George Soros is now 88 years old. He is a Hungarian born Jew who, in the aftermath of World War II, left Hungary for England, before settling finally in the United States.
Soros has been prominent as a leader in two different domains. The first is in finance. For the last fifty years or so he has been among the world’s leading investors. Soros’s investments in companies and, especially, in currencies, were daringly speculative and exceptionally lucrative. In the 1980s The Economist called him “the world’s most intriguing investor.” And in the 1990s his audacious decision to bet the family farm on shorting the pound earned him, according to the New York Times, a “profit of $1 billion.”
For the last forty years or so, he has been, in addition, among the world’s leading philanthropists. It is not too much to say that Soros has been as singular a leader in the world of philanthropy as in the world of finance. Through his Open Society Foundations, he invested enormous sums in nothing less ambitious than the democratization of the countries of East Europe, especially in the years preceding and succeeding the collapse of the Soviet Union. It was an intention of breathtaking proportion – it is safe to say that no single individual did more to democratize the countries of the former Soviet bloc than did Soros.
In more recent years, Soros increasingly turned his attention to politics in the U. S. He became in time one of the largest contributors to the Democratic Party and to various Democratic candidates. In the 2004 he donated $27 million to defeat President George W. Bush. In 2016 he donated more than $16 million to groups supporting Hillary Clinton. And, according to the Times, during this electoral cycle he has given more than $15 million to support various Democratic candidates at the federal level. Soros has, in other words, spent enormous sums of money supporting multiple liberal causes both at home and abroad.
There is one last arena in which Soros has been a leader. In fact, as the special target of anti-Semitic attacks in recent years, again both at home and abroad, he has been so far ahead he has been the canary in the coal mine. I will not here detail the nature or the extent of the attacks on Soros. I will say that they have been, during the regime of Viktor Orban, especially vicious and vitriolic in Hungary. And I will say that they have been, during the regime of Donald Trump, especially vicious and vitriolic in the United States.
It has in short come to this:
Soros is being followed now not as a leader – but as a victim. He is being followed as in hounded. He is being persecuted because he is inordinately rich, because he is deeply political, and because he is manifestly Jewish. A Jewish canary in a deep dark coal mine.