Mr. Koch was well known for his involvement in politics, providing funding to many organizations that work to discredit the idea of man-made climate change, and that also work to fight against government environmental regulations and public health care. He was, among other things, an oil magnate, inheriting a sizable fortune from his father’s own oil business before becoming involved in it himself, and is recognized as one of the founders of the Tea Party movement, and was a relentless advocate of smaller government.
As the man himself, the comments about his death are quite polarized. There are quite a lot of comments basically celebrating that this man is gone, although on websites such as Fox News, his death is being taken with much more sadness.
It’d be nice to just be able to look at his political activism, his funding of various groups that often argued against, if not outright fought, various measures to help address injustices through government action, and conclude that he was simply an evil man. But there’s more to it than that. His association with the Tea Party means most people feel he’s probably socially conservative, yet he funded a wing devoted to evolution in the Smithsonian’s Museum of Natural History, provided significant money to the Public Broadcasting Service (PBS) in the United States, and has indicated he disagrees with the Republicans who feel that gays should not be allowed to marry, and has been a staunch advocate of prison reform so that it reduces recidivism.
He was also a candidate for Vice President of the United States under a libertarian banner, and ran on a platform of eliminating most forms of social welfare, but also on eliminating restrictions from how people live, such as laws about victimless crimes.
My point isn’t to excuse the things he advocated for, often with millions of dollars, that we can certainly see as causing harm to people, nor to celebrate the things he did, again with millions of dollars, that may have been to help people, but simply to remind all of us, it may not be as clear cut as we first imagine.
Regardless, in this week’s Voice, be sure to check out newer writer Karlee Kapler’s article on how her unplanned pregnancy was what she needed to move forward, or Francesca Carone’s article about buying local, are we really getting what we think we are? And of course, our feature article is an interview with a student like you, plus scholarships, advice, and more!