Why is billionaire George Soros a bogeyman for the hard right?

The first conspiracy theories about George Soros appeared in the early 1990s, but they really gained traction after he condemned the 2003 Iraq War and started donating millions of dollars to the US Democratic Party. Ever since, American right-wing commentators and politicians have gone after him with increasing fury and vitriol, and often with scant concern for the facts.

But it was Donald Trump’s election victory that took the attacks on Soros to a new and dangerous level.

While it’s true that Soros gave $500,000 to the political campaign of Tom Perriello – a Democratic candidate for governor of Virginia whom Gilmore had worked for – there’s no evidence Soros or the Open Society directed or paid protesters at Charlottesville. Gilmore, who never received any money from Soros, is now suing Alex Jones and several others for defamation.

For his part, President Trump retweeted a video that claimed to show cash being handed out to people in Honduras to “storm the US border”, with a suggestion that the cash might have come from Soros.

What’s more, the video President Trump retweeted quickly turned out to be flawed.

Arthur Finkelstein, who died in 2017, worked for Donald Trump, George Bush senior, Ronald Reagan and Richard Nixon and is renowned for making “liberal” a dirty word in politics.

“Arthur Finkelstein always said, ‘You don’t go against the Taliban, you go against Osama Bin Laden.’ So it’s about personalisation, picking the perfect enemy and then [you] go full on against that person, so that people are actually scared of your opponent. And never talk about your own candidate’s policies, they don’t matter at all.”

Article URL : https://www.bbc.com/news/stories-49584157

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