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It's a stereotype but one that happens to be true - Jews in America disproportionately support the Democratic party. In 2008, despite concerns about whether the huge bloc of elderly Jewish voters in Florida would vote for an African American candidate (see Sarah Silverman's hilarious Great Schlep video), Barack Obama won 75% of the Jewish vote.

Jews represent a mere 2% of the US population. Consequently, of the 535 members of Congress, it would be reasonable to expect roughly 10 Jewish congresspeople. Amazingly, there are 44 Jewish members of Congress (13 Senators and 31 Representatives). Anyone care to guess how many of those 44 members are Republican? Rep. Eric Cantor (R-VA) is the sole attendee at the annual Republican Hanukkah party.

But why are Jews so overwhelmingly blue? Why isn't the Jewish population split as evenly as the rest of our deeply divided nation? My theory is education.

As an ethnic group, Jews are  one of the best educated in America. Educated people ask hard questions and see through simple explanations. Educated people realize that we are all connected - we all succeed when everyone succeeds. Educated people are more inclined to cast their votes on the basis of substance and policy, rather than personality and charm. Educated people realize that our government can be a force for positive change in our lives.

In short, education is the Republican Party's worst enemy because it's hard to trick educated people into voting against their self-interest. That's why I think so many Jews are Democrats.

While we're on the subject of Jewish demographics, everyone knows that New York has the largest Jewish population in the US (as a percentage of total population) but can you guess which five US states have the next highest percentages?

Answer:

  1. New Jersey (5.5%)
  2. Massachusetts (4.3%)
  3. Maryland (4.2%)
  4. Florida (3.7%)
  5. California (3.3%)

Originally posted to Thunder Road on Sun Nov 29, 2009 at 04:06 PM PST.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Also because the Talmud (19+ / 0-)

    teaches morals and good values

    A Contributing Writer for the Northwest Progressive Institute http://www.nwprogressive.org/weblog/

    by danmitch on Sun Nov 29, 2009 at 04:10:26 PM PST

  •  This Jew is a yellow dog Democrat. (29+ / 0-)

    It's easy to be a Democrat when your grandparents abandoned Poland and Austria due to the rise of fascism.

    What party most behaves like the kind of people who were persecuting my grandparents?

    It's the fascism, stupid!

    by lastman on Sun Nov 29, 2009 at 04:14:04 PM PST

  •  Not education. (22+ / 0-)

    The most reliable Democratic voters by how much education they have received are both those with multiple college degrees, and those who haven't even finished high school.  Those who have some college or a bachelor's degree, aside from when Obama was on the ballot, are generally a bit more likely to vote Republican.

    I think it is the trait of Jews to be very community oriented, as opposed to individualistic, and in this they have much in common with Catholics, who were also traditionally a Democratic bloc, much more so than Protestants, who tend to be more individualistic.

    But being Jewish, I know the answer to such questions is usually more along the lines of "Who knows such things?"

    "Intolerance is something which belongs to the religions we have rejected." - J.J. Rousseau

    by James Allen on Sun Nov 29, 2009 at 04:16:14 PM PST

  •  I think if I were Jewish the Republicans (12+ / 0-)

    reliance on the Religious Right would be hard to stomach.

    Also, those Nazi signs would probably not help.

    The Republican Party, courting the female vote for 2010 by clubbing us over the head and dragging us back to the polling place.

    by truesteam on Sun Nov 29, 2009 at 04:18:11 PM PST

  •  Long history here, no real answers (14+ / 0-)

    This comes up from time to time in a Jewish Lit class I've taken. I'm Jewish, personally. I actually don't have a good answer... although Jews have historically (over the past 100+ years) been the first to champion for civil rights for many...

    I've often said the entire 1960's radical hippie movement was comprised of Jews.

    Maybe the early connections with Socialism in Russia? Around the turn of the Century. There was a complex relationship between Jews, who were very pro-Communism but painted as enemies of the state, since the regime was quickly shifting, who then resettled in the U.S. and often maintained a semi-Socialist vision of politics. Socialism is a natural ally to the Democratic Party, so maybe that's the connection.

    Great diary!

    "Dawn-sniffing revenant / Plodder through midnight rain / Question me again." - Seamus Heaney

    by mahakali overdrive on Sun Nov 29, 2009 at 04:18:11 PM PST

    •  That's the likely culprit for my family (4+ / 0-)

      We're from Lithuanian and Ukrainian lines.  My grandmother was only the second in her family, after her sister, to marry a gentile, both marrying Scottish labor activists who were Communist Party members.

      "Intolerance is something which belongs to the religions we have rejected." - J.J. Rousseau

      by James Allen on Sun Nov 29, 2009 at 04:25:42 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  The connection between Jews and Communists (4+ / 0-)

        was due to the fact that the Czars are as antisemitic as you could get. Most American Jews came from Russia between 1880 and 1915.

        •  That is not the entire picture (7+ / 0-)

          Equally, Russian Jewish were anti-Czarist, and with excellent reason. The quickly shifting political landscape in Russia, and by extension, Eastern Europe, in and beyond the Pale, caused many Jews to ally, and then realign themselves with differing political parties rapidly.

          A good example of this would be Issac Babel.

          But in the end, generally many Jews were denigrated as Capitalists, even though the extent of their "Capitalism" was largely confined to certain cultural contributions and select regions of a Western European bourgeousie/borderline aristocracy (until, say, the Dreyfus Affair).

          As a backlash against an unwarranted "smear" of Capitalism, many came to America seeking an American Dream, perhaps away from Socialism or Communism, but still anti-Capitalistic. Many were confined then to exploitational labor situations in large urban centers where community was vital to their survival. The focus on education was a critical component to climbing upwards.

          The Democratic Party filled the gap between anti-Capitalist and pro-Socialist well.

          But it cannot be underestimated that some of the Civil Rights components came from the pogroms, and then the Holocaust.

          "Dawn-sniffing revenant / Plodder through midnight rain / Question me again." - Seamus Heaney

          by mahakali overdrive on Sun Nov 29, 2009 at 06:13:08 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  The Jewish association with capitalism, especiall (4+ / 0-)

            investment banking, stems largely from the wave of "German" Jews in the early to mid 19th century, from which many of the titans of finance sprung, and the Sephardic and those who came by way of Holland earlier, who were generally merchants and shopkeepers.  The more socialistically inclined Eastern European Jews came later, were poorer, and in much greater number.  They had worked in factories in Eastern Europe, many of them, and socialism was an industrial ideology.  Many of them were the organizers of socialist party organizations, many of them brought their organizational skills to America when they came here, and organized socialists and Zionism also grew out of this socialistic group, being itself a secular, socialist, nationalist movement.

