Don't believe the right wing hype
George Soros. If you read the right wing websites and the tin foil hat outlets, you’d thing this man is single-handedly destroying democracy accross the entire planet.
You’d think he was an advocate for turning the world into a communist haven. You’d be exposed to all kinds of conspiracy theories, and when you are done, without examining the actual facts regarding this man and his contributions to progressive causes, you would be convinced that this man was pure evil.
In fact, without even knowing anything about George Soros, you would find yourself enthusiastically nodding your head in agreement as your friends and/or co-workers went on and on about how George Soros is going to single-handedly destroy the United States, and how he owns every single left of center politician, bar none.
And you’d be dead wrong.
The main reason so many right wingers and conservatives hate Soros surround what is known as “Open Society,” which is not a hippy commune, but a philanthropic organization that focuses on liberal and left of center causes.
From the Open Society website:
George Soros is the founder and chairman of Open Society—a network of foundations, partners, and projects in more than 100 countries. His commitment to the idea of open society—where rights are respected, government is accountable, and no one has the monopoly on the truth—makes the Open Society Foundations unlike any other private philanthropic effort in history.
Soros began his philanthropy in 1979, giving scholarships to black South Africans under apartheid. In the 1980s, he helped undermine Communism in the Eastern Bloc by providing Xerox machines to copy banned texts, and supporting cultural exchanges with the West.
After the fall of the Berlin Wall, he created Central European University to promote critical thinking. He expanded his philanthropy to the United States, Africa, and Asia, and his Open Society Foundations have supported paralegals and lawyers to represent thousands of individuals who were unlawfully being held, sometimes for years and without any legal representation.
He underwrote the largest and most concerted effort in history to bring the Roma people of Europe into the mainstream. The Foundations have provided school and university fees for thousands of promising students, including young Roma, refugees from armed conflicts, and young people from other marginalized groups.
George Soros helped establish an international system to bring transparency and accountability to the natural resource extraction industries, whose practice of making secret payoffs to local tyrants has for decades fueled some of the world’s worst political unrest and most heinous violence. He has supported independent organizations such as Global Witness, the International Crisis Group, the European Council on Foreign Relations, and the Institute for New Economic Thinking.
Wow, how horrible, right?
Yes, George Soros’ politics and philanthropy is decidedly left-leaning. But accusing him of being a communist is utterly ridiculous. One of the greatest historical impacts by Soros was the actual role he played in dismantling real Communism in Central and Eastern Europe. Soros had supported and backed dissidents prior to the collapse of the Soviet Union, as well as his involvement in undermining Burma’s brutal dictatorship.
What about his involvement in Russia and China, both communist countries? Soros has actually voiced concern about the rapid political and economic growth of China. He has stated that they must accept responsibility for their part in keeping world order, and to re-examine their role in the human rights area to ensure the interests of people are not put aside in favor of wealth building. Yes, he commended their government in light of their adoption of many aspects of capitalism with respect to their economy, but also warned that without a strategic partnership between the United States and Chine, there would be left open a gap in between two power blocks that could easily be filled with military actions.
In Russia, Soros set up a foundation to keep the Ukraine independent, and warned that Europe should be wary about Russian action on the world stage, and urged western nations to expand their support for separatists in the Ukraine, including supporting an international bailout totaling nearly $50 billion. He has criticized Vladimir Putin regarding Russia’s annexation of Crimea, and accused Putin of attempting to destabilize the Ukraine, again. Soros is so unpopular with the Russian government, that they have banned his charities from operating within their borders.
As for the accusations that merely because he supports human rights in Palestine, he must be anti-Semitic, you should know that he is Jewish. In 1936 The Soros family changed their name from Schwartz.
Sounds like a real supporter, right?
There are so many inconsistencies, lies, half-truths, and conspiracy theories out there that Snopes has an archive just for him. Three of the current most popular ones are that he funded the Furgeson riots, which is a half-truth. While it is true that a grantmaking network founded by George Soros provided funding to some groups that engaged in Ferguson-related protest activities, it is not true that Soros gave money to various groups for the express purpose of promoting Ferguson-related protests and riots.
Another one is that he has this goal of destroying the United States by funding Black Hate groups. First, there doesn’t exist any proof or even circumstantial evidence that he ever stated this. As well, even if he thought it, it unlikely that he would make that statement in a public interview.
Currently, the one being passed around social media is stating that Soros controls the Smartmatic manufactures the voting machines that used in swing states, and this is proof that the election is rigged against Trump and in favor of Hillary Clinton. This one actually made me laugh out loud. Here’s an excerpt from Snopes on this one:
As is typical of such claims, this one is based on nothing more than the most tenuous of connections — namely that among the number of non-profit boards on which Smartmatic Chairman Lord Mark Malloch-Brown sits is the Global Board of the Open Society Foundation, an international grantmaking network founded by George Soros. That fact that one of the many people on one of the many boards of one of the many organizations with which George Soros (a large Clinton donor) is involved also happens to chair an electronic voting company is taken as proof enough by conspirators that George Soros has the means, motive, and intent to commit a massive act of voting fraud. And, despite being the multinational billionaire business magnate that he is, Soros utterly lacks the common sense not to rig an election through a confederate so obviously connected to him.
As is also typical of such claims, those who propagate them mistakenly assume that every company in the business of providing electronic voting services is producing machines that record and count votes, which isn’t the case — such services can include anything from providing streamlined systems for reporting election results to the press to automating the process of voter authentication. It this case the assertion that “Smartmatic’s voting machines will be used in 16 crucial states” is a false one, apparently a misinterpretation of a statement on Smartmatic’s web site touting that the company had previously offered unspecified “technology and support services to the Electoral Commissions of 307 counties in 16 States” — a statement that didn’t say that Smartmatic supplied voting machines used in all if those states, or that Smartmatic was even currently working with any of those states in any capacity.
Needless to say, if there is a conspiracy theory on any one of the tin foil hat brigade’s websites, you can be sure George Soros will be named somewhere. The truth of the matter is that the hatred that the right has for Soros is only because his money is not going to support right-wing ideals. He’s a supporter of liberal issues and politics, and his being in the top 30 richest men of the world has the right with their panties in a weapons-grade bunch. They don’t like that his charitable foundations fund global initiatives, and those are numerous. The list of what Open Society supports is 500 pages long, and many are not focused on the United States.
Here’s a short video about the Open Society foundation, which has long been one of the world’s leading supporters of those defending and promoting human rights.
But, by all means, please continue to believe what you read on Facebook by your drunk uncle instead of doing some actual research.
Is Soros perfect? Is he without scandal? No, but he’s not running for office, and consistently uses his considerable wealth to champion causes supported by American Patriots who happen to be leaning to the left. Yes, we do exist, and yes, we are patriots.