Many false claims circulate about George Soros. We have responded to some of the most common misconceptions here, to set the record straight.
What are George Soros’s views on revolution?
Soros believes that revolutions are destabilizing and unnecessarily extreme. His work focuses on supporting organizations and governments that protect citizens’ rights and respond to their needs.
He champions open societies under the belief that the free exchange of ideas and information make revolution unnecessary, producing peaceful communities and better government policies.
How did he participate in the fall of communism?
During the late 1970s and early 1980s, Soros supported individual dissidents in many Eastern Bloc countries.
He was an early supporter of Helsinki Watch, which monitored the Soviet government’s compliance with the aspects of the Final Act of the Conference on Security and Cooperation in Europe (also known as the Helsinki Final Act) related to human rights; supported Charter 77, a civic human rights initiative in communist Czechoslovakia; aided the Polish Solidarity movement; and helped in innumerable other ways.
Did Soros play a role in Georgia’s 2003 “Rose Revolution”?
Georgia’s 2003 elections were marred by irregularities and government interference, prompting citizens to stage the nonviolent “Rose Revolution” that forced President Shevardnadze to resign. Though sympathetic to citizens’ calls for democracy and rule of law, Soros and the Open Society Georgia Foundation were not involved in the revolution.
The OSGF did, however, support Georgia’s broader civil society movement through independent election monitoring and grassroots “get-out-the-vote” outreach.
“My foundation will keep working with the government whenever possible,” said Soros in 2005, looking back on his foundation’s work in Georgia. “It will also continue its role as a critical and independent watchdog of those in power.”
How was Soros involved in Zimbabwe?
The Open Society Foundations helped victims of violent oppression at the hands of Zimbabwe’s government travel to the United States in 2007 to speak at the United Nations in Washington, DC. Those activists helped bring international attention to the Mugabe regime’s gross violations of human rights, which have included election rigging and brutal crackdowns on political opposition. Soros and his foundations have consistently called on Mugabe’s government to respect the rights of its citizens and in 2007 used an online multimedia campaign to further raise international awareness of the abuses. That effort, alongside other calls for action, helped local activists build momentum for international mediation and support for reform.
What is his stance on global drug policy?
Soros believes an alternative approach to the U.S. war on drugs would be more effective in reducing the harm caused by drug use.
Through the Open Society Foundations, he advocates for an approach to international drug policy that incorporates a greater focus on public health and human rights. It emphasizes harm reduction programs (such as needle exchange) and related approaches to reduce violence, incarceration and risks to public health.
The Foundations have helped support the work of the high-level Latin American Commission on Drugs and Democracy, which includes three former presidents and prominent social leaders. The commission has reported on drug policy failures in Latin America and made recommendations for viable regional alternatives.
The Foundations also work closely with the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria and other organizations to advocate for a more humane and effective approach to global drug policy.
Does Soros support the legalization of drugs?
He does not support the legalization of hard drugs. But he does oppose the criminalization of drug users, believing treatment to be a more effective and humane approach than incarceration.
Soros has stated that complete eradication of drug use is implausible, as it is a problem that is common to all societies. He advocates a policy that places more emphasis on reducing the harm caused by drugs—to users and society as a whole.
What were Soros’s actions relating to the 2004 presidential election?
In 2003, opposing George W. Bush’s efforts to win another term as President became one of George Soros’s chief priorities. He believed that President Bush’s policies were a danger to America and the world.
That year, he wrote The Bubble of American Supremacy, a critique of the philosophy he saw guiding the Bush administration, and donated $27 million to organizations that also sought a change in the philosophy guiding American policy.
During the 2004 campaign he donated an additional $27.5 million to various organizations that sought to defeat President Bush’s bid for reelection. The vast majority of his funding went to America Coming Together, a voter registration and mobilization effort.
What is his current involvement in U.S. politics and the Democratic Party?
Since 2004, George Soros has contributed to Democratic candidates for federal, state and local office. He has also been a contributor to the Democratic National Committee, to the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee and to the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee. His contributions have been made in accordance with all relevant laws and regulations and are generally a matter of public record. They can be found on such Web sites as www.opensecrets.com.
In addition, since 2004, Soros has supported organizations involved in voter registration, education and turn out. Most notably, he is a funder of America Votes and was an early supporter of efforts to improve and enhance progressive organizations’ use of data for electoral and advocacy purposes.
Soros has also been a contributor to the voter education and outreach efforts of a variety of progressive organizations.
What is Soros's relationship with President Obama?
George Soros was an early supporter of Barack Obama, first in his Senate campaign in Illinois and later when he ran for President. Soros supported Obama in his presidential bid because he believed he could provide the transformational leadership the country needed. He has no special relationship with the President and does not serve as an advisor in any formal or informal capacity. Soros has been a strong advocate of financial reform, health care reform and addressing the problem of climate change. He has made his views known broadly through his writing and public appearances.
Did Soros establish the Center for American Progress?
George Soros was an initial donor to the Center for American Progress and he continues to support the organization through the Open Society Foundations.
What is his connection with MoveOn?
In 2004 he provided half of a $5 million challenge grant to MoveOn to encourage small donors to make contributions. He has provided no other financial support and has not been involved in the management or operations of the organization. MoveOn has since raised tens of millions of dollars from its more than 4 million members.