            "Intolerance is something which belongs to the religions we have rejected." - J.J. Rousseau

            by James Allen on Sun Nov 29, 2009 at 07:13:04 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  That's interesting (3+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              hikerbiker, Gatordiet, James Allen

              I know little about the German-Jewish diaspora specifically, but much about the long-standing "use" of Jews as bankers (dating back to the Middle Ages) by Christians, to avoid Christian usury laws. 'The Merchant of Venice' is a good example of this. The further, historical and geography-specific information you provide makes a great deal of sense in light of this long tradition.

              I'm currently working (academically) through French-Jewish and Russian-Jewish diaspora, and find each maligned as Capitalist for even differing reasons.

              With so many allegations of being varying flavors of Capitalistic, it's really easy to see the strata of Jews more fully.

              Do you know, offhand, if the German and other merchant classes of Jews who came to the US tend to be the current Republican aligned Orthodox Jews?

              I'm just speculating, because it would make sense if that were the case.

              "Dawn-sniffing revenant / Plodder through midnight rain / Question me again." - Seamus Heaney

              by mahakali overdrive on Sun Nov 29, 2009 at 07:44:24 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  I don't know, but don't think so. (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                mahakali overdrive, hikerbiker

                I think most are probably secular Jews.  I have some writings about them somewhere which I'll have to dig up and refer to you later.  It describes how many of the individuals like Lehman and Sachs and such made their fortunes (usually dependent on Jewish communities assisting their efforts), often starting as traveling salesmen or shopkeepers.  I'm not as familiar with how the last few generations of their families have turned out.

                I think that many of the more right-wing Jews probably came later, like the Hasidim, but perhaps some of the earlier Sephardim and German Jews have become more integrated than the Eastern European Jews, and this has made them drift rightward, as has happened with Irish and Italians.

                I do know that Julius Meier, of a prominent Jewish family in Oregon who owned a major chain of stores here, was elected governor in 1930 on a progressive platform (he wasn't elected on either major party ticket, either).  Wealthy Jews are not necessarily conservative ones.

                "Intolerance is something which belongs to the religions we have rejected." - J.J. Rousseau

                by James Allen on Sun Nov 29, 2009 at 08:01:30 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

  •  More than anything it is the ideas espoused in (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    pHunbalanced, mayim, VirginiaJeff

    the Talmud.  The phrase commonly associated with it is "tikkun olam", or repairing the world.  The Talmud is very clear in the way it describes the responsibilities associated with being the "Chosen People" of the Almighty.  We're taught from a very young age that we have a responsibility to the world to fix what is wrong, clothe the naked, care for the infirm, and protect the weak.

    You do come across those members of the Tribe, however, who find more comfort in money and material wealth than they do in actually upholding their divine bargain.  There is nothing unacceptable about providing comfort and security for your own offspring and family, but if you have the means you are expected to contribute to the betterment of the whole.

    Cantor can hardly call himself a Jew.  I imagine those in his congregation do not look upon him very positively, and I would be interested to see what the percentage of voters supporting him in the previous election were Jews.

    •  that's a complicated issue (5+ / 0-)

      the neighborhood Cantor grew up in was very Jewish but very wealthy. I'm not Jewish but I grew up nearby and was actually friends with his cousin for a time. There were very few people who were observant as I knew it at the time and I know his cousin's family wasn't particularly religious, although I believe his family was more so.

      Cantor grew up across the street from what is now one of the biggest Christianist churches in the area, the West End Assemblies of God. They have a new building practically next door, which is huge. Their old building, if I'm correct, now houses Temple Beth-El, which I would guess is a reformed congregation. The irony just drips off of that one...

      The area is very conservative independently of faith - or perhaps because of it. I understand he still lives in that area. I would actually not be surprised to learn that most of those in his congregation probably do look upon him positively.

      Diversity may be the hardest thing for a society to live with, and perhaps the most dangerous thing for a society to be without - W S Coffin

      by stitchmd on Sun Nov 29, 2009 at 04:38:15 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  I must correct myself (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        mayim, VirginiaJeff

        it's a different congregation and a conservative one but still in the old Assemblies building.

        That did not exist there when we were growing up, however.

        Diversity may be the hardest thing for a society to live with, and perhaps the most dangerous thing for a society to be without - W S Coffin

        by stitchmd on Sun Nov 29, 2009 at 04:55:26 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Hey stitchmd! It's funny running into someone (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          stitchmd, mayim

          online who knows the westend so well!  I live in Chesterfield near where it meets Richmond and Henrico.

          Some friends go to West End Assembly of God, and in many respects they are wonderful people.  That is, until the conversation turns to anything to do with Democrats.  (They think I'm a strange curiosity!)

          Political liberal / Bible believing Christian / Lousy at litmus tests

          by VirginiaJeff on Sun Nov 29, 2009 at 05:18:28 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Just was there Thursday (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            mayim, VirginiaJeff

            I can't say I'm intimately familiar with it any more, but my parents still live there as does my sister.

            Seriously, when I had a paper route waaayyy back when, I delivered the News Leader to Eric Cantor's parents. That in and of itself says a lot, I guess. He was a year ahead of me at, um, Collegiate. If I had to guess, I'd say that had far more to do with his political views than his faith did.

            So why not me? Well, I don't live there any more, do I? =)

            Diversity may be the hardest thing for a society to live with, and perhaps the most dangerous thing for a society to be without - W S Coffin

            by stitchmd on Sun Nov 29, 2009 at 05:37:55 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

      •  Cantor cousins (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        volleyboy1

        I can't resist asking...Do you know if Paul and Neil are Eric's cousins?  I've wondered about my old youth group buddies from Richmond.

        Consider adopting a homeless pet at PAWS.org (Progressive Animal Welfare Society)

        by hikerbiker on Sun Nov 29, 2009 at 09:35:32 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  well (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          hikerbiker, volleyboy1

          Neil is Eric's cousin and brother to the person I mentioned; Paul is Eric's brother.

          Diversity may be the hardest thing for a society to live with, and perhaps the most dangerous thing for a society to be without - W S Coffin

          by stitchmd on Mon Nov 30, 2009 at 03:32:24 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  very interesting.... (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            stitchmd, volleyboy1

            I had some fun times with those guys when we were teenagers.  

            Consider adopting a homeless pet at PAWS.org (Progressive Animal Welfare Society)

            by hikerbiker on Mon Nov 30, 2009 at 07:31:50 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  really? (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              hikerbiker

              are you a west ender yourself? Mind if I ask where you went to school? I bet we have a number of people in common, you are probably more in the cohort with my sister.

              Wow, the people you meet online...

