Tuesday, March 22, 2005

Why do Jews vote left

This is an old question that I have answered in many forums. There is a tradition of social justice within our religion. Jews were often the underdog and mistreated in most societies they lived in .There is a larger answer to the extreeme left radicals who are deviod of common sense and articulation.
The Jewish Community tends to turn to messianic figures in times of stress. Jesus and Shabetai Zvi are the most familiar of these figures. In this latter age messianism is no longer an option. The responses have been Chasisidism, Extreeme left marxist secularization and proto zionism. There is a loss of innocence that pevents religious Utopianism from being accepted. Man has achieved disasterous results when he aspires to become a god. The truth is that we need a set of checks and balances on power to control our bestial nature. Communism and Nazism are totalitarian attempts to reinvent man and create a new utopia. The problem is Utopia is impossible and man himself is flawed.
The harsh world of my grandparents gave birth to this horrible radicalism. Jews were not the only people who embraced Communism. Life was bad for everyone except Jews and Gypsies who were worse off as outsiders. My great granfathers life was typical.He lived in a forgotten village on the Bug river called Janover. He was drafted into the Czars army . The duration was 17 years with no vacations. Opressing ones own people was a side benefit. He took an axe and took off his trigger finger. This was apparently not original.
The reaction to this horible world of misery often had households where Zionists,Communists,Chasidic and regular folk . These divergent views would clash at a dinner table. Following emigration these arguments played out in America. The fact that my grandfather was from the wealthiest family in the poor village counted for little in the face of a pogrom. It meant that one was an outsider with a few extra possesions and diets.My grandfather served in the Polish army and was known for his marksman ship. He served and was still considered an outsider equaly likely to be beaten in a pogrom.
In America there was an identification with the outsiders blacks. People who lived as outsiders identified with outsiders in America. The unwritten part is that a great number of these people were Communists. They were motivated by a fantasy of a revolution of the masses. The revolution never came most moved on after one disaster of Communism followed by more. My Uncle was a firm Communisthe left Poland and went to the USSR. He sat out the Holocaust in Siberia. The experience cured him of Communism.
Most Jews gravitated towards the democratic party. When I registered in 1980 as a Republican it was considered a shocking development. Several people reminded me "but you are Jewish". I was a Cold War anti Communist and loved my country and the choice seemed logical.


Warren said...

So many escaped to the US in hope of individual freedom. Yet so many are willing to give it away in the name of stability or for the false promise of security.

Tom said...

"Left" used to represent the little guy against big power structures which appealed to the Jewish people. That aint the case anymore but tradition, which is also a Jewish trait, dies slowly. I think its starting to change.

kafkaesq said...

Sure Tom, and Bush offers the little guy what? Bush is THE board room president.

I've noticed that many American Jews are socially liberal. That might explain thier affinity with the Dems. Believe me, the GOP's recent resurgance of evengelical politics is not going to capture the Jewish vote. I can't speak for the Orthodox, however. They seem more likely to support the GOP...potentially.

beakerkin said...

Kafka I am a social liberal but there is no place at the table for my kind. Am I supposed to sit at the table with people that make the Jewish state the sole preocupation ? Are my views on Gay marriage more important than my identity being insulted.

I have never had my patriotism questioned by a conservative. I have never been insulted as a Jew inside a Church. Even a Salvadoran friend who voted for Kerry noted the disgraceful anti Jewish remarks on the left. Coulter points it out on the front page of her book.

What would you do in my shoes ?

Tom said...

I dont think the little guy will ever be represented. A strong Christian face on the republican party only attracts the same, which was enough this time. The Jewish vote needs to identify what it wants and be willing to compromise like I had to do.

beakerkin said...


The little guy gets screwed regardless.Both parties sold out a long time ago. Still I can not be a democrat.

The party has become home to a radical fringe that is Anti-American and sometimes Antisemitic.
I love my country and I will not vote for a party that Blames America first.

Kafka is the most noble of people he is a genuine liberal. I respect and admire them as we share values
Free Speech commitment to the marketplace of ideas.

His dissents are thoughtful and intelligent. I hate Bush is not enough to build a platform on. The
angry voices hurt everyone. The truth is a disorganized opposition makes conservatives lazy.

kafkaesq said...


Funny, my mother is a social liberal (except for gay marraige) and she voted Dean. She's been warmly accepted as a moderate Dem. I think you focus too much on the most hardcore liberals who think anyone right of Chomsky is extreme.

