Democracy is in “crisis,” with fascist dictatorships and mafia-type states on the rise, a situation that won’t be alleviated by President-elect Donald Trump.
That’s the warning from billionaire investor George Soros in a Project Syndicate opinion piece published Wednesday.
The reason the world has found itself in this situation is that leaders have failed their electorates, with a significant proportion of the latter having reached the conclusion that “elites had stolen their democracy,” Soros said, adding that the phenomenon has played out over 2016 through events such as Brexit and, of course, the U.S. presidential election.
The 86-year-old, Hungarian-born Soros has made no secret of the fact he was not on the Trump train. Last month, he reportedly gathered big-money liberals in Washington for a three-day conference, covering such subjects as resisting Trump’s 100-day plan and getting more Democrats elected in 2017 and 2018.
‘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.’
The result of the U.S. presidential election means the country will spend more time dealing with internal conflicts, with minorities most at risk, than performing the traditional function of promoting democracy around the world, Soros warned.
Democracy will “prove resilient” in the U.S., but Trump “will have greater affinity with dictators,” who will be allowed to carry on without any interference as the new president will prefer “making deals [to] defending principles,” said Soros.
Soros repeated fears that the European Union, which has suffered blows from the U.K.’s Brexit vote and rejection of constitutional reforms by Italian voters this year, is increasingly vulnerable. And he reiterated a concern that Russian President Vladimir Putin was seeking a growing influence over Europe.
He warned that if Russia’s leader exploits “misinformation and fake news” to influence big European elections next year, as he is believed to have done in the U.S. election, then the EU will be in trouble.
“In France, the two leading contenders are close to Putin and eager to appease him. If either wins, Putin’s dominance of Europe will become a fait accompli,” said Soros.
Hungarian-American business magnate, investor, and philanthropist.
George Soros born August 12, 1930 is a Hungarian-American business magnate, investor, philanthropist, political activist, and author. He is chairman of Soros Fund Management. He is known as “The Man Who Broke the Bank of England” because of his short sale of US$10 billion worth of Pound sterling, making him a profit of $1 billion during the 1992 Black Wednesday UK currency crisis. Soros is one of the 30 richest people in the world.
Soros is a well-known supporter of American progressive and American liberal political causes. Between 1979 and 2011 Soros donated more than $11 billion to various philanthropic causes. He played a significant role in the peaceful transition from communism to capitalism in Eastern Europe in the late 1980s and early 1990s, and provided one of Europe’s largest higher education endowments to the Central European University in Budapest. Soros is also the chairman of the Open Society Foundations.
French presidential election, 2017
The first round of the 2017 French presidential election will be held on 23 April 2017. Should no candidate win an outright majority, a run-off between the top two will be held on 7 May 2017.
Incumbent president François Hollande of the Socialist Party is eligible to run for a second term, but declined to do so on 1 December 2016. The Socialist Party will hold a presidential primary in January 2017.
After the Republicans’ presidential primary runoff held on 27 November 2016, former Prime Minister François Fillon emerged as the party’s nominee, beating the moderate former Prime Minister Alain Juppé by a wide margin. Fillon will be the party’s nominee for the presidential race.
Marine Le Pen, the leader of the far-right National Front, is the third significant frontrunner in the presidential race.