In general, the tone of my posts is relatively jocular -- it amuses me to watch Republicans twist themselves into an emotional knot, unable to grasp why Jews continue to be such a reliable Democratic voting bloc. It's funny because the conservative disbelief is based on their own willful blindness to the priorities of most Jews. They assume that Jews (a) only care about Israel and (b) express "caring" about Israel in terms of providing carte blanche support to the most right-ward manifestations of Israeli politics towards Palestinians. In reality, the eternal mystery of why Jews vote Democrat is not that difficult to solve. It boils down to two things:
But I think, if Joe Biden wins in 2020, we might have to brace ourselves for this sentiment to evolve in a more dangerous direction. In 2020, Jews will undoubtedly vote much the same way they've always voted: for the Democrat, in overwhelming numbers. From the vantage of the right, this will be especially inexplicable. Trump moved the embassy. He recognized the annexation of the Golan. He gave the green light to West Bank annexation. He's called Ilhan Omar an antisemite literally dozens of times. What more could Jews want?First, on every issue aside from Israel, Jews prefer Democrats to Republicans.Second, on the issue of Israel, Jews prefer Democrats to Republicans.
If Republicans were truly interested in engaging with Jews as political equals, this might invite some introspection: maybe what Republicans think Jews want (endless occupation coupled with Islamophobic hysteria) is not what Jews actually want. But introspection in the face of Jewish critiques is not exactly a Republican strong suit. So what's more likely is for befuddlement to transform into resentment. The ungrateful Jews -- we gave them everything and yet still they defy us! A philo-semite is an antisemite who loves Jews, the saying goes, and it doesn't take much for obsessive unrequited love to turn into seething passionate hatred. When the turn comes, it will come quickly.
More so than at any point in my lifetime, the Republican Party under Trump has latched onto a self-identification as "friend of the Jews", our bold centurions standing between us and the antisemitic hordes of the radical left and the Muslims. This self-image has thus far been more or less impervious to the Jewish identification of the Republican Party under Trump as the prime driver of antisemitic hate and violence threatening Jews in America today. So when Jews in the next election do what we've done in every other election -- vote Democratic by overwhelming margins -- it will be seen as not just inexplicable, but a betrayal.
The tides of Trumpism have already paved the way for a resurgence of right-wing antisemitism -- we're already seeing it manifest in Soros conspiracies and "globalism" and "replacement theory". I firmly believe that the only reason it hasn't gotten more explicit is the historical accident that Trump has Jewish relatives. But Trumpism after Trump will not be so constrained (one already hears murmurings to the effect that Trump's decaying political fortunes are the fault of Jared Kushner). The right is primed and ready to accept a message of Jewish perfidy, and it will be accelerated by the GOP's wounded insistence that they are entitled to our adoration.