I'm constantly talking politics with liberals of all sorts, read liberal news and journals, blog, and I have never encountered any obsession with the Jewish state. It seems to me that you're the one spending all your time focused on it. That's fine with me, but don't pretend everyone else is. Check the headlines.

It's ironic that you say you've never had your patriotism questioned by a conservative. I've ONLY had my patriot questioned by conservatives. They seem to be famous for calling liberals America-haters...you praise the biggest patriotism-questioner of all, David Horowitz. Coulter literally wrote two books about it.

Speaking of that she-devil, Coulter is a proven liar. She lies in text and backs it up with footnotes that don't support the lies. A word of advice...Don't ever cite her as a source for anything other than rabid hatred if you want credibility.

beakerkin said...

The Coulter quote was in reference
to the Anti Jewish hysteria. I like to post comedy but there have been other concerns. Someday this blog will return to comedy.

I invite you to read the Recidivists Journal , Jews Sans Frontires and the comments as well.
There is a decided problem and a lack of civility. Take a look and give me your honest opinion.

I live in NYC and here this BS daily. I wish I were exagerating but this hostility is clear. Even friends of mine who are radicals conceede this point.

Moving ahead my main problem with the left is lack of vision. What is the alternative plan for dealing with the problem ? I had a front row seat on 9-11 and survived WTC 93. This problem is real and needs to be adressed. We hate Bush is not enough.

I do not question your patriotism. However if you marched with hard core elements like CODE PINK are you tacitly endorsing their agenda.
In NYC few people knew what INT ANSWER or CODE PINK were . Is there a doble standard ? I would never march with the John Birch Society.

The problem lies in the mental cartoon we create on both sides.
The truth is they rarely meet and have rational discourse. The Chemist who I respect calls the GOP "the party of GOD ". Not all republicans are the same. If you took out the war and Israel our views might be closer than you think.

kafkaesq said...

I agree that we need to focus less on the fringe elements and more on the real majority of each party. I'm worried that the hardcore Christian right of your party, which was a fringe element, is making real progress towards taking over the GOP. For example look at the Republican leaders:

Bush, Tom DeLay, Denny Hassert, Bill Frist. All crazy fundamentalist Christians in my view.

If Cheney, Guliani and Schwartzeneggar were the dominant force in the GOP I'd be less worried.

I don't think the left endorses Communism in any way. We just beleive that pure capitalism is corrupt and inefficient. Some socialism brings balance to the system and equality for the poor. Robust grassroots Democracy and sensibly regulated business is the way to go.

I agree that there appear to be some bloggers dedicated to anti-Isreal positions, but they are a fringe element of the left. The majority of liberals I talk to- not moderates, but very liberal- want equal treatment for Palestine and Israel. Some sort of reasonable compromise. They're not anti-Israel, but are sick of the hypocrisy of those who decry the killing of innocent Isrealis but ignore the death of innocent Palestinians when Isreal retaliates.

Warren said...

Bush, Tom DeLay, Denny Hassert, Bill Frist. All crazy fundamentalist Christians in my view.

G W Bush is a Methodist, Tom DeLay a Baptist, Denny Hassert a Methodist, Bill Frist a Presbyterian. Hardly the cabal of fundamentalism you paint it to be.

You probably just can't stand people who speak from religious conviction.

People who are true fundamemtalists usually don't even vote let alone run for public office.

kafkaesq said...

Well, it'd be one thing if they merely spoke "from religious conviction" as you claim. Jimmy Carter certainly did so and I had no worry that he'd unleash the fundies on us.

The difference is their actions. They have clearly enabled a fundamentalist Christian agenda that most Americans don't support. We're at a crossroads today. We can either reaffirm separation of church and state, or move towards theocracy.

Current events clearly show that the men I listed above are intent on at least giving a leg up to the theocrats.

beakerkin said...

This is a serious question what do you think Falwell and the religious right wants?

Abortion is not going away. Prayer in school is not a big deal. No gay marriage so they will have to settle for civil Unions.

How would the religious right change America ? How would it impact the average American ?

How are their intrests any worse than any other special intrest
group ?

Kafka I do not understand the fear
of the religious right?

Warren said...

Jimmy Carter, whatever his virtues, was a terrible president by almost any account and will most assuredly go down as the most ineffective president of the 20th century.

Before we start a discussion of separation of church and state, please quote me the relevant text from the Constitution, look up the definition of theocrat then tell me who they are.

When we strip away the rhetoric and agree on terminology, then we can have a meaningful debate.

Warren said...

Believe me, I know fundamentalists quite well and I'm most assuredly going to burn in hell!