Although people of the Jewish faith can usually be relied upon to vote that straight party ticket, the Democratic one of course, matters are not so clear this time around.
Before we get to that, we have to deal with an objection to even considering this claim that the Democratic Party can no longer place so much reliance on this demographic. Some say that since Jews make up only some 2 percent of the population, whether, how, and why they vote should not be of any great interest to anyone.
But there are still good reasons to be interested in their voting patterns. Here are some of them.
In a close election, which the one in 2022 turned out to be, every percentage point counts, and Jews have two of them (percentage points, that is). Second, for many years Jews have been, in effect, a wholly owned subsidiary of the Democratic Party, voting for them at a 70–80 percent clip or more. Any significant diminution could thus be felt. Third, Jews are disproportionately overrepresented in occupations that affect the voting patterns of others: the professoriate, Hollywood, the print and electronic media, writers, journalists, editorialists, and more.
“Jews owe an enormous debt to free enterprise and competitive capitalism,” Milton Friedman wrote. Those famous words are still true, and, with the prevalence of wokeism, may well have more impact within the community, for modern elections, than when he uttered them. And yet, he continued, “Jews have been consistently opposed to capitalism and have done much on an ideological level to undermine it.” Jews are disproportionately prominent in the communist parties in the U.S., Russia, and many other countries. They are union leaders, another tie to the Democratic Party. To the extent that the professoriate is left-wing, and that is true to a great extent, Jews may be found, disproportionately again, in the forefront of this group.
I suspect some rethinking on this matter will now take place. One bit of evidence: the refusal of Yeshiva University to give in to the politically correct forces now arraigned against it.
There are no explicit limitations placed upon Jews in higher education at present. Stanford University has recently apologized for discriminating against them in the 1950s. Asian Americans, however, have recently sued Harvard University and the University of North Carolina for their affirmative action policies, which have the effect of discriminating against them. If they win when the Supreme Court takes up their case, this will have implications throughout academia. Well, Asians are not the only ones to suffer from these policies; Jews do, too.
What of abortion? This appears to be a big selling point for the Democrats. What is the Jewish position on when human life begins? Contrary to widespread myth, it is not when the fetus graduates from medical school. Rather, it is when a heartbeat can be discerned. But many states prohibit abortion only after this occurs, typically at 15 weeks. So, this trump card (pardon the expression) works less well with this community than might otherwise be thought. It cannot be denied that many secular Jews do not keep kosher, do not respect the Sabbath, etc. This is at least to some degree a matter of convenience. But the heartbeat criterion has little to do with that motivation.
There is one caveat to the aforementioned thesis. Jewish Americans might be less offended by the massive illegal immigrant incursions at our southern border than others are. They remember that in the 1930s, Jews from Germany were forced back to from whence they came: an utter disaster for this group of people. One political leader went so far to answer the query of how many Jews he would allow into his country as follows: “None is too many.” True, he was a Canadian, not an American, but such a sentiment applied to politicians in this country as well during that epoch.
But open immigration from countries with large populations of inevitable Jew-haters who then turn around and attack this demographic as well as other Americans living here? This is hardly comparable to what occurred in the 1930s. The Jewish emigrants were escaping; they attacked no one when they arrived on our shores.
Still, the bottom line is that the Democrats are no longer able to rely on an almost unanimous level of support from the Jewish community. The recent U.S. election indicates that almost one-third of their votes went to the Republican Party.
Reprinted with the author’s permission.