders ("History has proven that a bigger, more controlling, more complex and costlier federal government leaves the disadvantaged less likely to improve their lives"); points out that it's "results, not intentions” that matter, and closes with a passage that reads as much as anything else like a warning shot across the bow of Republicans: 

When it comes to electing our next president, we should reward those candidates, Democrat or Republican, most committed to the principles of a free society. Those principles start with the right to live your life as you see fit as long as you don't infringe on the ability of others to do the same. They include equality before the law, free speech and free markets and treating people with dignity, respect and tolerance. In a society governed by such principles, people succeed by helping others improve their lives. I don't expect to agree with every position a candidate holds, but all Americans deserve a president who, on balance, can demonstrate a commitment to a set of ideas and values that will lead to peace, civility and well-being rather than conflict, contempt and division. When such a candidate emerges, he or she will have my enthusiastic support. "

No comments:

Post a Comment