Düsseldorf, New York Charles Koch has long been one of the most controversial managers in the world. Together with his brother David Koch, who died in 2019, he financed right-wing conservative circles in the USA for decades, and with an estimated $ 100 million in donations, laid the financial foundation for the Tea Party – and ultimately for the rise of President Donald Trump.
But now there is an amazing U-turn – albeit very late. “My goodness, we screwed up,” wrote Koch in his recently published book “Believe in People”. And added: “What a disaster”.
After storming the Capitol and just in time for Trump’s departure, the entrepreneur no longer wants to support members of parliament and senators who are challenging the legality of the 2020 presidential election. A threat that weighs heavily: Koch is one of the richest Americans with a fortune of 45 billion dollars. The conglomerate he runs is one of the largest private companies in the world.
And: Koch is not alone with his request. The major US bank Morgan Stanley also does not want to give any more money to those politicians who have refused to recognize the election victory of Joe Biden. The same applies AT&T. Corporations like Goldman Sachs, Google and Facebook have stopped all political donations.
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The asset manager Charles Schwab, whose founder of the same name was a big Trump supporter, wants to completely dissolve his political donation department – and instead donate money to charity in the future.
Charles Koch did not directly support Trump in the election campaign. But his millions went to Senators and Republican MPs who were loyal to Trump. “The actions of politicians before and after the uprising last week will weigh heavily when we decide on our future support,” said Emily Silkk, head of “Americans for Prosperity”, a libertarian-conservative foundation supported by Koch.
In the past few months, the Koch network had distanced itself more and more from the Republican Party. Koch himself had already congratulated Joe Biden and Kamala Harris on their victory in November. Koch is looking forward to “finding common ground and things to work together on as many topics as possible”.
On the day before the riots in Washington, Koch had called on all politicians to recognize Biden’s election as president. Koch is an old-school liberal-conservative who wants to keep the state as small as possible and insists on the freedom of the individual. The 85-year-old Koch abhorred Trump’s numerous spending programs and the growing national debt.
Koch won’t become a democrat anytime soon
Trump’s customs tariffs and the many other interventions in the economy also profoundly contradicted the worldview of the multi-billionaire. Koch will not become a democrat anytime soon, even if he supports members of the Democratic Party with small donations. But he wants to bury the confrontational politics that fueled the Koch brothers for a long time. The derailments are too obvious, and not just since the Capitol storm.
In his book, Koch speaks of his fear that the Republican Party might split up and lose its strength. The young generation could also be driven into the arms of socialists as a result, writes Koch. For him the purest horror concept.
Another reason for Koch’s U-turn could be the death of his younger brother. David Koch had spent large parts of his life in New York – and he always had a hard time there in liberal society. Despite donating millions to museums and non-profit organizations in the city.
Koch’s death in 2019 was accompanied on the one hand by real grief in the city, but also commented on in unflattering obituaries on the other. The “New York Times” chose the headline: “David Koch, who fueled the right-wing conservative movement, dies at the age of 79.”
Charles Koch probably does not want to be remembered that one-sidedly.
More: Libertarian death – US billionaire David Koch dies at 79