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Vote your mind, not your ethnicity.

missy

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I read an interesting article in the WSJ today. How do you determine who gets your vote? What are your main criteria? Do you vote your mind or your ethnicity or somewhere in between?

http://www.wsj.com/articles/the-political-stupidity-of-the-jews-revisited-1457906933



The Political Stupidity of the Jews Revisited
Why do so many of my fellow Jews stay in the Democratic Party’s pocket?
By JOSEPH EPSTEIN
March 13, 2016 6:08 p.m. ET
340 COMMENTS
The story has it that during the George H.W. Bush administration, James Baker proposes to his boss an idea that would go against Israeli interests. “The Jews aren’t going to like it,” President Bush says. Mr. Baker replies: “They don’t vote for us anyway—screw ’em!” Fast forward 15 years, when Rahm Emanuel proposes a different idea to his boss that would also go against Israeli interests. “The Jews aren’t going to like it,” President Obama says. Mr. Emanuel replies: “They vote for us anyway—screw ’em!”

Such, one might say, are the advantages of bloc voting for ethnic groups. Just as Democratic politicians assume the support of black voters, the Jews have been in the pocket of the Democratic Party at least as far back as Franklin Delano Roosevelt, and though there are few Jews alive today who were old enough to have voted for FDR, they, the Jews, are still in that pocket. This despite the fact that we now know that FDR was not such a grand friend to the Jews, for he did nothing to stop or even slow the Nazi genocide of Jews during World War II, and instead, when told by Rabbi Stephen Wise of the death camps, counseled silence on the subject.

ENLARGE
PHOTO: AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE/GETTY IMAGES
The best face that can be put on this unwillingness, bordering on a genetic-inability, of Jews to vote Republican is that Jewishness, if not Judaism, has at its center a hatred of injustice and a concomitant yearning for equality. All this, presumably, has been ingrained in Jews by their own long history as the scapegoats of tyrants. Being underdogs, the Jews ipso facto are themselves for underdogs. Republicans, traditionally, have been top dogs. Don’t, something in most Jews tells them, go there.

Older Jews, of whom I am one, have memories of so-called “restricted” neighborhoods and clubs—restricted meaning No Jews Allowed. They remember quotas against Jews put in place by private universities. I recall the writer Clifton Fadiman telling me that when he applied to graduate school at Columbia, he was told it wasn’t a good idea, for the English Department there already had accepted his undergraduate classmate, Mr. Trilling, the implication being that one Jew was enough. Large corporations in those days did not hire Jews, or if they did it was made clear that their chances for promotion were greatly limited.

All these arrangements against Jews—real-estate covenants, university quotas, job restrictions and more—were thought to be the handiwork of a WASP establishment that was, with only rare exceptions (FDR, Dean Acheson, Adlai Stevenson), at its heart, if not officially, Republican. To vote for a Republican now, more than half a century later, even though these arrangements are no longer in place, would for most Jews constitute a betrayal. They can’t do it; they simply can’t do it.

In 1999, Irving Kristol, a Jew who could do it, published in the quarterly journal Azure an essay called “On the Political Stupidity of the Jews.” The essay took up the yearning for universalist Enlightenment values on the part of many Jews—values that, on the subject of Israel, for example, worked directly against Jewish particularist interests. “Just because I’m Jewish,” I recall hearing an anti-Israel Jew named Mitchell Plitnick say on television, “doesn’t mean I have to be for killing”—this when the Israelis were defending themselves against Hamas attacks.

Irving Kristol also thought it foolishness for heavily Jewish-funded organizations such as the American Civil Liberties Union to litigate against Christian prayer and symbols in national life, since the United States is a country that is Christian at its foundation and is overwhelmingly Christian in its population. Backing the ACLU and other groups in such matters, in the name of a utopian belief in a humanistic, therapeutic, universalist culture in which everyone will agree that none of us has any differences worth maintaining, seemed to Kristol what he called chutzpah—sheer effrontery and stupid in the extreme.

