Skip to comments.Two Cheers for George Soros
Posted on 01/29/2005 8:01:43 AM PST by Davis
George Soros is one of the planet's wealthiest men, 38th on Forbes' latest list with about $7,000,000,000 which he keeps in a steamer trunk in a bomb-proof vault guarded by platoons of fanatically loyal mutant ninjas.
The man is no fool.
Last election cycle, Soros dipped into petty cash to toss about skaity-nine million bucks to a variety of campaigns to defeat George W. Bush. Move-on.org, a principal recipient of Soros' largesse, is dedicated to the canonization of Bill Clinton. It used Soros' money to get the anti-Bush message out. America Coming Together (ACT) got a bucketful of Soros cash to get out the vote on the theory that those voters would vote against Bush. Mr. Soros himself paid for his own campaigning for Kerrywell, against Bush, hence for Kerry.
As all but the comatose now know, these efforts were insufficient. Kerry lost.
While ambling along the campaign trail, Mr. Soros noticed that the opposition had the benefit of a vibrant Conservative idea-generating apparatus, a veritable idea reservoir with a multitude of thinkers and writers. It seemed to Mr. Soros that the Democrats and their allies were seriously outgunned by the Right's ferocious double-domes.
A decade and a half ago, Soros sought to join the ranks of the idea people. He had happened upon the work of the philosopher, Karl Popper, and constructed thereon his own concept of the "Open Society." You can read his distilled wisdom on the subject, an essay of staggering incoherence, published in the Atlantic. Soros pursued his Open Society vision around the globe, paying well for it without achieving any tangible result.
In the aftermath of the Kerry defeat, Soros came around to believing that the fundamental problem of the Kerry campaign was not its inadequate candidate, not inadequate funding, not its inability to get its message out to the electorateafter all, Kerry had Michael Moore, the Dixie Chicks, and Dan Rather on his sideso it must have been something about the ideas the Kerry camp was pushing that account for its defeat.
Here, a fair-minded fellow, me, for instance, is forced to agree with Mr. Soros. He has put his finger directly on the problem. The Left's ideas, foreign and domestic, were tired, worn out, reactionary, and negative. The new and exciting ideas were not coming from the huge, well funded American universities or the huge foundations, Ford, Rockefeller, MacArthur, Carnegie, Pew, Heinz.
Everywhere you looked, relatively small Conservative think tanks and publications, American Enterprise Institute, Heritage Foundation, Hudson Institute, Manhattan Institute, Cato, Commentary, Weekly Standard, National Review, New Criterion were generating ideas by the carload. And selling them to the voters.
Is it any wonder, then, that George Soros should see the need for establishing Lefty think tanks to battle the Conservative think tanksthink-tank destroyers, see.
Soros two weeks ago met in San Francisco with the Oakland bankers Herb and Marion Sandler and Peter B. Lewis, a Cleveland insurance typhoon, a big wind on Lake Erie. All were substantial Democrat donors who had contributed close to sixty-million dollars to the 527 spawn of McCain-Feelgood. Details of what was decided by them are lacking. Accounts in Financial Times and elsewhere suggest that these folks have decided to commit $100,000,000 over 10 years to fund a Left-lib-Progressive think tank or network of think tanks.
Of course there's no hint of the ideas they will think about. Soros and pals are money guys. For money you get honey, right?. The ideas will turn up. First, they got to deal with the personnel problems their new venture involves.
Who's going to run the show? Can they tap Lewis Lapham, editor of Harper's who has detailed at length in its pages the Conservative think tank conspiracy to delude America? Is Bill Moyers available Now? Can Thomas Frank, late of Shawnee, Kansas, advocate for a return of the good ol' Depression days of lunch buckets and class warfare be tempted to take charge? Can George Lakoff, expositor of the moral values of the Left be persuaded to leave the cozy confines of U. C. Berkeley? Is there any name on the masthead of The Nation magazine acceptable to Soros, Sandler & Lewis?
I won't presume to tell these rich people how to spend their money. Not that they need my approval. This is a free country, and they can spend their money as they think best. I know they correctly resent a social system so corrupt as to allow them to flourish. And I applaud their search for a barking cat.
Soros needs a brain transplant.
Our kittens don't bark. They bite.
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