Meet Oliver Willis, third-rate sleaze merchant

Perhaps the main thing you need to know about the opinion writer Oliver Willis is that he spent a formative part of his career at Media Matters for America, the sleazy left-wing propaganda factory run by David Brock, who has variously been called a smear artist,” “poisonous” (in The Nation, no less!), and a “slippery snake” (by Maureen Dowd).

Oliver Willis

Willis is black. His parents were Jamaican. He is obsessed with race. Shortly before the 2016 election, he dismissed Trump supporters as “knuckle dragging racists.” He also dismissed the idea that working-class whites in flyover states had any legitimate grievances, whether about the economy or anything else: no, these people were “table-slamming racists,” “the absolute gutter worst of the country,” and didn’t deserve a hearing. They “lack the capacity to have any sort of empathy for anyone who doesn’t look exactly like them.”

The mentor: David Brock

In today’s America, Willis maintained, “you still start out several lengths ahead if you’re white and male than if you’re brown and female. The system is still set up for you to have a home field advantage, and the rules and many of the referees are still rigged for the outcome to tilt in your favor.” Needless to say, some people who’ve been denied jobs or rejected from colleges because of affirmative action would disagree strongly with this statement.

The devil: Donald Trump

But in Willis’s world, affirmative action isn’t a matter of systematic victim-group preference but of being “more inclusive” of “well qualified — sometimes overqualified — people [who] have been sidelined for eons because they didn’t buy the winning genetic lottery ticket.” Anyway, when Trump won, Willis attributed it to racism, pure and simple. Just the other day, he tweeted: “i see we’re still pretending trump’s rust belt wins were about effing trade agreements and not racism.” 

Houston hit by a hurricane: hilarious

Sometimes his race obsession manifests itself in a particularly ugly way. When Houston was struck by Hurricane Harvey in August 2017, Willis asked on Twitter: “where are the right wing memes ridiculing houston evacuees like w katrina? many of the photos of people from houston are white. ahhhhhhhhh.” And sometimes it comes out in a way that’s just plain bizarre. Retweeting an item about the early 1800s slave trade, he wrote: “I am told daily by conservatives that the founders were perfect.” Huh? In 2018, who on earth describes any of the Founders as perfect? Doesn’t every history textbook these days emphasize that several of them owned slaves?

Thomas Jefferson, a slave holder? Who knew?

Willis thinks of himself as smart. Exceedingly smart. His website is headlined “Oliver Willis: Like Kryptonite To Stupid.” “I hate being smarter than the leader of the free world,” he tweeted only a few days ago. The purported stupidity of conservatives is a constant theme in his work. “For #WorldBookDay,” he tweeted on March 1, “I would like conservatives to know that they are the scary piles of paper with all the forbidden knowledge and one day you should crack one open.” Back in 2010, the Huffington Post ran a piece in which Willis took on the charge that liberals who look down their noses at conservatives are elitists: no, he argued, liberals should treat conservatives like inferiors, because the latter are, quite simply, morons.

Tea Party movement: morons

The Tea Party crowd, he explained, are “cretins,” “the lowest common idiotic denominator,” and a “roving band of conspiracy nuts” who are preoccupied with “idiotic” issues. In sum: “we owe them no recognition or inclusion in the important discussion about the direction of American society.”

Pause for a moment over that last sentence: as far as Willis is concerned, a whole huge chunk of the American populace deserves no voice in the public square. Implicit in this claim is an assumption that he and his ideological confreres have, or should have, the right to silence those who disagree with them. Willis smears white conservatives as exclusionary racists, but he’s the one who’s the exclusionary racist.

More on Thursday.

 

Soros’s echo chamber

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George Soros

Last time around, we took a brief look at George Soros‘s youth and at his parents’ values – his father was an Esperanto idealist, his mother a self-hating Jew. As we’ll see, this mixture of influences helped shape a man who would, paradoxically, combine utopian ideology and philanthropy with a staggering egocentrism and personal moral expediency.

