Before concluding our series on Jewish voting habits in next week’s Monitor, we devote this week’s installment to some of the more colorful responses we’ve received from die-hard Democrats. Wear your helmets.
Stuart Apfel is one of those Jews who hear the word Republican and promptly start howling at the moon: “Republicans are, with perhaps a handful of exceptions, a bunch of warmongering quasi-fascists who profit off the exploitation of the world’s underprivileged. Not that Democrats are much better, but in America there are only two parties with a realistic chance of controlling the national agenda, so they’re the lesser of evils.”
Carla Bayles shows more restraint in her dislike of Republicans, but when it comes to our benign president she entertains visions straight from Hell: “I don’t think Republicans are responsible for every problem in the world, and there have been some Republican politicians I’ve actually admired, but I can’t imagine ever voting for one. The Democrats just seem more heimish, more homey.
“But don’t get me started on George W. Bush. He reminds me of a swaggering dictator. He scares me. Saddam Hussein may or may not have weapons of mass destruction, but he’s not nearly the threat to our Constitution and our democratic way of life that Bush is, with his frightening cabal of Ashcroft, Cheney, Rumsfeld, et al. These are not friends of the Jews”
Arlene Roth is a lot less rabid in her partisanship, but admits that her heart leads her head on the matter of voting Democrat: “It’s a lifelong habit, instilled in me by my parents and grandparents, and now that I’m in my late seventies I can’t bring myself to change.
“Intellectually I detest many of the policies espoused by the Democrats, but I’m afraid that if I vote Republican I would somehow dishonor my parents and turn my back on their dedication to social justice and tikkun olam.”
Susan Gelfein is another liberal Jew who equates her party with her religion: “Maybe it’s a female thing, but I admire the Democrats’ devotion to the underdog, their concern for the poor and disenfranchised. When I picture a Republican I see a white male in a business suit plotting to increase his profit margin by firing as many of his underpaid employees as possible.”
Craig Wertheim – who, the Monitor has verified, is not a resident of a mental health facility – has a rather unique theory about what he calls President Bush’s “obsession with bringing down Saddam Hussein no matter how many dead Iraqis it takes.”
The reason Bush wants to invade Iraq, writes Mr. Wertheim, “is so that Saddam will attack Israel with weapons of mass destruction and destroy or irreparably harm the Jewish state. Bush gets three for the price of one: He finishes the job his daddy didn’t; he gets access to all that Iraqi oil for himself and his oil buddies; and he hurts Israel without having to worry about his fingerprints on the trigger.”
Michael Turkel – a real person and not, as the Monitor first suspected, the nom de guerre of James Carville – sees equally sinister motives behind Bush’s strong support of Israel, which to Turkel is all part of a great ruse on the part of the House of Bush to keep the Jewish state on a perpetual war footing: “Bill Clinton came so close to completing the great mission of peace that Jimmy Carter embarked on 25 years ago.
“But the situation has been spiraling from bad to worse ever since Bush was installed in the White House by his father, who just happens to be a former CIA director and former president, and by five Supreme Court justices who owe their cushy positions to Republicans.
“By kowtowing to Ariel Sharon and the Israeli Right, Bush has preempted any movement toward negotiations and peace, which forces Israel to remain on an economically unfeasible war footing. As a result, the Israeli economy is shot to pieces, and fearful American Jews are tempted to switch allegiances to the Republicans who whisper sweet nothings in their ear about “Israeli security” and “the need to stand firm against the Palestinians.?”
How’s that for a sampling? Anyone who still believes the old stereotype about Jews being so smart should read the Monitor’s mail every now and then.
(Continued Next Week)
Jason Maoz can be reached at email@example.com