Skip to comments.Podhoretz asks: "Why are Jews liberals?"
Posted on 09/02/2009 8:46:36 AM PDT by Beloved Levinite
Podhoretz asks: Why are Jews liberals? Buzz up!17 votes Send Email IM .Share Delicious Digg Facebook Fark Newsvine Reddit StumbleUpon Technorati Twitter Yahoo! Bookmarks .Print .. AP FILE - In this June 23, 2004 file photo, Norman Podhoretz is shown after receiving the Presidential Medal .By HILLEL ITALIE, AP National Writer Hillel Italie, Ap National Writer Wed Sep 2, 7:02 am ET NEW YORK Norman Podhoretz, the neo-conservative and former Commentary editor, is a stocky, confident man whose book-filled Upper East Side apartment features a bronzed wall image of Teddy Roosevelt with a bold-faced statement from the most bullish of presidents:
"AGGRESSIVE FIGHTING FOR THE RIGHT IS THE NOBLEST SPORT THE WORLD AFFORDS."
Like Roosevelt, Podhoretz prefers periods to question marks, with declarative books such as "Making It," "World War IV" and "The Bloody Crossroads." Since leaving liberalism in the 1970s, he has not doubted his turn right or hesitated to confront former friends, especially in defense of Israel.
He is 79, proud and satisfied, even with Democrat Barack Obama in the White House. But one issue nags him past the point of thought, a disappointment he brands by punctuation. It provides the title for his new book, "Why Are Jews Liberals?"
(Excerpt) Read more at news.yahoo.com ...
JINOs and CINOs are now the majority.
Because they are secular.
It's a class and bigotry problem, imo.
...Wait a minute, I told it wrong.
Here, I’m startin’ over: How come it
takes three Pollacks to screw in a
I don’t know, Glen.
Cause they’re so durn stupid!
(Raising Arizona, Coen Brothers)
So now it’s your turn, Podhoretz. Ask away.
Some time ago I read a book on the early days of Communist infiltration of American institutions. The author noted that many of the early members of the Communist Party in the USA were Jewish and he had what sounded to me like a rational explanation that relates to the issue at hand: Why are Jews so Liberal. The author's view was that historically the Jews have been a persecuted race/religion/ whatever. That knowledge is now buried deep in the genetic structure (so to speak) of Jews in general - they know their history. The attraction of a truly egalitarian society ala Marx/Communism was a direct result of this view of a persecuted race. The early Jewish Communists held the view, not entirely without reason, that Communism promised a society free of persecution - if everyone is equal than nobody will be singled out. As we know, that idea was entirely false. It didn't work out.
But the historical knowledge of the Jewish people remains and the idea that egalitarian socialism might relieve them of the threat of persecution remains. It is the source of Jewish Liberalism.
One interesting question to try to get at the answer to the question posed here is to separate the broad category Jews into religious Jews and secular Jews.
It could be that secular Jews are largely non-believers and non-believers everywhere and historically have flocked to the left for fairly obvious reasons.
I’d even venture to say that the proportion of non-believers may be (paradoxically?) higher among Jews than among gentiles. If so, that would create a bias towards believing that Jews are of the left, when perhaps the reality is that non-believers (from any group) are of the left.
It puzzles me that every Jewish senator is a dependable vote for amnesty, and Jews are everywhere in the immigration system, fighting to let as many into the US as possible, and fighting to prevent deportations. I think their historic plight of being without a country for many centuries, and often expelled from various nations, makes them almost automatic open borders advocates, even when groups that hate them are ever increasing in numbers, and making the US a less safe and accepting place for them as has happened in parts of Europe.
There often seems to be a very self-destructive element to parts of Jewish liberalism.
It's worth noting that most Jews in the U.S. today can trace their ancestry to immigrants from Europe (particularly Eastern Europe) in the early decades of the 20th century. These folks came to the U.S. from places where totalitarian nanny-state governments were a way of life, and while they certainly fled for good reason the simple truth is that they brought many of these nanny-state expectations with them.
McCarthy & American Jews.
Waves of immigrants came to the USA from 1880-1920: the Poles the Italians the Irish the Jews. Most of these ethnic groups voted for FDR by large majorities in 1932, 1936 & 1940, but over time they have assimilated and become less politically monolithic. Yet to this day the American jews still vote democratic by hefty majorities. Why? It is because Hollywood still strenuously maintains the communist lie about the 1950-54 McCarthy era. That lie is maintained by the recent movies A Beautiful Mind, and Good Night and Good Luck.
