Nov 5, 2012 0
Sheldon G. Adelson writes in the Wall Street Journal, I Didn’t Leave the Democrats. They Left Me There is an anti-Israel movement among the rank and file, and the party no longer appears to value self-reliance, charity and accountability. 11/4/12
My critics nowadays like to claim it’s because I got wealthy or because I didn’t want to pay taxes or because of some other conservative caricature. No, the truth is the Democratic Party has changed in ways that no longer fit with someone of my upbringing.
One obvious example is the party’s new attitude toward Israel. A sobering Gallup poll from last March asked: “Are your sympathies more with the Israelis or more with the Palestinians?” Barely 53% of Democrats chose Israel, the sole liberal democracy in the region. By contrast, an overwhelming 78% of Republicans sympathized with Israel.
Nowhere was this change in Democratic sympathies more evident than in the chilling reaction on the floor of the Democratic convention in September when the question of Israel’s capital came up for a vote. 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. There is now a visceral anti-Israel movement among rank-and-file Democrats, a disturbing development that my parents’ generation would not have ignored.
Another troubling change is that Democrats seem to have moved away from the immigrant values of my old neighborhood—in particular, individual charity and neighborliness. After studying tax data from the IRS, the nonpartisan Chronicle of Philanthropy recently reported that states that vote Republican are now far more generous to charities than those voting Democratic. In 2008, the seven least-generous states all voted for President Obama. My father, who kept a charity box for the poor in our house, would have frowned on this fact about modern Democrats.
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.
The Jacksonian Democratic ideal of “opportunity for all, special privileges for none” has been turned on its head. Opportunities have been turned into rights and entitlements, and special privileges are profligate as long as they have a green or otherwise politically correct tint. The Solyndras turned campaign gifts into billion dollar loans and Al Gore is now worth $100 million as his companies get numerous federal grants and loans. Nancy Pelosi dispensed exemptions from Obamacare to the Democratic cronies. Equal application of the law is not even uttered.