              Diversity may be the hardest thing for a society to live with, and perhaps the most dangerous thing for a society to be without - W S Coffin

              by stitchmd on Mon Nov 30, 2009 at 05:55:52 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  not from Richmond (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                stitchmd

                Grew up in DC...trying to maintain just a bit of anonymity here, but I can say we were friendly in USY and ran against each other in an election in 1983 (I won!  woo-hoo!).  Somehow I doubt they are on this blog, but you never know.

                :)

                Consider adopting a homeless pet at PAWS.org (Progressive Animal Welfare Society)

                by hikerbiker on Mon Nov 30, 2009 at 07:09:36 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

  •  Rather oversimplified (7+ / 0-)

    Jews have a long history in the Democratic Party in this country, and in the broad struggle for justice across many issues.  Additionally, like many minority groups they have known bias and restrictions on their freedom, and so they have largely sided with the left against such prejudices (like most minority groups).  One could go on to ponder how most Jews in this country came from urban backgrounds and lived in cities, and urban areas tend to be more Democratic.

    Of course, in spite of all of this, there are folks at DailyKos who repeatedly promise to lead American Jews out of their Babylonian Captivity with the Democratic Party and into the Promised Land of Republicanism.  Such prophecies have been made for decades, and have always failed to materialize, but that doesn't stop the prophets from repeating them.  

  •  Wouldn't have guessed Maryland. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    blueyedace2
  •  you can't ride two horses (6+ / 0-)

    with one rear end.

    I don't know if that helps, I just like it.

    if we can't accept change, things will never be the same again

    by le sequoit on Sun Nov 29, 2009 at 04:24:18 PM PST

  •  Throughout the Diaspora (8+ / 0-)

    the thing that has made the difference in Jewish survival has been the fact that the manhood ritual for a Jewish boy has been reading to the congregation. In a world in which the majority were illiterate and innumerate all Jews could read and write and do their sums. It still makes a difference and is the basis for their reverence for education.

    "If I pay a man enough money to buy my car, he'll buy my car." Henry Ford

    by johnmorris on Sun Nov 29, 2009 at 04:25:32 PM PST

    •  That's an interesting and fundamental point. (0+ / 0-)

      A related issue is why the Jews tend, on average, to be so much smarter than Gentiles in Gentile countries.

      It has been suggested that a fundamental difference was that in the Christian world, for many centuries, the brightest tended to become priests and did not reproduce, while for the Jews the brightest became the rabbis and were encouraged to have the largest families.  Multiply that over 1500 years or more, and you get a big difference!

      My own belief is that Jews, on average, have about 20 IQ points on everybody else (although of course there are some dumb Jews), and as a bright Catholic, throughout my life something like 75 percent of my closest friends have been Jewish.

      I'm grateful to have grown up in circumstances where I've gotten to be friends with so many Jews. I've been to synagogue. I've been to bar mitzvahs. I've been honored to be asked to sit shiva.

      I'd convert in a minute, if I didn't already have a strong faith.

      •  Not smarter, more literate (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        stitchmd, volleyboy1

        Just saying

        •  No, I disagree strongly. (0+ / 0-)

          And I don't think you have any genuine authority for your position here.

          •  Y'know, you come across as a fool putting forth (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            AaronInSanDiego, wu ming

            silly racial stereotypes. To what end, I don't care

            A group of real  assholes tried to exterminate Jews not long ago using such 'essentialist' notions about Jews and themselves. That their stereotupes about  Jews were bad and yours are good are irrelevant to the pernicious nature of essentialist mindset.

            So whether you are serious or just joking, I don't care.  Either way, its bad.

            •  You come across as a fool to react this way. (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              mahakali overdrive

              To compare me to Nazis is reprehensible!

              You are saying that a gread admiration of Jews is equivalent to a great hatred of Jews. That's crazy!

              And what the fuck do you mean by "essentialist"?  I'm certainly not supporting any such bullshit.

              •  "essentialist" means in-born (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                volleyboy1

                You said Jews had higher IQ's, which I think struck a nerve, as flattering as it is, the only thing I could find wrong about it was the implication that many Jews -- who have a fairly strong tradition of NOT being literate in some places of the world -- are therefore less bright? Maybe to some this means their ancestors or cousins, etc...

                I'm just guessing here. I thought it was a nice thing to say, more or less, and understood what you said as an earnest compliment.

                "Dawn-sniffing revenant / Plodder through midnight rain / Question me again." - Seamus Heaney

                by mahakali overdrive on Sun Nov 29, 2009 at 09:28:05 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  I probably should never discuss this sore topic. (2+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  mahakali overdrive, canadian gal

                  I actually divorced a brilliant ex-wife who persisted in claiming that my great love of Jews meant that I was somehow basically anti-Semitic! My head is still exploding 25 years later. This is not a SIDE issue for me, this is a CORE issue, since it really is true that about 75 percent of my friends are and always have been Jewish.

                  •  How strange that must have been... (2+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    Timaeus, canadian gal

                    She must have implied some level of fetishism rather than real love, which is obviously something you object to.

                    For what it is worth, as a Jew-who-was-raised-Hindu, I have a strong admiration for Catholicism and find much rapture in that tradition myself. I find the Catholic Church works in ways that I don't always agree with, but that overall, I like some of the ideas... even more particularly than other forms of Christianity.

                    So maybe I understand how frustrating that must have been.

                    Peace to you. Don't let it bother you, IMHO. Embracing the world's many religions and peoples is obviously culturally enriching and should be less of a raw nerve than it is.

                    "Dawn-sniffing revenant / Plodder through midnight rain / Question me again." - Seamus Heaney

                    by mahakali overdrive on Sun Nov 29, 2009 at 09:40:06 PM PST

                    [ Parent ]

                •  More to the point (0+ / 0-)

                  He used genetic/selection arguments.

                  Half-baked  notions about inherited traits based on fanciful theories is dangerous stuff.

                  Timeus is a fool.

              •  Stereotypes are bs (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Plubius, hikerbiker

                positive stereotypes can be as dangerous as negative stereotypes.

                Economic Left/Right: -4.00 Social Libertarian/Authoritarian: -6.82

                Your argument is not Scottish.

                by AaronInSanDiego on Sun Nov 29, 2009 at 11:47:52 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

          •  It's self-selection, Hortense (0+ / 0-)

            Sub-populations doing well here have selected themselves for initiative and resourcefulness simply by wanting to get here and actually getting here, and their offspring would certainly out-perform their cousins in their home country.

            Their real God is money-- Jesus just drives the armored car, and his hat is made in China. © 2009 All Rights Reserved

            by oblomov on Sun Nov 29, 2009 at 07:01:51 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  That may make sense with some populations, (0+ / 0-)

              but it's nonsense with respect to American Jews.

              For one thing, the American Jews are the largest group of Jews in the world, by far.  They're not the elite travelers from some larger group. They ARE the larger group.

