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Monday, November 05, 2012

Adelson: 'I didn't leave the Democratic party, they left me'

As the son of someone who grew up in those Boston neighborhoods in the 1930's and 1940's, I can definitely agree with what Sheldon Adelson writes about why he is no longer a Democrat.
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.
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.
Democrats would reply that taxation and government services are better vehicles for helping the underprivileged. And, yes, government certainly has its role. But when you look at states where Democrats have enjoyed years of one-party dominance—California, Illinois, New York—you find that their liberal policies simply don't deliver on their promises of social justice.
Read it all.

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