It’s officially back: The Right’s favorite spectre, the figure of the morally-dubious Jewish financier who (along with his hidden cabal of Jews) seeks to control the world.
Philanthropist, political activist and… Jew, Soros has given tens of millions of dollars to political candidates and organizations on the Left over the past decades, in an effort to promote open society in the former Soviet Union and Eastern Block. His spending has put him at the top of the list of donors to political campaigns in the modern era, both disclosed and undisclosed.
Such support for democracy has attracted ferocious hatred of the Right, and he has recently been branded an old-fashioned (read medieval) Jewish monster. Even more bizarre, many fringe (and not-so-fringe) elements on the Right have referred to him as a Nazi, some claiming that Soros, born a Jew in Hungary in 1930, was a member of Hitler’s SS, notwithstanding his race, and the fact that he was nine years old when the Second World War began.
This kind of imagery and vilification is the straw bogey man constructed by the far Right. The figure of the Evil Jew is perhaps the signature Fascist political strategy. Opposition to the Right’s agenda is seen these days, whether by Trump, Republican leaders, or the Republican voting rank and file, as an assault on America, Christianity, morality and common sense. The Fascists of the old days tended to have a similar view of opposition, rather like how Medieval Christians saw heretics, as worthy of killing.
The extent to which outspoken Democrats, (and Jews, such as Columbia’s Elizabeth Midlarsky), are vilified, and in many cases, threatened with physical violence today demonstrates how the Conservative movement in America and around the world, has shepherded many elements of Fascist ideology into the current political moment, slowly edging it from the shadows into the mainstream, like a dog, which wants to come out of hiding, and does so tentatively, not fully revealing itself until it is sure of its reception. Twenty sixteen provided that open-handed reception, and presto! Out came the dog.
Trump’s closing advertisement for his 2016 campaign featured George Soros, Janet Yellin (the then chairperson of the Federal Reserve…