              •  They were immigrants from a main body in Europe (0+ / 0-)

                and they displayed the same traits that many immigrants did and do-- initiative, snarts, etc.  They have since multiplied in a favorable environment, while most of the main body in Europe was wiped out by Hitler.

                The fact that they may be the largest group NOW is not of any importance whatsoever to my argument.  

                And "largest by far?"  No.  The number of Jews in the US is roughly the same (about 5-6 million) as the number of Jews in Israel.  And that's a certified fact.

                Their real God is money-- Jesus just drives the armored car, and his hat is made in China. © 2009 All Rights Reserved

                by oblomov on Mon Nov 30, 2009 at 02:26:37 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  FWIW, on further thought, I think you're (0+ / 0-)

                  correct on this point.

                •  When Nyborg actually (0+ / 0-)

                  compared religion and intelligence across Europe and North America, later doing a more in depth study in the US with Lynn, they found that Atheists had IQ's about 6% higher than all religious groups, about 2% higher than agnostics and 4% higher than liberals. Of a world wide study of 137 countries only 23 had more than 20% self identified atheists and they were virtually all of the highest IQ countries. "When you believe in things that you don't understand, then you suffer, superstition ain't the way"

                  "If I pay a man enough money to buy my car, he'll buy my car." Henry Ford

                  by johnmorris on Wed Dec 02, 2009 at 04:54:22 PM PST

                  [ Parent ]

      •  Timaeus (3+ / 0-)

        While I appreciate this comment:

        My own belief is that Jews, on average, have about 20 IQ points on everybody else (although of course there are some dumb Jews), and as a bright Catholic, throughout my life something like 75 percent of my closest friends have been Jewish

        and I know you mean well - Please, I think you are wrong on this. People are the same the world over they are genetically almost identical. We are no smarter than anyone else - it is a cultural thing around education and for years that is the only thing that we were allowed.

        People are people and we are not smarter.

        Some times you get shown the light in the strangest of places if you look at it right.

        by volleyboy1 on Sun Nov 29, 2009 at 08:38:26 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  I've been in the world for more than 50 years. (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          mahakali overdrive

          I've been well educated and I'm rather well traveled and I have a profession that puts me into contact every week with people from all around the world.

          I stand on what I say.

          This is not the best place for this discussion, so I'll stop for now.

          •  OK no prob. But I am Jewish (4+ / 0-)

            AND I just don't think there is any difference.

            But I think you mean well so I will let the topic die.

            Some times you get shown the light in the strangest of places if you look at it right.

            by volleyboy1 on Sun Nov 29, 2009 at 09:29:07 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

          •  Ah, I see some anxiety (as a Jew myself) (4+ / 0-)

            who had family die in the Holocaust, flaring up about being singled out for our "differences" that are "genetic" (an inborn difference in IQ, even though totally flattering, could mean that inborn differences exist... I took what you said about Jews having high IQ's to be a cultural condition of Jewishness, since we tend to culturally support education: much like East Indians or many Asians).

            That anxiety may have resulted in a backlash to your well-meaning compliment.

            I'm going to take it as a compliment, FWIW.

            "Dawn-sniffing revenant / Plodder through midnight rain / Question me again." - Seamus Heaney

            by mahakali overdrive on Sun Nov 29, 2009 at 09:31:01 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  Thank you very much. (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              mahakali overdrive, canadian gal

              I think this is exactly correct.

              By the way, I think I posted somewhere tonight in this thread that someone--I think it was Arthur Koestler, a great Jewish writer--speculated that Jews got an advantage on IQ over the Christians over a period of 1500 years or more when the rabbis were the most intelligent community members, and they were encouraged to have the most children, while the most intelligent Christian children often went into celibate religious orders.  I don't know if that is scientifically accurate, but I always thought it was an interesting idea.

              I really do think the average Jewish American has 20 IQ points on the average non-Jewish American, and it's really one of the most remarkable facts of our era. (And when I say 20, I'm trying to be accurate.)

              I genuinely understand your concern. For what it's worth, I'd give my life to protect Jews from another persecution.

            •  This whole sub-thread reminds me of an experience (3+ / 0-)

              my mother had, many years ago.  She and my dad were at a professional dinner.  During the meal, the wife of another member of the medical organization and my mom were discussing their children.  When my mom said that my brother was taking violin lessons, the other woman said to my mother, "You people are always such outstanding musicians".  

              My mother was shocked to hear the words "you people", to be identified and singled out as Jewish, when ethnic and religious identity was completely irrelevant to the situation and conversation.  She has repeated this story to me on numerous occasions.

              It seems that Timaeus cannot understand that a compliment can make one's hair stand on end when being singled out has more often than not led to tragedy for Jews.

              Consider adopting a homeless pet at PAWS.org (Progressive Animal Welfare Society)

              by hikerbiker on Sun Nov 29, 2009 at 09:49:47 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  No, I understand. (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                hikerbiker

                I just think my comments are far removed from that example.  But I really do get your last point.

                Incidentally, I think part of my attitudes in this area are strongly influenced by my oldest friend, a Jewish guy I've been best friends with for more than 50 years (since we were in kindergarten).  He's always interested in knowing who is Jewish, and he often remarks on it.  For example, not long ago during a dinner partner he surprised me by mentioning that Wolf Blitzer is Jewish.  I've been watching Blitzer for many years, and it never crossed my mind that he was Jewish.  Probably because he doesn't seem very bright.  

                My friend would probably get criticized quite a bit if he brought that regular curiosity to this place, although for what it's worth he's as sincere and mensch-like as one can find.

                •  It's called Jewdar (0+ / 0-)

                  kinda like Gaydar.  

                  But that's not the same thing as having others single you out or classify you.  It's about people in a minority group seeking out others from that same group.

                  Consider adopting a homeless pet at PAWS.org (Progressive Animal Welfare Society)

                  by hikerbiker on Mon Nov 30, 2009 at 09:25:26 PM PST

                  [ Parent ]

  •  Well, there's also sorta the fact (6+ / 0-)

    that the Republican party's leaders think the End Times are coming and Jews will be "flocking" back to Israel for either conversion or mass death.

    And that's always been the case, because the Republican party is fucking crazy and that's what their voter base believes.

  •  maybe because the supposed support (6+ / 0-)

    of the state of Israel given by the right wing freaks comes on one condition:  That when Jesus Christ returns after the battle of Armageddon, that all Jews either bend their knee worship him or be doomed to burn in hell.

    I am the neo-con nightmare, I am a liberal with the facts.

    by bhfrik on Sun Nov 29, 2009 at 04:26:35 PM PST

  •  Combination of (5+ / 0-)

    education, secularism, smarts, a history of discrimination, and compassion, among other reasons.  Essentially, Jews tend to be liberal, and the Democratic Party is the more liberal party.

