Jews, Party Identification, and Political Realignment
The recent Pew Research Center poll showing a formidable 9% change in party identification among American Jewish voters favoring the Republicans is only a harbinger of things to come. Party identification is not voting preference. Created by the authors of the political science classic The American Voter, party identification measures something more than how people vote. It measures an underlying psychological attachment to a political party. Party identification is a measure of how people identify themselves politically.
The Pew study was designed to measure how people were leaning politically, but among Jews, respondents did more than lean; they actually changed their psychological identification. This is significant not only because Jews showed the most dramatic change, but also because, apart from African American Protestants, Jews in 2008 supported Barack Obama more than any other ethno-religious group.
I see this as the beginning of a development of a critical mass that will transform the Jewish community. No, I don’t have any illusions; Jews will still overwhelmingly vote Democratic in 2012. After all, most Jews are secular and as such they are more concerned with the right to terminate a fetus than the right of six million Jewish Israelis to continue to exist. But American Jews are understanding that they are not immune to the increasing anti-Semitism of the left and its alliance with the most regressive and reprehensible political force on the planet, radical Islam. The Jewish community is beginning to comprehend that among the nations of the world only Israel is the subject of a debate over whether it has a right to exist. Criticism of Israel is no longer a discussion of policy choices, but a gossamer veil for anti-Semitism that shamelessly uses tactics right out of Joseph Goebbels’ 1934 statement on propaganda at the infamous Nuremberg rally.
Most people come to their politics the way they come to their religion. They’ve been socialized into a political belief system. They learn about politics as accepted behavior. They learn what newspapers and magazines to read, what media to watch, and what clichés they can utter among their friends for which they can receive social affirmation.
The American left might not be a religious people, but they certainly are not a godless people. They worship the god of government in the church of secularism. They believe in anthropocentric global warming, and that government can create jobs, stem inflation, and solve the problems of poverty at home and abroad. They continue to believe that the economy will be transformed by “green jobs,” although precious few have been created despite an inordinate investment of money.
They believe the previous oppressed will create a new moral order. The left refuses to comprehend that the abused are more likely to turn into abusers. When I came of age politically, colonial powers were collapsing. College professors preached the new moral order that would ensue from the rise of the Third World. A new sense of virtue would appear in the international political community because the Europeans would depart and the oppressed would replace them. Anyone who did not adhere to this ideology faced not only a bad grade but also social ostracism. Such is the conformity which the zealotry of the religion of politics demands.
And yet our professors forgot the most basic principles of the revolutionary phenomena they so venerated. They forgot Georges Daton’s immortal words: like Saturn, the revolution devours its own children. Such is the intellectual blindness of groupthink.