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Poor George Soros. It’s tough being a politically active billionaire socialist these days. Speaking in an interview after an appearance at the Human Rights Watch conference in Lake Zurich, Soros confirmed a renewed commitment to working even harder to promote his agenda in the age of Trump. Soros’ globalism is at odds with President Trump’s America First platform and a rise in what he describes as an anti-immigrant sentiment in Europe. “Everything that could go wrong has gone wrong”, he said.
His favored presidential candidate, Hillary Clinton, lost to President Trump, whose “America First” platform runs counter to the globalism Soros embraces. Trump, he said, “is willing to destroy the world.” The European Union, which Soros once hoped would be so successful that he could end his charitable work in the region, is contending with the impending loss of Britain and a rise of anti-immigrant sentiment. And Soros himself has emerged as a political target in elections from Hungary to California, where his donations have been used as a cudgel against the causes he supports.
The 87-year-old Hungarian admits he was living in his own bubble and didn’t see Trump’s election victory coming. To be honest, most people didn’t think it would happen. But, Soros realizes he was living in his own little bubble and that is more than a lot of people will admit. He sees Trump’s election as a threat to be confronted. “The bigger the danger, the bigger the threat, the more I feel engaged to confront it,” he said. He knows he is vilified by his opponents, but who isn’t these days? I’ll not be shedding any tears for him. For all his billions in the bank, he knows his political influence is limited in America.
Soros plans now to concentrate on smaller, more local politics around the country. All politics is local, a saying credited to former Speaker of the House Tip O’Neill back in the day, is now his new playbook. I happen to believe this saying and if you are a long game kind of person, instead of the short game, it is easy to connect the dots as politicians begin in their own local communities to rise in power. Trump, a billionaire businessman, and celebrity is an exception. It is yet to be determined if his election is a fluke. Soros’ pet projects, like reforms to the criminal justice system, can move forward with the help of favorable district attorneys, for example. What is interesting to me is his failure, even in California, so far this election cycle.
Soros, who plans to spend at least $15 million in 2018 races, has already faced some setbacks this cycle. His bid to replace several district attorneys in California with challengers seeking changes to the criminal justice system was largely unsuccessful in Tuesday’s elections. “We ran into a brick wall in California,” he said.
George Soros is the ultimate boogeyman in conservative politics. Campaign managers use his name in political mailers and ads, even at the local level. I know it happens in my city and it’s effective. His name conjures up the worst thoughts towards liberal politics. His open borders brand of socialism is finally being rejected by voters and Trump rode that wave in 2016. Soros, like many Hillary Clinton voters, is having a hard time accepting our new reality. But, unlike another liberal billionaire, Tom Steyer, Soros doesn’t support Trump’s impeachment. He would only support impeachment if Democrats take back Congress and they could get some Republicans to go along with it.
Soros said he is certain in his assessment of Trump, whom he describes as a “narcissist” who “considers himself all-powerful.”
But he does not appear settled on the strategy to defeat him. Soros said he disapproves of a campaign by fellow liberal billionaire Tom Steyer to push to impeach the president, saying he would only support such an effort if Democrats retake Congress this year and gain Republican support.
In other words, Soros knows that impeachment would not go anywhere if Republicans hold control in the House and Senate. It’s just common sense. We all remember that Bill Clinton’s impeachment failed because though it was passed in the House, it was unable to get the votes necessary in the Senate.
Also, bad news for the junior senator from New York – Soros isn’t going to support her probable run for president in 2020. He holds a grudge against her because she pushed for Minnesota’s Al Franken to resign after charges came forward against him in the budding days of the #MeToo movement. Soros isn’t planning to play favorites in the Democratic presidential primary because he doesn’t want to divide the party, but she’s out.
Soros, who said he wants to avoid dividing the party, also refused to pick favorites among the emerging crop of 2020 Democratic presidential contenders. But there is one prospective candidate he said he hopes does not get the nod: Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand of New York.
He blames Gillibrand for pushing the resignation of former senator Al Franken “whom I admire,” Soros said, “in order to improve her chances.”
Franken (Minn.) resigned in January after a number of women alleged that he touched them inappropriately. Gillibrand was a leading voice urging her fellow Democrat to quit.
She declined to comment.
A forward-looking Soros declared, “This is the moment we were built for,” when he was asked by the former Obama White House political director Patrick Gaspard (who now runs Soros’ Open Society Foundation) about the role his organization will play in Trump’s America. Let’s hope his efforts continue to fail, even in the most liberal parts of the country.