  •  Interesting diary. The education component seems (7+ / 0-)

    like a good point. Many Jewish people I've known through my life have been staunch supporters of LGBT rights. I know there are more Conservative Orthodox Jewish individuals who oppose as well. But it seems like, overall, this is a group of people who strongly supports civil rights. For that, I am very grateful. :-)

    "The greatest thing you'll ever do is learn to love and be loved in return"

    by Liberalindependent28 on Sun Nov 29, 2009 at 04:30:13 PM PST

    •  That is true also.. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      mayim, Liberalindependent28

      If you see my comments, I thought it was due to both the Christian Rights exclusive/intolerant version of christian faith and due to Judiasm's focus on leading a good life, thus support for Democratic programs...

      But yes having been a religious minority and gone through Nazi Germany and other oppression like in Soviet Union are factors too..

      "We have always known that heedless self-interest was bad morals, now we know that it is bad economics." Franklin Delano Roosevelt, Jan. 20, 1937

      by joedemocrat on Sun Nov 29, 2009 at 05:13:49 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  In my opinion being a marginalized minority (6+ / 0-)

        group can make you more sensitive to the notion of solidarity and the responsibility to look out for other groups that have been mistreated too. I know that being a Gay man has definitely made me feel the need to defend and show solidarity with the LGBT community. When your life and well-being is under assault by the government and at times in your daily life you need to stick together. Even though the persecution might be for different reasons there is a shared understanding across marginalized minority groups that can sometimes create mutual and reinforcing support in the face of bigotry and discrimination.

        And remember...Gays and Lesbians died along side Jewish people for who they were in the Holocaust as well.

        "The greatest thing you'll ever do is learn to love and be loved in return"

        by Liberalindependent28 on Sun Nov 29, 2009 at 05:23:59 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  I understand.. (4+ / 0-)

          I think once you know struggle, it gives you more compassion for other people.

          I became sympathetic with gay rights in the early 1990s. Prior to that, I'd never known anyone who was openly gay/lesbian. I got very depressed and unable to work and needed a 3-4 month leave. The workplace didn't understand and was really cruel  to me. There were a few employees who understood  and sided with me. I didn't know it at the time,  but these employees were gay/lesbian and in the closet. They were starting a work newsletter and wrote under anonymous names about what it was like to never be able to talk about private life and to have to listen to crude jokes deemed acceptable.

          Those were the first openly gay/lesbian people I knew. They showed me understanding, so I decided
          to show them and I began writing articles for the newsletter about mental health. Also, I was going  to a conservative church at the time and began to bring copies of the newsletter to church to show people these are nice people with a struggle and who are being wronged by being rejected. I wound   up leaving the church and was unchurched 15 years until I went to a UCC church that is very liberal

          "We have always known that heedless self-interest was bad morals, now we know that it is bad economics." Franklin Delano Roosevelt, Jan. 20, 1937

          by joedemocrat on Sun Nov 29, 2009 at 05:30:07 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  It's amazing what a tiny bit of empathy can (4+ / 0-)

            accomplish in helping the world to be a more peaceful and loving place. If only people could celebrate our differences rather then letting it cause hatred and division. Empathy leads to being united and understanding which is the complete opposite of what many on the religious right are trying to achieve. They do not want to respect differences and celebrate them through empathy. They can only hear the angry sermons against the evils of homosexuality and allow hateful prejudice to envelop their being, and it's so sad.

            Some of the most wonderful people I've met through out my life have been Jewish. Many of them have in fact been Liberal, and that's probably why we got along so well. You build trust and understanding by knowing what it is like to be mistreated simply for who you are. This has been going on since human beings started moving round this planet. Hopefully we will be able to move society further towards equality, respect, and peace both through the law and socially.

            "The greatest thing you'll ever do is learn to love and be loved in return"

            by Liberalindependent28 on Sun Nov 29, 2009 at 05:38:01 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  That's right..empathy/kindness go long way.. (3+ / 0-)

              In 1990, I had no strong feelings one way or the other about gay rights. The issue wasn't real to    me because I'd never known anyone who was gay..

              Then came those people who showed me understanding because they knew what it was like to be rejected..
              That changed everything. These were now real people
              who had feelings. It hurt to be rejected..

              I began reading about the Bible and homosexuality
              knowing there had to be another view. There wasn't much written. But I've learned there is definately another view. To be homosexual is no different than to be left handed.

              My church is a welcoming church. We accept everyone
              regardless of sexual orientation, socioeconomic status, race, and so on. There is a sign up that says so. This didn't scare people away. It has helped us grow because there are a lot of people who are gay/lesbian or have gay/lesbian family members who don't want to deal with rejection & they come to churches that have specific welcome statements. I  will never go to a church that is not welcoming again.

              "We have always known that heedless self-interest was bad morals, now we know that it is bad economics." Franklin Delano Roosevelt, Jan. 20, 1937

              by joedemocrat on Sun Nov 29, 2009 at 05:47:11 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  Religion and personal background is very (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                joedemocrat, Bronx59

                meaningful to many if not most people. My family is Italian Catholic, but I have since become a 'fallen Catholic' for lack of a better term lol. I was raised with that faith, but left it once I entered high school. Now, all these years later, I consider myself an unaffiliated Agnostic. Religion to me should always be about spirituality and your personal relationship to what you believe in.

                The UCC is actually where the President used to attend Church here in Chicago. I'm glad to hear you have found refuge in a more Liberal church where you are free to practice your faith and not be judged because you have different politics. Frankly, I think politics and religion should be separate anyway because you are there for the God you believe in, and not about abortion or Gays. This is ultimately what I find troubling about organized religion. Due to the manner so many religions have mistreated and argued for discrimination against my people I'm probably slightly biased...

                "The greatest thing you'll ever do is learn to love and be loved in return"

                by Liberalindependent28 on Sun Nov 29, 2009 at 05:55:43 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  In history.. (2+ / 0-)

                  The church establishment has persecuted many, many people. That's usually somebody is asks questions or is in some way different..anyone a threat.

                  Anyway, there are times I've thought about doing a diary on my journey, how I was in a conservative church, what happened, why I left, and how I did join the UCC, and what I've learned about why the Bible isn't against gays or lesbians. I just don't want to create any controversy. It would be a well meaning diary.

                  "We have always known that heedless self-interest was bad morals, now we know that it is bad economics." Franklin Delano Roosevelt, Jan. 20, 1937

                  by joedemocrat on Sun Nov 29, 2009 at 06:15:11 PM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  Absolutely. The first state to have Marriage (2+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    joedemocrat, mahakali overdrive

                    Equality in this country (Massachusetts) used to burn people at the stake for allegations of 'Witch craft'. Persecution and the mistreatment of people with religion as the justification is nothing new. It's also in some cases been a power structure meant to devalue women through patriarchy with it's social contract created by religion. At the same time there is also liberation theology which is more leftist in nature and views God as a brother with equality as message. So, we can't paint anyone with a broad brush.

