Why do Majority of Jews vote Democratic?

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Submitted by kcal09 on November 29, 2014 - 11:40am

Despite the clear abuse of Constitutional powers
(such as using the IRS as a weapon against conservatives) and the trashing of Israel and ultimately allowing Iran to get the bomb), why would educated Jews continue to support Obama and his party?

Submitted by SK in CV on November 29, 2014 - 12:24pm.

Maybe because some of us are smart enough to know that because some morons have claimed that he used the IRS as a weapon against conservatives, doesn't mean the evidence actually supports the claim. (It doesn't. The actual evidence shows that the IRS correctly targeted both liberal and conservative groups equally for higher scrutiny, and neither were abused. And that there was no administration involvement.) Only morons and ideologues continue to believe garbage like this, and the whole Benghazi "scandal", despite republican lead committee reports which debunk both.

Israel still exists. It hasn't been trashed. And there is no evidence that Iran has nuclear weapon capabilities.

Next question?

Submitted by spdrun on November 29, 2014 - 1:25pm.

Because the party of Dubya Bush and backwoods fundie Christianity isn't a viable alternative?

Also, the majority of Jews in the US are urban or semi-urban. Repubs tend to vote against things that are good for urban areas, like public education funding, transport/infrastructure, etc.

Submitted by njtosd on November 29, 2014 - 5:45pm.

Also, possibly, because people's choice of political party is looking less and less like a choice and more like an inborn trait (such as introversion and extroversion). Recent studies show that people prefer the body odor of those who share their political leanings:

http://jewishbusinessnews.com/2014/09/16...

Data also seem to show that you can guess a persons political affiliation with something close to 95% accuracy by looking at a brain scan conducted while the subject is viewing a disgusting image (conservatives respond more intensely):

http://research.vtc.vt.edu/news/2014/oct...

So, it could be that like hair color and eye color, genetically related groups are more likely to share political opinions. It also suggests that no matter how much we think we've chosen our politics, we probably haven't.

Submitted by NotCranky on November 29, 2014 - 6:08pm.

Choosing ones party seems to be something like choosing a church they both act like churches and the members act like the flock to the point you can guarantee their outlooks on almost anything. Each side has it's PC and it goes to bizarre extremes of replication like reciting a rosary.

Most people are desperate to be affiliated with a clan.

Submitted by scaredyclassic on November 29, 2014 - 7:10pm.

Blogstar wrote:
Choosing ones party seems to be something like choosing a church they both act like churches and the members act like the flock to the point you can guarantee their outlooks on almost anything. Each side has it's PC and it goes to bizarre extremes of replication like reciting a rosary.

Most people are desperate to be affiliated with a clan.

I'm a green jew. If they change the name to republocrats and give me a pony I'll convert. Otherwise, vote for the peace and freedom partay.

Submitted by njtosd on November 29, 2014 - 8:31pm.

scaredyclassic wrote:
Otherwise, vote for the peace and freedom partay.

Re: Peace - I guess that would be the Republicans . . Here's some interesting data (haven't looked at it very closely, but interesting):

.https://answers.yahoo.com/question/index?qid=20061003172851AAZgpzV

Freedom - do you mean freedom from the government or other citizens?

Submitted by scaredyclassic on November 29, 2014 - 9:01pm.

njtosd wrote:
scaredyclassic wrote:
Otherwise, vote for the peace and freedom partay.

Re: Peace - I guess that would be the Republicans . . Here's some interesting data (haven't looked at it very closely, but interesting):

.https://answers.yahoo.com/question/index?qid=20061003172851AAZgpzV

Freedom - do you mean freedom from the government or other citizens?

i refuse to conceded that we have more than one political party.

Submitted by FlyerInHi on December 1, 2014 - 12:51pm.

I'm not Jewish but I consider myself an honorary Jew.

