The Really Personal Is Political
12.05.12 6:08 PM ET
Sheldon Adelson, Leftist When It Doesn't Matter
Adelson, who spent maybe $150 million trying to defeat Barack Obama this year, tells the Wall Street Journal he's pro-choice, pro-stem cell research, pro-DREAM Act, pro-socialized medicine (because it exists and works in Israel, where he was impressed with it).
So why spend that much money fighting the party that supports these positions (except the last one, exactly)?:
He added that he used to be a Democrat—like most Jewish Americans, he noted –until he attended the 1988 Democratic convention. He said he was appalled at the self-interested politicians he says were all over the place.
He then went to the 1992 Republican convention in Houston — where, he said, people were less concerned in what they were going to get from the presidential election, and more focused on helping the country.
The 1992 convention was the convention of the famous Pat Buchanan kulturkampf speech, which was straight out of the Bavarian mountains and which dominated that convention, making it thus a pretty odd time for a Jew to turn Republican.
Adelson may hold these beliefs, but clearly he doesn't care much about them. What he cares about are two things. Israel, where his positions are very right wing, and unions, which he despises. So it's unlikely he's going to be flipping anytime soon.
But I really don't understand this dissonance. How can a person be for government-run health care but against unions? They're two different things? No, not really. They are two manifestations or extensions of a coherent world view. If one bothers to develop a world view and think things through in those sightly abstract terms.
I think maybe what's really going on here is that Adelson is a basic liberal Jew on all the things that don't affect him personally, but on the things that do affect him personally, he's a stingy and unforgiving bastard.