Monday, September 7, 2009

On Jews and liberals

UPDATE 9/8: For the benefit of liberal blog readers, a relevant question: "Is 'Liberal Idiot' Redundant?"

ORIGINAL POST: The September issue of Commentary has a symposium in which six writers discuss Norman Podhoretz's latest book, Why Are Jews Liberals? A few excerpts:

Since nature abhors a spiritual vacuum, Podhoretz concludes that the religion of liberalism—that is, faith in the powers of government -- has replaced Judaism in the hearts of Jews. . . .
Why, asks Podhoretz, do Jews cling to this belief if it no longer serves our interest? . . .
If I may be allowed so vast a sweep of generalization, Republicans, conservatives, are the party that feels comfortably at home. We need not attach a value to this observation; you may approve of this sensibility or not. But for Jews, unease is our mother tongue. . . .
-- David Wolpe

Jewish liberalism endures, Podhoretz concludes, because turning conservative, in liberal eyes, is nothing short of heresy—or worse, apostasy.
-- Jonathan D. Sarna

Most American Jews, on the other hand, seem to have learned from an early age that to be Jewish is to be a liberal Democrat, no matter what. . . . [T]he loyalty of American Jews to the Left has been unaffected by the failure of the Left to reciprocate that loyalty.
-- Jeff Jacoby

In many cases, Podhoretz notes, left-wing politics took the place of a Judaism that felt to new American immigrants like a business suit on a beach: conspicuous, constraining, ridiculously out of place. . . . On this reading, emotional, facts-be-damned Jewish liberalism is a gravestone marking the death of religious faith.
-- David Gelernter

But my own tentative personal resolution, reached after reading Why Are Jews Liberals?, is this: I'm going to stop worrying about American Jews. They're not worth the headache. Either they’ll come to their senses or they won't, and there's not much I (or anyone else, I suspect) can do about it.
-- William Kristol

For most American Jews, the core of their Jewish identity isn't solidarity with Israel; it's rejection of Christianity. This observation may help to explain the otherwise puzzling political preferences of the Jewish community explored in Norman Podhoretz's book. Jewish voters don't embrace candidates based on their support for the state of Israel as much as they passionately oppose candidates based on their identification with Christianity -- especially the fervent evangelicalism of the dreaded "Christian Right."
-- Michael Medved
The order of the symposiasts has been re-arranged to allow Medved to have the last word for a reason: He's nailed it.

The demonization of the "Religious Right" was a project developed by Norman Lear and others during the Reagan era, after Jerry Falwell's Moral Majority played such a key role in the 1980 election, and this theme has defined the politics of the Democratic Party ever since.

As a political tactic, it is both amazingly effective and fundamentally false. The Republican Party is chiefly devoted to political policies having nothing specifically to do with evangelical Christianity. Yet there is an entire industry of liberal propagandists who specialize in seeking out various outre pronouncements of "Religious Right" leaders and presenting these views as if they would become firm policy in the next Republican administration.

Sophisticates vs. the Benighted
Thus, for the past several years, we were treated to endless liberal jeremiads against "abstinence education," as if the sex-ed curriculum in public schools were the single most important issue in national politics. The propaganda purpose of this liberal campaign was to suggest to people who think of themselves as sexual sophisticates that the GOP is actively promoting ignorance.

If you wish to identify the source of the Republican Party's electoral weakness among under-30 voters, this is it -- even though, as I say, this perception of the GOP as "anti-sex" (or "pro-ignorance") is strictly a function of liberal propaganda. GOP leaders have failed to recognize the damage inflicted by this propaganda, have failed to clarify the policy issues involve and have, at times, unwittingly played to the negative stereotype of Republicans as uptight, repressed, and clueless about sex.

Depicting the "Christian Right" as an especially benighted and menacing component of the Republican Party has, as Medved notes, a particular value in discouraging Jewish Democrats from reconsidering their political loyalties. To any liberal, the conservative is always the Other. But by depicting the GOP as dominated by the "Christian Right," the Otherness of conservatism is effectively doubled -- if not, indeed, magnified exponentially.

Never mind that evangelical Christians are overwhelmingly pro-Israel and philo-Semitic. The liberal propaganda depiction of evangelicals as backward ignoramuses, taking their marching orders from a handful of TV preachers, accomplishes its intended purpose -- to evoke a distinctive cultural revulsion among Jews, and to conjure up nightmare visions of an American Kristallnacht.

Town and Country
This effect is compounded by a factor which, whether or not Podhoretz discusses it in his book, I didn't notice mentioned by the symposiasts, namely the town-and-country divide in American politics. Although the trend to suburbanization has somewhat ameliorated this generalization, most American Jews are fundamentally urban in their orientation, while most American conservatives are fundamentally rural.

Think of Reagan, riding horses and clearning brush at his ranch -- it is an image that appeals to the "country" side of the town-and-country divide, embodying as it does the antique ideal of the American frontier homesteader.

