I have in the past written about billionaire businessman and philanthropist Charles Koch’s laudable views of business ethics, service, and free market economics. Today, he continues to delight with a critique of American politics based on consistent principle.
In an interview with MSNBC, Koch answered how he felt about the alleged defenders of the free market amongst political candidates today:
Well, I’ve been discouraged for a long time. You know, I’ve been involved in these [free market] ideas for over 50 year and up, for 40 of them I wasn’t involved in politics because I was so disgusted with both parties . . . because they weren’t advancing these varied things we were talking about.
He was really impressed with Bush Jr., however, based on his first election campaign rhetoric (and that’s understandable as it was basically free market, anti-war, and a humble, peaceful foreign policy: review it here). He says, “I thought well maybe George Bush will advance some of these, because . . . in his campaign he touched on some of these. Wow, maybe there’s hope.”
But, Koch notes, Bush never kept those promises:
And then by 2003, three years later, he was going in the opposite way. He was one of the biggest spenders of all time, created more destructive regulations along with the fed, pumping all this money into housing to create this artificial boom, and then Bush pushing it, and Fannie and Freddie creating this whole corrupt system that then, when that fell apart, brought the whole economy down, and then getting us in counterproductive wars that made no sense to me at the time.
He maintains the foreign policy critique as a principle, calling ours “a form of insanity . . . doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result.” He explained:
We keep kicking out dictators and then we don’t get anything better and we mess up a lot of people’s lives in the process and spend fortunes and have many Americans killed and maimed. And what do we have to show for it?
Exactly. What do we have to show for it except spent lives and spent fortunes? We are less well off by several measures. But then Koch adds a punch line that is not only humorous but drives home a convicting point: these tragic expenditures are “kind of like my support for some of these Republican candidates.”
Indeed. How many times have Christians and liberty-minded folk poured time, hope, and resources into Republican candidates, only to be left without any advance of our causes and missions in the end? In fact, we often find ourselves having moved backwards anyway, and with such public effrontery that conservatives loose everything in the next go around.
As things begin to heat up in this final year before elections next fall, many a relationship and loyalty will be tested by many avenues. The most important loyalty for the Christian will always be to Christ and the Scriptures. As we learned from the Rev. Machen yesterday, Christians must apply biblical principles consistently and across the board, and they must vote their conscience without compromise. Don’t get sucked in because of winsome campaigns or inflated hopes ,and certainly not because of popularity. What matters are the principles and values God has given us. Quite frankly, until someone stands up who is pro-life, truly pro-free market, advancing a non-interventionist foreign policy of peace, pro-freedom in education, pro-honest money, anti-welfare, anti-corporate welfare, and pro-liberty across the board, consistently, then we all ought to be where Koch described himself: disgusted with both parties.
In the meantime, we can be working for these things, as well as many other aspects of biblical freedom, in our local and state environments, as well as our own homes. As always, you can learn more of our ideas on these matters in Restoring America One County at a Time. (See the FREE online version here.)