George Soros and Donald Trump have much in common. Both men are billionaires. Both are heavily involved in politics and both men have at least one parent who was foreign born. Yet the two men differ greatly on the issue of immigration. So opposed is Soros to Donald Trump’s immigration rhetoric that he told Francine Lacqua of Bloomberg that Trump was doing the bidding of ISIS.
Soros suggested to Lacqua that rhetoric like Trumps might isolate Muslims and lead them to believe that their only option for success and survival was terrorism. He further indicated that he believed that ISIS’s numbers were already dwindling and that the group would soon lose power.
Soros elaborated on his reasons for opposing rhetoric like Trump’s in a 2015 op-ed in The Guardian. Here, he said that ISIS was exploiting Western emotions evoked by the fear of death. These emotions, he said, could make otherwise reasonable people “abandon their reason” and behave irrationally. Therefore, he said, when leaders (such as Trump) engage in over-the-top anti-Muslim rhetoric, they strike fear in the hearts of Western and American Muslims. Because these Muslims are also affected by fear, they too may begin to act irrationally. Terrorists, meanwhile, present them with alternatives to Western living. Therefore, says Soros, leaders like Trump unwittingly play right into the hands of the radicals they purport to be against.
According to the Wall Street Journal, Soros has witnessed, first-hand, the irrational effect fear can have on populations. As a boy of Jewish heritage, who survived the Nazi occupation of Hungary, Soros witnessed the German persecution of Jews firsthand. He suggested to Lacqua that although he is now a little bit of a statesman, he feels that is loyalty is to the stateless man and indicates that his own experience as a migrant influences the way he sees refugees. It also seems to influence the way he sees Donald Trump.