This "rugged individual" ideal, the self-sufficient property owner zealously guarding his freedom, is intrinsic to what American conservatism is all about, and it is an ideal quite alien to the urban lifestyle. The city-dweller is inherently dependent on public services. He doesn't draw his water from a well, doesn't go out with a chain-saw to supply firewood for the winter, doesn't augment the grocery budget by hunting deer or growing his vegetables.

Also, and I think this is an important point, city people can't drive worth crap. A country boy learns to drive by hot-rodding along winding backroads, often well before he's old enough for a license. Because his home is sometimes quite distant from the places where he works, shops or goes to school, the rural youth has typically driven many hundreds of miles before he turns 18.

The rural American's natural love for the internal combustion engine, and his pride in his automotive skill, has a lot to do with his active hatred of environmentalist wienies who want him to limit his fuel consumption by driving a hybrid or -- God forbid -- taking public transportation. "I drive, therefore I am" is the existential truth of the rural American, a truth that the city-dweller can never truly appreciate.

People tend to vote how they live and, despite the particular cultural differences that influence the politics of American Jews, I suspect that lifestyle has a lot to do with the persistence of liberalism in Jewish politics.

If Messrs. Podhorhetz, et al., wish to promote conservatism among American Jews, let them find some way to encourage Jewish families to move to small towns in the Heartland, where their kids can grow up hunting, fishing and hot-rodding the backroads. A guy with a gun rack in the back window of his four-wheel drive truck may occasionally vote Democrat, but he's extremely unlikely to be an out-and-out liberal.

UPDATE 9/10: Oh, for crying out loud, now I've been linked at The New Republic and the New York Times (liberals never link me when I'm bashing RINOs, you might notice). Thanks to this publicity, I suppose that henceforth I shall be known to liberals as The Great Ruralizer.

Meanwhile, I reply to Ron Rosenbaum's Joan-Baez-Made-Me-Do-It defense of liberalism at the Hot Air Green Room. Perhaps this would not be the best place to mention the (strictly hypothetical) scenario of Israel's first Gentile prime minister, but once you poke your thumb in the eye of liberalism, it's usually best to go ahead and use both thumbs.

If anyone named Podhoretz is reading this: You're welcome for the free publicity. The liberals were politely ignoring your symposium, until The Great Ruralizer stirred things up. Feel free to hit the tip jar now.


  1. If you read the Old Testament, the Jews didn't experience the occasional sojourn in some foreign land for no reason at all.

  2. Excellent contrasting analysis on the difference between urban and rural lifestyles. I have spent the last ten years traveling for business and can tell you that this analysis (especially the driving example) holds up for all regions of the country.

  3. I'm one of those few Conservative Jews. I'm 63, but was quite Liberal until in my middle 30's. I trace my evolution back to my very Liberal New York City mother who raised me. She escaped from Budapest Hungary before Hitler invaded. So I was quite aware, at an early age, that to be a Jew meant some people REALLY wanted to kill you, just for being born a Jew.

    I think my progression began to take place when I started my own business and saw that govt wasn't working and only made it so much harder to operate within the free market system. The more I read, the more I saw how harmful a growing govt was.

    Years later iamoneofthemob, and proud of it.

    Jews who were against GWB, who was so supportive of Israel, are people who never understood the reality of Jewish hatred on an International scale. I've read hw many German Jews thought of themselves as Germans first, and Jews second. They were quite surprised when they were systematically murdered.

  4. If the jerkoffs who tarred my Conservatism with Tammy Faye's eyeliner brush don't mind, I will associate, Herewith, and as a primer, those androgynous libs with their black square eyeglasses, with the swishy Liberace impersonator, Rev. Dr. Jerry Wright, who walks amongst RICH WHITE PEOPLE when not stealing, with Barry's help, from POOR BLACK PEOPLE.

  5. My Mom told the story of how, at the age of 17 in the mid 1930s, she accepted an invitation to leave Oklahoma to come to New York. An accomplished jazz pianist, she was soon working regularly, and after a couple of years had her own band. She laughed at what a naif she was then, thinking what a moral city New York must be with so many classified ads reading "Christian wanted".

    I wish my liberal Jewish friends would leave the past and see that many Christians today respect, even revere Judaism, and are staunch defenders of Israel as a Jewish homeland. Many of us believe the New Covenant, rather than replacing G_d's covenant with the Jews, extended His relationship to the gentiles. When I lived in Tulsa, I saw where Jewish congregations would, where possible, fill in for their Christian neighbors so they could have Christmas Day off. Here in "fundie-land" we seem to get along quite well.

    I believe the anti-Semitism in the Northeast was not just religious, but reflected the same kind of ethnic competition seen with the Irish, etc. That might be harder to deal with than a strictly religious contentiousness.

  6. I think you are barking up the wrong tree, Stacy. The twins, Jacob and Esau, represent your urban/rural dichotomy. Jacob was the picture of the urban, Esau the rural. Look how that turned out.