Shortly before his death in 1953 Stalin initiated the Doctors Plot. There are various reasons given for that. The KGB hated Israel. Many Americans who were enthusiastic supporters of the UN were Jewish. Edvard Radzinsky in his book Stalin argues that while at one time Stalin hoped Jewish financial capital would help rebuild the Soviet Union after the WWII, Stalin hated the prospect of suborning himself to the Baruch Plan and he flat out rejected IAEA nuclear controlspresented in 1946 (an attitude is not entirely dissimliar to that of Iran today.) The Russians were working on their own A-bomb based on stolen US designs. Stalin, himself a Geogian, wanted to insure that the Russians saw a Russian face to a Communist Party which was top heavy with Jews.
Whatever the reason, Stalin fomented the Doctors plot hysteria and broke off diplomatic relations with Israel. He was within days of preparing to exile the Soviet Jews to the Gulag (as was done previously with various other ethnic minorities such as the Crimean Tatars, Chechens, etc.), and initiate another great purge along the lines of 1938.
Stalin already had the concentration camps set up, and some of the preliminary accusations had gone out for the Doctors Plot. 100 or so Russian jews had already been executed when he died in 1953. The important thing to recall is that the Doctors Plot happened at the same time as the McCarthy anti communist business from 1950-54. Also in 1953, in the US the Rosenburgs were tried and executed for treasonand this less than a decade after the Holocaust. This naturally caused fear and suspicion in the US Jewish community. This fear and suspicion was played upon by knowledgeable communists and leftistslarge numbers of whom were themselves jewish. These folk not only knew about what Stalin had done in the 1930s and had been about to do with the doctors plot before he died, but also saw the McCarthy trials as show trials american style . . . that is, a prelude to an american pogrom. For which the Rosenbergs were exhibit A.
In a brilliant piece of jujitsu, leftists and communists imputed to Americans on the right exactly what Stalin had planned to do. But it was done soto voce. Basically, a blood libel was perpetrated on Americans without their knowing it. Worse, Protestant America was painted as the tribal enemy tooth and claw of the US jewish establishment without Protestant America even knowing it. Never again! Was the battle cry. But there werent any such enemies of Jews in the USA. If there actually had been Protestant tribal enemies in the USA, Meyer Kahane and his Jewish Defense League would have provoked them into a bloodletting. Why did Meyer Kahane behave the way he did? Because he heard the same thing as everyone else - all the Jews, that is. He heard about enemies of the jews in the heartland. But when he went to give battle, the only sorts of fights the JDL could find resulted in unintelligible court disputes in places like Idaho. In the end, Kahane married an American woman & helped expedite Stalins last wishto rid Russia of Jews. When his American wife committed suicide, Kahane lost interest in the USA and focused instead on Israel. When Kahane died in 1990 it was at the hands of a Moslem.
While the American public outside NY/LA were generally given the view that the McCarthy era was an age when innocent men were unjustly tried by suspicious anti semites like McCarthy & Nixon, the NY/LA Jewish establishment was given a very different story. They were given to understand that the democrats/liberals had prevented the US from visiting a holocaust on them - and that American Jews owed their loyalty to the liberal democrats because the liberal democrats were the protectors of the Jews. And this Meme went on untouched for decades after McCarthy.
This dual track story line didnt crack until the early 1990s when the KGB/NKVD/GRU opened up their files on the WWII-McCarthy period. In 1995 the USs National Security Agency opened up their Venona files. Both Russian and American spy agency files showed that McCarthy was right. The Rosenburgs were guilty. The US government notably including the Manhattan Projecthad been at one time soaked with Russian Spies. While McCarthy had the details wrong, he got the general outline of the story right. Why did McCarthy get the outline right and the details wrong? The reason is that McCarthys relationship to Hoover was the same as Hoovers relationship to the NSA.
The NSA told the FBI about the Venona intercepts but insisted that the FBI could not use NSA intercepts as evidence in court. The FBI had to develop their own leads. As a result most of the spies escaped prosecution. The FBI did not get their man.
