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David Alpern
The pursuit of perfection is what keeps things from getting done.

Why Jews Should Continue to Vote for Democrats

American Jews will likely vote for Joe Biden in the upcoming presidential election because since the 1930s Jews overwhelmingly – around 70% – have favored Democratic Party candidates over Republicans.

For some this might seem completely obvious: “Of course Jews vote for Democrats”, but historically Americans of other affinity groups who’ve similarly achieved social status and high levels of income and education – have tended to vote Republican – for to protect their earned wealth and assets. So witnessing such a convincing majority of Jews choosing the Democratic camp is something of a mystery until understood in context of the Jewish spirit of tikkun olam. This ‘repair the world’ ethos is harbored deeper within the human empowerment policies of the Democratic Party than is normally found in the nationalistic policies of the Republican Party.

The Democratic Party has retained moderate sensibilities over the last three decades far more than the GOP, which has become more radicalized and extreme since Newt Gingrich’s 1994 Contract with America. By comparison the majority of elected Democrats remain supporters of Israel. Examples:

 House Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries
 Former Speaker Nancy Pelosi
 POTUS Joe Biden
 Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer; Senators like Cory Booker, Tammy Baldwin
Progressives such as Ritchie Torres (NY 15), Lois Frankel (FL 22), Steve Cohen (TN 9)
Conservatives like Jared Moskowitz (FL 23), Pete Aguilar (CA 33), and Tom Suozzi who recently won NY 3 to replace George Santos
 Governors Gavin Newsom (CA), Josh Shapiro (PA), J. B. Pritzker (IL)

House Democrats’ divisions have been magnified due to the barbaric terror by Hamas on October 7. The echo chambers on the right look at a small grouping of extremist leftists (Tlaib, Bush, Omar, Pressley) and try to define the entire blue party by them. The hard truth is the GOP has to contend with a far larger stable of extremists (EX: Marjorie Taylor Greene, Matt Gaetz, Jim Jordan, Lauren Boebert, etc.) who have shifted the red party far away from its moderate roots. The Democratic Party remains the big tent party, hence one hears a myriad of disparate views emanating from within it.

In contrast, the current day GOP demands mostly lock step adherence from its members. Many Jews have moderate tendencies – progressive on social issues and conservative on foreign policy. Jews tend not to be extremists and thus intuit the Democratic Party aligns more with their values, whereas the Republicans have become a far more intolerant and meek party, who take their marching orders from the former President, who’s views can shift on a dime, such as his flip flopping on February’s bipartisan border funding bill.

The GOP is also willing to hand over governance to inexperienced personnel, such as Mike Johnson, who not only was their fifth choice, but has demonstrated not being up to the task of corralling an out-of-control Republican House caucus (without the aide of some of its Democratic members as evidenced by their helping him shepherd through H.R. 815; the $95 Billion Aid Bill for Ukraine, Israel and Taiwan in April).

The moderate essence of the majority of the mainstream Democratic Party candidates running this cycle profiles them as pro-Israel. We believe the many Jewish voters currently harboring concerns about casting their vote in November for the Democratic Party can (in most cases other than the districts of Cori Bush, Missouri or Rashida Tlaib, Michigan) rest assured that they can and should continue to vote blue.

It is always important for the Jewish community to assess who our friends are and those who are in alignment with our values. By overlooking the blowhards who tend to attract too much undeserved attention, one discerns that the overwhelming count of candidates of the Democratic Party will once again deserve the rational support of the Jewish vote this November.

About the Author
David Alpern is on the executive board of Democrats for Israel Los Angeles and is a proponent for increasing education budgets, investments in the arts, carbon taxes, and a secure two-state solution to the Arab-Israeli conflict. Co-author Mihran Kalaydjian is a devoted civic engagement activist for education spearheading numerous academic initiatives in local political forums with over twenty years experience in government relations, legislative affairs, public policy, community relations and strategic communications in Los Angeles, California.
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