To most Americans, the name probably doesn’t ring a bell. To the enlightened news media, his name probably conjures up images of a likable international financial tycoon. They portray him as a wealthy philanthropist who dabbles in public policy and international affairs by doling out billions of dollars to liberal causes and institutions on issues ranging from campaign finance reform to United Nations funding, and AIDS research to international economic development.
Recently, however, the Hungarian native anointed himself a major player in American politics by declaring the electoral defeat of President George W. Bush in next year’s presidential election as the new central focus of his life. According to Mr. Soros, defeating Mr. Bush is a matter of life and death.
“America under Bush, is a danger to the world. And I’m willing to put my money where my mouth is,” he declared in announcing that he would spend more than $15 million of his personal wealth to defeat the president.
While Mr. Soros seeks to portray himself as a mainstream philanthropist who cares deeply about people, the record reveals him as an arch-typical limousine liberal who lives according to standards far different than those he seeks to impose on others.
Having amassed a multi-billion dollar financial empire in true capitalist style (i.e. international currency speculation), Mr. Soros now contends that “capitalism and the spread of market values” is the No. 1 threat to “open and democratic society.”
Now that he’s a billionaire, he says: “I consider the threat from the laissez-faire side more potent today than the threat from totalitarian ideologies.”
When it comes to military intervention, Mr. Soros has been far from consistent. He praises Bill Clinton’s decision to use military force to topple the regime of Slobodan Milosevic despite the absence of United Nations backing.
But when it comes to the Bush presidency, he declares himself profoundly opposed to the Bush administration’s policies, not only in Iraq but altogether.
Mr. Soros’ denunciation of the president’s foreign policy echoes the sentiments of European socialists.
According to Mr. Soros, the Bush doctrine is built on two pillars: First, the United States will do everything in its power to maintain its unquestioned military supremacy; and second, the United States arrogates the right to preemptive action. Taken together, these two pillars support two classes of sovereignty: the sovereignty of the United States, which takes precedence over international treaties and obligation; and the sovereignty of all other nations, which is subject to the Bush doctrine.
In Mr. Soros’ mind, the sovereignty of the United States must be subordinated to international law and international institutions, such as the United Nations and its International Criminal Court.
A world order based on the sovereignty of states, say Mr. Soros, cannot take care of our common human interests because the principle of sovereignty stands in the way.
But nowhere is Mr. Soros’ hypocrisy more transparent than his recent double take on campaign finance reform. Beginning in the mid-1990s and continuing through the enactment of the so-called Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act of 2002, Mr. Soros was one of the leading proponents of the campaign finance reform. According to a report published by the American Conservative Union Foundation, he funneled millions in contributions to the reform movement. In 1998, for example, Mr. Soros funneled more than $600,000 to an outfit called Arizonans for Clean Elections, which was the main organization behind a drive to create public financing for Arizona state candidates. Mr. Soros support accounted for more than 70 percent of the group’s funding.
And that’s just the beginning; Mr. Soros also donated $18 million to groups supporting campaign finance reform, including Common Cause and Democracy 21. “Soft money contributions taint our political system and taint our political leaders. They create, at a minimum, the appearance of undue access and influence and conflict of interest,” he said.
Now, however, Mr. Soros has apparently had a change of heart. Having succeeded in restricting the fund raising and spending activities of political candidates and political parties, Mr. Soros has found a way to skirt the very laws he helped enact in order to advance his personal political agenda. He has committed up to $5 million to MoveOn.org, an organization that airs ads and organizes rallies denouncing the president’s policies at home and abroad. To date, Mr. Soros says he has spent upwards of $15.5 million to oust Mr. Bush, and he’s prepared to spend even more.
Of course, there’s no outcry from the liberal establishment and media elites that worked so hard to impose the reforms that Mr. Soros once supported. To these so-called reformers, Mr. Soros’ goal of defeating Mr. Bush is paramount to standing on principle.
In George Soros’ world, the ends always seem to justify the means. His blind hatred of Mr. Bush motivates him and the groups he supports.
David N. Bossie is president of Citizens United and a former chief investigator for the House Committee on Government Reform and Oversight.