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Author Topic: Why are most Jews Democrats?  (Read 3279 times)
President John Hay
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« on: March 21, 2012, 11:29:11 am »
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I never understood this- I know a few Jews and they are Republicans. I have the utmost respect for the Jewish people and them being Democrats does not change that at all- but it seems they would be socially conservative and agree more with the GOP on foreing policy...

What gives?
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« Reply #1 on: March 21, 2012, 11:30:59 am »
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Socially conservative?  Really?  American Jews are about 90% secularized, clarence.  Think Woody Allen.
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« Reply #2 on: March 21, 2012, 11:34:23 am »
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Because they are a cultural minority group and the Democratic Party is the party of minorities.
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President John Hay
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« Reply #3 on: March 21, 2012, 11:35:17 am »
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Socially conservative?  Really?  American Jews are about 90% secularized, clarence.  Think Woody Allen.
I mean real Jews... not just of Jewish heritage but actual practicing Jews. I probably know more Hebrew then Woody Allen- I can recite the Shema
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« Reply #4 on: March 21, 2012, 11:39:34 am »
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Socially conservative?  Really?  American Jews are about 90% secularized, clarence.  Think Woody Allen.
I mean real Jews... not just of Jewish heritage but actual practicing Jews. I probably know more Hebrew then Woody Allen- I can recite the Shema

Orthodox Jews in concentrated communities actually tend to swing very heavily on the basis of personal attributes, real or perceived, of the candidates. Some of the really densely packed Orthodox enclaves in the New York exurbs went from 95% Gore in 2000 to 95% Bush in 2004. Non-Orthodox practicing Jews tend to live in similar social and cultural environments to their secularized counterparts and they're from a cultural and religious tradition that strongly emphasizes values like social solidarity as well as (we can argue about 'more than' or 'less than', but certainly as well as) personal success. The New Deal/Great Society ideals seem to have a lot of appeal within a Jewish mindset, or at least a certain type of Jewish mindset that's common among American Jews.
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« Reply #5 on: March 21, 2012, 12:00:05 pm »
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Socially conservative?  Really?  American Jews are about 90% secularized, clarence.  Think Woody Allen.
I mean real Jews... not just of Jewish heritage but actual practicing Jews. I probably know more Hebrew then Woody Allen- I can recite the Shema

Well gosh, those practicing types are a rarity, thank goodness!
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« Reply #6 on: March 21, 2012, 12:48:44 pm »
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It's a cultural thing. Just like why are most Congregationalists and Episcopalians Republican? The answer is that they historically stuck to the GOP back in the days when that party represented moderate-to-liberal New England upper crust WASPism. Similarly practicing and religious Jews support the Democrats because of their heritage as the party of immigrants and the working class. This allegiance held strong even as the general outlook of the parties shifted and more and more Jews rose in society.
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« Reply #7 on: March 21, 2012, 01:09:26 pm »
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It's a cultural thing. Just like why are most Congregationalists and Episcopalians Republican? The answer is that they historically stuck to the GOP back in the days when that party represented moderate-to-liberal New England upper crust WASPism. Similarly practicing and religious Jews support the Democrats because of their heritage as the party of immigrants and the working class. This allegiance held strong even as the general outlook of the parties shifted and more and more Jews rose in society.
Assuming you are right about that, do you think they will become more Republican in the next 20-30 years?
« Last Edit: March 21, 2012, 01:12:42 pm by politicus »Logged

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« Reply #8 on: March 21, 2012, 01:25:24 pm »
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It's a cultural thing. Just like why are most Congregationalists and Episcopalians Republican? The answer is that they historically stuck to the GOP back in the days when that party represented moderate-to-liberal New England upper crust WASPism. Similarly practicing and religious Jews support the Democrats because of their heritage as the party of immigrants and the working class. This allegiance held strong even as the general outlook of the parties shifted and more and more Jews rose in society.
Assuming you are right about that, do you think they will become more Republican in the next 20-30 years?

Maybe, maybe not. Non-secular Jews are becoming a smaller and smaller group, so it's possible that there will be a conservative reaction or that they might simply die out altogether.
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« Reply #9 on: March 21, 2012, 01:27:01 pm »
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Because they are a cultural minority group and the Democratic Party is the party of minorities.

This combined with the fact that Jews are disproportionately members of the "creative class" or are urban professionals and you get a heavily Democratic demographic: one that dominates the party where it is a significant minority.

If you looked at general Jewish class-based demographics and made them vote as gentiles according to those demographics, they'd still be a Democratic-leaning group. Retirees would be more split and certain Orthodox communities would be certain to vote for the GOP as opposed to splitting their tickets but towns like St. Louis Park or Newton would still be Democratic bastions.
« Last Edit: March 21, 2012, 01:30:37 pm by Ron Swanson »Logged



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« Reply #10 on: March 21, 2012, 01:38:28 pm »
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It's a cultural thing. Just like why are most Congregationalists and Episcopalians Republican? The answer is that they historically stuck to the GOP back in the days when that party represented moderate-to-liberal New England upper crust WASPism. Similarly practicing and religious Jews support the Democrats because of their heritage as the party of immigrants and the working class. This allegiance held strong even as the general outlook of the parties shifted and more and more Jews rose in society.