  7. I think metaphysics has something to do with it, too. In broad stroke, Chosen People = primacy of the collective; personal relationship with God and judgment in the afterlife based on your personal life choices = primacy of the individual.

  8. Medved's comment is intriguing, but incomplete.

    It's theological. Jews look for the New Jerusalem to be established here; thus their willingness to push things around until that New Jerusalem occurs. Progressivism, Bolshevekism, --whatever.

    Catholics and other Christians understand that the New Jerusalem is NOT going to be here on Earth.

    It's not entirely that simple, but it isn't much more than that.

  9. Hmmm - Medved made me stop and think about what might be behind some public outcry. Does Mel Gibson come to mind?

    Urban vs Rural is right on!

  10. My youngest son's friend [who is Jewish] and I were talking one day and he brought up the "chosen people" argument; saying that when God chose the Jews he was saying they were superior. I said...fair enough, but Bobby have you ever considered that when someone gives you the wrong directions and leaves you wandering in the desert,lost, for 40 years, maybe they aren't THAT fond of you?
    He shot his soda out of his nose and kept laughing on and off all day.....
    I, personally, have never been able to figure out why Jewish people vote democrat....especially after 9/11.
    Now, not to shoot down your theory of rural Vs. city but Bobby was raised rurally...although we were cattle ranchers and his family owned a vineyard.His family hired my sons to do the back breaking labor; because Bobby wouldn't know which end of a shovel went down...
    Almost every conservative blog and blogger supports the Jews ansd Israel...but how many conservative Jewish bloggers have come out and supported Christians and Christianity when it was attacked relentlessly?
    This is an uncomfortable discussion to even have...oddly enough, since we are just talking about facts. Gawd, that PC sure strikes deep...

  11. The symposiasts and blog author are both terribly misguided in their assessments and in the premise of the very question posited by Podhoretz.
    Simply put, you will never get it.
    And it is certainly more complex than the jejune mathematics Conservatives like to exercise: we support Israel, therefore Jews should vote Republican.
    Perhaps a quick look at the condescension, innocent as it may be, in the comments section to this post will shed light on why the "American Jew" leans Liberal.
    When Ann Coulter says that Jews should be converted to Christians,do you think Jews see this as a warm invitation to Conservatism?
    The Urban/Rural breakdown is simply comedic.Far be it for Conservatives to peddle stereotypes while lamenting " Liberal propaganda" tactics that do the same.
    Tell you what--sleep on it. Maybe you'll wake up with a clue....

  12. This interests me:

    If Messrs. Podhorhetz, et al., wish to promote conservatism among American Jews, let them find some way to encourage Jewish families to move to small towns in the Heartland, where their kids can grow up hunting, fishing and hot-rodding the backroads.

    The Plot Against America, an alternate history of the early 1940s by Philip Roth, has President Lindbergh ordering precisely that. I think that you and Roth are right; this would work at assimilating urban Jewish kids to heartland values. But no-one ought to suggest this as an exercise in top-down social engineering, because that would be creepy and fascist. I may have a better idea:

    I suggest that small towns in the NY / PA / WV region offer Sukkot (wiki) celebrations in the fall. This year the Feast of Tabernacles, as we Anglos call it, runs from sunset October 2 to sunset October 9 / 10.

    The towns hosting this should stay away from overtly Christian proclamations and instead bill it as an interfaith retreat. the Gospels permit Christians to partake in the festival - John 7:2-10; and the same is true of the Book of Mormon with the LDS - Mosiah 2:3-6. But a light touch will be necessary here. We are not out to convert Jews to Christianity (or Mormonism) and we want the Podhoretzes to remain comfortable.

    You might even get environmentalists on board with this - the serious kind of environmentalist, who believes in preserving the watershed and the landscape.

  13. I did read some condescension among the original comment and its commenters here, Young 4-Eyes. But a lot of it is reacting to the condescension of (the most vocal) Jews against American conservatives, as can be seen by the insults "terribly misguided", "jejune", "comedic" - but especially "you will never get it", which implies that you are writing us off. We conservatives have not written YOU off.

    It won't work here to say that the issues are just too complicated for us to understand. That's just another way to call us stupid - maybe even mentally retarded, given the "you will never get it" comment.

    I think you would benefit from an extended period among rural Americans and an appreciation for how they live. (I am saying "they" here because I am urban-focused myself.)

  14. Young 4 Eyes.....we "will never get it"? And why is that?
    No one, BTW, has suggested that because "conservatives" support Israel and Jews we expect Jews to become republicans. Surely you can see that there is a big difference between republican and conservative? They are not always interchangeable you know.Have you heard of John McCain?
    It would just be nice to have all people of GOOD faith support each other....especially when under the vicious attacks that christians have been enduring for quite a while now.
    Saying something as inflammatory as "we will never get it" just plays into the "we are better than you are" meme.
    Wouldn't it just be better to try and explain what you mean to all of us who are asking the question in good faith rather than slamming the book shut with a snide "you are just too stupid to understand"?

