David Koch died of cancer a few days ago. He and his brother funded the free-market libertarianism that fueled the rise of the Tea Party and Trumpism. They zealously fought to destroy any government program that helped people, from Medicare to Social Security.

They were major funders of ALEC. They opposed any government regulations.

The story in the New York Times falls to mention that they funded attacks on public education and teacher certification, and they zealously supported charter schools and vouchers.

Interesting from the article:

In addition to Southampton, Mr. Koch had palatial homes on Park Avenue in Manhattan, in Aspen, Colo., and in Palm Beach, Fla. He kept a yacht in the Mediterranean for summer getaways and rented it out for $500,000 a week. His friends and acquaintances included Bill and Melinda Gates, Prince Charles and Winston Churchill’s grandson Winston Spencer Churchill.

No mention of the fact that the Koch brothers set up institutes to spread libertarianism at more than 300 colleges and universities. A resistance group called Unkoch My Campus emerged to expose their malign influence.

They insisted that they adhered to a traditional belief in the liberty of the individual, and in free trade, free markets and freedom from what they called government “intrusions,” including taxes, military drafts, compulsory education, business regulations, welfare programs and laws that criminalized homosexuality, prostitution and drug use.


Among the groups they supported was the American Legislative Exchange Council, an organization of conservative state legislators and corporate lobbyists. Alec, as the group is known, drafts model state legislation that members may customize for introduction as proposed laws to cut taxes, combat illegal immigration, loosen environmental regulations, weaken labor unions and oppose gun laws.