All my life, I’ve had close associations with Jews. Intimate ones, casual ones….friends, colleagues, lovers and acquaintances. I grew up attending school with them, I’ve worked with them…and I’ve socialized with them. And the one thing that continues to mystify me…something beyond my comprehension: why aren’t Jews OVERWHELMINGLY conservative?
They aren’t. In fact, they’re just the opposite.
Dennis Prager is probably one of the best known conservative Jews in America. He’s written extensively on this topic. He’s come up with 6 good reasons why– I’ve tweaked it a bit and added one more:
1. Jews are incredibly grateful to (Democrat) Harry Truman for recognizing the State of Israel within 15 minutes of the formal declaration.
2. Jews are raised with a concept called Tzedakah, which basically translates into charity, although the actual meaning is ‘righteousness’ or ‘justice’. This means that they help the unfortunate, not only because it is the right thing to do, but because it is a mitzvah, a commandment. Judaism is indeed preoccupied with social justice (as well as with holiness and personal morality), and many Jews believe that the only way to achieve a just society is through leftist policies.
3. Most Jews are frightened by anything that connotes right wing — such as the words “right-wing” and “conservative.” Especially since the Holocaust, they think that threats to their security emanate from the Right only. (It is pointless to argue that Nazism stood for National Socialism and therefore was really a leftist ideology. Whether that is theoretically accurate doesn’t matter; nearly everyone regards the Nazis as far Right, and, therefore, Jews fear the Right.) The fact that the Jews’ best friends today are conservatives and the fact that the Left is the home of most of the Jews’ enemies outside of the Muslim world have made little impact on Jews’ psyches.
4. Liberal Jews fear most religions. They identify religion — especially fundamentalist religion and especially Christianity — with anti-Semitism. Jews are taught from birth about the horrors of the Holocaust, and of nearly 2,000 years of European, meaning Christian, anti-Semitism. They therefore tend to fear Christianity and believe that secularism guarantees their physical security.
5. Despite their secularism, Jews may be the most religious ethnic group in the world. The problem is that their religion is rarely Judaism; rather it is every “ism” of the Left. These include liberalism, socialism, feminism, Marxism and environmentalism. Jews involved in these movements believe in them with the same ideological fervor and same suspension of critical reason with which many religious people believe in their religion. It is therefore usually as hard to shake a liberal Jew’s belief in the Left and in the Democratic Party as it is to shake an evangelical Christian’s belief in Christianity. The big difference, however, is that the Christian believer acknowledges his Christianity is a belief, whereas the believer in liberalism views his belief as entirely the product of rational inquiry.
6. Liberal Jews fear nationalism. The birth of nationalism in Europe planted the secular seeds of the Holocaust (religious seeds had been planted by some early and medieval Church teachings and reinforced by Martin Luther). European nationalists welcomed all national identities except the Jews’. That is a major reason so many Jews identify primarily as “world citizens”; they have contempt for nationalism and believe that strong national identities, even in America, will exclude them. Just as liberal Jews fear a resurgent Christianity despite the fact that contemporary Christians are the Jews’ best friends, leftist Jews fear American nationalism despite the fact that Americans who believe in American exceptionalism are far more pro-Jewish and pro-Israel than leftist Americans. But most leftist Jews so abhor nationalism, they don’t even like the Jews’ nationalism (Zionism).
7. Denial. It is very, very painful to realize that people that you thought were your friends, for years, actually do not like you. That is the experience of a liberal Jew who loves Israel. You always supported liberal causes – African American causes, every social program that someone in Washington could imagine, the whole nine yards – and then you hear Reverend Wright or Jesse Jackson or Al Sharpton or Moveon.org or the folks at the Daily Kos spew hatred towards your people.
So, you’re probably wondering why…I even brought this up…and exactly- what does this have to do with the price of tea in China. What spurred my post was an article…and opinion written by Richard Cohen of the Washington Post.
Obama’s Cabinet: Start With Al Gore
If there is a single appointment Barack Obama could make to signal how dramatically things will change in Washington, it would be to name Albert Gore Jr. – former House member, former senator, former vice president, former presidential nominee and current Custodian of the Planet – as secretary of state. For all the other aspirants to the job, sorry- this is an inconvenient truth.
Can you imagine a bolder statement about a new direction when it comes to global warming and the general care of our abused planet?
This nonsense so aggravated me, that I decided to finally UNLOAD on liberal Jews. Richard Cohen represents a huge group of liberal elite Jews. Jews are likely THE SINGLE MOST EDUCATED group of people in the world….and yet their lack of critical thinking astounds me.
The implication that Cohen makes here…of course….is that as ‘Custodian of the Planet’, Al Gore will help save us from ourselves. And what better way to do so- then to be Secretary of State. Only problem is….Secretaries of State are not concerned with the environment.
This is what the Secretary of State does:
Storage and use of the Great Seal of the United States, performance of protocol functions for the White House, drafting of certain proclamations, formally accepting notice of the president’s resignation, and replies to inquiries. In addition, the Secretary performs such duties as the President is required, in accordance with the United States Constitution, relating to correspondence, commission, or instructions to U.S. or consuls abroad, and to conduct negotiations with foreign representatives.
Hmmm…that’s funny, I don’t see ONE SCINTILLA about the environment in the job description. And I certainly don’t see anything about toxic waste disposal or ‘cap and trades’ or polar ice caps.
In fact, Cohen’s disconnect, is even more profound. A Secretary of State is constantly flying across the globe to meet with leaders of foreign countries. Exactly how is ALL THAT WATER VAPOR from his airplane trips helping the environment? Uh….earth to Cohen…come in Cohen…..it’s making it worse!
If you’re so worried about the United States trashing the environment, why not appoint Gore- head of the Environmental PROTECTION Agency? Wouldn’t that make a tad more sense? Or how about the Department of Energy? (Al could START with his own electric bill!)
Is it possible Richard Cohen is not a liberal or a Jew? Let’s put it this way- I’m so sure….I’d bet my electric bill AND my trash bill on it.