  15. Perhaps I misremember, Little 4 Eyes, but it was the Muslims Coulter wanted to convert to Christianity. Because they are as a rule barbarians. Of course, you knew that, but I give you an "E" for effort in the Glib Lying category.

  16. Or perhaps American Jews can think for themselves and come to a different conclusion than you do. How sad that you and these commenters assign blame to the religiousity of these individuals (nameless though they may be).

  17. Velociman:
    "However, the outrageous Ann Coulter is forcing a confrontation. First she insisted that her ideal America would be one where all Jews were 'perfected' by conversion to Christianity."
    you can check it out here or just google it:
    Next time bring your "A" game.
    I'll be taking that "E" for excellence at exposing ignorant frauds like yourself....

  18. Well Velociman, before you accuse someone of "Glib Lying" you had better be sure of your facts. Ms. Coulter did, in fact, suggest that Jews be "perfected" by converting to Christianity.

    As for Mr. McCain's premise, there has always been a tension between the rural and the urban. To suggest that rural America is superior than urban American is to suggest that the manufacturing and other pursuits primarily conducted in the cities, which by the way has provided this country with the bulk of its wealth, is somehow un-American. Condescending isn't the word. Goofy perhaps.

  19. You know who else wanted to move the intellectuals out of the Urban areas onto the farms? Mao. Stalin. Ho Chi Minh. No wonder the Jews fear you people.

  20. "People tend to vote how they live"

    No they don't. Working class people with little money voted for John McCain who has millions, same with Bush and Reagan.

    "Limousine liberals" are legendary for voting for unions for the working class, help for poor minorities, and so on.

    None of this is 100%, some working class people vote for politicians who aren't millionaires like McCain or Bush, and some liberals vote for rich people also. But the statement that "people tend to vote how they live" is utter nonsense.

  21. This is about the stupidest thing I have ever read. As if the local rednecks would rush out with open arms to welcome relocating Jews to their towns, where they can be stupid-ified by shooting guns and driving fast.

    Amazing drivel.

  22. Don't forget less education, less income, and higher divorce rates, too.

    Oy vey, Daisy Mae.

    "let them find some way to encourage Jewish families to move to small towns in the Heartland, where their kids can grow up hunting, fishing and hot-rodding the backroads."

  23. Move the jews? Oh, this is satire. Right?

  24. I am a Jew. I live in the country. I grew up working on farms. My father was a conservative. He became a Democratic when the Dems began to embrace the "outsider." When urban Jews Goodman and Schwerner were murdered along with Chaney, we knew our social liberalism trumped our fiscal conservativism.

    The authors are just wrong. We are liberal because our heritage demands we identify with the outsider, serve the oppressed, defend civil liberties.

  25. First off, RS McCain is correct that heartland values thrive where kids grow up on the land, farming and hot-rodding the backroads.And where serving in the military is a mark of pride.

    Jews are no exception to this.All one needs to do is look at the Jews of Israel, as a general rule.

    ( Side note: religious Jews don't hunt unless it's to save human life since meat to be kosher has to be ritually slaughtered by a specially trained schochet so as to cause the animal no pain and to make sure it's disease free. But that doesn't preclude knowing how to use firearms quite well)

    However, Michael Medved couldn't be more wrong when he says that American Jews lean left because they 'reject Christianity.'

    The sort of Jews who demonize Christian philo-Semites like Sarah Palin or the Reverend John Hagee do so because they inherently reject ALL religion in general to varying degrees, including their own. And the Left promises them a new religion that offers them the illusion of inclusion.

    There are deep, long standing historical reason behind this aberration.

    This of course will pass, at least in America.
    Our Republic seems to flirt with radicalism and socialism about every thirty years or so in America, and if the GOP nominates a pro-Israel strong foreign policy conservative candidate, he or she will get a portion of the Jewish vote similar to Reagan's, after which a lot of the elderly Jews who voted for Obama but thought they were voting for FDR will pass from the scene.

    Also, if I'm right about how things appear to be going on certain domestic and foreign issues, a great many Jews are going to get a rude awakening rather quickly and come to their senses.

    If one looks at Jewish demographics in America today,they are evolving in an interesting direction. Many secular leftist Jews are mostly having few children, something characteristic of leftists in every area of American life. It's the Orthodox and observant Jews who are expanding synagogues, funding Jewish day schools and most of all, having the kids. And most of those Jews have conservative values and by no means shun Christians, but welcome them as people of faith and allies.

    Which is how it should be.

    Rob @ Joshuapundit

  26. How could anyone read what RSM wrote and believe he was seriously suggesting 'moving the Jews' out of New York? Do American born New York Jews, intellectuals all, really regard the idea of living closer to rural regions much the same as a Russian Jew viewed the idea of being exiled to Siberia? Will the sycophantic, philo-semitic rightwing Christian fundamentalists ever be loved in return? Enquiring minds...

