At CNN, a Charles Koch-backed Cato Institute board member insists that the Kochs have always supported libertarianism, and that they want an independent Cato.
Kevin Gentry must think that libertarians, and lots of other people, are particularly gullible. We’re not.
If Gentry thinks the Kochs have always been true to libertarianism, he might want to explain why the Kochs have poured so much money into Americans for Prosperity. An AFP event is likely to be a showcase for anti-libertarian politicians like Rick Santorum, Michele Bachmann, or Herman Cain.
Those are favored candidates for GOP activists, but they’re not libertarians. The Kochs may spend their money as they want, but when they spend for those who are against libertarianism, we may reasonably doubt the claim that the Kochs remain faithful libertarians.
As for the second claim, that the Kochs want an independent Cato Institute by making it a dependent part of their family-controlled financial empire, one may ask: What do they and Gentry think it means to be independent?
They should know that real independence means something more than what the Kochs insist it means. Independence is an actual quality, not an industrialist’s talking point.
One can see from Gentry’s editorial that the Kochs are surprised that their lawsuit to control Cato has met with such strong libertarian criticism. They’re surprised out of confusion: they’re no longer what they still claim to be, and we’re still committed to what we have always been.