In 1950 J. Edgar Hoover began weekly meetings with Joseph McCarthy. Those meetings ended in 1954. The beginning and end of those meetings coincided with the beginning and end of McCarthy star turn in the national spot light. McCarthy got most of the details of the spy story wrong but he got the general outline of the story right. His predicament was the same as that of the FBI. Whatever Hoover told himMcCarthy could not use in the senate hearings. To this day the FBI denies that Hoover told McCarthy anything about the Venona Cables and maybe Hoover said nothing explicit to McCarthy for which Hoover could be liable in court.
Needless to say, an American style shoah was never in the cards.
The reason that Hollywood hated Ronald Reagan so much was that he was an anti communist in Hollywood during the McCarthy period. To be staunchly anti communist in Hollywood or NYC at that time was to be at least vaguely anti semitic because in the 30s to the 50s communism was considered to be almost a secular form of Judaism in the Jewish communities of NY/LA. Given the reputation of the Jews in capitalist countries as the quintessential capitalists, this seems ironic. But in Russia, communism was a way to get ahead for the jews. And in addition to the opportunities communism presented to Jews, there was a biblical antecedent for jewish communists in the bible in the person of Joseph in Egypt because the relationship between Jews to Josephs Egypt maps over well to that between Jews and Communist Russia. And the history of the Jews from Joseph to Moses looks very similar to the rise to prominence of many Jews in the soviet communist bureaucracy from the 1917-1970 and the decades long expulsion of Russias jews after 1970 when it became clear that communism was not working. The Russians blamed Russian jews for the failure of communism.
Reagan was among the first wave of FDR democrats to switch parties. Reagans star turn in Hollywood ended after McCarthy, but his experiences in Hollywood served him well when he went into public service. He always understood the jujitsu of media talk of the age. Something that cannot be said of Nixon. Nixon’s rise to prominance began with his role with the House Unamerican Activities Committee (HUAC)—a role for which gained visceral leftist enemies with long memories (in the way John Kerry gained prominence during the Viet Nam era and made visceral enemies of the swift boat veterans.) Nixons fall also coincides with the Russian expulsion of Russia’s jews.
I would not argue that Nixon paid the price for Russia’s expulsion of Russian jews. That stretches the point. However, when I hear American based Moslems talking about McCarthyism being visited on them, I have to laugh. They have unknowingly pronounced themselves guilty in the eyes of many Americans.
The history of the McCarthy period now is forgotten among American Jews except for the vague idea that somehow Republicans are bad and somehow Democrats are good.
As for the Democrats, part of the reason for the loss of their inner coherence in the last decade has been that the part of their foundational raison dÃªtre which stems from the McCarthy era was revealed to be based on a lie. So now the core of the Democratic Party is the sodomites. Those people are not just confusing, they are confused.
David Horowitz interviewed by Rush Limbaugh some months ago — talked about how his parents were communists and he was a communist in college. He said when he was in college his views were always treated respectfully by his professors. But, he said recently, a young Christian college student told him that his homosexual college professor had singled him out in class and asked him Why do you Christians hate queers? Asked why he continued to do what he did in the face of all the abuse he gets, David Horowitz said that - like Rush - he took public political positions because he had to. But also he said he did it as a matter of atonement.
He gets it.
Venona Historical Writings that include comparisons of venona and russian spy lists and the changing venona story in the academy. http://www.johnearlhaynes.org/page43.html http://www.johnearlhaynes.org/index.html
Ping for later
Very interesting, very informative. Did you pen that yourself, or is that an article? (I didn't find it on your link)
I can remember being a little kid in the 60's & my much older sister had two "cool" Jewish musician friends, living in Queens, NY (no, not Simon & Garfunkel, but she loved them too!) who had anti-McCarthy paraphenalia posted in their house. For some reason, though I was small, I remembered the name "McCarthy" & their hatred of him.
Now, I'm wondering where Obama's communism & Islamism, hence hatred of Jews, fits into this question?
That seems to sum it up quite nicely. Sounds logical to me. Too bad secular Jews don’t recognize the astonishing accuracy of Biblical prophecy in relation to modern day Israel.
Mind you don't cut yourself, Mordecai.
Truly a classic.
Now, I’m wondering where Obama’s communism & Islamism, hence hatred of Jews, fits into this question?
They’re two different animals imho.
The period of the 50’s might as well be 100’s of years away.
however, when you hear moslems accuse others of McCarthyism—its generally a sign that suspicions are warranted.
