Charles Koch, one of the infamous Koch Brothers, wrote an op-ed for The Washington Post on Friday morning in which he states that he agrees with Bernie Sanders.
No, you didn’t read that incorrectly.
The Koch Brothers stand for everything Bernie Sanders is against. Sanders hates corruption, money in politics, and the power of the billionaire class—the Koch Brothers represent all of these things.
Yet the op-ed is a very strange agreement with Sanders. Koch acknowledges the oddity of the situation from the article’s onset, noting that, “Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders often sounds like he’s running as much against me as he is the other candidates.”
However, here is where Koch claims the overlay between the two is:
“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.”
Koch cites the tax code that favors the wealthy and the criminal justice system as areas which need reform. How strange that Koch now attempts to focus on income inequality when he is one of the individuals that benefits from it the most, as well as having a strong monetary influence in politics—Politico reports that he will spend “$750 million on politics and policy” this year.
This could be an attempt from Koch to rattle the Republican candidates, as he wields a thinly-veiled insult at the party in his conclusion: “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.”
But don’t mistake this for any sort of endorsement of Sanders. Koch thoroughly condemns Sanders’s affinity for government regulation and “his desire to expand the federal government’s control over people’s lives.”
He’s nowhere close to feeling the Bern, and Sanders is probably grateful.