- The Washington Times - Saturday, October 2, 2004

Billionaire financier George Soros is putting his credibility and vast wealth on the line to defeat President George W. Bush. He has announced he will embark on a nationwide speaking tour to tell Americans “why we must not re-elect President Bush.”

Mr. Soros also is financing a massive public relations blitz. He is mailing pamphlets to 2 million voters, as well as running ads in several major newspapers.

The maverick billionaire has already contributed more than $20 million to anti-Bush groups. The most famous of these is MoveOn.org, which has virtually become an extension of the Kerry campaign in its effort to bring down the president.

Mr. Soros is one of the Democratic Party’s wealthiest backers. The problem is not that the financier uses his money to support political causes (that is his right as a free citizen). Rather, Mr. Soros’ problem is his extremist politics, and his possible influence on a Kerry presidency. After all, as many Democrats and Republicans pointed out in defense of campaign finance reform, money buys political influence. So it is imperative the billionaire’s beliefs receive closer media scrutiny.

Mr. Soros’ penchant for supporting kooky causes has not been widely reported. In the last several years, the international currency speculator has embraced a radical left-wing agenda championing legalization of drugs, euthanasia, open borders and repealing welfare reform.

But his main target is economic globalization. Mr. Soros argues “greedy” multinational corporations can only be curtailed if nations are made subservient to international institutions. He strongly advocates one-world government, insisting a stable global economy requires “some global system of political decision-making.” His opposition to free markets and U.S. sovereignty is shared by many other leftists, such as Michael Moore, Ralph Nader and Dennis Kucinich. The financier is not a moderate liberal but a neosocialist elitist, whose values are clearly outside the American mainstream.

Mr. Soros likens America under Mr. Bush’s leadership to Adolf Hitler’s Germany. A staunch critic of the Iraq war, he believes the U.S. has degenerated into a militaristic fascist empire bent on spreading its “ideology of American supremacy.”

It is especially odd and intellectually perverse for Mr. Soros, who happens to be a secular Jew, to compare contemporary America with Nazi Germany. As a young boy during World War II he was fortunate enough to survive the Holocaust in his native Hungary (unlike thousands of Hungarian Jews who were slaughtered in death camps) before immigrating to the United States. The last time I checked, the Bush administration has not rounded up millions into concentration camps, abrogated basic human freedoms or imposed a totalitarian police state. In fact, it has done quite the opposite: It liberated 25 million Iraqis from Saddam Hussein’s murderous rule.

If Mr. Soros were truly serious about opposing intolerance and Islamic fascism, he would support Mr. Bush’s doctrine of bringing pluralist democracy into the Middle East.

Such obvious facts, however, mean nothing to Mr. Soros. “When I hear President Bush say that ‘either you are with us, or you are with the terrorists,’ I hear alarm bells,” Mr. Soros writes in his latest book, “The Bubble of American Supremacy.” He even claims that, following the September 11, 2001, attacks and Mr. Bush’s muscular response, the “threat to the world” has become America — not Saddam’s Iraq or any other rogue state that may provide Islamic terrorists with biological, chemical and nuclear weapons.

At its core, Mr. Soros’ worldview can be distilled into one simple idea: hatred of America, especially the “unilateral” projection of its power abroad.

All this would not matter if Mr. Soros were simply an eccentric billionaire peddling puerile ideas. But Mr. Soros’ radicalism matters because he has made himself the Democratic Party’s sugar daddy.

That is why the Bush campaign should not leave unchallenged the billionaire’s growing influence among Democrats. Mr. Bush needs to ask John Kerry if the Democratic nominee shares any of Mr. Soros’ extreme views. If Mr. Kerry doesn’t, why does the Democratic Party ally itself with a notorious anti-American, anti-capitalist ideologue? The electorate has a right to know if Mr. Soros’ money has strings attached.

The danger is Mr. Soros’ desire to use the Democratic Party to advance his own radical aims. He is the 21st-century V.I. Lenin — a self-styled revolutionary bent on undermining U.S. power and sovereignty to forge a new world order.

Mr. Soros could be an electoral liability for Democrats. But this can happen only if Republicans expose this unholy alliance and make him a major campaign issue. What are they waiting for?

Jeffrey T. Kuhner is editor of the Ripon Forum magazine (www.riponsoc.org) and communications director at the Ripon Society, a Republican policy institute.

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