Decades ago, the sociographer Milton Himmelfarb coined the aphorism that "American Jews earn like Episcopalians and vote like Puerto Ricans." And his words ring as true today as ever. Surveys show that roughly 70 percent of American Jews intend to cast their ballots for President Barack Obama's reelection next month.
Himmelfarb's quip indicated that American Jews abjure their economic interests in favor of their liberal values. Certainly it is true that for American Jews to vote for Obama next month they must act against their economic interests.
Obama's economic policies have taken a huge toll on the economic fortunes of American Jews who invest disproportionately in the stock market. His nationalization of the college loan business has given universities impetus to raise tuition rates still further, thus dooming more young American Jews to start their adult lives under a mountain of debt. And it isn't at all clear how they will be able to pay off this debt since under Obama half of recent college graduates cannot find jobs.
Obama's gutting of Medicare to pay for Obamacare has harmed the medical choices for older Jewish Americans.
His war on tax deductions for charitable contributions has placed synagogues, Jewish schools and nursing homes in financial jeopardy.
So with economics ruled out as a reason to support Obama we are left with American-Jewish values.
But is Obama really advancing those values? What are those values anyway? Well, there's civil liberties.
American Jews like those. But Obama doesn't.
Take freedom of speech. Obama is the most hostile president to freedom of speech in recent memory. He has advocated implementing the so-called "fairness doctrine" for radio to stifle the free speech of his political opponents on talk radio.
He has sought to undermine the freedom of the Internet through federal regulations and intimidation of Internet companies such as Google.
He has made repeated and outspoken attempts to intimidate individuals, groups and businesses including Google to bar freedom of speech as relates to criticism of Islam. He has purged the lexicon of the federal government of all terms necessary to describe jihad, Islamic radicalism and terrorism, and so made it impossible for federal employees to examine, investigate, discuss or understand the nature of the greatest national security threat facing the US.
Then there are women's rights. American Jews like those.
Caroline B. Glick is the senior Middle East fellow at the Center for Security Policy in Washington, D.C., and the deputy managing editor of The Jerusalem Post, where this article first appeared.
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