I think that key word here is "educated." The same statement applies to academics, Asian Americans, tech employees in Silicon Valley, educated clusters such as RTP/Raleigh-Durham, university towns such as Austin, Bloomington, Ann Arbor, Princeton.., populations in coastal urban centers, etc...

Submitted by FlyerInHi on December 1, 2014 - 2:05pm.

njtosd wrote:
Also, possibly, because people's choice of political party is looking less and less like a choice and more like an inborn trait (such as introversion and extroversion). Recent studies show that people prefer the body odor of those who share their political leanings:

http://jewishbusinessnews.com/2014/09/16...

Data also seem to show that you can guess a persons political affiliation with something close to 95% accuracy by looking at a brain scan conducted while the subject is viewing a disgusting image (conservatives respond more intensely):

http://research.vtc.vt.edu/news/2014/oct...

So, it could be that like hair color and eye color, genetically related groups are more likely to share political opinions. It also suggests that no matter how much we think we've chosen our politics, we probably haven't.

Conservatism means different things in different countries. In Russia, or Saudi Arabia, conservatism is different than here. But I think the experiment would show the same.

I think the "conservative brain" just supports the status quo as they know it. They are less amenable to change. But it doesn't have much to do with pure political conservatism as we define it in this country.

Submitted by Coronita on December 1, 2014 - 2:19pm.

FlyerInHi wrote:
njtosd wrote:
Also, possibly, because people's choice of political party is looking less and less like a choice and more like an inborn trait (such as introversion and extroversion). Recent studies show that people prefer the body odor of those who share their political leanings:

http://jewishbusinessnews.com/2014/09/16...

Data also seem to show that you can guess a persons political affiliation with something close to 95% accuracy by looking at a brain scan conducted while the subject is viewing a disgusting image (conservatives respond more intensely):

http://research.vtc.vt.edu/news/2014/oct...

So, it could be that like hair color and eye color, genetically related groups are more likely to share political opinions. It also suggests that no matter how much we think we've chosen our politics, we probably haven't.

Conservatism means different things in different countries. In Russia, or Saudi Arabia, conservatism is different than here. But I think the experiment would show the same.

I think the "conservative brain" just supports the status quo as they know it. They are less amenable to change. But it doesn't have much to do with pure political conservatism as we define it in this country.

I hope you came to terms with your tolerance for "fat people"... I mean, being all open-minded and everything :)

Submitted by FlyerInHi on December 1, 2014 - 2:32pm.

flu wrote:

I hope you came to terms with your tolerance for "fat people"... I mean, being all open-minded and everything :)

I tolerate just fine... But I don't have to have to acquiesce to the lifestyle that made people fat. Remember, energy comes from outside the body. Energy cannot be generated from within, otherwise we'd have free lunches and we all know there're no such thing (I stole this line from scaredy)

IMO, a true conservative would demand extreme personal sacrifice and free-will to achieve a standard of fitness that was the norm at the founding of America.

Submitted by CA renter on December 1, 2014 - 9:07pm.

FlyerInHi wrote:
I'm not Jewish but I consider myself an honorary Jew.

I think that key word here is "educated." The same statement applies to academics, Asian Americans, tech employees in Silicon Valley, educated clusters such as RTP/Raleigh-Durham, university towns such as Austin, Bloomington, Ann Arbor, Princeton.., populations in coastal urban centers, etc...

I had started to post something about the Jewish intellectual tradition the other day, but decided against it because I thought it would be too controversial. But, since you've put it out there...I agree.

As far as political leanings being an inborn trait, I would agree, but think it's more about empathy than it is about the desire to keep things as they are, though that's part of the issue, as well. It requires a ton of empathy to have consideration for those beneath you on the power/wealth/status scale, and to want them to move up to where you are, or higher, on that scale. IMO, people who are more empathetic tend to be more liberal, and those who are more less empathetic/jealous of their status in life (true jealousy, as distinct from envy) tend to lean more conservative.

