Betting on the Wrong Horse. Part IJune 16, 2021 | by Eriс
“There is no continuity in American life. We reinvent ourselves every twenty years or so.”
This is an interesting, out-of-context (and debatable) thought by John Thorn, historian.
We aren’t experts on Judaism in America and don’t pretend to understand every process going on in this country as pertaining to that part of our population. This is very complex, emotional issue covered by many authors, much more versed in the finer details of the subject than we can ever be. But what is happening to and with six million of our citizens is very important. It serves as a glowing indicator as where we, as society, are going. It also tells us why the choices American Jews make, as individuals affect their lives and the future of this country. After every analysis is complete and every fine detail is addressed, what really matters is the current political vector’s bearing.
Oh, where do we begin?
Most Jews here traditionally vote Democratic. It has always been this way. It’s a tradition with roots going deep into the 19th and 20th centuries of political struggles. But the liberal Democratic Party was once a staunch supporter of the Jewish causes in this country is now leaning left, embracing and allowing for progressive leftist views, BLM and their agenda hateful to Democratic Party’s Jewish supporters. Yet many Jewish voters don’t recognize this change. They have always voted for the Democrats and continue to do so. This is historical and such habits are hard to break. The older generations are on the way out and the new ones don’t know any better, it seems.
Synagogues, aside from being the places of worship, serve as social clubs of sorts; as informal conduits of information being disseminated among its members. When the services are over, they get to talk about matters close their heart. Often the “politically connected” rabbi may chat about what is happening “at the top” and within Jewish organizations he is affiliated with. It has always been this way. A friend of ours once questioned this old Jewish lady – why did she vote for the Democratic candidate? Her simple answer – “the rabbi told us”. This is a small isolated example of tradition combined with just a slight political nudge. But you get the picture.
Somewhere out there are volumes that examine how and why Jewish-American Diaspora aligned itself with the Democratic Party. It is complex subject. Jews who joined the Democratic Party and accepted its liberal political values have insured that “Jewish agenda” would receive attention in matters small and large – and that they would have a voice when their future was concerned. And it was not only about their future. The democratic values’ America is so proud of had and still has a “Jewish component”. They have always been the tinker and thinker; the voices, examiners and promoters of the causes they believed in. Jews would be on the forefront of political and ethical struggles, questioning and analyzing the world around them. For one, they supported equal rights for black Americans and squarely aligned themselves with the MLK’s liberation movement in the 60’s and 70’s. It was the right thing to do. Jews know a thing or two about discrimination.
Today, an interesting transformation is taking place: our Democratic Party continues to move to the left, far left, taking with it all those who believe in its ideas and aims for the country. Some of these people are the new social justice warriors, believers in CRT’s “perennial racism” of American society, “white privilege” that must be eradicated. It’s a symbiotic relationship – people acquire and change their views in tune with the Party; but also there are those whose views make the Democrats what they are today. Along for the ride are all those who ALWAYS voted Democrats, regardless of party’s former and current sways. These people don’t care for a close look and analysis, they vote for the Democrats by default. Why? Perhaps out of habit or because a spiritual leader, a family member or a boss said so. There are many people like that. They don’t see or care for an on-going transformation of the political party they put their stock in. As a result, they are betting on the future that may put them in peril down the road. But that comes later and they certainly don’t account for the long-terms effects of their current actions. If you told Democratic Party liberal Jewish devotees they are voting for the elements of National Socialism, eventual persecution, anti-Semitic incidences; hatred and intolerance aimed at Jews by the Democratic party other supporters (BLM, Antifa, Islamism adepts, progressives, revolutionaries and anarchists) – how many of them would come to their senses? Or will they call it “right-wing propaganda” and dismiss it out of hand? Will the habit win over substance? We don’t have the answer, but it’s worth bringing this issue into the open
The Democrats have changed. They care less for their old constituents. The old Democratic Party guard is on the way out, young progressives are in. Actually, they viciously attack the “white privilege”, spawned BLM, attracted fringe and previously alien elements. Some of these newcomers have an Islamism agenda. Their political demands single out the Jews with their hate, hiding behind the unconvincing veil of anti-Zionism – which is truly an old anti-Semitism. They aim at destroying Israel and killing Jews, given the opportunity. Democrats don’t instantly condemn the open anti-Semitism emanating from their own party.
