There has been a remarkable shift in the social and political climate of the United States of America over the past year. The election campaign of Donald Trump, the billionaire reality show host, showed just how divided the state of the country was. For that reason, many figures are trying to stand up in order to make their voice heard in order to bridge the divide and bring some good back into the world. One of those figures is George Soros, a noted investor, and billionaire philanthropist. Soros is a devout progressive who has used his platform for decades to try and bring about positive changes to the world. Recently, Soros made headlines when it was revealed that he had moved almost the entirety of his wealth into charity – nearly $18 billion. Let’s find out what Soros’ goal was with this move and what it means for progressives and conservatives alike.
To start out with, Soros donated nearly $18 billion to the Open Society Foundations. The Open Society Foundations, commonly shortened to just OSF, was formed in 1979 by Soros in an attempt to create a philanthropic arm to try and render a positive change in the world. The Open Society Foundations focuses on donating to grassroots causes all around the world that is focused on pushing for transparent government, freedom of expression, and social justice causes. Since 1979, the OSF has donated over $14 billion to various causes around the world. From helping to render aid during the Ebola epidemic to helping those fighting against oppression during Apartheid, the OSF has been there.
After the election of Donald Trump to the White House, Soros made it very clear that he was donating to his foundation in order to fight against some of the violent rhetoric that Trump was imparting upon the world. Soros gave a symbolic $10 million after Trump was elected and he has followed up by donating the vast majority of his wealth. Soros says, “My success in the financial markets has given me a greater degree of independence than most other people.” Soros goes on to explain, “This allows me to take a stand on controversial issues.”
Soros has always been the kind of person to put his wealth on the line in order to fight for what he believes in and this massive donation was just a further extension of his mentality. While the vast majority of the country fully supports Soros‘ in his philanthropic outreach, there is a certain group that seems intent on demonizing him. There are certain groups along the far right of the right-left divide that will demonize anything that George Soros does. This includes attacking him for donating his wealth to charity.
To understand why the far-right demonizes George Soros, you have to understand what he believes in and where he came from. Soros was born and raised in Hungary until the Nazi occupation began in earnest. Soros would grow up knowing the real wrath of nationalism run amok and this has guided him toward becoming a beacon of progressive values.