Viewpoint: The Jewish vote is not carved in stone
July 13, 2018
The 75 or 78 percent figures frequently referred to by Democrat apologists as if they were the Holy Grail, are based entirely on entry or exit polls but many Jews are reluctant to identify themselves as conservatives and risk peer pressure. During the past two presidential election cycles, in many synagogues, there have been rabbis and congregants who have openly demonstrated a knee-jerk reaction to political issues denigrating conservatives and Republicans as reactionaries or anti-Semites, yet even if the real figure is “only” 70 percent, it is tragic. It signifies the Jewish vote is of little strategic importance in the pocket of one party, second only to the monolithic vote of African-Americans.
The fact that the proud Senator Lieberman, whose nomination on the Democratic ticket in 2000 caused waves of ecstatic jubilation among many Jews, also refused to support Barack Obama in 2008 and spoke at the Republican National Convention in support Senator John McCain was ignored. Most American Jews continue to be oblivious to the fact that the most outstanding, talented Jewish individuals in public life uniformly saw the obvious dangers of an Obama presidency and warned against. These include Fox News commentator Charles Krauthammer; former White House Press Secretary Arie Fleischer; scholar at the American Enterprise Institute, Joshua Muravchik; columnist and editor of the Weekly Standard, Bill Kristol; political analyst and former campaign adviser to President Bill Clinton, Dick Morris; editor of Frontpage Magazine, David Horowitz; National Review columnist and author of “Liberal Fascism,” Jonah Goldberg; Senator Joe Lieberman; author and columnist Dennis Prager; writer and author of “Useful Idiots,” Monah Charen; Dianna West, author of “The Death of the Grown-Up”; editor of Commentary, Norman Podhoretz; author Hillel Halkin, who now resides in Israel; journalist and writer Bernie Goldberg; author Ronald Radosh “Divided They Fell: The Demise of the Democratic Party, 1964-1996”; film producer David Zucker; and comedian Jackie Mason.
Even those prominent Jews who argued strongly for Barack Obama in 2008, former Mayor of New York City, Ed Koch; the country’s most well-known trial lawyer, Alan Dershowitz; Republican congressional candidate Rabbi Shmuely Boteach; and publisher and editor Mortimer Zuckerman, have all since removed the Obama stickers from their cars and are now pleading ignorance or betrayal.
The Democrat world-view that still holds an anachronistic stranglehold on many Jews has to be reminded that no ethnic vote is cast in stone, that Jewish support for Republican or Fusion candidates like Jacob Javitz and Fiorello La Guardia turned its back on the corrupt Democratic Tammany political machine in New York in the 1940s and 50s. Jews, from the time of the first post-Civil War election until 1932 traditionally voted Republican or even Socialist rather than for the party identified in large parts of the country until the 1960s with Sunday “blue laws,” discrimination against blacks, and segregation. I knew this from my father’s own experience.
Even as late as 1948, American Jews were still sufficiently sober and proud to give a deserved slap in the face to the Democrats in the run up to the presidential election of 1948 in spite of their idealization of FDR. By early 1948, Truman had been cowed by his State Department advisers to abandon the partition proposal for Palestine and were preparing to announce that U.S. preferred “international trusteeship”– meaning no Jewish state.
White House adviser Max Lowenthal urgently warned Truman that if a Jewish state were proclaimed without U.S. recognition, Republicans, the left leaning American Labor Party and the newly formed leftwing Progressive Party under former Vice President Henry Wallace would lead a chorus of protests and capture the Jewish vote. The administration would pay a high political price in Jewish votes for it is especially important in the upcoming presidential election. Truman received crucial phone calls from Bronx Democratic leader Ed Flynn and former New York governor Herbert Lehman, warning about the electoral repercussions in New York if he abandoned the Jews. A Congressional vote in the Bronx had already unseated a veteran Jewish Democrat to fill a vacant seat and Truman realized he had to make good on his original pledge of partition and recognition of Israel.
Under Democrat President Wilson, with his dismissal of blacks from federal jobs, apathy to lynching, restrictive immigration policy, attendance at a special festive showing of the racist film “Birth of a Nation” in the White House, sympathy for the Ku Klux Klan and promotion of the notorious sedition laws (‘red scares’) in which thousands of East European and Jewish immigrants were deported and imprisoned for their stand against American entry into the war, caused a revulsion among Jewish voters.
In 1920, they threw out two Democrat Jewish congressmen and elected 10 Republicans and two Socialists to Congress. This information that no ethnic vote is cast in stone hasn’t yet been absorbed by Jewish dinosaurs who can swallow any insult and proclaim that black is white, insulting Israel’s elected leader or that Jewish values mean same-sex marriage and unlimited abortion as long as the democrats have proclaimed that it is “progressive.”