Charles Koch is one of the wealthiest men in America. His father played a part in his wealth, but for the most part, Charles and brother David have accumulated most of their billions on their own. The Koch brothers are considered part of the Republican establishment. Charles has never wanted to run for office. His philanthropic interests and Koch Industries are his passions. Charles likes to sit a few seats behind the political leaders and influence them in subtle but forceful ways. Money has a way of doing that, and Charles Koch has a lot of money and power.
Even though Koch’s father gave the Koch brothers a head-start in the financial world, Charles has managed to carve out a quiet but powerful place himself. Koch is not a New Yorker like brother David. Charles likes the mid-west and the country life even though he plays in the big political arenas in Washington and New York. Koch has donated millions of dollars to conservative universities and Republican candidates through the years. Eighty-year-old Charles has been part of the upper crust in the Republican Party for decades. Koch likes to call the shots from his Kansas home-base, and he’s not afraid to talk about his political ideology or his mission to keep a conservative in the White House.
But Koch’s message may be changing thanks to Donald Trump. Even though Trump and Koch know each other and brother David lives in the same city as Trump, Charles is not warming up to Trump, the Republican presidential candidate. It seems Charles is not buying what Trump is selling under the Republican umbrella. In a recent ABC News interview, Koch said he was more in line with Hillary Clinton than Donald Trump. That revelation sends a strong message to the Republican establishment. If Charles Koch isn’t happy with the Republican candidate, the money stops. And if the money stops from the Koch brothers, it stops from other big Party donors.
There is no doubt that the Republican Party is going through a metamorphosis. This is the first primary election where the people are choosing who they want in the White House. Money is not buying this primary election, and it may not buy the general election for the Republicans either. If Koch throws his money behind Clinton and other Republican donors follow him, the Republican Party is going to crash and burn, and the people will let it happen.