Why do a majority of Jewish voters feel obligated to vote for the Democrats? This is a phenomenon that I have tried to understand for much of my adult life. Having been born and raised in a predominately Jewish neighborhood in Brooklyn, NY, I found that voting the Democratic line was an accepted way of life – but why? What could possibly move 600 Conservative and Reform Rabbis to sign a “petition” endorsing Barack Hussein Obama for a second term?
After all, with four years in office this Democratic President has not helped our economy recover from a recession, has added six trillion dollars to our deficit, which now stands at an untenable $16,000,000,000,000! On top of our domestic problems, the foreign policy fostered by President Obama has been a dismal failure. Why then can the Democrats believe they can always count on the Jewish vote? Further, why do so many Jews who are willing to look at the Republican position on many issues, vacillate as “undecided”?
Can this Jewish vote syndrome be attributed to one of the following reasons:
- The Jewish tradition of charity and tolerance.
- Family traditions derived from persecution in European communities.
- Workman’s Circle, Socialist, and/or Communist affiliations.
- “Roosevelt” Jews.
- Liberal educational system which demonizes Capitalism and free markets.
Reading the Haftorah Jonah during Yom Kippur, the following dialog offered some insight. After Jonah is cast ashore in Tarshish, God causes a gourd to grow into a shade plant to protect Jonah from the sun. God then has a worm destroy the gourd and when Jonah gets angry and wants to die, God advised Jonah that he shouldn’t be angry because he did not work to grow the plant. Does this imply that it is more important for us to work for our well being, rather than to expect hand outs? Further, why was every Israelite told to provide one half shekel, regardless of whether they were rich or poor? However, it was the responsibility of each Jew, not the government, to be charitable to a needy neighbor and for the farmer to leave portions of their fields to remain unharvested for the poor and needy to collect their food. This is the Jewish way, not depending on a government edict to subvert individual liberty by requiring a redistribution of wealth and a mandated system of entitlements.
The United States of America, with our constitution founded on Judeo-Christian principles, is not Europe! The United States of America is a Constitutional Republic not a true democracy, as many on the left would prefer. A pure democracy is a governance by the majority of the people or a mob with no provisions for the rights of the individual. Our founding fathers were quite aware of this and the fundamental principles that we derive from our Declaration of Independence (i.e. limited government, representation, and rule of law or separation of powers), were all breached by the King of England. These principles created the framework for our Constitution and Bill of Rights which secure our individual rights as American citizens, like no other nation on earth. It is these two documents that created the infrastructure that make America exceptional and different from all others.
The United States has been the only unflinching supporter of Israel and only with a robust and sound economy coupled with a dominant military can the United States assure the security of Israel. If you think for one minute that the Arab world will ever fully accept a Jewish State in Israel, take the time to read the Koran. Except for the peace treaties between Israel, Egypt, and the Kingdom of Jordan,thanks to billions of U.S. dollars, no Muslim nation has negotiated a peace treaty with a neighbor, only a truce! Therefore, Jews should realize that it is paramount for the United States to quickly reduce its debt and balance the budget. We are not Europe. No civilization in the history of the world has survived without providing the population with financial security; then and only then, can we be assured of political and religious freedom. All other issues are mere commentary.
History has shown that Franklin Roosevelt’s New Deal actually prolonged the recovery from the Great Depression and did little to create jobs and prosperity. World War II was the stimulus for recovery, but it also exposed his unwillingness to act on behalf of European Jewry facing the Holocaust. The United States is not a socialist nation. Our Constitution spells out our free enterprise system and individual rights, not government control and entitlements. As “people of the book”, Jews should not avoid discussing opposing views, reading books or even going to a movie, i.e. 2016, that may present controversial points of view. Yet so many liberal Jews will not listen to or read books by Ed Klein, Glenn Beck, Marc Levin, Dick Morris, Thomas Sowell, Dinesh Souza, Michelle Malkin, Ann Coulter, and other conservative spokespersons. By doing so they may see things in a new light and realize that the fiscal conservative viewpoint has merit.
Many children go through their school years without an understanding of capitalism, free enterprise and the role of government as spelled out in our Declaration of Independence and the Constitution. Much of this educational lapse can be traced to the powerful teachers’ unions which have historically supported the Democratic Party. We are not Europe and hopefully our hard working teachers will recognize what is happening across Europe and realize that the future of the United States (and Israel) is influenced by how they educate the children in their classrooms.
Martin A. Welt, PhD