George Soros seems to be a favorite point of unification for conservatives in the U.S. While Soros was always known as one of the world’s most successful hedge fund managers, he has recently been portrayed as the man who controls all of the world’s liberal or progressive protests in most conservative circles. There is an unending supply of some fairly bizarre conspiracy theories about how Soros chooses to spend his time and money when he is not busy managing his fund’s investments. These stories range from overthrowing political governments to paying political protestors to cause mild amounts of chaos in stable countries and he is still accused of being a Nazi despite his Jewish heritage and the fact that this theory has been disproven many times. Soros has been accused of every trick in the book without any actual evidence that he actually orchestrated or participated in them. A lack of evidence has never stood in the way of conservatives when it comes to banding together around Soros being an evil, rich genius.
While it is difficult to pinpoint the exact time that Soros became a subject of such vile criticism from conservatives, many trace it back to his success following the collapse of some major financial markets. For example, more than 20 years ago, Soros famously bet against the British pound, a position that ended up netting him more than $1 billion and was said to help “break” the Bank of England. However, a more tempered view of history will illuminate that Soros had been closely following British monetary policy for months and thought that the anticipated rise in interest rates by the British government would send the value of the pound into a downward spiral. He was obviously correct, a fact for which Soros has paid dearly in the court of public opinion for decades since. Soros was also successful in the Asian financial crisis in 1997 and earned a massive fortune betting against the yen in 2013 and 2014. Although these triumphs may support that Soros has an uncanny gift for understanding and predicting how changes in monetary policy will affect international currency markets, they do not exactly explain how he is a mastermind who is hoping to tank the global economy so he is the only man left standing.
Soros drew an inordinate amount of criticism from conservatives when he sought to block the re-election of George W. Bush in 2004. His involvement in politics drew unfounded suspicion from conservatives, but the sheer number of attacks he received for this is puzzling because he was never shy about sharing his progressive views. Soros has not always been as vocal about politics as he is today, but he has never kept his progressive views a secret from anyone, including the media.
Even though the most strongly launched assault on Soros is that he is a sort of secret puppet master who operates in a shroud of deception and backdoor deals, Soros actually lives his professional and political lives transparently. Soros does not exactly hide the fact that he supports liberal causes around the world and wants to see governments in power that work for the will of the people. The idea that Soros is sitting in a secret room and trying to topple governments without catching the eye of conservative pundits is simply ridiculous. A lack of credibility has not stood in the way of conservative groups since the most recent presidential election. They remain steadfast in their desire to paint Soros as a shady mastermind behind whatever chaos is dominating the news coverage that day.
One of the biggest theories about why Soros has not been able to fend off these vicious attacks from conservatives is that there is not anyone else quite like him on the progressive side. Soros is sort of in a league of his own when it comes to his massive wealth and his involvement in progressive causes across the globe. This sets him apart as a kind of prime target for conservatives, and the story that he is a deceitful puppet master resonates with those who are not familiar with his actual background and clear intentions. When the conservative news outlets were steaming with anger that Soros may have paid protestors in 2017 to speak out against the president, this accusation drew much more attention than what was warranted at the time. It was no secret that Soros funded political groups that support democracy and human rights, and it should have also come as no surprise that individuals in those groups would participate in political protests after the election of Donald Trump. However, claiming that Soros was the cause of mass hysteria in the U.S. and wants to see the government come crashing down is a stretch that too many conservative activists are eager to make.
Soros knows from personal experience how difficult the journey of an immigrant can be. In World War II, he was able to escape Budapest and the Nazi stronghold of Hungary by fleeing to London. He then attended the London School of Economics, which was his first introduction to a wildly successful career in finance and investing. He started out by working at Singer & Friedlander, a merchant bank in London. Soros moved to the U.S. to continue his investment career. He is now considered one of the wealthiest people in the world and has a personal net worth of more than $25 billion.
Upon reaching unparalleled levels of success as an investor, Soros began giving back to the global community through impressive philanthropic endeavors. One of his first missions was to support black students so that they could attend the University of Cape Town in South Africa, where apartheid was still a major threat to human rights and continuing to divide the country into dangerous levels of segregation. During the Cold War, Soros was a strong supporter of democratization in formerly Soviet held countries. He was always clear that protests and demonstrations should be non-violent and worked closely with peace organizations to promote the spread of democracy.
Soros now works as the founder and head of the Open Society Foundations, an activist organization dedicated to spreading transparency in government in some of the most dangerous and oppressive areas of the world. Soros supports those who expose the corruption and human rights violations of some of the world’s most abusive leaders in the hopes that communities can regain their human rights and establish a more inclusive and democratic political process. It is estimated that Soros has personally donated more than $4 billion in support of these causes. He continues to make annual donations and works tirelessly to raise money from other donors and organizations to foster important work towards human rights for all.