There are very few political candidates who have had such a polarizing effect on the constituency as has Donald Trump. The comments that Mr. Trump has made about immigration, be it of those crossing the southern border or of Muslims coming into the country, has struck a chord with millions of Americans. For some, his comments represent a welcome breath of fresh air in a political climate they feel is dominated by political correctness. For others, it is a reflection of the racism and bigotry that is the antithesis of what many feel that America should represent.
Both Charles Koch and his brother are listed among the wealthiest men on the planet. They are majority shareholders of the international conglomerate left for them by their father. Over the years, the Koch brothers have financially backed many candidates in the Republican Party. However, the current Republican front-runners, Donald Trump and Ted Cruz, have said and done things that, according to an interview in The Financial Times, Mr. Koch finds worrisome.
In discussing Donald Trump’s proposed ban on non-American Muslims, Mr. Koch quoted Mao who said, “People are the sea in which the revolutionary swims.” He went on to explain that he feels that Americans need to defend themselves against their enemies and gather intelligence on their enemies, but at the same time they must avoid creating the “unfriendly sea” in Muslim communities that may cause some to embrace radical ideas. He then said, “We have not done a good job of that.”
It could be that Mr. Koch’s own history has a bearing on the way he views immigration, no matter if they are people from Central America or Muslims escaping harrowing circumstances in their home countries. Like many Americans, Mr. Koch is the grandson of immigrants. His grandfather, Henry Koch, was a Dutch immigrant who moved to Texas in search of a better life.
Commenting on some of the proposals of Mr. Trump, Koch said that they were the opposite of what America should represent. If they were enacted, he commented that they would be tantamount to destroying our free society. He finished by saying that the only way to defend liberty for everyone is to defend the liberty of the people you like the least.