The Right Wing Obsession With Soros

Posted on: 2023-05-20

George Soros has become the "bogeyman" of the right. His name has become shorthand for villain. If you try and dig into why, it's pretty vague, typically wrong or at least wildly inaccurate.

This isn't some fringe phenomena. It is invoked often and widely by prominent Republicans...

Not wishing to miss out on new lows...

Many of these articles point out that Soros has been for decades used in this way. Many also point out the fairly obviously antisemitism.

Soros is used as a dog whistle.

In politics, a dog whistle is the use of coded or suggestive language in political messaging to garner support from a particular group without provoking opposition. The concept is named after ultrasonic dog whistles, which are audible to dogs but not humans. Dog whistles use language that appears normal to the majority but communicates specific things to intended audiences. They are generally used to convey messages on issues likely to provoke controversy without attracting negative attention.


Attacks on Mr Soros allow different people to interpret it in different ways...

You'd think Soros being anti-fascist and pro-democracy would be something practically everybody would embrace, but here we are.

Arguably not all people claiming George Soros is bad are necessarily antisemitic. The neo-nazis surely are. The further you go down the list more the antisemitism becomes normalized, supported and obvious.

Why not just come out and say what you mean? Why use a dog whistle?

Another way of looking at this is a kind of pipeline. If you are a neo nazi and are trying to gain support, it's going to be largely ineffective to most people to just come out and say what you think. So you start with something else you can persuade people with that starts people on the path.

It's slow boiling the frog. It's an entry point down the rabbit hole. People aren't typically born neo nazis, there is a path to getting there. Dog whistles wink and support the people who have reached the end goal, but can be supported and repeated by people who aren't there. Yet.

Some might argue that this is taking this all far too seriously. The right don't actually support antisemitism/white supremacy/corruption/cruelty they are just "pretending".

We are what we pretend to be, so we must be careful about what we pretend to be.

Kurt Vonnegut

Which can be interpreted in a variety if different ways. You might start out "pretending" to be an asshole, but if you do it enough you will be an asshole. This could be read as "in effect" or "in actuality".

Another argument might be - that's regrettable but this is all just words. Unfortunately that doesn't hold any water, because antisemitic violence is on the rise.