All men are endowed by their creator not their government. The American experience in all its glory is rooted in this basic tenet. Contrary to what liberals think or want us to believe we are and always have been a Judeo-Christian nation. We are a faith based nation that strongly believes in a higher power; and prides itself in being the greatest example of freedom and liberty the world has ever known.
With that being said this article will touch on a few very important points. The first point is an undeniable fact. We are a Judeo-Christian nation with a set of morals and values deeply rooted in those principles. The second point is that the modern day version of today’s Democrat party is very different from the ideals of the past. Finally, the last point will examine why American Jews overwhelmingly vote for Democrats.
For purposes of full disclosure I am not a Christian. I am a proud and unapologetic conservative. I also happen to be Jewish. I am what some might call a political anomaly. I am someone who believes passionately in traditional conservatism rather than secular liberalism. I am also pro-Christian and detest Christian bias just as much as I detest anti-Semitism.
Let’s take a look at the first point.
According to a 2011 Gallup Poll 78% of Americans identified themselves as being part of some sect of Christianity. The remaining 22% of respondents said they were not Christians; identified with a different religion altogether, or had no religious affiliation at all. So when liberals try to convince us that we are a secular nation it is just not true.
According to Wikipedia, the Bible that Jesus referred to was the Hebrew, or Old Testament. The New Testament was written down after the Ascension. For many years afterwards his Jewish followers considered themselves Messianic Jews. There was a slow transition from Judaism to Christianity; in which the Messianic Jews became Christians. The whole logic of Christianity is that it is the heir to Biblical Judaism.
Let’s fast forward to present day.
In 2009, while on his apologizing for America tour Barack Obama said this to an audience in Turkey, “We do not consider ourselves a Christian nation, or a Jewish nation, or a Muslim nation. We consider ourselves a nation of citizens bound by our ideas and values.” The President is right. We are a country bound by our ideas and values. Those values are Judeo-Christian values. For the President who claims to be a Christian himself to not acknowledge those ideas and values as Judeo-Christian; denigrates those Americans who firmly believe otherwise. Mr. President, with all do respect spending 20 years in Reverend Wright’s church listening to anti-American rhetoric is not what Americans would consider to be Christian values.
Let’s take a look at the second point.
The Democratic National Convention in Charlotte showcased to America just how far to the left the party has moved. The Democrat party has become so secular in their beliefs that they actually removed the word God from their platform! In addition to this, they also refused to acknowledge Jerusalem as the capitol of Israel. The fact that they added both of these provisions back into their platform is irrelevant. What is relevant however, is the fact that they were removed in the first place. Both of these decisions are not only deplorable, but they show the utter contempt they have for our Judeo-Christian value system while simultaneously emboldening Israel’s enemies. For a party who routinely receives over 75% of the Jewish vote this decision was not only provocative but also disrespectful. After witnessing this travesty I decided to find out what other radical positions their platform embraced.
Let’s take a look at a few.
With a war still raging in Afghanistan and our American Embassies in Libya and Egypt under siege the last thing we should be doing is cutting our military budget. Iran is trying to build nuclear weapons and is hell bent on destroying our closest ally Israel. The Muslim Brotherhood has taken over in Egypt and radical Jihadists have filled the vacuum in Tripoli. If this wasn’t enough the Assad Regime in Syria is slaughtering their own people; and North Korea’s new leader is about as stable as a 3 legged chair in a windstorm. We live in a dangerous world and yet Democrats want to cut the Pentagon’s budget by 15% as well as reduce our nuclear weapon capabilities and size of our military to the lowest levels since the 1950’s?
Another radical element in their platform is a desire for a single payer healthcare system. Time and time again during the healthcare debate Democrats in Congress and the President told the American people if you like your current healthcare plan you will be able to keep it. This was never their intent. They understood if they could just pass the healthcare bill that eventually it would lead to a one payer system. As a result of the healthcare bill some small businesses are already dropping their health insurance benefits. They have discovered from a financial standpoint that it is cheaper to pay the fine than it is to insure their employees.
By contrast, the Republican platform recognizes Jerusalem as the capitol of Israel; and doesn’t take three voice votes to do it. Our rights come from our creator and not our government. The Republican Party believes that government should be as inconsequential in all of our lives as humanly possible. Republicans strongly believe that all healthcare decisions should be made between the patient and their doctor, not the government. They believe in lower taxes for every American and pledge to reduce spending. If our Founding Fathers were alive today which platform do you think they would more closely align with?
This brings us to the final point.
Why do Jewish American voters overwhelmingly support the Democrat Party even though many of their values align with the Republican Party? Many pundits, scholars, and historians have gone through great lengths to try and answer this fundamental question. The answer is simple yet also complex.
The Torah says that our experience of oppression is meant to lead to ethical and political action. The stranger that dwells with you shall be to you as one; born among you, and you shall love him as yourself. For you were once strangers in the land of Egypt. (Leviticus 19:34)
The Jewish People have been driven from their homeland, persecuted for their beliefs, and murdered for their convictions. It is for this reason that Jews have a natural tendency to sympathize with the less fortunate in society. The Jewish people are known as The Chosen People and feel a strong obligation towards charity and humanitarianism. These feelings are deeply rooted in the philanthropic philosophy of Talmudic studies.
According to Rabbi Yonason Goldson of the Jewish World Review, Jewish society has promoted traditional values for thousands of years. The sanctity of life, the sanctity of the family, and the blessing of charity and prayer all originated in the teachings of the Torah. Throughout the Biblical and Talmudic eras the structure of the Jewish socio-economic community was essentially capitalistic. The free market determined success and individual responsibility provided the framework for communal obligation.
So what happened?
Norman Podhoretz, author of the best selling book Why Jews Are Liberals lays it out perfectly. He contends that the corruption of modern liberalism is very prevalent in non-practicing, non-religious Jews. The sanctity of life has devolved into the rejection of capitol punishment while simultaneously negating the value and rights of the unborn. The dignity of every human life has been distorted with the practice of euthanasia for unwanted infants and the elderly infirm.
Historian Paul Johnson explains it like this. Judaism is an ideology devoted to the betterment of the human condition based largely on values and goals that are fundamentally liberal. That being said traditional conservatism emphasizes the necessity of preserving the past; while liberal idealism focuses upon the responsibility of shaping the future. According to Johnson this is why liberalism trumps conservatism in the minds of most Jews.
Let’s dig even deeper.
Non traditional Jews have rallied to modern liberalism under the banner of Tikkun Olam. According to the Torah, Tikkun Olam means to repair the world. Liberal Jews have adopted the notion that Tikkun Olam calls for healing or fixing of the worlds problems. This is why they have so fully embraced leftist ideology, social justice, and judicial activism. Ironically, by shifting responsibility for social justice from the individual to the state, liberal Jews have abdicated the very injustices they yearn to change.
Will Jewish voters still vote for the President and Democrats in 2012 even with all the hostility the party and the President has shown towards Israel?
The answer sadly is yes. Barack Obama captured over 75% of the Jewish vote in 2008, however with his record on Israel I highly doubt his numbers will reach those heights in 2012. With his failure to persuade Iran from building nuclear weapons, his provocative call for Israel to go back to the 1967 borders, and his disparaging comments directed toward Netanyahu; I believe some American Jews will have some reservations this time around.
In closing, I want my readers to know that I am extremely proud of my heritage. I also believe that most liberal Jews are not hard core ideologues. Ironically, because of their upbringing and good natured ways most liberal Jews are liberal by default. Jewish Americans for the most part are not inherently radical but they vote for and believe in many radical ideas.