Check this out too:
From talking with Jewish friends I have concluded that the members of the Leftist ruling group or communists, or socialists, or fascists (whatever they call themselves) are a minority in control legally, economically and socially, over the majority.
Jewish folks (not all) feel safer being in control over America’s Christian majority rather than be controlled by them. Hence, leftists in the US are in clear opposition to everything that is Christian and Jews feel comfortable in that position.
This opposition includes being against Christian support of Israel. Even leftist Jews who support Israel will work against Christians who support Israel in order to keep them out of power and influence.
If youd like to be on or off, please FR mail me.
Why are “Jews” liberal? Because liberalism is a mental disorder. Surely you can understand why so many, many Jews have been driven insane over the centuries.
In all the world, there has never been a people that has had so many progroms against them, every one of them trying to eradicate Jews off the face of the earth.
Most “liberal” Jews are frightened Jews though you will never get then to admit it. If there is another wave of Jewish genocide, maybe they have renounced Judaism enough that it won’t include them this time around.
These Jews are also angry. Angry at the GOD of Israel for allowing them to suffer so greatly. After all, if Jews are the Chosen People, why didn’t the GOD of Israel smite the Romans, The Assyrians, the Spanish Inquisitors, the Nazis, islam?
See, most of us don’t know what the hell it is we have been chosen FOR. Some of us do and we accept it and everything that comes with it.
They see only today. Some of us look back and know we did the wrong thing at the wrong time and those wrongs cost us our futures unto the thousandth generation. Whether or not we even have a future looks precarious.
So the liberals will try to fight harder against everything they should be fighting for, and for everything they should be fighting against, in order to gain acceptance among men. Me? I would rather be forgiven by GOD.
Reform Judaism and it's history. Reform Judaism came into being during the 1800's after centuries of pogroms ("small" holocausts) in various Jewishs communities in Europe. In part, in an effort to stop the murderous rampages against the Jews, they thought it might be a good idea to become more like their native hosts. Thinking that if they dropped major aspects of Jewish Law, such as dietary laws, strict sabbath observance, calling their buildings temples (and thereby eliminating Israel as the place of the future Temple) instead of synagog's, that they would be more accepted by "blending" in.
This dejudaized lifestyle then lead to a transfer beliefs such that no longer is G-d the agent of change and welfare but governments. Government is the agent of social justice. Government can redistribute income to equalize outcomes. Government became the new Golden Calf.
So, now you have roughly 80% of American Jews in this camp, the remaining are split between conservative and orthodox, who because they believe in G-d in much the same way as conservative Christians, tend to be much more politically conservative.
The good news and bad news is this. Good news, the orthodox are on the rise. They have big families, they are growing in number, they are big supporters of Israel and are moving to Israel (aliyah) and cant stand Obama. Some disgruntled Reform go to Orthodox for the real deal. The bad news is most of these Reform Jews wont change. They are intermarrying themselves out of existance and have become so liberal that they bear hardly any resemblance to Torah Judaism and their souls are in danger of being lost.
My two cents worth.
So what you’re saying is... all of the problems in the world come down to people who have “God issues.” Right?
But here is the insanity of it. The “Jews” who renounce Judaism, for some reason known only to them, still call themselves Jews. They could do many things to distance themselves from any semblance of being Jewish, but they don’t.
Nor do they convert FROM Judaism. There is a malfunction here. They don’t want to act like Jews but they won’t let go of it altogether. It’s schizophrenic.
Secular Jews from the former Soviet Union voted majority against Obama. They had enough of socialism back in the USSR.
In Israel political landscape is wild. There is religious right, there is religious left, there is secular left, there is secular right.
Very interesting analysis, thanks for posting it.
Thanks for your insight blasater. I’m getting the “picture.”
No, there was actually little or no connection between the origin of Reform Judaism and pogroms. Pogroms were a phenomenon of Eastern Europe, most specifically the czarist empire. Reform Judaism, on the other hand, was born in Germany in the early 1800s, where Jews were more upwardly mobile and enjoyed more civil liberties than in anywhere else in Europe at the time.