^^^ this
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« Reply #11 on: March 21, 2012, 03:20:47 pm »
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There are a few issues here. All are generalization, obviously, but here are my observations:
1. Most Jews are terrified of the Republican Party's Christian nationalism.
2. Jews have a soft spot for the politics of poverty. Huge numbers of Jewish women in particular are teachers and social workers. Jews want to help.
3. Jews place a high value on personal freedom, and particularly resent Republicans invasion of their bedrooms
4. Jews also frequently work in financial services and accounting and see everyday that our economy is strongly biased in favor of organized wealth. That doesn't sit well with Jewish notions of social justice.
5. This is a relatively new one, but the GOP has marketed itself strongly in recent years as an anti-intellectual party. Jews are true believers in the power of schooling and the progress of science in particular.
6. American Jews have a strong distaste for unnecessary military adventures.
7. American Jews are very likely to judge a candidate (and regular people too) based on how they present themselves. If you come up swaggering with a 10 gallon hat on, dropping your gs, and trying to be a "regular guy," that doesn't play well with Jews. We want somebody who looks more professional.
8. Jews don't buy into the good old days narrative of the Republican Party. They weren't so good for us.
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« Reply #12 on: March 21, 2012, 04:12:52 pm »
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The Republican Party has always been a party for Protestants, and non-Protestants have naturally gravitated to the Democratic Party.
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« Reply #13 on: March 21, 2012, 04:28:25 pm »
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Because Republicans are morons, and Jews don't fall for that load of crap.

I mean real Jews...

''Real Jews''? Like ones who go to temple regularly and keep kosher?

That's almost no one.
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« Reply #14 on: March 21, 2012, 06:21:49 pm »
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I'm Jewish, and not a Democrat, so I win Tongue

#RepublicanJewsFTW
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« Reply #15 on: March 21, 2012, 06:46:53 pm »
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I'm Jewish, and not a Democrat, so I win Tongue

#RepublicanJewsFTW

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« Reply #16 on: March 21, 2012, 07:19:36 pm »
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The single most salient reason these days is that Jews are more secular than the general population.
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« Reply #17 on: March 21, 2012, 07:25:54 pm »
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7. American Jews are very likely to judge a candidate (and regular people too) based on how they present themselves. If you come up swaggering with a 10 gallon hat on, dropping your gs, and trying to be a "regular guy," that doesn't play well with Jews. We want somebody who looks more professional.

It seem more of a case wanting someone who are more like you (white-collar worker)than anything else. In fact it seem the one thing almost all voter segment have in common, they prefer politician who talk like them and behave like them.
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« Reply #18 on: March 21, 2012, 09:27:27 pm »
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It's a cultural thing. Just like why are most Congregationalists and Episcopalians Republican? The answer is that they historically stuck to the GOP back in the days when that party represented moderate-to-liberal New England upper crust WASPism.

Nowadays, however, that's changed, as those are among the denominations whose polities are becoming more associated with the political left. The days when you could really say that about most Congregationalists and Episcopalians were also back when you could generalize about the 'Catholic vote' (and say that it usually went Democratic).
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« Reply #19 on: March 21, 2012, 09:30:04 pm »
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It's a cultural thing. Just like why are most Congregationalists and Episcopalians Republican? The answer is that they historically stuck to the GOP back in the days when that party represented moderate-to-liberal New England upper crust WASPism.

Nowadays, however, that's changed, as those are among the denominations whose polities are becoming more associated with the political left.

The members of those churches, most likely, are far more right-wing than the clergy and doctrine espoused by both though, so it's hard to say how Democratic religious WASPs really are at this point.
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« Reply #20 on: March 21, 2012, 09:39:21 pm »
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I'm Jewish, and not a Democrat, so I win Tongue

#RepublicanJewsFTW

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« Reply #21 on: March 21, 2012, 09:42:44 pm »
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The single most salient reason these days is that Jews are more secular than the general population.

But Orthodox aside, even the religiously engaged Jews vote overwhelmingly for the Democrats. I grew up forcibly attending a Conservative synagogue. My mother still attends every Saturday. And it's a very Democratic crowd. Mostly for the reasons that I articulated earlier.
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« Reply #22 on: March 21, 2012, 09:50:42 pm »
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One big thing besides the fact that Jews are more secular than the rest of the country is their repulsion to the Christian nationalism of the Republican party. This is also the reason why Republicans do worse with Indians than other Asians, and will continue to do worse with them even if they find a way to woo back the more Christian Korean and Chinese population.
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« Reply #23 on: March 21, 2012, 11:36:38 pm »
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A point that someone else has made on here prior that I think is worth noting is that the rhetoric Republicans use can often bring up some uncomfortable connotations, even if entirely unintentional. Think of Sarah Palin talking about "Real America" or whatever, and thus implying that there are people who are "less American" than others...

One also should just note even though it's kind of boring that Jews disproportionately live in urban or at least inner suburban areas.
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« Reply #24 on: March 21, 2012, 11:38:48 pm »
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It's a cultural thing. Just like why are most Congregationalists and Episcopalians Republican? The answer is that they historically stuck to the GOP back in the days when that party represented moderate-to-liberal New England upper crust WASPism.

Nowadays, however, that's changed, as those are among the denominations whose polities are becoming more associated with the political left.

The members of those churches, most likely, are far more right-wing than the clergy and doctrine espoused by both though, so it's hard to say how Democratic religious WASPs really are at this point.

That really isn't the case. I'm not positive about Congregationalism but the divisions of the Episcopal Church telegraph pretty closely at most levels of its structure, by nature of its polity. Right-wing parishes and dioceses aren't going to be choosing these people as their rectors and bishops. There's a definitive progressive, often left-leaning-Anglo-Catholic or 'emergent' depending on the parish majority, and a sizable conservative, often Evangelical-leaning minority, in the House of Deputies as well as the House of Bishops.
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A shameless agrarian collectivist with no respect for private property or individual rights.

His idea of freedom is - it is a bad thing and should be stopped at all costs.

Nathan-land.  As much fun as watching paint dry... literally.
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