One of the mail bombs found in the last few days was sent to George Soros, someone I think I’ve only heard of from right-wing conspiracy theories. Conservatives blame this guy for EVERYTHING they don’t like, from funding protests to controlling the entire world economy. He’s even been accused of selling out others to the Nazis, despite the fact that his family was in hiding at the time, and he was a kid. I guess being Jewish, rich, and a supporter of progressive causes is enough to set off the Rothschild alarm. I remember one speech Donald Trump gave, I think before he was elected, where he lumped Soros together with a few other rich Jewish progressives. It’s the latest iteration of the idea that a secret cabal of Jews controls the whole world, although the way Jews have actually been treated in many parts of the world in recent history suggests they’re either doing a terrible job or don’t mind sacrificing their own people. But modern antisemitism is bizarrely contradictory anyway, as some of Trump’s chief advisors, including his daughter, are Jewish. So was Andrew Breitbart, whose right-wing conspiracy blog was highly influential on Trump’s thinking (such as it is). Knowing his general way of thinking, he probably believes the Elders of Zion crap and wants to be part of it. He did say something about wanting a Jew to keep track of his money, which is one of those offensive stereotypes disguised as a compliment, like saying all black people are good at basketball.
Soros was born in Hungary to a non-observant Jewish family, who changed their name from Schwartz to Soros and bought documents claiming they were Christian in order to survive the Nazi occupation. He’s known as a major contributor to the fall of communism in Europe, but also as the man who broke the Bank of England. During the Black Wednesday crisis in 1992, when the rate of the pound sterling dropped so much that the British government was forced to withdraw it from the European Exchange Rate Mechanism, Soros made a huge profit through the short sale of pounds. At least, that’s what I’ve read. I’ve never been entirely clear on how the fluctuating value of money really works. Currency speculation kind of sounds like a rich person’s alternative to playing slot machines or betting on horses, except with much more potentially severe consequences. Of course, most of the people accusing Soros of being some radical fringe element set on world domination are themselves rich through the manipulation of money rather than making contributions to society, and they probably haven’t given as much of theirs to worthy causes. So, yeah, it’s pretty hypocritical. I think a large part of the belief that Soros is just giving checks to protesters, and more recently funding the migrant caravan, is one of projection. If Trump paid people to appear at his campaign rallies, then the same thing must be happening on the other side, right? Never mind that a lot of the issues being protested are ones that would be beneficial to a lot of people, so there’s already a personal motive for those participating, just a long-term one. I’m not sure how it would benefit Soros to fund, say, Occupy Wall Street when speculation in the market was how he made his money. And I know of no indication that he’s doing it for fame either, as, like I said, the only ones who talk that much about him are the conspiracy-mongers. Personally, I think there’s something romantic-sounding about the term “caravan,” which makes me wonder why opponents would use that term. But then, that’s entirely based on word sound; I doubt the experience is at all romantic. And these are the same people who use “progressive,” “bleeding heart,” and “Social Justice Warrior” as insults.