Why I became a Republican

I was born in Brooklyn, N.Y. and grew up in an area known as Borough Park.

Brooklyn is defined by its neighborhoods. Bensonhurst, Canarsie. Red Hook. We lived in Borough Park, a unique homogenous enclave. In fact, we lived at the epicenter of Borough Park at the intersection of 49th Street and 15th Avenue.

Our modern, post-war apartment building took up the entire blockfront from 49th to 50th Street. The apartment in which we resided overlooked Temple Beth-El, once described as the most beautiful synagogue in Brooklyn. Cantor Moshe Koussevitsky, of global fame, was the resident cantor.

And we were Democrats.

At least the adults were.

If there were Republican in Brooklyn, I never met them. In later years, after I switched party registration, I was wont to say “You could more easily run into someone from Tibet in Borough Park than a Republican.”

The Democratic Party was the party of Roosevelt who had rescued America from the Great Depression and saved the Jewish people from extermination. Hadn’t he? The Democratic Party had youthful, auburn-haired JFK, devoted to his wife and children. He passionately urged us to “Ask what you can do for your country”.

In the late 1970s I moved to Palm Beach County, FL. I always voted Democrat. It was a given. I never really thought about the fact that the Democratic Party had advocated segregation less than a decade before I arrived. I recoiled at what I heard had happened in southeast Florida, including the KKK, separate entrances to public facilities, separate schools, separate dressing rooms in retail stores, but it was history. Wasn’t it?  

So, I continued to vote for Democratic candidates and faithfully attended the annual Democratic Party Jefferson-Jackson Day dinners. 
Then about fifteen or so years ago, I was sitting through a reception and listening to person after person crowd the dais, asking, demanding, this, that, verbally assaulting Republicans, including the sitting President and I thought “What am I doing here? I don’t belong here.”

And that was that.

I went online and registered as a Republican.

Since then I have met more empowered women and minorities in the GOP than I ever met in the Democratic Party. I don’t hear Democrat bashing. In fact, I hear a desire to engage Democrats in debate.

What I hear from Democrats is more name calling, marginalization, demonization, class division, a mocking of American values, an apology for our values, achievements.

I think if I were to venture to return to Borough Park, I would now find many familiar individuals.

Tibetans, all.

This article first appeared in NEWSMAX.

About the Author
Elaine Rosenberg Miller writes fiction and non-fiction. Her work has appeared in numerous print publications and online sites, domestically and abroad, including JUDISCHE RUNDSCHAU, THE BANGALORE REVIEW, THE FORWARD, THE HUFFINGTON POST and THE JEWISH PRESS. Her book. FISHING IN THE INTERCOASTAL AND OTHER SHORT STORIES will be published by Adelaide Books in 2019.
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