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Why Jews Believe in Democrats, When Democrats Don’t Believe in Jews

Optimism is a trait that has sustained Jews for millennia, but it only goes so far. At some point, reality storms in.

In a word: optimism. Jews, as a group, are taught to believe the best about people. It’s ingrained in the culture. There’s a big exception to this, and it relates to Christians, especially evangelical Christians. Let me explain some things about Jewish culture.

I can explain this because I grew up Jewish, was Bar Mitzvah’ed in an orthodox shul. But our family was more-or-less culturally Jewish, not particularly religious. My parents were dyed-in-the wool Democrats. I don’t think my mother ever in her life cast a vote other than the party line.

In general: The less religious a Jew, the more likely they are to be drawn to progressive causes and politics, even to the point of ignoring–or defending–those who hate Jews. The more religious a Jew, the more comfortable with Judaism as a product of Scripture, the more likely they are to see political and cultural trends in a different light.

Ultra-orthodox Jews are some of the most comfortable in the world talking to Christians, even evangelical Christians. Look at Ben Shapiro, Seth Mandel, Shmuley Boteach: They are all very open to and welcoming of Christians in discussions. But people like my mother, or politically-speaking, people like Carly Pildis, see Republicans as a fig leaf for some theocratic, Christian plot to subvert Judaism and supplant it.

Therefore, these cultural-political Jews find all the negatives linking Republicans to white supremacists. They link anti-Semitic Christians to neo-Nazis. These links exist in some cases. I am not defending Republicans when proper party hygiene is ignored. But these same Jews ignore Barack Obama’s pastor, Jeremiah Wright, known as a virulent anti-Semite, while they place Obama on a pedestal as some paragon of virtue.

It’s the optimism in Jews that lets them believe that the U.S. Government is a force for good, and that if only people like President Trump could be purged, Jews would always find a safe place in America. It’s the optimism in Jews that allows them to associate with the party of Rep. Ilhan Omar and Keith Ellison; a party that embraces anti-Semites like Al Sharpton, Louis Farrakhan and Jesse Jackson, who called Jews the slur “hymies” and New York “hymietown.”

President Trump appealed to Jews to depart the Democratic Party, using the word “Jexodus.” The national media poo-poohed this, here and here. But the message was heard by religious Jews.

There won’t be a huge “Jexodus” because non-religious Jews identify, historically, intellectually, and politically, with Democrats and are skeptical of Republicans (because they are strongly identified with evangelical Christians).

But there will be a segment of Jews that move. Especially in these times, when it’s obvious the Poway shooter hated President Trump just as much as he hated Jews. You won’t hear that in most of the American media (save Rush Limbaugh, who went there).

The movement of religious Jews started with Obama’s second term. He was so anti-Israel that many could not bear it. Trump is the polar opposite, and has attracted many of these Jews, albeit warily. We will now see more Jews disaffected by the Democrats as we approach 2020.

In fact, Jews may be a decider once again in elections. Not because, as a group, Jews back a candidate, but because, out of disappointment and fear, they stay home. Democrat-supporting Jews may not be able to bring themselves to vote for a party that no longer believes in them. And conservative Jews may not find any appetite for the choices laid before them in this election cycle.

Optimism is a trait that has sustained Jews for millennia, but it only goes so far. At some point, reality storms in.

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