                    You really should write a diary about your religious experiences. You'll probably get a lot of interesting comments of people sharing similar experiences you can connect with. Everyone Jewish, Gay, Black, Latino, Christian, Atheist, and so on deserve peace, respect, and equality. Without freedom and equality being mutually complimentary characteristics that values humanity coequally there is only strife. And that is exemplified by the history of vast civilizations who used differences to divide and persecute.

                    "The greatest thing you'll ever do is learn to love and be loved in return"

                    by Liberalindependent28 on Sun Nov 29, 2009 at 06:22:29 PM PST

                    [ Parent ]

                •  UCC also accepts Judaism as a legit (3+ / 0-)

                  religion, as does the United Methodist Church. For me as a Jew that is a big deal.

                  I do wish the UCC wouldn't entertain so much Israel-bashing, though.

                  All my IP addresses have been banned from Redstate.com.

                  by charliehall on Sun Nov 29, 2009 at 09:01:24 PM PST

                  [ Parent ]

    •  A distinction is made (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Liberalindependent28

      between same sex marriage and every other GLBT rights. The Orthodox position is opposition to the former but not really any problem with anything else -- even civil unions.

      All my IP addresses have been banned from Redstate.com.

      by charliehall on Sun Nov 29, 2009 at 09:11:25 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Thank you for this information. However, (0+ / 0-)

        Marriage Equality is apart of those civil rights issues along with anti-discrimination notions (workplace, housing, public accommadation). Many people of all backgrounds refuse to respect that, and that's where activism from the LGBT community in illuminating these issues/what they mean derives from. Civil marriage truly is a civil right denied to Gay and Lesbian couples on the basis of our sexual orientation. It's ironically 'straight up' discrimination.

        "The greatest thing you'll ever do is learn to love and be loved in return"

        by Liberalindependent28 on Mon Nov 30, 2009 at 06:00:56 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  My guess (8+ / 0-)

    I'd say American Jews tend to vote Democratic because Jews have been an important part of reform movements in the United States, and most of those in the past 70 years or so have been connected to the Democratic Party.  Furthermore, as another commenter mentioned, the Democrats have been traditionally strong in urban areas, where Jews (and a lot of other groups that were heavily immigrant) tend to be concentrated.

    Procrastination: Hard work often pays off after time, but laziness always pays off now.

    by Linnaeus on Sun Nov 29, 2009 at 04:31:39 PM PST

  •  You seem to be ignoring (0+ / 0-)

    the American Haredi - the rabid right wing orthodox who bought the RW anti-Obama crap hook line and smoked nova

    They LOVE Palin and her End Times shit

    "My case is alter'd, I must work for my living." Moll Cut-Purse, The Roaring Girl - 1612, England's First Actress

    by theRoaringGirl on Sun Nov 29, 2009 at 04:31:59 PM PST

  •  When we look at recent history, (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    notwisconsin, VirginiaJeff

    I think it is safe to say that the right-wing treated Jews incomparably worse than the left-wing (the latter is hardly blameless too - think Stalinist + post-Stalinist USSR). That's the key.

    Those Jews who emigrated from Tsarist Russia remembered the Jewish pogroms by fundamentalist Orthodox Christians very well. The rest is a no-brainer.

    Jews emigrating from the post-Stalinist USSR, on the other hand, tend to be ... maybe not so much conservative, as anti-left. Which is also easy to understand.

    So where's all the outrage against anti-atheist bigotry?

    by skeptiq on Sun Nov 29, 2009 at 04:42:39 PM PST

  •  There was a Gallup poll a couple of months ago... (16+ / 0-)

    which found that Obama's approval rating among Jews was higher than any other religious group.

  •  I think the reform Jews... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    blueyedace2

    ...would be more liberal, while the orthodox are more conservative, ultra-conservative or Joe Lieberman.

    There was Allen, a gaunt midwesterner who smiled, when he smiled, with all the humor of a skull. - (from A Rumor of War)

    by dov12348 on Sun Nov 29, 2009 at 04:47:52 PM PST

  •  Why care so much about Jews? (0+ / 0-)

    0.2% of the world's population.  Maybe our time would be better spent talking about Tiger Woods.

  •  How do Arab-Americans vote? (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Caelian, sberel, LynneK

    Or African-Americans?

    Or any other minority?

    Democratic, traditionally, since the right is viewed as rich white men trying to keep rich white men in power.

    Its kind of elitist to say any one group is smarter, or has better god-laws.

    •  I don't think anyone's suggesting (6+ / 0-)

      that Jews are smarter, but that they're more well-educated as a group is a fact of demographics, not an elitist statement.  Agreed on the god-laws, but for different reasons (see my comment right below yours).

      Saint, n. A dead sinner revised and edited. - Ambrose Bierce

      by pico on Sun Nov 29, 2009 at 05:04:48 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  I know, but its still (0+ / 0-)

        divisionary. If one uses the term "jews" this or that in an I/P reference, they are told it is wrong to paint them as a unitary people, yet this essay lumps them together as "Jews" are more liberal due to their better education... without addressing why other so called "minorities" lack opportunities for the same.

        I would speculate that the white power structure sees them as white, while not Blacks or Hispanics; so both the latter's access to better jobs, and money for education are restricted.

        Actually, this demographic essay seems a little self aggrandizing and divisionary to me.

        Not my cup of tea.

        •  Well, the reason people say (6+ / 0-)

          that one shouldn't paint a particular group as a unitary people usually has to do with allegations that aren't consistent across the population: drawing conclusions from a small sample, etc.  The diarist is wondering why the vast majority of American Jews vote Democratic (this is a fact), and suggests one of the reasons might be the education level (this is also a fact).  Given that there's a strong correlation between education level and voting tendencies (both positive and negative - see this comment), it's probably close to the truth.  

          Naturally I don't think that's the only reason, but it doesn't hurt to speculate.  I don't sense any attempt at seeding division here.

          Saint, n. A dead sinner revised and edited. - Ambrose Bierce

          by pico on Sun Nov 29, 2009 at 05:27:20 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

      •  Jews aren't well educated because of (7+ / 0-)

        demographics (being rich)...Jews are well educated because Jewish parents drill their children to do well in school, read at an extremely early age, perform the bar and bat mitzvah (read in another language at a young age), and become actively involved in the community at a young age...

        In a Jewish household, there is intense pressure for the children to achieve more than their parents, and children MUST live up to it, otherwise they are viewed in a negative light...

