George Soros announced today that he was making his first-ever contribution to Media Matters, in the amount of $1 million. Rush Limbaugh denounced this as "foreign money in American politics" and called Soros "a foreigner." Right-wing bloggers echoed this claim ("Foreign Money in Politics: Soros Donates $1 Million to Media Matters"), and the comment section of right-wing blogs discussing this donation are filled with accusations that this constitutes "foreign money in politics."
George Soros, however, is an American citizen, with the full panoply of rights citizenship bestows (including the right to vote or run for office). He's been an American citizen for almost 50 years, since the age of 31 (Business Week: "George Soros became a naturalized American citizen in New York on Dec. 18, 1961, according to the Immigration & Naturalization Service"). He was born in Hungary in 1930, survived German occupation even as numerous Jews died, fled to London after the war to escape Communism, and then began working in New York in 1956. He lived and worked in the U.S. for many years and has given away many millions of dollars in philanthropy to American organizations.
What is it about Soros exactly that leads right-wing commentators -- including their long-time leader, Rush Limbaugh -- to falsely brand this American citizen a "foreigner"? The answer to that question provides substantial insight into the American Right and how they think about many things.