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The Democratic Party isn't what it used to be

SHELDON G. Adelson, son of a taxi driver and the operator of a knitting store, was raised as a Democrat. In recent years, he has become an influential contributor to the Republican Party.

He explained why in a column headlined, "I didn't leave the Democrats. They left me," in the Nov. 4 Wall Street Journal.

"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," he wrote.

"No, the truth is the Democratic Party has changed in ways that no longer fit with someone of my upbringing."

In part, it was the Democratic Party's shocking hostility to God and Israel and Jerusalem, the capital of the only liberal democracy in the Middle East.

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

"They would have been astounded."

But this self-made billionaire also laments Democrats' economic policies.

"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."

Illinois, he points out, "is suffering from abject economic, demographic and social decline . . . "

Adelson said political scientist Walter Russell Mead summed up these findings at The American Interest, saying:

"Illinois politicians, including the present president of the United States, have wrecked one of the country's potentially most prosperous and dynamic states, condemned millions of poor children to substandard education, failed to maintain vital infrastructure, choked business development and growth through unsustainable tax and regulatory policies - and still failed to appease the demands of the public-sector unions and fee-seeking Wall Street crony capitalists who make billions off the state's distress."

Sound familiar?

"At times, it seems almost as if President Obama wants to impose the failed Illinois model on the whole country," Adelson wrote.

"I feel obligated to speak up and support the American ideals I grew up with - charity, self-reliance, accountability. These are 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 Democratic Party just isn't what it used to be."

Food for thought on a watershed Election Day.


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