In 2016 candidate Donald Trump garnered 24% of the Jewish vote while Hillary Clinton gained 71% of the same. In 2018 Jews voted 79% for the Democratic Party and 17% for the Republican party. A large part of the reason for this is that there is a significant segment of ethnic Jews who do not identify with the core ideals of the Jewish faith. I would like to make the argument that the G.O.P is the real party for Jews.
Interestingly, the fastest growing bloc of Judaism is orthodox Judaism. Orthodox Jews are most commonly associated with core Jewish values. The orthodox population voted 56-39 for Trump in 2016, which is a striking difference from the Jewish population at large. These numbers are not where they need to be yet but, as orthodox Jews continue to grow Jewish support for the GOP will rise.
In my opinion, there is no longer a good reason for the overwhelming majority of Jews to vote Democrat. I am not suggesting that there aren’t good people in the Democratic party, because there are. But those good Democrats are not running the party today. Jewish voters need to ask, how much abuse they are willing to take at the hands of a party that seems to be at war with core Jewish beliefs, including the existence of a Jewish state?
How many comments about “dual loyalty” of Jews must we hear from elected leaders? How long must we listen to members of Congress call for the policy of BDS – a plan that seeks the destruction of Israel – without facing condemnation from other members of the party? How long must we continue to watch as anti-Semitism runs rampant within key segments of the Democratic party, from the Squad to several candidates vying for the nomination?
We Jews are a proud and strong people; we should not remain loyal to a party because our grandparents loved FDR, a man who himself had a questionable attitude towards the Jewish people. The Jewish electorate must show the Democratic Party that we will not write them a blank check regardless of their behavior toward us.
Consider President Obama. He compromised the entire U.S. Israel relationship because of personal animus towards Benjamin Netanyahu. Since the end of that presidency, the radical left has seized control of party policy with respect to Israel, storming through the door that President Obama opened.
Some in the Democratic party have openly embraced individuals who knowingly peddle in anti-Semitism. Progressives seem to have no problem rubbing elbows with anti-Semites like Louis Farrakhan, Linda Sarsour, Al Sharpton, Jesse Jackson and countless others. Bill Clinton shared a stage with Farrakhan only a few months ago! As Jews we need to ask ourselves; is this really the party we want to be associated with?
With all these problems and more, it should be absolutely evident that the Republican Party should now be the political home of Jewish people who live by core Jewish values.
Consider recent G.O.P support for Israel, which has been rock-solid, and which has reached a new high, under this administration, starting from the very top.
Thus far, President Trump has been an unwavering supporter of Israel.
He has moved the U.S. Embassy to Jerusalem and recognized Israel’s sovereignty over the Golan Heights. He withdrew from the Iran Nuclear deal, stating the dangers it posed to the State of Israel as one of the main reasons for doing so. Trump has marshaled a robust defense of Israel at the U.N. and has doubtlessly assisted in other ways that are unknown. He has proven himself a great friend to Jews.
Going down the line, Kevin McCarthy, House Minority Leader, has repeatedly chastised Nancy Pelosi for her unwillingness to condemn anti-Semitism in her caucus. Given that the GOP received only 17% of the Jewish vote in 2018, it is clear that McCarthy does so purely because he belongs to a party that defends core Jewish values; which constitute an intrinsic part of American values.
When Ilhan Omar accused Jews, who support Israel of having dual loyalty, the response of the Democratic party was reprehensible. They passed a generic resolution that lumped anti-Semitism in with all other forms of hatred. The problem is that while all forms of hatred are to be condemned, the crime committed by Omar was not generic hatred, it was blatant anti-Semitism. The Democrats refusal to explicitly condemn those comments shows that they are willing to tolerate such rhetoric so long as it comes from a person who carries with them a constituency and voting bloc.
Any Jew who votes Democrat should be outraged by this stunning show of cowardice in the face of the intersectional left.
The Republican Party has shown for some time that they are the party that will defend Jewish ideas, traditions and values. It is time for Jewish voters to stand up and say enough is enough. We can debate policy differences, but surely, we should draw the line at the point of flagrant anti-Semitism seeping into the party mainstream. Jews must not sit idly by in the face of these developments. We should not take our cues from British Jewry, who dealt in wishful thinking as Jeremy Corbyn rose to power.
We are AMERICAN JEWS. We are a proud people living in a proud nation that has historically celebrated and venerated our presence in, and contribution to, this great country. At the core of which is the Declaration of Independence.
That Declaration states that “all men are created equal….”
Jewish Americans are not a greater or lesser people based on our ethnicity or our religion. No people is. But I have my values. They are core Jewish values, wholly reconcilable with American values and they do not include bigotry and they do not include cowardice.
I am a proud Republican. And I am proud that my party stands for me and alongside me, particularly in support of the Jewish State. They have never once brought me to a point where I have had to choose between my values as a Jew and my party. Jews who support the State of Israel and continue to vote Democratic cannot reasonably say the same thing.
As President Reagan once said, “Now is a time for choosing.” For Jewish Americans it is time for us to choose.
To the Democratic party I say either align with Jews who hold core Jewish values or lose us as we gravitate towards a safer, surer home that proudly supports who we are.