Poll: Who is the most destructive billionaire supporting US Republicans? [edited]
Probably most or all of the people have voted who were going to vote, but I'll try adding Charles Koch now on the list of choices. I'll probably also modify Sheldon Adelson now to include Miriam as it has been pointed out that Sheldon is dead, but the history of the matter is Miriam appears to be a partner with Sheldon in support of the Republican/Conservative efforts to undermine the US.
It's possible these modifications will wipe out the poll results, so to memorialize them as they stand now:
Peter Thiel: 0
John Malone: 1
Sheldon Adelson: 1
Rupert Murdoch: 9
Someone Else: 1
None of them is particularly destructive: 1
[2021-04-11: close edit]
This poll is basically for folks who see some wealthy supporters of the Republican party in the US as supporting things that are are destructive (not good). If a person doesn't see it that way then there is an option to choose "none".
I debated whether to allow for more than one choice, but in the end, let's see how it works out where a person just chooses one.
I excluded Trump as my focus here was more on folks who supported him and the last 10-20 years of Republican extraordinary anti-freedom legislators, and not on Trump himself.
If someone wants to bring a billionaire to my attention that I did not know about, then let me know, though I think once the poll is set, I don't think I can change this one.
A few summary points about the four on the list:
"....Thiel initially supported Carly Fiorina's campaign during the 2016 GOP presidential primary elections. After Fiorina dropped out, Thiel supported Donald Trump and became one of the California delegates for Trump's nomination. He was a headline speaker during the convention, during which he announced that he was "proud to be gay," for which the assembled Republicans cheered. On 15 October 2016, Thiel announced a $1.25 million donation in support of Donald Trump's presidential campaign. Thiel stated to The New York Times: "I didn't give him any money for a long time because I didn't think it mattered, and then the campaign asked me to." After Trump's victory, Thiel was named to the executive committee of the President-elect's transition team. During Trump’s campaign, Thiel also met with far-right activists....."
During Donald Trump's term as US President Murdoch showned support for him through the news stories broadcast in his media empire, including on Fox News. ...."
"....Support for Donald Trump
Adelson is known for her support for Donald Trump. She and her husband were the largest donors of Trump throughout his presidency; they provided the largest donation to his 2016 campaign, his presidential inauguration, his defense fund against the Mueller investigation into Russian interference and the 2020 campaign.
She has written that Trump "should enjoy sweeping support" among US Jews and Israelis, and that Trump deserves a "Book of Trump" in The Bible due to his support for Israel. She pushed for the pardon of Aviem Sella who spied against America. After the storming of the Capitol, Adelson wrote that Trump represents "kinship, friendship, courage, the triumph of truth" and that "Israelis and proud Jews owe Donald Trump our gratitude." ...."
"....Adelson created the Adelson Foundation in 2007. He and his wife Miriam Adelson were Donald Trump's largest donors. They provided the largest donation to Trump's 2016 campaign, his presidential inauguration, his defense fund against the Mueller investigation into Russian interference, and the 2020 campaign. ...."
[special side-note by the poll creator regarding the Adelsons, and their supposed support of Israel: It is not the point of this poll to push buttons about, or get a referendum about, Jews or Jewish Billionaires, or about Israel. The poll creator is of Jewish heritage, is definitely not going for anything anti- or pro-Jewish in this pool, and is of mixed views on Israel. However, Miriam Adelson's focus here raises some points. I will allow myself to say, as a side note, that I think Miriam Adelson is tragically (and massively destructively) delusional if she thinks that helping Trump has helped Israel, and those claiming affiliation with the Tribe of Israel, in the long run).]
I have not been able to find a solid analysis of the extent to which iHeart Media's mix of (destructive to the US polity in my view, significantly and for a long time) right wing radio show hosts is something that should be perceived as an action by Mr. Malone that could be modified or rescinded if he wanted, but until someone shows me otherwise, given the extraordinary and reckless path of poison those pundits have left, Mr. Malone gets my vote as worse than the other billionaires.
"...Malone's political beliefs have been described as libertarian. He is on the board of directors for the Cato Institute. He donated US$250,000 to Donald Trump's inauguration in 2017, with colleague Greg Maffei, Liberty Media, and Liberty Interactive each donating a further US$250,000...."
[note by the poll creator: I voted for Mr. Malone. His method of destruction is similar to Mr. Murdoch's, which is to say that he appears to be providing a very solid and loud platform, for many years now, to many toxic right-wing media voices. I may well be overstating his intent or his actual destructiveness, but I"m working in a vacuum, with few (if any) other dedicated researchers looking at his impact. So, I'll change my views if I can turn up more and better information. For now, in looking at the massive destructive impact of people like Limbaugh, Hannity, etc., ... both in the decades and years of laying the groundwork for leading up to the recent attempt to overthrow the US Government and end the rule of Law in the US, and in some cases arguably their support for the insurrectionists, I'm going with pointing a finger at Mr. Malone and asking that we please be aware of the massive destructive impact he appears to be having on US Laws, Economy and general direction.
"....Koch also supports a number of libertarian educational organizations, including the Institute for Humane Studies, the Ayn Rand Institute, and the Mercatus Center at George Mason University. He also contributes to the Republican Party and candidates, libertarian groups, and various charitable and cultural institutions. He co-founded the Washington, D.C.-based Cato Institute. Through the Koch Cultural Trust, founded by Charles Koch's wife, Elizabeth, the Koch family has also funded artistic projects and creative artists. Along with his brother, Koch has been an important funder of think tanks that lobby to oppose environmental regulation. ...."
I edited the poll to include Charles Koch, and I modified Sheldon Adelson (deceased) to include his widow who also has been a major donor in her own right (as I understand it). Unfortunately this did wipe out the poll results as I feared. I did memorialize the original poll results at top. I realize others may not want to vote again, but in any event, that is the status.
My own vote is John Malone, because I am going by the ongoing destructiveness of the people he appears to be platforming (Beck, Levin, etc.). Though I must admit it's a close call, and one could argue that Murdoch is doing more to platform that sort of voice.