        And we vote Democratic most of the time because the Republicans' policies toward education, health care, and the other bread and butter issues are abhorrent...

        •  Education is part of demographics. (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          LynneK, mahakali overdrive, Peacenick

          I'm not sure where you got the 'being rich' part.

          Saint, n. A dead sinner revised and edited. - Ambrose Bierce

          by pico on Sun Nov 29, 2009 at 05:41:45 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  oh, its the better parents! (0+ / 0-)

          thanks for clearing that up. Apparently you've never spent time in a Polish Catholic household. The perfect grades thing is the 11th commandment.

          (see pico, why I knew this would lead to comments that make one group "better" or "different" than their compatriots of other ethnic or religious identities?)

          Unbelievable.

          •  Does not follow. (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            leftynyc, mahakali overdrive

            You seem to take some sort of offense to the idea that Jews, culturally, emphasize education.

            Cultures and sub-groups differ on how much they emphasize education. That's simply true. It isn't just Jews, and no has said so.

            There are two kinds of people in this world: Those who fit into one of two mutually exclusive categories, and those who don't.

            by zhimbo on Sun Nov 29, 2009 at 08:28:49 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

        •  Oi vey, that was my family to a T (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          volleyboy1

          How many other people's grandmothers have Ph.D.'s? Every child went to college on my Jewish side, no exceptions. Many hold numerous or advanced degrees. My father is not a wealthy man, but he still sent all four of us to college, because education was the single-most important issue for him. And he was an absolute hippie.

          This is only my experience, as a NY Jew, but yes, there seemed something cultural about it.

          On my other side of the family (my non-Jewish side; evangelical and Bible Belt), I can't think of anyone who went past high school.

          No offense to that side of my beloved family.

          I hold the value of education for my son as first and foremost.  

          "Dawn-sniffing revenant / Plodder through midnight rain / Question me again." - Seamus Heaney

          by mahakali overdrive on Sun Nov 29, 2009 at 06:24:11 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

    •  It's an interesting discussion (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Gatordiet

      Why are African-Americans voters solidly Democratic? That mystery is relatively easy to solve...Republican presidential candidates got a fair share of black votes until 1964, when Barry Goldwater came out against the Civil Rights Act and LBJ made it the centerpiece of his presidency.

      Arab-American voters, I believe, were generally Republican until the 2000s, when the Republican party decided to run on fear of the Arab and Muslim world.

      Many Cuban-Americans never forgave Kennedy, and thus until recently were solidly GOP.

      Sociology and demographics are fascinating topics.

  •  I'd caution against oversimplification (13+ / 0-)

    in the comments.  Some of the ideas make for compelling evidence: a history of persecution, a tendency to be well-educated, etc.  Others are less convincing, because they involved shared values with people who are decidedly not all Democrats: e.g. the New Testament gives explicit instructions that feeding the hungry, clothing the poor, etc. are the necessary qualification for heaven; there are places in the Jewish scripture every bit as intolerant as what's in the Christian scripture (I'm thinking Ezra and Nehemiah, especially); etc.  So it's less a question of the stuff of faith per se, and more whether and/or how that stuff is incorporated into a cultural worldview.  Lots of Christians have no problem ignoring their own God-given instructions, so the instructions themselves do not make compelling evidence.

    Enjoyable comments throughout, though.  

    Saint, n. A dead sinner revised and edited. - Ambrose Bierce

    by pico on Sun Nov 29, 2009 at 05:00:44 PM PST

    •  True.. (3+ / 0-)

      I may have oversimplied a little. But I always felt it was due to both the Christian Right and its very exclusive/intolerant version of christian faith and due to lot of Judiasm being taught to live a good life and help others thus supporting the Democratic programs that help others.

      "We have always known that heedless self-interest was bad morals, now we know that it is bad economics." Franklin Delano Roosevelt, Jan. 20, 1937

      by joedemocrat on Sun Nov 29, 2009 at 05:11:36 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Definitely agree there's truth to that, (2+ / 0-)

        so the question would be, why are certain lessons taken more to heart by some groups than others?  I really don't know.

        Saint, n. A dead sinner revised and edited. - Ambrose Bierce

        by pico on Sun Nov 29, 2009 at 05:14:25 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  I don't know either... (4+ / 0-)

          If you think about it, the christian faith also teaches to live a good life and help others. But for some reason that doesn't translate into support for Democratic programs.

          I'll never understand that. My grandfather was a Jerry Falwell supporter. He gave money to Falwell. He wanted prayer in school and the whole christian right agenda. But he also voted Democratic every election - including for Walter Mondale in 1984 and Dukakis in 1988 until he died. He was a farmer and he was part of the FDR New Deal coalition. He was a Democrat because FDR bailed out the farmers in the 1930's. If it wasn't for FDR, he would have never gotten back on his feet during the depression. Yes, he talked his fundamentalist religion. But he also taught if not for FDR we would have zero.

          "We have always known that heedless self-interest was bad morals, now we know that it is bad economics." Franklin Delano Roosevelt, Jan. 20, 1937

          by joedemocrat on Sun Nov 29, 2009 at 05:22:53 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

    •  It is essential to interpret (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      pico, mahakali overdrive, volleyboy1

      the "Old Testament" (we Jews don't use that term) through the lens of the Rabbinic tradition, which often forces interpretations that stray far from the apparent literal meaning of the text.

      All my IP addresses have been banned from Redstate.com.

      by charliehall on Sun Nov 29, 2009 at 08:56:23 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Nah, it's pretty hard to read (0+ / 0-)

        the xenophobic statements of Ezra and Nehemiah as anything other than xenophobic statements, interpretative tradition notwithstanding.  I do understand the context, but that doesn't make it any less squirm-inducing.  

        (Also, I didn't call it the Old Testament; I referred to Jewish scripture.)

        Saint, n. A dead sinner revised and edited. - Ambrose Bierce

        by pico on Sun Nov 29, 2009 at 09:23:45 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  Two reasons... (5+ / 0-)

    (1) Religious Right and its exlusive and intolerant form of christianity.

    (2) From what I've read, a lot of Judiasm focuses on helping others and thus supporting Democratic programs.

    "We have always known that heedless self-interest was bad morals, now we know that it is bad economics." Franklin Delano Roosevelt, Jan. 20, 1937

    by joedemocrat on Sun Nov 29, 2009 at 05:10:12 PM PST

  •  Jewish Republicans (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    VirginiaJeff

    Younger and religious Jews are moving in greater numbers to the GOP.  Economic self-interest is one reason as Jews identify their financial interests with those of the upper and capitalist classes.

    Another is support for Israel.  Older Jews are more likely to cast their vote based on what's best for Israel, and as the GOP is perceived to be more pro-Israel, anti-Muslim than the Democrats this also accounts for the shift.  Jewish support for wars against countries that are perceived as anti-Jewish and anti-Israel is also significant.