  27. Obviously Anonymous @ 7:44am never visited New York City's Upper West Side.

  28. "The propaganda purpose of this liberal campaign was to suggest...that the GOP is actively promoting ignorance."

    Easy solution: have the GOP stop actively promoting ignorance.

    See, if the GOP wasn't pushing abstinence-only, then the liberals wouldn't be able to correctly point it out.

    " people can't drive worth crap. A country boy learns to drive by hot-rodding along winding backroads..."

    ...and this country boy then can't drive worth crap in the city.

    Take one of your country boys and put them in New York around, say, 7 pm at night. See how they do.

    Gee, it's almost as if it's different but not better either way. But hey, that would amean we're all equals, wouldn't it?? Gasp! Noooooooooooooooooooo...

  29. Or, how about this for redundancy:

    "Right-wing anti-semite?"

  30. Anonymous up there at Sept 7, 11:13:00 is onto it: All blocs (blacks, Jews)who vote for Democrats are somehow either "don't know no better" or dupes. But this is never true of groups such as white evangelicals who vote in percentages of 90% or more for right-wing Republicans, who play them on their particular populist values in the campaigns and ignore them to serve their corporate masters in office.

  31. @Anonymous @ 7:44am

    "Will the sycophantic, philo-semitic rightwing Christian fundamentalists ever be loved in return?"

    When they cease in truth being "*CONDESCENDING*, philo-semitic rightwing Christian fundamentalists" then maybe us Jews will treat their "philo-Semitism" with something more generous than outright suspicion and contempt. And it would help if they dropped that "rightwing Christian fundamentalist" stuff too. It's never worked out well for us Jews with that sort.

  32. Finally, a great leap forward for the jewish people.

  33. Mr. Medved ideed "nails it", but not quite in the way you think. For this religious Jew, this puzzelment on the part of Conservatives misses the 800 pound gorilla in the room. My ambivilance for Christian influence in politics has to do with doctrine.

    Christian Orthodoxy requires Jews to ultimatly become Christians or suffer the loss of their eternal souls.

    Now, left to our own beliefs, I have no problem with Christians holding fast to their Gospels. The problem occurs when Politics and Religion become intertwined, and I have always thought that Politics will bring down religion well before Religion lifts up Politics.

    I'm sorry, but Evangelical Christians are an "especially benighted" part of the Republican Party. You cannot look at the rise of the Republican Party in the 90s without aknowledging the effectiveness of "Identity Politics". While I do not find this menacing, it does give me pause. And by the way, I have never been encouraged by the support for Israel on the part of Evangelicals, because it arrises primarily (if one is to take their spiritual beliefs at their word) from Israel's place in the fufillment of New Testament prophecy.

    In the end, I consider the ultimate destiny of my soul a much more important issue than electoral politics. I am a Jew before I am a Democrat or Republican; I vote for whom I consider to be competant administrators and stewards of the public interest and treasury. One can argue that one Party does this better than the other, but I will not accept an assertion that one's religion accurately predicts abilities in this realm.

  34. But no-one ought to suggest this as an exercise in top-down social engineering, because that would be creepy and fascist

    That's a feature, not a bug.

  35. There's no question that the GOP is indeed the "pro-ignorance" faction - if plummeting test-scores under Reagan & both Bushes didn't prove it, simplistic screeds like the above post (which the right has been extruding in rank abundance for many years now) certainly would serve to remove any doubt. Your wishful thinking about relocating American Jews must bring back such fond memories for their European grandparents - it's truly a mystery why they aren't rushing to embrace the party of Tony Zirkle, Pat Buchanan & Ann Coulter.

    "I drive, therefore I am" is pure comedy gold. I guess the right has no other choice but to idealize & romanticize rural life, since the rural poor are now their primary source of votes. Those who've actually lived there know better.

  36. Many of the anonymous commenters on this board provide a textbook case in how the Left spreads disinformation.

    The feeling many Christians (especially Evangelicals)have for Jews and Israel is sincere - it isn't based on some whack job interpretation of Revelations requiring Jews to all be transported to Israel so they can be destroyed, or from a plot to have them all converted, although there are undoubtedly a few whack jobs who believe that, even though there is absolutely no real basis for it in the Gospels. And the idea that 'Christian Orthodoxy requires Jews to ultimately become Christians or suffer the loss of their eternal souls' is simply ludicrous.

    Even if it were true, there's no reason to diss allies who support Israel and the Jewish people and embrace people who don't.

    The feeling of these Christians for Israel and the Jews comes from the relevant parts in Isaiah,( among other places ) which provides the messianic doctrine both religions share and specifically states that G-d will judge the nations by how they have behaved towards Israel and the Jewish people.