In his essay, Kristol made no mention of the Jewish difficulty in voting for Republicans, no matter how conservative individual Jews may be by instinct and in temperament and, often, even by interest. In the matter of interest, the Jewish vote, along with Jewish money in Hollywood and elsewhere, has helped put in office a president who can scarcely be called a friend to Israel. Jews have voted for Democrats who have over the years instituted such essentially anti-Jewish programs as racial preferences in higher education (the religion of contemporary Jews, it has been said, only half-jokingly, is diplomas). Through federal regulation and high taxation, the Democratic Party has done what it could to strangle the entrepreneurial spirit that was once the pride of the Jewish middle class. Only a schmuck works for someone else is, in some quarters, the 11th Jewish commandment.

For the current political season, I propose a 12th: Vote your mind, not your ethnicity.
 

mary poppins

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I vote based on a candidate's position and ideas on issues that are important to me and the country. I also consider, among other factors, a candidate's historic words and acts regarding issues, knowledge about international affairs and government, and personality/ability to effectively communicate.

I do not vote based on ethnicity or gender.

ETA: My vote is also not based on race.
 

missy

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Thanks Mary Poppins. I do the same. In fact I am not loyal to one party in any way. I always vote based on the candidate themselves and what they stand for and what they plan on doing if elected and what they have already accomplished. It is interesting that so many people actually seem to vote based primarily on race, religion, ethnicity etc. Not surprising though.
 

AprilBaby

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Tomorrow is my Election Day and I voted on my candidates positions but it's a wasted vote, he doesn't stand a chance. (I did early voting)
 

VRBeauty

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Gee, I was going to do just that - vote my ethnicity. I guess maybe I'll rethink that! :wink2:
 

ksinger

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People vote (and emphasize in most aspects of life) issues that are central to their identities. Religion, race, and ethnicity are often central to identity. I'm not seeing why it would be remarkable that someone would make choices of who to vote for that come from those places. Or why those motivations are less legitimate than those of someone who doesn't have religion, race, or ethnicity as strong components of their identities.

I know that political party is usually said with a hissing and spitting these days, but it still does mean something. It is still a good, if blunt, instrument for making basic political choices. For instance, if women's bodily autonomy ala abortion rights, access to birth control, is an issue for you, you're not likely to find a Republican politician who rejects his party's retrograde plank on that issue. Since I disagree with many of the planks in the Republican platform, I don't need to parse every single word of a candidate to know that he/she is not going to be governing anywhere near how I would prefer.


But to address the piece you posted...

This is why I found that piece to be not so great. Vote your mind not your ethnicity? How? How is a person supposed to separate her mind from the lens of ethnicity that has been adopted by or given to her? Ethnicity is a construct of the mind, so the writer is not making a whole lot of sense by implying that the two can be separate. It's all well and good to say that people of defined ethnicity should not have special concerns because of it, but come on, of course they do - the fact that they self-identify as different from that group over there, should tell you that.

The author criticizing his fellow Jews who voted in past elections for someone who can "scarcely be called a friend to Israel" (ie - did not vote in line with overtly ethnic concerns that the author clearly thinks should have loomed larger in their calculations) is not exactly bolstering his argument that voting with ethnic concerns foremost is not the way to choose candidates. His whole piece is one giant appeal to ethnic identity and concerns, while saying those things shouldn't matter. Except of course for the issues where HE thinks they should.

But on a less philosophical and more practical note, I would think conservative Jews who might now wish to jump political ship from the Dems they've long supported, would be dealing with the same quandries, and more, as the average voter. You have Trump, who whiffs very strongly of fascism and is saying things that are likely morally repugnant to Jews (and a lot of people), or you have Cruz, who is the true son of a Christian Dominionist father who calls his son "The Annointed One". I would think either one of those observations would give a Jew the serious willies.

For myself, I have no distinct ethnicity that I was raised with or currently identify with. I am obviously white (quite pasty, actually) of various European extractions, but have had the luxury of moving through my life being blissfully unaware of my race, until now. And I claim no religion, so at this point I consider myself an American mutt. So I guess I always vote "mind" (whatever that means). What is more important to me, is to not vote with high emotions driving the boat.
 

missy

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Karen, I agree there are some contradictory thoughts by the author of that article however I get the main gist and agree with it. I too consider myself first an American above all else re race/religion/ethnicity. But yes I do feel an allegiance with Israel and I would like to see a President who is Pro-Israel. However is that my sole criteria for choosing who to vote for? No obviously not given that I voted for Obama. And I don't consider Obama a friend to Israel in any way. To address your comments about the Republicans being no more a friend to Israel than the democrats to that I sadly agree.