    Neoconservatism is heavily influenced by Jewish intellectuals.  The war in Iraq was designed and implemented by the number two and number three to officials in the DOD, Paul Wolfowotz and Douglas Feith.  Other rightwing Jewish intellectuals like David Frum, John Podhoretz, Richard Perle, Elliott Abrams, and William Kristol were leading chickenhawks in promoting the war.

    Another factor is increasing social conservatism among religious Jews, and an uneasy though increasingly important alliance between the christian fundamentalists and orthodox Jews, not only on domestic social issues but pro-Israel anti-Muslim as well.

  •  Well American Jews created the modern (9+ / 0-)

    Democratic Party. It was our support for progressive and radical political ideas and those politicians who espoused those beliefs which finally forced the Democratic Party of a century ago to begin to address the serious social problems then facing the nation. You think the Party of Tammany Hall just decided to reform itself out of the blue?

  •  and don't forget Liebermann (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Bronx59, LynneK, Liberalindependent28

    He's definitely more R than D.

  •  Why Jews are Democrats? (7+ / 0-)

    We aren't.  Most of us are.  The subset that ain't tells a lot why most American Jews are.  

    That subset are the religious.  The more religious, the more against secularism. The more against secularism, the more Right wing.

    Most American Jews are secular.  The Republicans for generations now have prattled on about how the US is a Christian nation.

    We take them at face value on this.

  •  Jews are raised with a tradition of debate (4+ / 0-)

    You must be able to debate your points well, or you're considered a numbskull. The GOP required a unity of thought that is the antithesis of how Jews are taught to think.  The teachings of the Torah and Talmud are surrounded by the debates of the great rabbis of the centuries, and the christian bible isn't because to question in christianity is considered blasphemy.  I've been on both sides of this fence, and as I said in another diary today, I don't like being told what or how to think.  The Dems allow for debate, while the GOP requires loyalty oaths, purity tests and uniformity of thought.  

    Of course, as others have pointed out, there are sects of Jews that are just as restrictive as their evangelical Christian brothers.  There's just a lot fewer of the Jews in that variety than what we see in the Christians today.  

  •  Noted sociologist of the American Jewish (2+ / 0-)

    community Milton Himmelfarb once said that Jews have the economic status of Episcopalians and vote like Puerto Ricans.

    "I'll have a hamburger and a flashlight."

    by beegee kochav on Sun Nov 29, 2009 at 08:28:20 PM PST

  •  This Jew is (8+ / 0-)

    a proud progressive Dem. because it is the right thing to be.

    Some times you get shown the light in the strangest of places if you look at it right.

    by volleyboy1 on Sun Nov 29, 2009 at 08:31:54 PM PST

  •  If all American Jews saw (4+ / 0-)

    the repeated unfair and vicious Israel-bashing that takes place on this site, some of which crosses the line into out-and-out anti-Semitism, a lot fewer American Jews would vote Democratic.

    All my IP addresses have been banned from Redstate.com.

    by charliehall on Sun Nov 29, 2009 at 08:36:42 PM PST

    •  It absolutely appalls me, charlie... (5+ / 0-)

      I think that I HR anti-Semitism more than anything, and I also find that I am alone in those HR's more often than most others.

      Then again, maybe I just remember these HR's the most vividly.

      Either way, I completely see what you're saying about this.

      "Dawn-sniffing revenant / Plodder through midnight rain / Question me again." - Seamus Heaney

      by mahakali overdrive on Sun Nov 29, 2009 at 09:23:23 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Sadly, neither Dems nor Repugs (3+ / 0-)

      have a monopoly on hate.  But the percentage is tiny here, even if some of the haters are really vocal.

      Confronting bigots here on the blog takes energy away from more constructive efforts, but the presence of a few haters among us could never sway me from my deeply held progressive and Democratic values.

      So, I respectfully disagree with your claim that

      a lot fewer American Jews would vote Democratic.

      Consider adopting a homeless pet at PAWS.org (Progressive Animal Welfare Society)

      by hikerbiker on Sun Nov 29, 2009 at 10:09:49 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  You should see the homophobia and (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      stitchmd, hikerbiker, volleyboy1

      bigotry against LGBT people in comments I see regularly (sigh).

      I agree there has been bigotry towards Jewish-Americans here. People should just respect one anothers dignity and inherent claim to equal rights under our law...

      "The greatest thing you'll ever do is learn to love and be loved in return"

      by Liberalindependent28 on Mon Nov 30, 2009 at 06:05:06 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  more than just education (2+ / 0-)

    I think that the long-standing Jewish tradition of critical thinking and open debate is a factor in our strong support of progressive values and the Democratic Party.

    As far back as the great rabbis of Hillel and Shammai, great value has been placed upon respecting a diversity of opinion and delving deep for answers.

    And, in the words of a great Jewish sage:

    "On three things the world stands:  On Torah (learning), on Service, and on Acts of Lovingkindness"

    Knowledge and compassion for others are Jewish and Democratic values.

    Consider adopting a homeless pet at PAWS.org (Progressive Animal Welfare Society)

    by hikerbiker on Sun Nov 29, 2009 at 10:24:09 PM PST

  •  i'm bookmarking this diary to come back to (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Liberalindependent28

    it's late and my brain is all fuzz but this is something i think about often as my dad and uncle are both hard core R ...and dad often is dismayed and amazed that both of his daughters are hard core D...so i kinda wonder if part of it is generational in some way

    Support the BWIU and Shop the BWIUBS Store today!

    by Spedwybabs on Sun Nov 29, 2009 at 10:35:32 PM PST

  •  could it be because Jews are tasked to repair (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    hikerbiker, Liberalindependent28

    the world and Republicans seem to want to destroy it?  but seriously (?)  I think Jews are more comfortable with a political party that believes in social issues like poverty, education, equal rights and stuff like that...  and unions...  we like the idea of unions and democrats are the party of unions.  

    "Republican 'truth' is undisturbed by actual Reality"

    by KnotIookin on Sun Nov 29, 2009 at 10:51:17 PM PST

  •  I thought Obama got 78% of the Jewish vote (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    volleyboy1, Liberalindependent28

    The writer said "around 75 to 78 percent." But the exit polls that were widely quoted in the media said 78.

    It might sound like I'm nitpicking, but it's important to point out that Obama didn't do any worse than usual among Jews, for a Democratic nominee. He got only slightly less Jewish support than Clinton and Gore, and more Jewish support than Kerry.

    "A conservative is one who admires radicals centuries after they're dead." -- Leo Rosten; My blog

    by Kylopod on Mon Nov 30, 2009 at 12:33:19 AM PST

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