Sheldon G. Adelson: 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.

Sheldon G. Adelson
The Wall Street Journal
11/4/2012

When members of the Democratic Party booed the inclusion of God and Jerusalem in their party platform this year, I thought of my parents.

They would have been astounded.

The immigrant family in which I grew up was, in the matter of politics, typical of the Jews of Boston in the 1930s and ’40s. Of the two major parties, the Democrats were in those days the more supportive of Jewish causes.

Indeed, only liberal politicians campaigned in our underprivileged neighborhood. Boston’s Republicans, insofar as we knew them, were remote, wealthy elites (“Boston Brahmins”), some of whose fancy country clubs didn’t accept Jews.

It therefore went without saying that we were Democrats. Like most Jews around the country, being Democrat was part of our identity, as much a feature of our collective personality as our religion.

So why did I leave the party?

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…

…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.

Although I don’t agree with every Republican position—I’m liberal on several social issues—there is enough common cause with the party for me to know I’ve made the right choice…

…The Democratic Party just isn’t what it used to be.

Read the entire editorial at The Wall Street Journal.

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