In an interview last week, one of the infamous Koch Brothers was lamenting the demise of civil discourse in the Republican Party. For those who do not follow politics, the Koch Brothers have used their vast fortunes made primarily from fossil fuel industries to advance conservative ideas. They have done this by funding candidates directly and through Americans for Prosperity, its action committee.
Charles Koch noted that party has disintegrated into one where false bravado, accusations and blame have replaced discussion over the relative merits of ideas. As an Independent voter, who has been both a Democrat and Republican, I concur with his assessment. The big problem with his concerns is he and his brother helped create and feed The Beast that is dragging down the party. They funded and kept alive the efforts of the Tea Party. Absent their significant help, The Beast would not have flourished like it has today.
Through the stubbornness of The Beast, there is a “my-way or the highway” attitude which is very unhealthy for the party. Yet, my main concern is the lack of collaboration is harmful to our country and planet. It would be one thing if the Tea Party was filled with an abundance of good workable ideas, yet that is not the case. I have written before that the GOP is on the wrong side of more issues than not these days and the Tea Party has an even more extreme position. This is largely due to limiting news sources and rhetoric to a very biased and spin-doctored lens, where successes outside of this view are not reported at all or painted poorly.
And, to get their way, The Beast is willing to have everything come to a screeching halt. In their view, all government is bad, so therefore the government should not do anything. That is inane as there are roles for government to play that these same people benefit from. Yes, it could be more efficient and yes, we need to guard against bureaucracy, but that is where oversight comes in. And, our country has actually been much better than others about government co-investing with the private sector to do big things that the private sector cannot do alone or whose shareholders would not allow.
The Beast has every right to raise issues and concerns offering reasonable suggestions backed by data. We do not need The Beast shouting at everyone else while beating on their chest. That serves little purpose and is a poor substitute for effective discourse. So, in this instance, I agree with Charles Koch. Yet, he helped make this mess, so he should use his money to fix it, as our country is less served by false bravado.