Did somebody hurt Charles Koch’s feelings? You know, the CEO of Koch Industries, a vast enterprise big enough to be its own country managed by hand-picked servile Republicans.
It certainly seemed that the politically active billionaire felt bruised by villainous opponents as he spoke out hurtfully in the op-ed piece he wrote for the Wall Street Journal. Let him explain:
“Instead of encouraging free and open debate, collectivists strive to discredit and intimidate opponents. They engage in character assassination ( I should know, as the almost daily target of their attacks). This is the approach that Arthur Schopenhauer described in the 19th century, that Saul Alinsky famously advocated in the 20th, and that so many despots have infamously practiced. Such tactics are the antithesis of what is required for a free society – and a telltale sign that the collectivists do not have good answers.”
Hold it right there, Charlie.
I have a few probems with his mythiness on how government has cramped the swarming dollar-style of economic freedom and liberty, particularly as it arrives courtesy of a fellow who has done quite well amassing a fortune under the present oppressive government.
First, what would the right-wingers do without mentioning Saul Alinsky, the South Side Chicago organizer, in grossly unflattering terms that stray so far from the true Alinsky profile that they are of no further use than to stir up disdain among folks who have no idea who Alinsky was.
We can only refer you to Nicholas von Hoffman’s book, Radical, that described Saul as a patriot and in many ways a “conventional middle class man who did not come to destroy tthe social order but to perfect it.” Also in Alinsky’s favor was that he was a “committed” White Sox fan. Von Hoffman, a former Washington Post columnist, knew the man as well as anybody, having once worked with him as an organizer.
In rewriting history, Koch didn’t mention that Alinsky was a fastidious dresser who drew financial support from the deeply rooted anti-Communist Catholic Church.
We now turn to that mischievous word, collectivist, a code word by the more genteel slanderers for communist.
Some of Koch’s screed comes directly from the Birch Society’s Blue Book, the serpentine field guide that Robert Welch put out in the late 1950s and early 60s in his self-assigned mission to rid the country of subversives.. Charles and his brother David, after all, are the sons of the late Fred Koch, a founding member of the Birchers who also founded Koch Industries, from whom the sons’ cascading blessings flow today.
Welch was a Boston candy-maker who quietly but determinedly aspired to the American presidency as a premier red-baiter.
His trajectory called for merciless guilt by assocation of suspected commies, recklessly using McCarthy tactics, infiltration of public organizations, school boards, church groups and all facets of the media. He conceded that his way was “dirty” but necessary..
“We would organize fronts – little fronts, big fronts, temporary fronts, all kinds of fronts” and other devious means which Welch described as his “practical” game plan that even led to Birchers calling President Eisenhower a “comsymp.”
I once interviewed Welch on the back porch of a Columbus physician, an apostle motivated by rallying fear of socialized medicine. I can only tell you that while repeating some of the awful stuff in his book, he left me dazed.
I would think that the Kochs of today, thriving and willfully spreading so much money around to influence politicians ($30 million against the Affordable Care Act) were great students of Dad and know a helluva lot more about character assassination that brother
Charles is now weeping about on the pages of the Wall Street Journal without any “good answers”.