If this would happen with any other important group of voters, the backlash would have been instant and punishing. With exception of few critical voices, it is business as usual. And this is what is so telling and should not be missed by those who always cast their lot with the Democratic Party in America. The Party is in the process of ugly transformation – from answering concerns of Jewish people in this country – to taking position of aligning themselves with those who want to embrace the Marxist ideas; to be engaged in “proletariat struggle” against the “fat capitalist racist pigs”. In modern days, this translates into socialism, police de-funding, BLM, “QWokery™”; CRT aimed at the heart of our society. American Jews are apparently wary of this, but slow to react. Have they learned anything from History? You cannot hide from evil or ignore it. You must fight it, in ways that prevent it from gaining the upper hand, leading to Jews’ slander, slaughter or exile. By then, it’s too late. The Jewish community and its leaders have been very quiet lately. There may be things going on perhaps behind the scenes that we know nothing about, but so far no news of change that would indicate that something is shifting. Feel free to tell us that we don’t understand this Jewish-American political subject and know nothing of what we are now writing about.
The United States, since its formation, offered everyone an ability to exercise the freedom of religion and thousands of people flocked here from all over the world. Jews were no exception. But when Israel was formed they finally had a country that espoused their collective dream after centuries of exile. Can you blame them for having shared allegiance to the countries where they lived and love for that ancestral birthplace they were so long denied? We can’t. It is a unique phenomenon among the peoples of this planet.
Jews, unlike many others, are defined by their faith. Faith is the glue that kept them together, as people, throughout history. This is what has gotten them though the millennia, when so many other peoples disappeared without a trace. Remove persecution, remove that faith “component” and they begin to slowly disappear too. Many of them don’t have ties to Israel or keep Jewish lifestyles. Younger American Jews (every second one, to be precise) are intermarried and while maintaining their Jewish identities many are slowly moving away from their roots. Barring some unforeseen calamities their kids or grandkids are unlikely to live as Jews. Today’s American progressive Jews don’t have the same devotion to Israel as their ancestors did. Many have mindsets of their own.
From what we know and understand lately, the Jewish population of the United States has become disjoined. Case in point: only 19% of them voted for Trump (mostly Orthodox Jews), the rest didn’t. Jewish people here never were a monolith, but they had something that united them – their own collective fate. To survive adversity has always meant supporting one another, to rely on forces that offered political protection and did not interfere with their own “internal” affairs, like freedom to exercise their beliefs and maintain the lifestyles stemming from these beliefs. Since 1947 Jewish eco-system includes the State of Israel. Lately, there has been an erosion of values and the decline of unwavering support for the Jewish homeland among Jewish-Americans. We can try to name the factors contributing to the decay: despite all efforts, fewer younger Jews have emotional connections to that country far away; left-leaning news media relentlessly pursues their agenda of vilifying Israel and its right to exist and defend itself against all enemies and at all costs; the ever-growing intolerance on student campuses towards Israel and progressive support for Palestine (which is only a slightly-veiled Anti-Semitism).
We have just been witnesses to a short yet powerful spectacle of Israel vs. Gaza confrontation in May of 2021. And that propelled the issue of anti-Semitism to the news’ forefront – over 200 such incidents in America alone. When vile Anti-Semitism raises its ugly head somewhere on this Earth, Jews take notice. It means the countries where trouble occurs have issues. It often means their respective societies cannot or will not protect them. It may imply the changes in population composition or political shifts. This is happening in America and Europe now. Many places with previously dominant and tolerant Christian population are having an influx of Muslim immigration – and these people are quick to display support for their brethren and unmitigated hatred towards the Jews. News of swastikas drawn on synagogues, assaults, reports of broken headstones at Jewish cemeteries, threats and intimidation attempts fill our screens and pages.
Mini-pogroms in cities around our country are reality check. They need to be met head-on. The response from Jewish organizations here has been lukewarm at best. They prefer to keep low profiles. Lack of response gives credence to the vicious crowds on our streets, as if Jewish people are guilty of something. The panorama is too vast for us to come to a simple conclusion. In many places here in the USA people stood up in their support of Israel, yet elsewhere others were trying to offer their personal support for the Jewish state with some kind of “balanced opinion” regarding the Palestinians and how they too deserve their sympathy. We say they don’t, but that’s our view.
To Be Continued