George Soros is known by conservatives and liberals alike as one of the most impressive and biggest political donors of the 21st-century, but few of his supporters and critics have taken the time to understand the motivations of this Hungarian born Holocaust survivor. Forbes reports George Soros fled his native Hungary in 1947 after surviving the Nazi occupation where his own life was threatened as a member of the Jewish community; the majority of the Soros family survived the Holocaust by hiding their Jewish origins at a time when an estimated 500,000 members of the Jewish community in Hungary were murdered under Nazi policies. After seeing his homeland placed under the control of Stalinist Soviet Union following the end of World War II Soros fled to the U.K. as a refugee. The lasting impression these early events in the life of George Soros had on his life and career cannot be underestimated and are thought to have directly led to the establishment of the philanthropic Open Society Foundations group.
Never being shy in his criticism of politicians and his fellow business leaders, George Soros is reported by Politico to have made the decision to back Democrat John Kerry in the 2004 election campaign after comparing the Administration of President George W. Bush to Nazi Germany because of the invasions of Iraq and Afghanistan. Over the course of the 2004 campaigning season for The White House, George Soros provided an astonishing $27 million in support of John Kerry and backed many different Super PAC’s supporting the politician who would eventually become the Secretary of State. As the 2004 election came to a close, George Soros became disillusioned with the level of giving from billionaires on both sides of the U.S. political spectrum; calling the ability of a single donor to have such an effect on elections in the U.S. “odious”, Soros would withdraw from political giving in favor of assisting in the creation of policy and his philanthropic work.
In the wake of the devastating defeat for John Kerry in 2004, Soros became convinced he should be primarily concerned with organizing his fellow donors to the Democratic cause and established the Democracy Alliance to build a dedicated group forming policy and assisting in planning for elections. Despite taking part in the formation of the Democracy Alliance, Soros has also become a supporter of the End Citizens United PAC which hopes to bring a close to the political influence of the donor class and return U.S. politics to the limited donations offered by the use of traditional PAC’s. Despite his reservations about the major donations provided by billionaire donors, the Wall Street investment expert returned to political giving with more than $25 million given to the campaign of Democrat Hillary Clinton during 2016, according to Politico.