Adelson: I Left Democrats Because They Abandoned My Values

Monday, 05 Nov 2012 09:29 AM

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Casino/hotel mogul Sheldon Adelson, probably the biggest donor to Republican candidates this election cycle, grew up a Democrat. But he switched parties because Democrats have jettisoned the very principles that attracted him, the Las Vegas titan writes in The Wall Street Journal.

“So why did I leave the party?” he asks rhetorically.

“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.”

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Adelson is particularly upset with Democrats’ abandonment of Israel. He cites a Gallup poll from March in which only 53 percent of Democrats said they sympathize more with Israelis than Palestinians. That compares to 78 percent of Republicans who chose Israelis.

“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,” Adelson says. The non-partisan Chronicle of Philanthropy recently reported that Republican-leaning states are now far more generous to charities than those voting Democratic.

As someone who pulled himself up from poverty, “I feel obligated to speak up and support the American ideals I grew up with — charity, self-reliance, accountability,” Adelson writes.

“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.”

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