Can Democracies Protect Themselves From Sheldon Adelson's Destructive Legacy?

The casino magnate and fierce supporter of Trump and Netanyahu has died, but the notion that you can influence people's ideas with money has not

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Sheldon Adelson.
Sheldon Adelson. Credit: Moti Milrod
Anat Balint.
Anat Balint
Anat Balint.
Anat Balint

Within the space of 10 days the United States and Israel parted from two of the personalities who sought to reshape the politics of the two countries: Donald Trump and Sheldon Adelson. While commentators in America are pondering whether Trumpism will remain after the president’s departure from the White House, and are wondering whether it constitutes a deep social phenomenon or is perhaps only an embarrassing anecdote – the columns dealing with Adelson have portrayed him as a one-time phenomenon. They showcase the personal story of someone who started out from zero, fulfilled the American dream, became a kingmaker and re-shaper of kingdoms. But Adelson did not spring from nothing, and his death should be a springboard for examining the phenomenon he represents and the threat it poses to democracies.

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