It’s a cliché (and no less likely to be true for being such) to say that progressives will always tell you what they are doing by accusing the other side of it. Thus, we get coordinated accusations about “Koch brothers funding” in the most local of races all the way up to the most nationally concerned disputes while George Soros funds the broad and hostile Left and Tom Steyer undemocratically changes energy policies in states in which he does not live.
Thus, we get unsubstantiated assertions of Russian investment in the American Right even as this is going on:
China’s Communist Party is intensifying covert influence operations in the United States that include funding Washington think tanks and coercing Chinese Americans, according to a congressional commission report. …
In addition to Johns Hopkins, other think tanks linked to China and influential in American policy circles include the Brookings Institution, Atlantic Council, Center for American Progress, EastWest Institute, Carter Center, and the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace.
So, at best, we’ve got a complex world in which both sides do similar things, each with a mix of motivations and effects. My experience, though, is that progressives’ activities carry what most people would perceive to be a suspicious tinge. That makes sense objectively: The Left, after all, is defined by its comfort with centralized authority and positions itself in opposition to established norms.
However much these Left-Right scales may balance, though, we shouldn’t allow the assumption that anything done for progressive causes is excusable.