    Another reason Christians support the Jews and Israel is because many of them are intelligent enough to see a common threat. It's a pity some Leftard Jews aren't looking at the big picture as well, or I doubt they would be supporting the Left and Obama, given his associations and background.

    The Stockholm Syndrome ain't a pretty thing to watch, trust me on that.

    I would add that I'm an observant Jew who spends a lot of time with Evangelical Christians because of my work in supporting Israel and other causes, and I have never once seen any of the 'condescending attitude' some of these people mention.Nor has anyone even obliquely tried to push their religious beliefs on me or convert me.

    And frankly I'd take a bunch of wild eyed Evangelical 'red necks' with superior firearms skills and good aim in the trenches next to me over a bunch of Kommissars any day.

    As I stated in a previous comment, I expect that with events I see coming on certain domestic and foreign issues, a great many Jews are going to get a rude awakening rather quickly and come to their senses.

    It can't come too soon.

  37. Education, Education, Education. The more educated you are, on average, the more liberal you are. Jews on average are highly educated, therefore highly liberal. If you want to encourage Jews to be conservative, keep them as uneducated as possible. Home schooling would be best, but for G-d's sake keep them out of graduate shool. That's a liberal death sentence.

  38. I've got a gun rack in my truck, and I'm more liberal than Barack Obama.

    "Pro-ignorance" - that's a good one Stacy, you have perfectly described the foundation of American conservative belief.

  39. Deportation to farm camps? Stalin would be proud, Mr. McCain.

  40. So, Robert, when do you propose we load up the boxcars?

  41. Aren't you a lovely human being. Let's not forget about a majority of the neoconservative movement- lots of us Jews there (oddly enough, you've quoted one in your article- Bill Kristol, who says that he's "given up" on us). And from my observation, American Jews were one of very few demographics that shifted rightward during the Bush administration because of the need, for them, to protect Israel.

    Your proposal to move us to the heartland is something out of Phillip Roth's "The Plot Against America," which I don't expect people like you to read.

  42. Jew Podhoretz, a former leftist, now neo-con (but he's still a leftist) wrote many articles advocating for open immigration:

  43. "--UPDATE 9/8: For the benefit of liberal blog readers, a relevant question: "Is 'Liberal Idiot' Redundant?"--"

    Lulz! Follow-ups: "Do you still beat your wife?", "President Bush - Great President or Greatest President?", "Michael Moore is FAT!"

    I win the debate again! Yatta!

  44. It's like another world here. I'm afraid you don't understand much. Why are Jews liberals? It's in our culture, prizing thought, and justice for all. It's in our blood, in our way of thinking things over, of seeing other perspectives, of having accommodated ourselves to societies all over the world. I have no religious training whatsoever - and I found myself stunned as an adult to discover this sentiment in the Passover seder:"When we recall these plagues, we remove a drop of wine - our symbol of joy - from our wine cups for each one, because our joy is less when we remember the sufferings of the Egyptians." A classic liberal sentiment in our traditions from thousands of years ago - we need to consider not only the sufferings of others, but even those of our enemies. That's why we identify with liberal causes, not because of Christians or Jesus. All through my youth and early adulthood, history notwithstanding, I had only benign feelings toward Christians - after all, they loved me! It is only in the last twenty-five years, with the rise of the intolerant Christian -Conservative right, that I have become horrified and afraid of what that movement might bring. Take all this for what you will from a voice from the other side - we have stopped seeing the same things, speaking the same language. I don't know who you are.

  45. Being religiously conservative makes one more likely to identify as a conservative Republican than being urban, as a majority of my friends in my Orthodox Jewish circle from New York and other cities (including LA) are all Republican. Pick up any religious Jewish publication-The Jewish Press, the Hamodia, the Yated Ne'eman, et al, and measure their political leanings-all to the right.

  46. Why are the Repuglicans running so many Muslim candidates this year? Repuglicans are all Catholics, Muslims and Baptists, bookburning, jew-hating fascist bigots all. The Jews, Greeks and Hindus are better served by the Democrats. Even amongst blacks, the Presbyterians are supereducated, but the Catholics fare worst!

  47. I second most of what other liberal Jews have contributed here (not sure whether Anonymous at 4:23 is a troll or simply crazy). But there's one social justice issue that hasn't been addressed.

    The "pro-Israel" conservatives fail to understand that "pro-Israel" does not equal "pro-Likud" or "pro-Settler." I and the other Jews I know are very concerned for Israel's future, and that means we support a secure, sustainable 2-state solution (the alternatives being what? Continuing to rule millions of non-citizens who will soon outnumber the Jews? A Kahanist slaughter of the Palestinians?). The Jews at my congregation (on the Board of Trustees of which I serve) discussed the outcome of the most recent Israeli elections using words like "disaster." I know, I know -- we're all liars or dupes, and even our rabbi is an "idiot."

    I'll be friendlier to the religious Right when they stop turning out children who tell my young son he's going to Hell. And seriously, guy, you need to read The Plot Against America.

