Demonization is a strong term, but also an apt one for the conservative campaign to discredit George Soros, who has donated in excess of $18 billion to Open Society Foundations. Unfortunately, these donations have served to further draw the ire of conservative conspiracy theorists. The number of conspiracies surrounding Soros is almost as numerous as the number of dollars he’s donated, and he’s been the punching-bag of conservatives for years.
Conservatives See Soros as a Threat
Over the past thirty years, Soros has used his wealth and global influence, as well as his Open Society Foundations to further his goal of bettering the world through democracy, social justice, and human rights. His most recent actions have reflected this goal as well, with his push to adopt more liberal immigration policies in Europe due to the refugee crisis. Conservatives see Soros’ wealth and his global influence as a serious threat to their ideology, so it’s no surprise that they’ve formulated countless conspiracies in an attempt to bring him down.
Whether it’s influencing elections, running secret smuggling rings, discrediting his opponents, trying to bring Sharia law to the United States, or canceling Firefly, conservatives have claimed that Soros is the mastermind behind all of it. The mechanism that even makes these outlandish theories possible is the strong partisan schism in the US, which has served to sic the right wing on anyone across the political chasm. This is further compounded by the current trend towards conservative libertarianism, with the right wing pushing a mentality that favors a “government versus conservative” perspective, with almost anyone wealthy or powerful being targeted.
The Insidious Danger of Conspiracies
Soros is a powerful and wealthy individual with a strong presence on global stage. That much is an undisputed fact. However, when one man has that much power, no matter how he uses it, he will attract conspiracies like a forest fire would attract every moth in the county, especially if those moths are on the opposite side of the political spectrum.
Perhaps surprisingly though, the person hurt most by these conspiracies isn’t Soros, but rather, it’s the people creating and spreading them. Baseless theorizing can undermine their credibility, as well as harm democracy by stifling civil discourse with outlandish claims. With conspiracies and half-cocked theories spreading like wildfire, actual discussion about the risks of wealth and influence on global stage simply doesn’t happen. Conservatives have foregone the real danger in lieu of hastily contrived theories, only managing to harm themselves.
Target Locked, Firing Conspiracy
Soros has never been free of controversy. Since conservatives first locked eyes on him, they haven’t let up on their claims and conspiracies. But this comes as no surprise, considering Soros’ views. As a strong supporter of democracy, progressive causes, and grassroots activism, Soros was bound to attract attacks from the right wing, both for his political views, and his status as one of the financial elite. Despite these claims, he will continue to work towards his democratic ideals and plans to donate even greater sums in the future.
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