Skip to comments.Sheldon G. Adelson: I Didn't Leave the Democrats. They Left Me
Posted on 11/05/2012 5:40:30 PM PST by oblomov
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.
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.
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I really like Adelson, and welcome him as a brother in the fight.
By the late 50's and early 60's the split was nearly complete, but a lot of conservative democrats clung to the idea that the party could be saved with a lot of work. But, even they eventually almost all gave up and moved to the Republican party. But, there are still a few very conservative democrats who battle on, though their hopes are extremely thin.
Catholic and Jewish intellectuals headed by William F. Buckley renewed the conservative movement in the 1950s. Without them, American conservatism would have become completely irrelevant like the conservative parties in Europe, which morphed into socialism lite me-tooism.
Sadly, that is where the GOP is currently headed unless the TEA Party or some other group can furnish consistent and coherent leadership.
I told my story here on FR many times, I think people are bored with it.
I am on Phase II: welcoming our new Republican mispocha and trying to show them how there is no other political movement t that aligns so well with Judaism than conservatism.
Also, we can’t pay country club entree fees if we’re broke and unemployed. :p