This is it

American Jews should vote early and vote Romney
Ballot Box Image
(ballot box image via Shutterstock)

This is it, ladies and gentlemen.

American Jews vote tomorrow.

For the great majority of my adulthood I have been a liberal Democrat. I voted for Mondale against Reagan in 1984, Dukakis against Bush in 1988, Clinton against Bush in 1992, Clinton against Dole in 1996, Gore against Bush in 2000, Kerry against Bush in 2004, and Obama against McCain in 2008.

And I cannot even begin to tell you what a pleasure it is going to be for me to vote Romney against Obama in 2012.

I have never voted for a Republican for anything in my life, but I will happily vote for one tomorrow.

Heading into the 2008 election I felt reasonably certain that Obama would win and we cheered at the Lumish household that evening. At long last we were free of the aggressive, cowboy Bush II administration, featuring “Darth Cheney” and that entire cast of seemingly malicious characters. Also, of course, I could not have been more proud that the United States had elected a black man president.

Whatever else anyone might say about the Obama administration… an administration that I oppose… it will go down in the history books for breaking the racial barrier on the American presidency. Heck, that’s half the reason that I voted for the guy in the first place.

But, in truth, that only goes so far.

Jewish Americans must stand up not only for our own well-being, and the well-being of Americans, more generally, but also the well-being of the Jews in Israel. All people vote their interests and just as the well-being of Italy holds an interest for Italian-Americans so the well-being of Israel holds an interest for Jewish-Americans. The difference is that Italy is free from threat while the Jews remain under perpetual siege by the majority population of the Middle East.

However the vote goes tomorrow, though, we need to remember that the United States is a strong and resilient country and it will not capitulate to the worst apocalyptic imaginings of our fringe friends, left or right.

If Romney wins tomorrow, I will be pleased because we cannot afford a president of the United States that is friendly with political Islam. If you want to know the true importance of Benghazi, it is that we Americans have an administration that is sometimes willing, for ideological reasons, to leave the security of American diplomats to our enemies. That is the real significance of Benghazi and it clearly illustrates Obama administration foreign policy blinkertude in a violent nutshell.

But if Obama does win re-election, which is fairly likely, please do not think that Israel is abandoned.

You still have considerable friends.

About the Author
Mike Lumish is a PhD in American history from the Pennsylvania State University and has taught at PSU, San Francisco State University, and the City College of San Francisco. He regularly publishes on the Arab-Israel conflict at the Times of Israel and at his own blog, Israel Thrives ( He has in recent years given conference papers on American cultural and intellectual history at The International Society for the History of Behavioral and Social Sciences in Dublin, Ireland, as well as at the Western Historical Association in Phoenix, Arizona and the American Cultural Association in New Orleans, Louisiana. Lumish is also the founding editor of the scholarly on-line discussion forum H-1960s. He can be contacted at