The problem with American politics is that there are centrist billionaires who don’t give much of a shit about politics, and creepy religious “libertarian” billionaires who invest heavily in batshit nonsense like Breitbart. There are no real progressive billionaires, that’s not a thing. Which is sort of why we have a weak right wing centrist party and a powerful creepy religious nonsense party.
On the nonsense side, right off the top of my head I got the Koch Brothers (who combined would constitute the richest person in the world), Sheldon Adelson, Richard Mercer, Peter Thiel. Okay, admittedly that’s all I’ve got off the top of my head, but on the other side I’ve got. Uhhh, George Soros? I can’t think of any other supposedly progressive billionaires, and I highly doubt Soros is actually that progressive. He spends most of his money in Europe as it is. Anyway, here’s a pretty good article from Business Insider on how the right started blaming him for funding everything they don’t like years ago:
“Soros, who is worth $25 billion, has been at the center of conspiracy theories since he first rose to the top echelons of hedge fund managers in the 1990s. But he really attracted attention in 2004, when he gave money to groups that sought to block President George W. Bush’s reelection bid. His entry into politics, coupled with Soros’ choice to repeatedly speak out against the Iraq War, set off a long-lasting string of conspiracy theories alleging that Soros tried to influence politics with nefarious intent.
“George Soros first found himself in the crosshairs of the conservative propaganda machine when he publicly expressed opposition to the march to war in Iraq,” said Michael Vachon, a spokesman for Soros Fund Management. Since then, Soros has continued to donate large sums of money to organizations that support democratic reform in the US and throughout the world. Some saw that as a sign of scheming secretive plots.
Right-leaning sites like Breitbart and The Washington Times have often claimed that Soros paid protesters at the Women’s March and the March for Science. In reality, Soros has been giving money to progressive groups since long before the Trump’s election. In 2017, some of them decided to participate in protests.
Theories can be far-fetched, like accusations that Soros is in cahoots with the world’s elite to bring down the global currency. Then there are simpler accusations that are rooted in truth: that Soros uses his power and money to influence politics. His open support for migrants and refugees and criminal-justice reform is well known.
Still, people such as Daniel Greenfield believe Soros goes further. Greenfield is a regular writer for far-right outlets. He believes Soros is trying to take over the world to make it more liberal.
“Government should be decided by the people rather than by powerful interests who subvert democracy,” Greenfield told Business Insider. He wrote an article saying that Soros “destroyed the Democratic party.”
“I don’t like his governments and their agendas,” Greenfield said.
The left’s Koch brother
Soros’ choice to put his wealth toward political causes that he believes in is not particularly different from the billions of dollars that right-wing billionaires like Charles and David Koch have been donating to Republican causes for years, said Miami University professor Timothy Melley. The difference is that far more ultra-rich Americans are politically conservative.
“It’s a projection of right-wing billionaire behavior onto a prominent left-wing billionaire,” said Melley, who wrote “Empire of Conspiracy: The Culture of Paranoia in Postwar America.”
It’s true Soros has not been quiet in his criticism of Republicans like Trump.
Many European countries with right-leaning governments have also seen a strong anti-Soros push in recent years. The president of Soros’ native Hungary has passed laws that would try to close a progressive university the billionaire opened in Budapest and called Soros “an enemy of the euro” after the EU criticized the decision.
“George is the enemy of choice of despots,” said Vachon.”
I love how he had the nerve to oppose the Iraq War. I mean, what an asshole to point out that this thing that everyone knew was obviously a terrible idea was in fact a terrible idea. Oh wait, I forgot that when I was against the Iraq war well before it happened I was just buying into a right/left paradigm. Back then maybe it was a good idea, maybe it wasn’t. My bad.
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