More than 140,000 Americans sign petition against George Soros, but will it make a difference?
The petition, which also calls on the government to seize all of Soros’ assets, argues the billionaire “has willfully and on an ongoing basis attempted to destabilize and otherwise commit acts of sedition” against the United States. Also that he “has developed unhealthy and undue influence over the entire Democrat Party and a large portion of the US Federal government.”
Whatever about the “terrorist” part, it is at least true that Soros maintains an unhealthy influence over the Democratic Party, as well as political systems around the world besides the United States.
Soros was Hillary Clinton’s top donor in the 2016 election and has for decades used his vast wealth to influence politics, stir discontent and profit off chaos in countries under the guise of philanthropy and humanitarianism. But Soros (and many of his beneficiaries) represent a disturbing hypocrisy. Claiming to support and promote democracy the world over, Soros’ actions consistently undermine it. Or, as one writer for The Observer put it: “...there is nothing philanthropic about drowning a democracy in money.”
Drowning a democracy in money is exactly what Soros does — and it has very little to do with philanthropy, fairness or social conscience. Soros-funded Democrats routinely attack anyone who truly dares to challenge the system that allows a few billionaires to maintain far more control over “democracies” than the regular people who live and vote in them. Look no further than the vicious attacks on Bernie Sanders — a candidate who at least had the integrity to shun the Super PACS he believes are infecting American democracy.
Even after her loss to Donald Trump, Clinton is still taking aim at Sanders — a man who endorsed her despite revelations that she and a supposedly neutral Democratic National Committee secretly worked in cahoots to scuttle his massively popular campaign.
Soros has been eulogized by the left and reviled by the right. As such, much of the criticism of him is found on right-leaning websites and blogs, while the liberal mainstream steers clear — a distinct contrast with how they treat billionaires like the Koch brothers who funnel billions into the pockets of Republicans.
The Americans signing the petition are unhappy about Soros’ funding of movements like Black Lives Matter and his links to violent far-left groups. Some of the more conspiracy-minded believe Soros himself orchestrated and funded both sides of the violent protests in Charlottesville last month.
Many of Soros’ critics take legitimate criticism too far, either by accusing him of being behind anything and everything that irks them or by using antisemitic slurs against him. This allows Soros defenders to then paint anyone who takes issue with him as a crazy and antisemitic. Soros himself falls into a similar trap, however, when he tries to pin all the world’s ills and evils on Vladimir Putin. The result is only to make himself look stupid.
But there’s another interesting twist at play here. While Americans of a certain political stripe have every right to be upset with Soros and his efforts to influence politics in the US, they are often strangely quiet when he does it overseas. Neither are many of them particularly interested when their own government engages in the same exact behavior (often in league with Soros himself) to promote “revolution” and overthrow foreign governments.
In fact, when Washington engages in this kind of behavior, they are often more than willing to cheer it on. Accusing Soros of funding “fake news” Nazis in Charlottesville is one thing, but when he helped the US government install real Nazis into power Ukraine in 2014, not many Americans on either the left or right were too bothered. They certainly weren’t signing petitions calling for their government to be labeled a terrorist state, anyway. Strange indeed, how “acts of sedition” are something to take seriously only when you think they might affect you and your own political agenda.
But Soros, famed for his liberal politics, has no qualms using his $25 billion fortune to fund conservatives either. Take, for example, the $100,000 he donated to top Senate warmonger John McCain’s “legacy” foundation, which also accepted $1 million from Saudi Arabia. A credible collection of democracy-loving philanthropists, indeed.
A skeptic might cynically surmise that Soros is not really a bleeding heart liberal and altruist after all, but a billionaire willing to throw money at whoever he believes will preserve the system that made him rich.
The chances the White House will take this petition seriously are basically zero. Liberals, conservatives, it doesn’t matter; the lot of them are all knee deep in the same dung. Soros and Trump may hate each other insofar as their political worldviews differ, but what matters to them more than anything is money.
Public fights mask private elbow rubbing. Soros mingled with Ivanka Trump and her husband Jared Kushner at a recent Hamptons soirée hosted by a former Washington Post editor. Kushner, by the way, founded a real-estate startup which received a $250 million line of credit from Soros. Billionaire businessman and top Republican donor David Koch was at the same party. It’s similar to how the Clintons were smiling happily in Trump’s wedding photographs until he dared to question her role as heir apparent of the oval office.
As far as petitions are concerned, there’s a pretty extensive history of petitions requesting implausible actions reaching the number of signatures necessary for an official response. At one point in 2012, the White House had received secession petitions from all 50 states through the “We The People” initiative set up by the Obama administration.
The initiative initially required a petition to receive only 25,000 signatures before a response from the White House — a naive underestimation of how many people will sign petitions as a joke. Like, for example, the one suggesting that Friday should be officially made part of the weekend, or the one calling on the government to “bring back 3D Doritos."
Funny or not, Trump isn’t a fan of the whole petitions thing. Since he took office in January, about a dozen petitions that meet the 100,000 signature threshold have been left unanswered. In fact, he is considering axing the whole operation. Maybe it’s because of “maintenance costs,” or maybe it’s because the top petition on the site, with more than 1.1 million signatures, is calling for an immediate release of his full tax returns, or maybe it’s because he’s just not a big fan of White House transparency.
Whether the Trump White House keeps ‘We The People’ alive or not, the petition to label Soros a terrorist will be taken about as seriously as the one requesting Barack Obama do the hokey pokey in a live address to the nation.
The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of RT.