  48. FF: "It's a pity some Leftard Jews aren't looking at the big picture as well, or I doubt they would be supporting the Left and Obama, given his associations and background. The Stockholm Syndrome ain't a pretty thing to watch, trust me on that."

    Is there such a thing as a plantation Jew?

    I know what blog to visit now when I need to figure out what American Jews want without asking American Jews for their input. I mean, if they knew what's best for them they wouldn't vote Democratic. If this sounds condescending it's completely coincidental to my larger point and that is I <3 Jews plz vote 4 mai party!!!!

  49. Maybe it's just that Jews value edumacation and are smarter than your average conservative?

  50. 'Plantation Jew'

    I love that...considering the openly anti-Semitic figures the Democrats embrace, I think the term 'Stockholm Syndrome' is an apt one when we're talking about most Jews on the Left.

    Unlike you, Lesly, I vote my interests, thank you very much. And yes for the record I think anyone who actively wants to restrict where Jews may live simply because they're Jews qualifies as something of an anti-Semite.

    And oh,Inconstant really need to do some research about the so-called Palestinian Demographic bomb.It's a myth.

    Considering the attitude of the 'Palestinians', the usual claptrap about a two-state solution is simply a recipe for a lot more dead Jewish civilians.

    Of course, one could ask why Israel and not the Arabs is somehow responsible for curing a Jewish and Arab refugee problem that was caused by the surrounding Arab nations when they illegally attacked Israel in 1948 and again in 1967( Jordan attacked Israel) with massacre in mind, but that would be very politically incorrect, wouldn't it?

    Rob @ JoshauPundit

  51. FF: "Unlike you, Lesly, I vote my interests, thank you very much."

    Yeah, yeah. And minorities who don't predominantly vote for Republicans aren't voting their interests, either. I've heard this shtick before.

    There are a few convenient exceptions to this rule, of course. Take Cubans, for example. They're not a stupid voting bloc, except for the odd duck like yours truly. Hope you're not surprised. Jews of the "Leftard" political persuasion don't have a monopoly on self-hate.

  52. Whatever. I don't see too many molecular biology grad programs out in the sticks, so I will remain a city dweller.

    Is that wrong? Should I abandon my intellectual pursuits to better fit your mold of a "real American"? Do you deny that virtually all of the technological progress we've seen over the past century was driven by city dwellers, or do you just not view said progress as particularly important? Because I assure you, we city dwellers can appreciate the merits of sitting on your porch, strumming your guitar and watching the sun set.

    It's just not what drives us. (By the way, if you go to get a tumor removed, do you distrust your sissy-nancy-pants surgeon? Because I guarantee you he spent at least 15 years in a city.)

  53. Sarah Palin is about as crazed an evangelical as one could want to find (married to a secessionist yet) and the GOP put her in line to be president. The looney evangical right is a dangerous and important part of the GOP. I don't want a person who has been ceremoniously protected from witchcraft as president. You accusations of liberal demonization of the right rings hollow.

  54. IV. Salvation

    "Salvation involves the redemption of the whole man, and is offered freely to all who accept Jesus Christ as Lord and Saviour, who by His own blood obtained eternal redemption for the believer. In its broadest sense salvation includes regeneration, justification, sanctification, and glorification. There is no salvation apart from personal faith in Jesus Christ as Lord."

    That is a cut and paste from the website of the Southern Baptist Convention, the largest Protestant body in the US with over 16 million members.

    That, Freedom Fighter, is a lot of "whack jobs".

    (Who is "dissing" who here?)

    The fact that you use terms like "whack jobs" and "Leftard Jews" only reinforces my point. Because certain sincerely held religious beliefs don't overlay seemlessly with one or another Political agenda, we are required to write off such sincerly held beliefs as some kind of lunacy.

  55. In totally unrelated news: Pat Buchanan publicly sympathizes with Hitler. This is, of course, totally irrelevant to anything else in the universe.

    "Of course, one could ask why Israel and not the Arabs is somehow responsible for curing a Jewish and Arab refugee problem Blah Blah Woof Woof?

    Rob @ JoshauPundit"

    Because the Israeli government claims it's THEIR territory now, maybe? You can't expect the Evol Mooslims to fix a problem in territory that ain't theirs.

  56. What's a limousine liberal? How many real liberals who ride in limousines do you suppose there are in the US? 100? 200?

  57. A "Limousine Liberal" is Republicanese for any Liberal who exposes their FILTHY HYPOCRISY by having a marginally higher standard of living than the most miserable poor people they claim to have sympathy for.

    (Republicans usually avoid this problem by regarding everyone who makes less money than them with unflinching contempt.)

