Liberal billionaire George Soros warns that democracy "is now in crisis" after the election of Donald Trump, whom he called a "con artist and would-be dictator."
He said Trump's presidential victory and anti-European Union sentiment will help to empower dictators around the globe.
"Democracy is now in crisis. Even the U.S., the world’s leading democracy, elected a con artist and would-be dictator as its president," Soros wrote in his Project Syndicate column.
“Although Trump has toned down his rhetoric since he was elected, he has changed neither his behavior nor his advisers,” added Soros, a business magnate and Holocaust survivor. "His Cabinet comprises incompetent extremists and retired generals.”
The billionaire Hungarian-born financier outlined the causes of what he said "led electorates to become disenchanted with the prevailing versions of democracy and capitalism."
He argued that "many people felt that elites had stolen their democracies," contributing to the British vote to leave the European Union, Trump's election and the recent Italian referendum seen as another blow to the EU.
Soros, a major Democratic donor and Hillary Clinton supporter, contended that global income inequality and a failure to redistribute wealth led to a revolt against the established political system. But he said that those trends will help to energize leaders who have consolidated power, like Russian President Vladimir Putin.
“I am confident that democracy will prove resilient in the U.S. Its Constitution and institutions, including the fourth estate, are strong enough to resist the excesses of the executive branch, thus preventing a would-be dictator from becoming an actual one,” Soros wrote.
“But the U.S. will be preoccupied with internal struggles in the near future, and targeted minorities will suffer. The U.S. will be unable to protect and promote democracy in the rest of the world. On the contrary, Trump will have greater affinity with dictators," Soros explained.
"That will allow some of them to reach an accommodation with the U.S., and others to carry on without interference. Trump will prefer making deals to defending principles. Unfortunately, that will be popular with his core constituency,” Soros wrote.
CNBC.com explained that "much of the nationalist rhetoric Trump employed echoed the statements of the British leaders lobbying to leave the EU." Soros, who gave millions to a super PAC backing Hillary Clinton, was a popular Trump target on the campaign trail.
Trump has appointed several wealthy business people to his administration, as well as Wall Street veterans and donors to his election effort, making some question his commitments to the blue-collar workers who propelled him to the White House, CNBC reported.
CNBC contacted the Trump transition team for a comment about Soros' column but didn't receive a response.
For his part, Soros spent nearly $11 million to help 12 candidates running in local district attorney races during the 2016 election cycle, demonstrating a tactic to put Democrats in office up and down the ballot.
According to The Daily Signal, the 86-year-old did not meet with any of the Democratic candidates he gave money to. When the votes were counted, however, 10 of them defeated Republican incumbents.
Soros didn't stop at district attorney races, however. He reportedly gave $2 million to an effort to defeat Maricopa County, Arizona Sheriff Joe Arpaio, who lost in his re-election bid.
Forbes figures Soros' wealth to be more than $24 billion, making him the 19th richest person in the world. He has donated millions of dollars over the years to liberal candidates and causes.
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