I got what the article was saying and did not take all parts of it literally because as with most things it is never all black or white but more shades of grey. I shared the article because I found it interesting and I always thought one should not vote for a candidate just because they were more like them but because they stood for the things one believes in and not for only (what might be considered) superficial reasons.

AprilBaby, yes given the current voting system we have most of the time votes don't count the way they should IMO. Electoral College system. ::)

VRBeauty, 8) .
 

Marquise_Madness

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I'm just about to turn 22 years old, and some older coworkers are confused as to why I'm not voting for Hillary, "because she's a woman! You're a woman too!" My coworker just admitted that he only voted for Obama because he was black.

I'm really hoping Sanders gets the nomination, because I don't like Clinton, and I despise Trump/Cruz. I wish Romney was running again, because he seems more moderate than the current GOP. He is typically moderate and had to change to appease the GOP.
 

smitcompton

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Hi,

I interpreted the article differently. The author tried to explain that if one of the Jew"s interests was support for Israel then they ought to consider voting for the Republican party candidates instead of voting en block for democrats. Republicans and Evangelicals Christians are the biggest supporters of Israel. They are huge supporters.

In the past It has always been Southern Democrats who were the bigots, racists, and Jew haters. There were signs for not only separate facilities for blacks, but no Jews were allowed as well. Even if you were in the service, as a Jew, you were not welcomed in the south. It was a terrible time. The Southern transition was slow and has , with new laws, improved.

When Jews arrived in New York the political structure had already been solidified by the democratic party, which was much different than the Southern democratic party. So a strong tie developed. But, the Republican party, is the national party that supports Israel. The Evangelical Christian believes Israel is the Holy Land. It belongs to the Jews. It is sacred to all major religions.
They all sprang from these roots.

Our author is asking them to look again at what they are voting for. After all Hillary wants a Palestian state. I think the article is good. Look again it says.

Annette
 

missy

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Annette, thank you for your perspective and that bit of history. From my understanding, and please correct me if I am wrong, Hillary Clinton is pro-Israel and Trump is who knows what :confused: as he is full of conflicting statements it seems.

http://forward.com/opinion/335212/if-its-trump-vs-hillary-shes-the-pro-israel-candidate/

http://correctrecord.org/hillary-clinton-on-israel/


and just a snip from one of the links:

Which leads to my final point: It should be irrelevant whether the American president “likes” Jews or Israel. The American president should be in the business of standing with democracies and free countries. Lest you think I only criticize Democrats for failing to do this, as a Republican I was extremely disappointed in President George W. Bush when he failed to stand with a free Taiwan and instead reiterated that America supports a “one China” policy.
If we’re not standing up for freedom around the globe, even when it’s uncomfortable for us, we are failing in our mission to be leaders for free people everywhere. In a world where everything is about the “deal,” Trump would fail that mission every time.
 

the_mother_thing

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I voted today, and did so based on race.

I went for who I thought was the only human out of the bunch. :D
 

soberguy

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Sorry but this is absurd. We don't always vote democrat, and I hate to be this way, but most of us, practicing or not, keep up with politics because we MUST AS AN Obligation TO OUR PEOPLE and our future people. It isn't like I have seen in other groups of people and it's not easy to explain. Yes I value equality. Yes I value charity and care for those who need it. Yes I think spending 55,000,000,000.00 for a new plane when that money could have educated 1,375,000 bachelor's degree students is morally reprehensible. Does that mean I think like that because I'm who I am by blood?! I'm not practicing. Nor are my parents nor theirs nor theirs nor theirs.
 

packrat

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the whole thing reminds me of an episode of Will & Grace. They each had a candidate for city council-Will wanted Grace to vote for his choice b/c the guy was gay. Grace wanted Will to vote for her choice b/c her choice was a woman. For no other reason than those. They had a "party" for their candidates and lo and behold, the man's first words were "I support putting a system in place for our homeless. Give them a shower. Give them a hot meal..and then get them on a bus and get them the hell out of our city" and Will went GOH! Grace said "Now let's hear from a "real" candidate"..and HER choice said "Let me start by saying how wonderful it is to see so many white faces tonight" And Grace went GOH! Neither one of them voted--and then Jack came in and asked if they had. They said no. He said "I dunno, I just voted for the black guy" and Will & Grace looked at each other "There's a black guy running??!" and took off out the door to vote.