  58. As yet another liberal - even Leftist - Jew, I think Anonymous 03:12:00 PM is the one to "nail" the issue of why most Jews are progressive. Whether religious or not, we are different to some extent from most of our neighbors (at least outside of Israel) and a minority; therefore, it only makes sense for us to think in terms of of multiculturalism and diversity. You know, basic human equality, something that the GOP makes no bones about actively opposing. Show me the Republican pundit arguing for multiculturalism and ethnic diversity for EVERYONE (not just a few chosen pet minorities, be they Jews or not) and I'll show you a unemployed conservative pundit. Ten minutes on Free Republic, the true base of the GOP, makes the case perfectly. Yes, right now Jews are a favored minority because the evil Moooslims seem worse, but that can change at any time and usually does.

    As for all this glorification of rural hillbillies and rednecks, get over it. Do you love America? If so, then it is the city people you have to thank for making it what it is. The educated, urban, grad and post-grad students that are behind virtually every American technological innovation and behind the financial infrastructure that keeps America from being like real rural countries - third world slums. You want rural? Go for Niger, Bolivia, or Cambodia. If it weren't for America's educated urban population - that is, if it were just a bunch of clueless hillbillies that can't even locate the U.S. on a map - America would be a third world slum like most rural countries. As a vile urbanite, frankly I am fed up with pretending that a bunch of idiot rednecks somehow represent some "ideal" to be reached for or people that we should admire. What nonsense. America's farmers are the largest welfare queens in the country (farm subsidies costing vastly more than all social welfare programs - excluding SSI - combined). The most radical anti-American zealots (the right-wing secessionists seeking to destroy the country by tearing it apart) are based in the country. Not even counting half the guests of Jerry Springer and the largest element of unwed mothers, divorces, and STDs (the fruits of "abstinence-only").

    Not only should people who actually like the United States not seek to emulate the least successful elements of our society (the rural population); perhaps we should threaten to forcibly relocate them to where their fellow human beings live (mostly cities) and educate their children. I'm fed up with all this redneck worshiping crap.

  59. I really think that Michael Medved nails it but the snippet posted does not do justice to his full explanation which is in the Commentary piece.

    For a non believing Jew, Jewish identity is like Canadian identity. It consists almost entirely of believing that you are not like most of the population of North America. The more similar they are to everybody else, the more they latch onto and exaggerate the differences.

    The thing is that in the United States, if you don't want to be a Jew, you don't have to be. Nobody is going to care that much about it if you don't bring it up. If you are a religiously observant Jew, that is also something that most people don't care much about.

  60. I am Jewish and grew up in a rural part of Missouri. I chose to move to a more urban and liberal area as soon as I became an adult and have no intention of returning. Part of the reason I am liberal is because of how badly I was treated by my overwhelmingly conservative community growing up. If my experience is any indication, Jewish people are not especially welcome in these areas and will never be considered full members of the community. In fact, I'd guess that most Jewish people who try your countryside experiment would only see their liberalism affirmed.

    I don't think you really understand what Jewish identity is all about. Many of us care deeply about Tikkun Olam, making the world a better place. This is much more important than slight reductions in marginal tax rates for the wealthiest among us. Many of us also realize that an improved society will indirectly benefit us in ways beyond what we could provide ourselves individually. As Jewish people, we have our culture, our families, our traditions, our food, and our communities. It's not all about telling us you'll stand up for Israel, especially when we know that many of the people who say that are the ones telling Jewish people every day that they'll burn in hell. How you treat us individually tells us something about whether your concern for Israel is one of good faith.

    Jewish Americans, like any other Americans (and for that matter all people), should enjoy a high degree of self-determination. Many of us have chosen to live in urban settings and adopt a liberal point of view. This is not an accident but rather a product of our experiences, which includes a long history of forced relocation, oppression, and violence inflicted upon us. We will live where we want to live. Your suggestion that we should relocate is reprehensible.

  61. As a Jew in America I am always the outsider. The Conservative movement seems to define itself at least partially by attacking the outsider.

    This is a primary reason why I could not vote for Mccain, when he refered to Obama as "that one" and other childish swipes it made it very clear to me which side I am on. John Mccain and the GOP constantly practise the politics of defining their opponent as different, unamerican,... outsiders. It lost this time around but only because people were scared about the economy.

    When the GOP picked apart Justice Sotomayor and called her an affirmative action appointee just because she's not a white old man I instantly identify with her as I would expect any Jew to identify with the target of a racial slur.

    This is the primary reason why I cannot vote for anyone in teh current Republican party, and please keep in mind I voted for Reagen. Reagen unified this country. Every major conservative politician since has embraced the Nixonian policy of dividing this country between "real Americans" and outsiders. I would expect any Jew that is a real student of history to identify with the outsider.

  62. The ability by the left to bamboozle the jews into scorning the GOP and conservatism because it's the natural home of the religious right, in spite of its overwhelming support for Israel, decisively puts paid to the argument of jewish intellectual superiority.

  63. the rural youth has typically driven hundreds of miles by the time he turns 18.

    Gee, hundreds of miles. In just a few years!

    No city boy could ever match that.