Casino magnate Sheldon Adelson used to be a staunch Democrat, but dropped nearly $50 million in support of various GOP tickets this election season. Why the sudden shift? According to Adelson, the Democratic Party moved too far away from his personal beliefs to justify his financial support.
On the eve of Election Day, the normally media-shy Adelson wrote an op-ed for the Wall Street Journal explaining his shift in allegiances in a piece titled “I Didn’t Leave the Democrats. They Left Me.”
In it, Adelson denies any “conservative caricature” suggesting that his newly-found support for the GOP is due to his wealth or because he doesn’t want to pay taxes. In fact, Adelson clarifies that he disagrees with the GOP platform on “several social issues,” before getting to the meat of his reasoning.
At the heart of Adelson’s criticism for the Democratic Party is a perceived “new attitude toward Israel” that troubles him. He doesn’t name names, but says that “a visceral anti-Israel movement among rank-and-file Democrats, [is] a disturbing development that my parents’ generation would not have ignored.”
Furthermore, he cited what some called a “disturbing” scene at the Democratic National Convention during which the inclusion of God-related language and the naming of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital in the platform incited booing from the crowd. “Anyone who witnessed the delegates’ angry screaming and fist-shaking could see that far more is going on in the Democratic Party than mere opposition to citing Jerusalem in their platform,” Adelson writes.
He also opines that in states like California, Illinois and New York, “liberal policies simply don’t deliver on their promises of social justice.”
Adleson concludes with his defense of the GOP:
“As a person who has been able to rise from poverty to affluence, and who has created jobs and work benefits for tens of thousands of families, I feel obligated to speak up and support the American ideals I grew up with—charity, self-reliance, accountability. These are the age-old virtues that help make our communities prosperous. Yet, sadly, the Democratic Party no longer seems to value them as it once did. That’s why I switched parties, and why I’m now giving amply to Republicans.”
Do you agree with Sheldon Adelson? Has the Democratic Party lost its way?