Hmmmm, is it better to remain true to core values and vote for the loser, or find new values and vote in much smaller numbers for the winner?
The issue for Jews is that they may have made their vote, and themselves, somewhat irrelevant in the overall scheme of things.
Traditionally Jews, who represent 2-3 percent of the population, represent a much bigger chunk of actual voters because a large proportion of eligible Jewish voters tend to vote and because they congregate in certain major urban areas. Of these, since the Clinton era, usually about 80 to 85 percent of the Jewish vote has gone to Democrats (this is a fascinating link). Jews also contribute significant sums to the Democrats sufficient to have made Jews among the largest donor blocks to the Democratic Party (along with unions and lawyers). By the way, there were some significant Jewish financial supporters to the Republicans this time, but they were probably overshadowed by prominent pro-Kerry figures like George Soros.
I should add that George Soros is probably developing an ulcer as I write because he seems to believe that this election was important enough to change the course of history for better (Kerry, according to him), or worse (Bush, according to him).
In 2000, Bush received 19 percent of the Jewish vote with Gore getting most of the remaining 81%.
In 2004, exit polling is suggesting that Bush has received about 23-24 percent of the Jewish vote, with the remainder going to Kerry. In NY and FL, the numbers seem to run 80/20 percent.
The problems are obvious. First, Jews have proven that elections can be won handily without their support. In other words, they may be irrelevant as an interest group. Second, despite a strong feeling among Republicans (and many Jews) that the Bush Administration has been a great friend of Israel’s, it appears that this did not sway a sufficiently large number of Jews to vote against their social values and give their vote to Republicans. This may impact the desire of the Administration to go to bat for Israel when the political or diplomatic price is heavy. Third, since this election seemed to have revolved around the issues of “moral values” and the War on Terror (TM), some may now point out that Jews are not supportive of these key elements in America’s social psyche. Needless to say, that makes Jews “others.” If there is one thing that Jews in America have fought to achieve, it is the perception that we are not “others.”
What I’m trying to say is that WE NEEDED MORE SHILLS VOTING FOR THE WINNER!
By the way, Orthodox Jews tended to support Bush in large numbers. Apparently, about 69 percent of Orthodox Jewish voters voted for the President.
Surely you remember when Ed Koch (ex-mayor of NYC) claimed that James Baker said “Fuck the Jews, they don’t vote for us anyway!” Well, by “us” he meant Republicans. And it turns out he may have been right.