The Financial Times has named George Soros as its person of the year for 2018, citing the prominent liberal activist and billionaire as a “standard bearer of liberal democracy and open society.”
“The Financial Times’s choice of Person of the Year is usually a reflection of their achievements,” the editorial board of the London-based newspaper wrote of its choice. “In the case of Mr. Soros this year, his selection is also about the values he represents.”
FT goes on to say that Soros’s ideas are “under siege from all sides” including from “Vladimir Putin’s Russia to Donald Trump’s America” while attracting “the wrath of authoritarian regimes.”
“For more than three decades, Mr. Soros has used philanthropy to battle against authoritarianism, racism and intolerance,” the editorial continues. “Through his long commitment to openness, media freedom and human rights, he has attracted the wrath of authoritarian regimes and, increasingly, the national populists who continue to gain ground, particularly in Europe.”
Soros is a frequent target of conservatives, including President Trump.
In October, Trump charged that Soros paid activists to disrupt Supreme Court confirmation hearings of Justice Brett Kavanaugh.
The president noted one incident in particular when a woman confronted Sen. Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.) during the confirmation process.
“The very rude elevator screamers are paid professionals only looking to make Senators look bad. Don’t fall for it! Also, look at all of the professionally made identical signs. Paid for by Soros and others. These are not signs made in the basement from love! #Troublemakers,” Trump tweeted Oct. 5.
The very rude elevator screamers are paid professionals only looking to make Senators look bad. Don’t fall for it! Also, look at all of the professionally made identical signs. Paid for by Soros and others. These are not signs made in the basement from love! #Troublemakers
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 5, 2018
Soros says the criticism means he “must be doing something right.”
“I’m blamed for everything, including being the anti-Christ,” Soros, 88, told the Financial Times. “I wish I didn’t have so many enemies, but I take it as an indication that I must be doing something right.”
Susan Fowler, a software engineer formerly at Uber, was named the newspaper’s “Person of the Year” in 2017 for exposing sexual harassment she experienced at the company.