Why have the Chosen People chosen another party?

Byline: | Category: Culture | Posted at: Tuesday, 23 October 2007

This evening I attended an event hosted by the Nashville chapter of the Republican Jewish Coalition. Former White House Press Secretary Ari Fleischer was the speaker. He is a wonderfully charming man, as you would expect of someone who held such a position.

In a conversation before the event, one friend of mine said, “I didn’t know that there were so many Jewish Republicans in Nashville.” A woman remarked back to him, I didn’t know there were so many Jewish people in Nashville.” My reaction was a bit different; I wondered why there weren’t even more people there.

For the record, I’m not Jewish. Also for the record, there were about 75 people there, no more than 10 of whom were goys like me.

But my question for the blogosphere is this:

Why aren’t there more Jewish Republicans?*

Oh . . . one other question: Why was the Nashville City Paper the only Nashville media outlet that apparently saw fit to cover a Nashville event featuring such a prestigious political figure? (Please correct me if I missed any other media present.)

*NOTE: Save the partisan oneupsmanship for somebody else’s blog. It’s a serious question, for which I hope there are serious responses on all sides.

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8 Responses to “Why have the Chosen People chosen another party?”

  1. Freddie O'Connell Says:

    You don’t think the kowtowing to the James Dobsons of the world might be a little off-putting to the tribes of Israel?

    Witness Ann Coulter’s recent remarks. As a conservative Republican celebrant, she’s not exactly extending an olive branch.

    As of 2006, the Texas Republican Party platform affirmed America as a Christian nation.

    I know that church and state commingle awkwardly in almost every instance, but these are not exactly the poles on which a big tent is raised.

  2. bob Says:

    If Fred is the nominee, I don’t think James Dobson will have any pull. Nor Ann Coulter. It’s easy to pick extremes for why not to join a group, but neither of those examples is representative of the whole.

    I do, concede however, that the christo-centric view espoused by some Republicans (and just as many rural Democrats once you get outside the suburbs) is definitely off-putting. My party has to get beyond saying that we’re the “Christian party” and focus instead on saying that whether Christian, Jew, or other, your values are our values. . . Well, maybe not yours, Freddie, but you know what I mean.

  3. Lee Says:

    For the same three reasons that voter registration in Kentucky is 3:2 Dem to GOP, despite the conservatism of the state.

    FDR/Truman/JFK

    There is a significan lag for current events to overtake generational traditions.

  4. Stan Says:

    Reasons there are not many Jews in the Davidson County Republican Party?

    • At nearly all Party functions I attend the opening prayer ends with “In Jesus’ name…”
    • Republicans constantly refer to the country needing to return to “…Christian values.”

    For these and other similar reasons they might get the idea they are not wanted.

  5. bob Says:

    Stan,
    You’re right. And it has long bothered me, since it says that to be a Republican you must first be a Christian. If we as a party erect Christianity (or worse: a particular interpretation of Chistianity) as an implied prerequisite for party membership, then we might as well just content ourselves with the knowledge that the next life will be better, because in this life, we’ll always be the minority party.

  6. Matthew Says:

    I am a Jew from New York and I don’t know why either. It has perplexed me for years.

  7. Volunteer Voters » Is There A Ceiling To The Jewish Republican Vote? Says:

    [...] City Paper discusses the evolution of the Jewish vote in the wake of former White House spokesman Ari Fleisher’s visit to Nashville: “I can’t tell you how many people have called me in the last month, all of whom said the same [...]

  8. BobKrumm.com » I used to be a Democrat Says:

    [...] I originally wrote about the Ari Fleischer event, I wondered aloud why there weren’t more Jewish Republicans.  The first comment was from a [...]