When asked to picture a leading contributor to the Black Lives Matter movement, campaign finance reform, or Ferguson, MO political action groups, most people would not picture George Soros. However, this 85-year-old Hungarian-born New York resident is a major contributor to many liberal causes.
During the election, Soros contributed over $25 million to finance the Clinton campaign, and has reported to contribute $33 million in 2015 to groups supporting cultural and political reform, such as MoveOn.org, the Ferguson protest movement, the Open Society Foundation (which he founded), End Citizens United, and Black Lives Matter. Soros was also a top contributor to the 2004 bid to oust then-president George Bush, and is a staunch supporter of Hillary Clinton. Online magazine Politico.com reports that he contributes the legal maximum of $5000 to political action groups like End Citizens United that focus on campaign finance reform, and has stated that he feels wealthy citizens have too much pull over the election process. This is further evidenced by his support to grassroots and social media organizations focused on allowing every member of the electorate to have their voice heard. Soros was very wary of Trump and went on the record stating that individuals like Trump and Cruz are more likely to be a cause of increased terror attacks against the United States than they are to improve national security.
During the Ferguson protests, George Soros backed groups looking for ways to further academic research into the causes of these types of incidents, and also promoted editorials to keep the news media involved in ongoing coverage. In an article from The Washington Times, it is revealed that social issues such as the War on Drugs are considered contributing factors to both the Ferguson incident and the reception of the Treyvon Martin case. Soros made his fortune in betting against the British Pound in the 1990’s, and has been active since then to work to erase the false image that is painted of African Americans and other people of color being drug users and criminals. His generous donations made it possible for many grass-roots organizations to organize and have their message heard; Soros is credited with providing the financing needed for these topics to gain mainstream attention. Visit this site to know more at opensocietyfoundations.org.
Although his political actions decreased during the Obama administration, Soros remained vigilant to social causes. After the end of the Obama era, he exploded onto the political scene with an unprecedented amount of contributions. He remains active in social causes and committing his personal wealth to the betterment of society.
When problems arise in the world there are often many people who propose solutions to them. But when the problems involve challenges like inequality, community health or intolerance often the people that are most equipped to actually solve these challenges are people who have experienced the problems themselves. The problem of intolerance is something that George Soros arguably understands quite well.
Soros was born to Jewish parents in Hungary in the 1930s. He lived during a time when people who shared his faith were being actively persecuted. As an adolescent he lived through what could be considered one of the scariest times in recent world history. According to Soros his family was only able to survive when through hiding their identities from people who wanted to harm them. They were also able to help other people do the same thing. Despite the fear that he must have felt as a member of a persecuted community in 1940s Hungary he also learned an important lesson that would guide the philanthropic work he would do as an adult. He learned that it was possible not to succumb to despair in the face of powerful malevolence. He learned that you could refuse to cower before malevolence, even when it is more powerful than you and that you can also manage to assist other people. This lesson of helping other people no matter what your own circumstances may look like is one that would arguably help to fuel one of the biggest projects that Soros would ever work on outside of his profession, and that is the Open Society Foundations. Know more on CNBC about George Soros.
Before coming to the United States he attended the London School of Economics where he worked his way through university as a waiter and a railroad porter. While many young people come to Wall Street hoping only to enrich themselves, as a young man George Soros came there understanding that what you do for others is much more important than what you can do for yourself. When Soros graduated from the London School of Economics he got on a boat headed towards the United States and landed in New York City where he took a job in the world of finance. This introduction to the world of finance is what would lead to him making the investments that would allow him to amass $26 billion in wealth today. Rather than keeping all of the money that he had earned to himself Soros would choose to use that money to help create solutions for problems that he acutely understood as a young Jewish man who had lived through persecution in Hungary. Soros would go on to start the Open Society Foundations that much as their name suggests, are dedicated to creating a better, more equitable world by promoting tolerance, education, civic engagement, civil rights and human rights. Read more about George’s life story at biography.com
End Citizens United was founded in March of 2015 as a means of fighting back against the disastrous Citizens United vs. F.E.C. Supreme Court decision of 2010. Aiming to fight back against a warped and altered political landscape wherein corporations, billionaires, and special interest groups are allowed to spend as much money as they could ever desire to fit their nefarious needs, End Citizens United aims to bring much needed accountability and transparency back into American elections. They aim to break up shadowy, untraceable money spent wildly during our elections so big money donors can’t buy them any longer. Their mission statement includes goals such as electing pro-reform candidates to state and federal offices as well as enlisting grassroots donors and activists, but it doesn’t end there; End Citizens United has started accumulated some big bucks of their own, a prospect that certainly has opponents of the group shaking in their boots.
After collecting more than $4 million in the first few months of 2017 alone, End Citizens United is projected to raise some very big money ahead of the 2018 midterm congressional elections. With projections of over $35 million, the group continues to surge in the fundraising department since their first election cycle in 2016, with an estimated $10 million increase since then. And, with over 100,000 donors in the first quarter of 2017 alone, it’s no wonder the group is seeing such huge growth as of late. Many Americans are growing increasingly frustrated at the state of their government and the way our elections are ran. This is vividly illustrated by the amount of first time donors included in the 100,000 who donated, with numbers reaching upwards of 40,000. An even more vivid illustration is the average donation amount: a mere $12.
This shows that those who are donating aren’t insanely wealthy businessmen or shady special interest groups, but rather everyday citizens who have grown tired of feeling like they don’t have a say and can’t trust their own elected officials to do the jobs they were elected to do. They’re tired of feeling like the system is rigged against them instead of working for them, and this is their way of fighting back- with real change that will work for them, not against them.