Billionaire investor George Soros, known for his generous donations to progressive causes, believes democracy is "in crisis" because the United States elected "would-be dictator" Donald Trump.
"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 a column for Project Syndicate, adding, "His cabinet comprises incompetent extremists and retired generals."
In the liberal billionaire's view, Trump, though unable to ultimately overthrow democracy in the United States, will inspire democratic instability around the rest of the world:
I am confident that democracy will prove resilient in the US. 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.
But the US will be preoccupied with internal struggles in the near future, and targeted minorities will suffer. The US will be unable to protect and promote democracy in the rest of the world. On the contrary, Trump will have greater affinity with dictators.
Unlike previous American presidents, who have rejected dictatorial regimes, Soros predicted the president-elect "will have greater affinity with dictators," allowing "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," he charged.
In mid-November, Soros held a meeting with fellow progressive donors and think tank leaders to formulate a plan to "take back power" from the imminent Trump administration.
During the 2016 election, Soros donated $25 million to help Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton and down-ballot Democrats beat Trump and other Republicans. With that kind of investment, it's no wonder Soros is so frustrated by the Western rejection of progressive policy:
The rise of anti-EU movements further impeded the functioning of institutions. And these forces of disintegration received a powerful boost in 2016, first from Brexit, then from the election of Trump in the US, and on December 4 from Italian voters’ rejection, by a wide margin, of constitutional reforms.
Only time will tell how much power Soros will wield in Washington, D.C., once Trump takes over Jan. 20.