Sheldon Adelson says, “I’m basically a social liberal.” You better believe it. The only thing that is surprising about this admission is that he thinks this will shock anyone.
Rich people understand better than anyone else that the only thing that matters in life is your own happiness. In fact, I would say that this and luck are 99% of what makes the rich rich. So Adelson is just voting for his own interests. Adelson supports gay rights even as he backs a party that is horribly against them. How can this be? Let’s imagine that Adelson was gay. What would marriage equality mean to him? Nothing. He is too rich and famous to be affected by any of the problems caused by lack of marriage equality. Ditto for reproductive rights.
That’s the thing about our country: social issues only matter if you’re poor. In many areas in the United States, abortion is already illegal in a practical sense. If you are poor. In most places in the United States, gay people have much bigger problems than not being able to get married. If you are poor. And almost nowhere do you have educational choices. If you are poor.
The problems associated with social issues really come down to economics. This is why rich assholes like Sheldon Adelson “support” liberal social policies even while they vote and pay for politicians who are against them. Social issues don’t affect Adelson or anyone he knows. And this is why my focus is on economic justice. Everything flows from it. And without it, no amount of liberal social policy will matter.
But it is logical to ask why Adelson is making a big deal of his social liberalism. It’s because he doesn’t want people to think he’s an asshole. He wants people to think of him as “independent” New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg—the conservative rich asshole who liberals just love. Neither man should get any kudos for their stands on social issues. In fact, we should hate them all that much more. They clearly understand the issues, but they don’t give a fuck about them. And that makes them hypocritical conservative rich assholes.