The Atlantic

Why the Right Loves to Hate George Soros

He’s a punching bag for resurgent populists worldwide, and has been for a quarter century.
Source: Laszlo Balogh / Reuters

Perhaps the easiest way to understand the right’s 15-year preoccupation with George Soros is that our ever-heightening polarization requires a billionaire cartoon villain to hover malevolently over Team Bad.

Did the U.S. president really just accuse Soros of paying for anti–Brett Kavanaugh protesters? You bet. Just like a U.S. president’s key adviser in 2010 accused the Tea Party of being the creation of the Koch brothers, a “grassroots citizens’ movement brought to you by a bunch of oil billionaires.”

But while the Charles Koch–George Soros comparison is far deeper than most people would suspect—both are amateur (and ) , both and , both entered the scrum of two-party politics late in life, after several decades of philanthropy more focused on ideas and individual issues—the Soros caricature has extra resonance in the battle to redefine the modern GOP.

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