A few quotes and news items:
“Them Jews ain’t going to let (Obama) talk to me.” -Jeremiah Wright
““If Jews want to get it on, tell them to pin on their yarmulkes and come over to my house.” – Al Sharpton
“Zionists were successful in kicking me out of Congress two times.” – Rep. Cynthia McKinney (D)
“Jews have bought everybody. Jews. Jay, Eee, Double-U, Esssss.” – Rep Billy McKinney (D)
“I definitely have some feelings about any outside group exerting this kind of influence in a race, and I’ve been receiving angry calls from black voters all day, saying they should rally against Jewish candidates. To have non-African-Americans from around the country putting millions into a race to unseat one of our leaders for expressing her right of free speech is definitely a problem.” – Rep. Eddie Bernice Johnson (D), Chair of Democratic Black Caucus
“That’s all Hymie wants to talk about is (sic) Israel. Every time you go to Hymietown, that’s all they want to talk about.” – Jessie Jackson (D)
“I’m sick and tired of hearing about the Holocaust.” – Jesse Jackson (D)
“Mark Levine is controlled by Jewish landlords. Jewish landlords own more than 80% of the real estate in upper Manhattan, and they are at the forefront of pushing black and Latino people out of upper Manhattan. Together, if we organize, we can defeat Mark Levine, we can defeat Donald Trump, and we can defeat the Jewish landlords that are pushing black and Latino people out of Washington Heights and the Upper West Side.” – Thomas Lopez-Pierre (D)
“There has been a steady [stream], almost like termites can get into a residence and eat before you know that you’ve been eaten up and you fall in on yourself, there has been settlement activity that has marched forward with impunity and at an ever increasing rate to the point where it has become alarming… You see one home after another being appropriated by Jewish people who come in to claim that land just because somebody did not spend the night there. The fact is the Israeli government, which is the most right-wing government ever to exist in the state of Israel in its history, the most right wing government, you got a guy like Trump who is now the minister of defense in Israel calling the shots on defense.” – Rep. Hank Johnson (D)
Note the common thread: the “D.” So clearly, Jews wouldn’t vote D, would they? Only at percentages similar to blacks, Puerto Ricans, San Franciscans, and residents of Washington, DC. Even a vicious antisemite and complete incompetent like Carter got 10% more of the Jewish vote than his Team Red opponent. And despite his immersions in a racist and Jew-hating church, and spending taxpayer money meddling in the Israeli election, Obama collected 80% and 70% of the Jewish vote in his two presidential runs. Here’s the party registration breakdown:
Why this totally counter-intuitive electoral tendency? There are several explanations, all of which are part of the truth. But to me, the interesting part is the inevitable conclusion.
1. History: The majority of American Jews are descendants of immigrants in the late 19th and early 20th century, mostly originating from Eastern Europe and Russia. They learned quickly that their succor and support came from the big city political machines like Tammany Hall, which were all Democrat.
2. Sociology: At the time of large Jewish immigration, the Republicans indeed were the party of business and country clubs. The democrats were the party of unions, and Jews were extremely active in unions. Our backgrounds were also mercantile, so things like hunting were not ingrained into us. As a consequence, there’s not many Jews in the NRA, and I’ve never actually met another one at a range. So the regard for Second Amendment rights, which doesn’t impact us (so we think!), tends to be low. We fear crime and want the police to protect us. Self-sufficient weapons handlers abound in Israel, so it’s really more a feature of Eastern European and (later) American Jewish culture than Jewish culture in general.
3. Politics: There’s long been a streak of socialism among secular and Reform Jews, who comprise a majority of American Jews (about 65%). At one time, this was also true of (religious) Conservative and Orthodox Jews, but the latter increasingly have moved toward a (political) conservatism, with nearly 60% of Orthodox Jews identifying as Republican and 70% of Reform and secular Jews identifying as Democrat. My own family was heavily involved in the unionist movements of the 1920s and 1930s, and when I was a kid, the beach we went to in the summer was owned by the Arbeiter Ring (and was one of the very few beaches that would allow Jews in). Many of my family were avowed communists, and an examination of the McCarthy-era blacklists shows a disproportionate Jewish presence. And there’s FDR, who did for the Jews what LBJ did for the blacks- put us in fealty for at least a century.
4. Religion: There’s no question that there is far more philosemitism and support of Zionism among white Evangelicals than just about any other ethno-religious bloc. But the sad reality is, they make us uncomfortable. Evangelism is foreign to us (we do not attempt to convert anyone and pretty much actively discourage it), intermarriage is essentially blotting out American Jewry (more of us marry goyim than other Jews, me being no exception), and Evangelicals generally don’t really understand us and in social situations tend to overcompensate (“We used to have a Jew in our town, a Dr. Goldstein, nice fellow. Do you know him?”). Frankly, they make us nervous. That may be unfair, but it’s reality. So as white Evangelicals moved into the Republican coalition, this put Jews off even further. Statements like, “America is a Christian nation,” and support of school prayer (not ours, of course) further alienate Jews.
5. Tikkun Olam: That’s a Jew phrase meaning “Healing the World,” and it’s central to our culture, especially the Ashkenazi culture which overwhelmingly dominates American Judaism. As with many other people, Jews tend to conflate “helping other people” with “having the government help other people.” Part of that harks back to our experiences with Tammany that I previously mentioned. I gave some egregious examples a few weeks ago in my High Holidays post, and these are not atypical- activism means government activism and that means leftist politics.
6. Assimilation: I talk about this a lot as a peculiarly American phenomenon, and Jews have certainly been no exception. I mentioned intermarriage above and put up a chart below to show how incredibly pervasive this is. And the movement to reform and secular Judaism, which are indistinguishable from Progressive Protestantism is also key to understanding (((our))) voting patterns. The destruction of American Jews as a distinct ethnic group will not come about by extermination; on the contrary, we’re being loved into extinction. And since we are overwhelmingly over-represented in the professional classes and entertainment industry, which skew left, naturally, we’ve accepted that milieu as what’s right and natural.
And now for the dog that didn’t bark: Israel.
One thing that unites Right and Left in this country is a suspicion that Jews have a dual loyalty and that those perfidious Hebes often put Israel’s needs ahead of the US’s. One the one hand, it’s nice that Keith Ellison and Pat Buchanan can find common ground. On the other, it’s a dangerous canard and makes us painfully aware that we’re often under suspicion. But here’s the reality: most American Jews who actually feel loyalty to Israel move there. On the list of issues that motivate American Jews, Israel is far, far down. According to the Pew Research Center, only 30% of American Jews feel emotionally attached to Israel, a much lower number than that for white Evangelicals. American Jews tend to feel that things like “social justice” are far more important than Israel, and in fact feel somewhat uncomfortable that, despite being the one place in the Middle East that doesn’t execute gays, heretics, and dissidents, Israel identifies explicitly as a Jewish state. American Jews did not by and large support the US involvement in Iraq and very much do not want the US to fight wars on behalf of Israel (to be fair, Israelis also don’t want the US to fight wars on their behalf).
So contrary to popular opinion, when it comes to Israel, we just don’t care. And that’s why disguising antisemitism as anti-Zionism has been an effective tactic for Team Blue to keep us from escaping their labor camps; we’re willing to pretend that this isn’t a problem for the Left in exchange for their political involvement in welfare, anti-discrimination, and charity.