by Mitch Kokai
Senior Political Analyst, John Locke Foundation
The latest addition to the evil Koch brothers conspiracy? TIME magazine. How else might one explains the decision to let Sen. Rand Paul write such a nice tribute to the Kochs, who are listed among TIME‘s “100 Most Influential People.”
Charles and David Koch are well known for their business success, their generous philanthropic efforts and for their focus on innovation in management. Some also know them for their activism in the political realm. All of these are important contributions to society. What is underappreciated is their passion for freedom and their commitment to ideas. Unlike many crony capitalists who troll the halls of Congress looking for favors, the Kochs have consistently lobbied against special-interest politics.
For decades they have funded institutes that promote ideas, not politics, such as Cato and the Mercatus Center. They have always stood for freedom, equality and opportunity. Consistent with their love of liberty, they have become prominent advocates for criminal-justice reform. The Koch brothers’ investment in freedom-loving think tanks will carry on for generations, reminding all of us that ideas and convictions ultimately trump all else.
Among the other interesting blurbs in the TIME list: conservative Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia’s praise for liberal colleague Ruth Bader Ginsburg and tax-reform activist Grover Norquist’s assessment of French economist Thomas Piketty.