Financial Times: President Trump copies PM Orbán
The leading British financial paper stresses that Hungarian-born American billionaire Soros has become a hate figure on the right in both Europe and the USA.
Conspiracy theories became the political mainstream
According to them, it all started in 2015, when Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban accused George Soros of trying to flood the country with Middle Eastern migrants – reports FT. In recent weeks, Republican politicians, TV commentators and Internet conspiracy theorists accused Soros of funding a caravan of Central-American migrants heading for the US border. President Donald Trump, whose favourite campaign theme is illegal immigration, said about the allegations that
he wouldn’t be surprised if Soros was behind the caravan.
“A lot of people say so” – he added.
FT highlights that the accusations against Soros – who, in fact, denied any connection to the migrant caravan – shows that anti-Semitism and conspiracy theories became the political mainstream in both Europe and the United States. PM Orban stresses in Hungary that Soros is the one who supports anything that weakens nation states.
According to the British financial daily, nobody cares that Soros wrote in a 2016 column that the EU should strengthen its external borders. However, he also wrote that it should
accept 300,000 refugees annually but in a controlled way.
Laura Silber, a spokeswoman for the billionaire’s Open Society Foundation, said that the Hungarian government took conspiracy theories about Mr Soros to new levels. In contrast, György Schöpflin, a Fidesz MEP, said Mr Soros’s Jewish background had nothing to do with the controversy. He stressed that the government does not want Hungary to become a migrant country while Soros’s aim is the opposite.
Controlling the levers of power
FT suggests that because the Trump-administration did not give the needed backing to Soros’s Central European University in Budapest, PM Orban can easily “force it out” from the country.
According to Robert Goldberg, everything comes down to
money and power.
The University of Utah professor and author of The billionaire said that Soros spent around 25 million dollars on Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign. In the current midterm election campaign – which is crucial for Trump’s future in the White House -, he has already spent more than 10 million dollars to support the Democratic candidates.
The British daily stressed that this is why Soros is in the focus of the Republican attacks and why they suggest that he is among those who controlled “the levers of power in Washington”. For example, Mr Soros’s image appeared last month in a campaign advertisement in Minnesota, sitting behind towering piles of cash. Furthermore, there are TV-spots in the state in which the narrator says that
“billionaire George Soros bankrolls the resistance.”
Last week, Kevin McCarthy, the Republican number two in the House of Representatives, posted a tweet accusing Mr Soros and two other billionaires of Jewish descent — Michael Bloomberg and Tom Steyer — of attempting to buy the election. He removed his tweet only after a conspiracy theorist sent pipe bombs to Soros and others.
Robert Goldberg says that conspiracy theories are now easier to spread in the age of social media. He thinks that today, such theories have become normal – reported FT.
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Source: Financial Times