Let’s move on to his early career. Studying economics in London after the war, Soros came to embrace the concept of the “open society” – a society, that is, that shrinks from considering itself in any way superior to any other. In short, he became a moral relativist – a position consistent, perhaps, with his twisted youthful enthusiasm for the Nazis. He found work on Wall Street, but found the U.S. “commercial” and “crass.” In 1959 he settled in Greenwich Village, where he befriended New Left radicals who despised capitalism; meanwhile, his own mastery of capitalist enterprise caused his wealth to grow exorbitantly.

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Aryeh Neier

In the 1980s he began to spend his wealth on causes dear to his heart; in 1993, he established the New York-based Open Society Institute, which remains the centerpiece of his philanthropic work. His consiglieri during all these years has been Aryeh Neier, a Marxist who back in the 1960s founded the radical group Students for a Democratic Society. With Neier at his side, Soros has handed out princely sums to a wide range of “progressive” groups – ranging from ACORN to the Arab American Institute to the National Council of La Raza – that despise capitalism and the U.S. while supporting big government, the welfare state, and socialist-style wealth redistribution.

Soros has thrown money at radical environmentalists, radical feminists, and groups that agitate for the subordination of the U.S. government to the authority of the United Nations; he’s supported Occupy Wall Street and the effort to exploit the Ferguson, Missouri, unrest to inflame racial tensions and demonize cops; he’s poured truckfuls of cash into far-left news media such as Pacifica Broadcasting, The Nation Magazine, and Air America Radio, as well as into various journalism-related groups that pose as objective “media centers” and “media institutes” (notably Media Matters for America), but whose actual role is to protect and perpetuate the leftist media narrative and to demonize truth-tellers whose work disrupts that narrative. His Soros Documentary Fund, which subsidizes “social justice” films, has been part of the left-wing Sundance Institute since 2001.

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Lynne Stewart

Among the countless other beneficiaries of his largesse have been The Constitution Project, which has provided support to Islamic terrorists, and the Lynne Stewart Defense Committee, which has bankrolled lawyer Lynne Stewart, convicted of serving as a messenger between her client Omar Abdel Rahman and the terrorist group al-Gama’a al-Islamiyya. Most recently, Soros money was critical in the successful bid by the left to subordinate the Internet to FCC regulation. As John Fund put it in National Review on February 26, the goal of the Soros-funded Internet grab is, quite plainly, “an Unfree Press — a media world that promotes their values.”

But to focus on these individual groups, grantees, causes, and collaborators is to miss the forest for the trees. And quite a forest it is. During the last decade or so, the groups has created or funded have been shaped into a veritable “Shadow Party,” as it’s been called – a network of key political actors that collaborate in pushing the Democratic agenda, all the while pretending to be apolitical and independent of one another. Key elements of the Shadow Party include the Center For American Progress, which poses as a think tank, and MoveOn, a PR and fundraising operation.

soros6In January 2015, Washington Times reporter Kelly Riddell provided a picture of the way in which this Shadow Party operates. Describing Soros as the “man at the financial center of the Ferguson protest movement,” she explained that some of his grantees “helped mobilize protests in Ferguson, building grass-roots coalitions on the ground backed by a nationwide online and social media campaign,” while other Soros grantees “made it their job to remotely monitor and exploit anything related to the incident that they could portray as a conservative misstep, and to develop academic research and editorials to disseminate to the news media to keep the story alive.” These Soros-funded groups, Riddell recounted, “fed off each other, using content and buzzwords developed by one organization on another’s website, referencing each other’s news columns and by creating a social media echo chamber of Facebook ‘likes’ and Twitter hashtags that dominated the mainstream media and personal online newsfeeds.”

If there’s a figure, then, in the carpet of U.S. politics today, it’s not the Koch brothers. It’s George Soros, enthusiast for “social justice” and foe of freedom.