I won't vote for anyone based on something superficial like that. I don't care if there's a heavily tattooed rocker guy who likes tortoiseshell cats and pitbulls. If he's a f*cking douche canoe, he's a f*cking douche canoe. Voting based solely on superficial things, to me, says You can do this better than the others b/c you're black. B/c you're gay. B/c you're a woman. B/c you're Jewish. b/c you're a man. B/c you're white. B/c you're Christian. B/c you're Muslim. B/c you're R or D. I could honestly not care one iota LESS about that shit and I find it insulting that people would base a decision on who should run a COUNTRY on the color of their skin or their religion or their sexuality or their sex or their political party.

This woman makes a mean martini. She should run our country. Jesus jumped up Christ no wonder our country is falling apart. We base HUGE and utterly MONUMENTAL decisions on the fact that this yahoo on the next block has the biggest rubberband ball in the f*cking county.
 

the_mother_thing

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Packrat - I would kiss you if you were such a potty mouth. :lol:
 

packrat

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Sorry! I'm spicy of the language. I feel it lends itself to a more accurate portrayal of my frustration and disgust. :saint:
 

Dancing Fire

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My guy threw in the towel tonight. Rubio never had a chance... :(sad. His family path to America reminds me a lot of our family.
 

AGBF

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missy

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packrat|1458098189|4005960 said:
Sorry! I'm spicy of the language. I feel it lends itself to a more accurate portrayal of my frustration and disgust. :saint:
I think you summed it up perfectly. Language and all.
 

missy

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AGBF|1458115759|4006004 said:
missy|1457961434|4005017 said:
I read an interesting article in the WSJ today. How do you determine who gets your vote? What are your main criteria? Do you vote your mind or your ethnicity or somewhere in between?

http://www.wsj.com/articles/the-political-stupidity-of-the-jews-revisited-1457906933
I just opened this thread for the first time, missy. I didn't know you had an article attached. I already read it because my husband e-mailed it to me! How funny!

Deb :wavey:

Deb,
Ha, same for me. :bigsmile:
 

smitcompton

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Hi,

I was thinking of you last night Missy as I watched Ted Cruz give his victory speech?? One of the first promises he made was to continue his unwavering support of Israel when he is Pres.

Donald Trump has said he is neutral on Israel. He was asked publically.

Hillary Clinton does support Israel, but with the proviso that the Palestinians be part of a peace process and compromises must be made.(West Bank).

Posters may think its silly to vote by some characteristic or other, but people do, as we have a black bloc, an Hispanic bloc, the Womens vote ect ect. Candidates pander to these groups and they are successful.

I vote for a candidate- not party or a single issue.


Annette
 

the_mother_thing

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Dancing Fire|1458108662|4005992 said:
My guy threw in the towel tonight. Rubio never had a chance... :(sad. His family path to America reminds me a lot of our family.
(hugs) Rubio did have an aspiring story that many in this country could/should be able to grasp, appreciate & respect. I think - especially in FL - too many people just thought he was still a little too young/inexperienced for the job, given his brief time in Senate.

And honestly, after Obama, any 'junior senator' considering a WH run kind of gives me the heebie-jeebies. :errrr: :lol:
 

Dancing Fire

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JoCoJenn|1458148446|4006168 said:
Dancing Fire|1458108662|4005992 said:
My guy threw in the towel tonight. Rubio never had a chance... :(sad. His family path to America reminds me a lot of our family.
(hugs) Rubio did have an aspiring story that many in this country could/should be able to grasp, appreciate & respect. I think - especially in FL - too many people just thought he was still a little too young/inexperienced for the job, given his brief time in Senate.

And honestly, after Obama, any 'junior senator' considering a WH run kind of gives me the heebie-jeebies. :errrr: :lol:
That could be true, but he is young and he will make another run for the WH in the future.
 

the_mother_thing

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Dancing Fire|1458152329|4006196 said:
That could be true, but he is young and he will make another run for the WH in the future.
Agreed; I definitely don't think we've heard the last out of Rubio.
 
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