When the Occupy Wall Street movement manifested itself in 2011, many noted the similarities between it and the precedent Tea Party movement. While each clearly sought vastly different goals, their complaints and analysis of “the problem” were strikingly similar.
Charles Koch has penned an op-ed for the Washington Post in which he attempts to search “for common ground and greater civility during this overly negative campaign season.” Speaking of avowed socialist and Democrat candidate for president Bernie Sanders, Koch writes:
The senator is upset with a political and economic system that is often rigged to help the privileged few at the expense of everyone else, particularly the least advantaged. He believes that we have a two-tiered society that increasingly dooms millions of our fellow citizens to lives of poverty and hopelessness. He thinks many corporations seek and benefit from corporate welfare while ordinary citizens are denied opportunities and a level playing field.
I agree with him.
Democrats and Republicans have too often favored policies and regulations that pick winners and losers. This helps perpetuate a cycle of control, dependency, cronyism and poverty in the United States. These are complicated issues, but it’s not enough to say that government alone is to blame. Large portions of the business community have actively pushed for these policies.
The full article is worth a read. Like the Occupy and Tea Party movements, Koch and Sanders obviously have very different solutions in mind of unrigging the rigged political and economic system. However, in an environment of strong partisan division, taking a moment to recognize any common ground may open doors to reforms which actors in both parties can agree to.