Tuesday, September 16, 2008

"Thinking Outside The Lox"

That is the name of an interesting piece by Joseph Epstein on why Jews do not vote Republican. Among the points he makes:
The Democrats' record on things Jewish is finally not all that strong. Joe Kennedy, the so-called founding father of the Kennedy clan, was pro-Hitler and famously anti-Semitic. Jimmy Carter, in his sentimental idealism, has called Israel an apartheid state, comparable with South Africa. I always thought that Bill Clinton, in his vanity, would have done his best to convince the Israelis to give up the West Bank and the East Bank, and toss in Katz's Delicatessen on Houston Street at no extra charge, in his eagerness to win a Nobel Peace Prize.

Despite all this, Jews cling to the Democratic Party. The Democrats, they claim, remain the party most interested in social justice, and it is incumbent upon Jews, who have known so much injustice in their own history, to be on the side of social justice.

The only Democratic administration in the past 50 years that may be said to have made good on a program of social justice was that of Lyndon Johnson, himself today much less admired, by Jews and others, for his efforts in this line -- the civil rights voting acts, the war against poverty -- than despised for his policy in Vietnam. As for social justice, who is responsible for more of it, on a world-wide scale, than Ronald Reagan, in his helping to bring an end to tyrannous communism?
Of course, there may be other reasons for Jews to remember Johnson fondly. See Jason Maoz's Lyndon Johnson, Friend of the Jews, which is countered by Judith Klinghoffer here and here. [hat tip: Soccer Dad]

Still and all, even with all the talk that Jews are trending towards slowly gaining more of the Jewish vote, does anyone seriously think that the Democrats do not have a lock on the Jewish vote this election?

(Except for Obama and his campaign staff, that is.)

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