What's The Matter With The Jews?

Like Barack Obama, who criticized small-town working people for voting “against their interests,” I spend a lot of time pondering the same thing about my fellow Jews. The paradox was probably best expressed by the late Milton Himmelfarb who wrote, “Jews earn like Episcopalians and vote like Puerto Ricans.” As Stephen Miller wrote in Himmelfarb’s obituary in the New York Sun:

…It was a nice way of formulating the paradox that Jews are perhaps the only significant ethnic group in America not to have become more conservative in its voting patterns as it climbed the economic ladder. In a 1989 essay, Himmelfarb somewhat peevishly labeled them “diehard conservatives” for refusing to vote against Democrats, even when confronted by a presidential candidate like Jesse Jackson, whom a majority of Jews considered an outright anti-Semite.”All that education must have addled their faculties,” Himmelfarb wrote.

After all, the Democratic Party is the party of employees, while Jews are, in comparison to other groups, largely employers. The Democratic Party is the party of wealth-redistribution, while Jews are largely the victims (not the beneficiaries) of wealth-redistribution. The Democrats are the party of racial quotas, which requires discrimination against, disproportionately, Jews (and Asians).

But unlike Obama’s imagined working class Pennsylvanians, Jews are not made “bitter” by any of that. Is it because “conservatives,” and fundamentalist Christians who usually vote Republican are seen by Jews as anti-Semitic and thus a Jewish vote for a Republican is a vote for Jew-haters?

But most Jews are unfazed by the demonstrable fact that conservatives and fundamentalist Christians support Jewish interests and Israel, while the “intellectual class” and blacks are both the most loyal Democratic voters and the most anti-Semitic, anti-Israel groups in the country.

Here’s my theory: Jewish fear and distrust of Christians has become hard-wired in Jewish DNA. Jews cannot comprehend nor will they accept that today’s devout American Christians, while not perfect, are not the same as the European pogromists. And Jews are definitely in denial of the large percentage (one in three) of virulently anti-Semitic black Americans.

Isaac Bashevis Singer once observed that all Jews consider themselves “intellectuals.” This explains why Jews reflexively subscribe to the intellectual class’s quasi-Marxist, pacifist ideology embodied by today’s Democratic Party.

Perhaps one can say about Jews what I. B. Singer once said about Irving Howe:

A wonderful man Irving Howe. He’s done so much for literature and for me. But he’s not a youngster anymore, and still, still with this socialist meshugas!

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