The Sydney Morning Herald ran a story about George Soros, and I learned a couple of new things. First, and I did know this much, that this is a guy that puts his money where his mouth is – I can respect that although I don’t agree with his why:
T FIRST, George Soros thought that the problem with America was its President, George Bush. That’s why the New York multibillionaire threw himself into the campaign to bring Bush down.
He gave $US27.5 million to a range of campaigns to bring regime change to Washington in the 2004 election, according to his staff. This pales in comparison with his philanthropic work – he has donated an estimated $US5 billion at least to worthy causes in the past quarter century, especially in promoting open societies in the former communist bloc.
I just didn’t realize how much he spent – 27 mil is a really good chunk of change.
When Bush was re-elected, Soros was forced to rethink. "I tried to pin the blame on the Bush Administration," he writes. "I called the war on terror and the invasion of Iraq temporary aberrations that would be corrected in the next elections. But President Bush was re-elected."
Ah, another person not understanding the American public. Others have made that bad decision in the past, much to their chagrin (think Pearl Harbor, think Taliban) and cost.
An expensive lesson to learn, eh? But I think he’s making an even bigger mistake. He isn’t getting the results he wants, so just as many others in the political arena have done, who does he want to blame?
So Soros has concluded Bush is not the problem: "I must now dig deeper and explore what is wrong with contemporary American society. What is wrong with us?" he says.
Well guy, right question, just got to change your focus a tad.
But such a smart guy, I guess he’s not seeing it. Instead, he wants to try another tact of digging the whole. This one, I can promise, is not going to work any better (but might be cheaper!):
This is why Soros decided to write his book, The Age of Fallibility, published in Australia by Allen & Unwin yesterday. His unabashed aim is to change the US and, hence, the world. He has been described as the only private citizen in America with his own foreign policy.
"The main obstacle to a stable and just world order is the US," he writes. "The Bush agenda is nationalistic: it emphasises the use of force and ignores global problems whose solution requires international co-operation.
Naw, he’s not the only private citizen with their own foreign policy (see John Kerry) – but he does have the bucks to try. Part of the reason why he will fail is that like a lot of trans-nationalists, he is so wedded to that idea he fails to understand that the majority of the American public LIKES our country. We want our nation, are proud of our nation, and we work hard for it. That by definition is patriotic, and he fails to understand that we do not want our nation to fail. Nor, by definition, do we think we are collectively wrong.
The article continues to look at some other things, like what he feels are his qualifications. I love this part – er, not his proclamation, but the "commentary" of the author:
Which brings us to his second self-proclaimed qualification for the role of the man who can change the world: "I have a set of firm ethical and political beliefs." So do most taxi drivers.
Most people do! It does not follow, however, that they are right! The MoveOn folks might think that he is right, but even though he plowed more money into the campaign than I will ever see in my lifetime, empirical evidence says otherwise for the rest of us.
George, a bit of advice – try a 180 on the finger pointing, and then think hard.