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.

You're reading a preview, sign up to read more.

More from The Atlantic

The Atlantic6 min readPolitics
The Lasting Lesson of the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact
For the first time in its history, NATO does not have a strong, principled American leader to guide it.
The Atlantic4 min readPolitics
Boris Johnson’s G7 Balancing Act
The summit has forced the British prime minister to navigate divided priorities: Europe and Trump.
The Atlantic3 min read
The Persistent Complexity of Tool
Back with new music after a 13-year hiatus, the legendary metal band is as precise and devastating as it has always been.