Hang with me for a second.
There are people I like, people I respect, people I agree with and people I like hanging out with. And there are people I don’t. But I don’t have to agree with people to like them, at least not always. And some people who share at least some of my beliefs seem like creeps.
So where does that leave us?
I think it’s possible to see and even appreciate the humanity in many people who might pursue wildly different paths than we do, who believe in different visions of goodness, who articulate goals we cannot fathom much less align with.
And that brings me to David Koch, who died yesterday.
Koch and his brother, who took most of their income from hydrocarbons, funded some awful initiatives that contributed mightily to the ruination of the environment and harmed the health of a great many people. They skewed our American democracy in ways that served their interests and (I think) followed a twisted conception of what this country should be. And they funded a great many (again, from my perspective) good, beneficial and worthwhile organizations, most notably in the arts and in the field of cancer research.
The glee at his death and the personal demonization I’ve read about him today strikes me as beyond defense.