When Reform Judaism translocated to the United States later in the 19th century, its base was predominantly Jews of recent German origin. Those Jews were not far left, for the most part, and their rabbinate was no where near as inane in supporting leftist causes as is today's Reform rabbinate. It is the latter that has had a major role in miseducating American Jews about history (both Jewish and American) and current events. When so many of today's American Jews are miseducated and brainwashed by Reform institutions and/or public schools, it's no wonder that they are more than willing to lead the cheers for self-destructive leftist politics and policies.
As for "social justice," look out whenever you hear anyone use that vacuous term. "Social Justice" inevitably means NO justice!
Exactly! And that is the one of the big follies of Reform Judaism. As we see in Germany, it didnt matter that Germany was the seat of Reform thought. It didnt matter that culturally the Jews were the same as their German counter parts. If you were of Jewish ancestry...you went to the ovens.
Well, I totally agree it appears schizophrenic. I even know families that converted to christianty that still consider themselves Jewish, since they have a direct maternal lineage they can point to. Which is technically correct. I would say that it is more a mystical thing, that every Jewish person knows they have a Jewish soul (I realize this is an esoteric view) and can not divorce that aspect from their world view. I think that deep down, they know they are different, even though it makes no sense.
The great pity is that German Jews seem to have been among the greatest patriots, a place where, like America, they could feel “ at home.” Which makes me wonder how American Jews could be so trusting of American politicians. If it could happen to German Jews.... What is that snatch of Scripture?”Put not you faith in princes...”
Not bad. Not bad at all. Not completely accurate, but at least heading in the right direction.
Very interesting. I don't remember Paul Johnson covering this in the History of the Jews.
Where did you read about this?
Why does the question puzzle you? Why would you expect otherwise? Why is it hard for you to accept that different religions have different sets of values?
Republicans represent the establishment, normalcy, orthodoxy.
Democrats are more representitve of the outsider, the devients. Catholics were considered outsiders at one point, so Irish immigrants were always Democrats. In fact all immigrants have associated with the Democrat Party.
Gays, blacks, etc. also consider themselves outsiders and vote Democrat.
Jews apparently have followed that tradition, though I am a Republican.
As to your statement that "most American secular Jews despise serious Christians," that's an overestimate. I think that comes into play primarily with direct proselytization. Serious Christians should understand the historical and psychological reasons for this and act accordingly, as many already do.
Because they are masochists.
That statement is grossly oversimplistic, a tired cliche. It depends upon what period of American history you are talking about and what defines "the establishment" and "the outsider." Obviously, many parts of the current "establishment," e. g., the massive government bureaucracy, are controlled by 'Rats.
And certainly Jews, in general, are not "outsiders" in today's US, from just about any objective standard. Probably the majority of American Jews alive today are at least second generation American-born and have ancestral roots in the US going back to before WWI. In addition, Jews as a group are wealthier and more educated on average, and receive no benefits from "affirmative action" (in contrast to other "outsiders").
Furthermore, it should be noted that the two most statistically antisemitic and anti-Israel groups in the American population, Moslems and black radicals, are pandered to by the Democratic Party.
The fact that the allegiance of the majority of today's American Jews lies with the 'Rats is more of a pathological addiction than a "tradition."
And I think you are a cliche, my dear friend.
I’m not Jewish so this is just a guess on my part, but I do think it is a factor, however small:
Since the Nazis have incorrectly been labeled by leftists as “extreme right wingers” since WWII, (well, Nazis and Communists hated each other, so they MUST be opposite ends of the political spectrum, right?) I think Jews have suffered from a kneejerk negative reaction to the thought of Republicans as being “right wingers”.
Well, if you disagree with me, which I don't mind, let's talk facts and logic, and let's keep this on a higher plane than personal barbs.
I’ll concede the Dems represent the deviants, but as for being outsiders/anti-Establishment ? Nope. It’s my beliefs and standings that have been run down by these cretins, and I’ve been on the outside since the day I aligned with the GOP 23 years ago. The Dems ARE the Establishment (along with their RINO stooge/meatpuppets).
Sounds about right to me. A number of years ago a brilliant Jewish friend could not get into med school. He was at the top of his class with test scores off the charts. Affirmative action was the reason he didn't qualify. It was the first time I understood what AA was all about.
There should probably be an APA number for it, but some of it, in large cities, is a case of Stockholm Syndrome..
I think there’s great (understandable) ethnic pride in the high IQ and intellectual contributions of the Jews, and a reluctance to separate themselves from an association with that.
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