Why Jews eschew the GOP
I wrote recently about the rumors that Jewish voters may desert Obama in 2012, and pointed out how similar busy predictions in 2008 turned out to be totally false and should be ignored this time.
Now there is an article at the Jewish magazine Tablet by Michelle Goldberg developing the same idea at length. Goldberg points out how in every election for the last many decades, Republicans have hopefully built up the idea that the Jews were about to switch to the GOP, and every time the idea has been proved false. In election after election, about 78 percent of the Jewish vote has gone Democratic.
The reason Jews would rather fight than switch, says Goldberg, is that they recoil from the Christianity of the Republican party. She boasts of this as though it were something positive. Blinded by Jewish ethnocentrism, she doesn’t realize that what she’s saying doesn’t sound so positive at all, namely, that a decisive number of Jews are so suspicious of and hostile to the majority religion of this country, that they will not vote for a party in which that religion plays a conspicuous part, even though they otherwise agree with that party’s positions.
However, Goldberg also contradicts herself, saying that the reason Jews refuse to vote for the GOP is that they believe in “social justice.” In other words, they reject the GOP’s political positions. That is a very different argument from the argument that Jews won’t vote Republican because they dislike the outspoken Christianity of many Republicans.
On the other hand, Jews are okay with the phony Christianity of Bill Clinton and Barack Obama. They recognize that as political theater.Timothy A. writes:
Given the example of the remarkable resistance of Jewish voters to voting for a Republican presidential candidate, it is odd that some of the most prominent Jewish Republicans (Medved, Kristol, Podhoretz, etc.) seem to be among the biggest supporters of the notion that Mexicans will come streaming into the Republican party if only the GOP supports open borders.LA replies:
A hit, a very palpable hit!Thucydides writes:
I think Jewish unwillingness to vote Republican reflects their devotion to left-wing politics as much as any fear of Christianity. The roots of this orientation lie in their folk history. Most of the Jews in this country arrived over a relatively short period of time from the then Russian empire. Among the liberalizing reforms of the Czarist governments of the 19th century, Jews were freed from ghetto restrictions. Most of the world’s Jews then lived in the Russian empire, and about half of them emigrated to the U.S. Others migrated to the large Russian cities, and a minority left for what became Israel. (This is covered in an excellent book by a Russian Jewish immigrant now a U.S. professor, Yuri Slezkine, entitled “The Jewish Century.”)N. writes:
You write:Alexis Zarkov writes:
I agree that Jews will not shift to the GOP in any significant numbers. But what does “Jewish” mean? Unlike other religions, one can be secular and still qualify as Jewish. One’s Jewishness is defined recursively: you are Jewish if your mother is Jewish. Your mother is Jewish if her mother is Jewish, and so on. Most Jews in the U.S. are either secular or Reform. Reform Judaism tends to focus more on social matters than on theology. Indeed many Reform temples seem more like a social clubs than religious institutions. I find many Reform services unbearable. I don’t want politics, I want to explore theological and moral questions. The very things that Jews have been doing for thousands of years! As such I regard most (but not all) Reform Jews as essentially secular because they don’t observe Shabbat, or keep kosher. It’s the secular/Reform Jews who are overwhelmingly liberal and vote for Democrats. On the other hand, Orthodox Jews, who do observe Shabbat and keep kosher, are usually politically conservative and vote Republican. Political conservatives are virtually non-existent among secular Jews. Thus it’s not Jewishness that makes people liberal, it’s secularism. Don’t blame the Torah or the Talmud for liberalism, blame the lack there of for liberalism. Liberalism is an alien idea that has been injected into the Jewish community from the outside.
Posted by Lawrence Auster at July 26, 2011 12:36 PM | Send