Seth Klarman is not your average voter. Some might see him as more civically engaged because he’s technically a registered Independent, and as we know, elected officials with an “I” after their name on the news chyron hold a pretty wide range of beliefs, from conservative Angus King types all the way to America’s most popular politician, Bernie Sanders, with his appeal from slightly further left than mainstream Democrats.
But unless you live near an Independent candidate, it’s hard to get terribly excited about the races they’re in. And when you want to get involved in politics the way Seth Klarman does — with his donation dollars — you pretty much have to pick a side.
During the eight years of Barack Obama’s presidency, Klarman thought he had his side picked: He gave, on average, at least $875,000 a year to Republican candidates and their political action committees.
But everything changed when Trump came along.
It’s really not any kind of a stretch to say that politics are not the same since Trump entered the fray — the Republican Party has been turned upside-down and inside-out. Evangelicals have forever given up any claim to moral superiority after defending Trump against sexual assault allegations and the fact that he committed adultery with two different adult stars shortly after the birth of his youngest son. Conservatives have surrendered the mantle of fiscal responsibility after signing on to the biggest spending bill in American history. In short, the GOP is not what it used to be.
Klarman knows that just as well as the old guard in Congress does, and he’s switched financial loyalties. Did we mention he’s a billionaire?
Seth decided that the tax cut that came as part of that largest spending bill ever that we mentioned was neither wanted nor necessary, he told the Boston Globe, and so he chose to do something with it: Give hundreds of thousands of dollars to help Democrats sweep out the Republicans in the midterm elections.
“The Republicans in Congress have failed to hold the president accountable and have abandoned their historic beliefs and values. For the good of the country, the Democrats must take back one or both houses of Congress.”
Indeed, Klarman is one of many in America who has figured out the best way to effect the political change they want is with their pocketbook — boycotts have struck at the heart of the NRA and right-wing media, more donors are giving to Democrats than to Republicans now, and even billionaires are now turning their support to traditional American values.
In the era of Trump, those values are best represented by the Democrats.
Featured image via Alex Wong/Getty Images