While jealousy and the desire to attain a dominant position and to remain on top are perfectly natural human emotions (and probably necessary for survival, especially in more primitive times), the extent of this empathy/lack of empathy for others is likely at the root of our political/sociological differences.

And I believe that it takes a certain intellectual perspective to be able to truly appreciate another person's lot in life -- especially if it's very different from one's own -- and to have empathy for them...leading to a true desire to see them attain a higher socio-economic/power status that might feel more "threatening" to those already at the top.

Submitted by livinincali on December 2, 2014 - 9:30am.

CA renter wrote:

While jealousy and the desire to attain a dominant position and to remain on top are perfectly natural human emotions (and probably necessary for survival, especially in more primitive times), the extent of this empathy/lack of empathy for others is likely at the root of our political/sociological differences.

And I believe that it takes a certain intellectual perspective to be able to truly appreciate another person's lot in life -- especially if it's very different from one's own -- and to have empathy for them...leading to a true desire to see them attain a higher socio-economic/power status that might feel more "threatening" to those already at the top.

I don't know that it's a lack of empathy. It's the fact that many people don't behave as rational economic actors. If you give someone living paycheck to paycheck a $10/hr an hour raise are they going to use that addition money to save and behave rationally or are they going to blow it on junk from China.

No matter what people make there's always going to be someone on the bottom and if your at the bottom you're likely to be subject to some scarcity of some resource. The poorest of poor in this country live better than billions of other people on this planet.

I've come to realize I can't put myself in some dumb persons shoes. I just can't understand the decisions that they make or the things that they deem are important. I also can't dictate how they should do things either. That's where the Ivory tower types get it wrong. They can't force people to behave in a logical economic manner.

I know the flaws with supply side economics but if you want everybody to have a higher standard of living you need to produce more quality goods and services.

Submitted by EconProf on December 2, 2014 - 12:43pm.

livinincali wrote:
CA renter wrote:

While jealousy and the desire to attain a dominant position and to remain on top are perfectly natural human emotions (and probably necessary for survival, especially in more primitive times), the extent of this empathy/lack of empathy for others is likely at the root of our political/sociological differences.

And I believe that it takes a certain intellectual perspective to be able to truly appreciate another person's lot in life -- especially if it's very different from one's own -- and to have empathy for them...leading to a true desire to see them attain a higher socio-economic/power status that might feel more "threatening" to those already at the top.

I don't know that it's a lack of empathy. It's the fact that many people don't behave as rational economic actors. If you give someone living paycheck to paycheck a $10/hr an hour raise are they going to use that addition money to save and behave rationally or are they going to blow it on junk from China.

No matter what people make there's always going to be someone on the bottom and if your at the bottom you're likely to be subject to some scarcity of some resource. The poorest of poor in this country live better than billions of other people on this planet.

I've come to realize I can't put myself in some dumb persons shoes. I just can't understand the decisions that they make or the things that they deem are important. I also can't dictate how they should do things either. That's where the Ivory tower types get it wrong. They can't force people to behave in a logical economic manner.

I know the flaws with supply side economics but if you want everybody to have a higher standard of living you need to produce more quality goods and services.


I think you nailed it Livinincali. A big difference between the poor and the middle class is their time horizon, their planning, and their ability to defer gratification. This is either taught by the parents or not, and it has a lifelong impact.
What is important that we inherit from our parents is not so much money but values which determine our lifetime spending, education, and work ethic.

Submitted by FlyerInHi on December 2, 2014 - 2:18pm.

livinincali wrote:

if you want everybody to have a higher standard of living you need to produce more quality goods and services.

More goods and services. That's why austerity is contractionary. People in the ivory tower know that full well.

livinincali wrote:
I can't put myself in some dumb persons shoes. I just can't understand the decisions that they make or the things that they deem are important.

Talking about dumb, only dumb people believe that austerity is expansionary.

Also only dumb people believe that we can borrow from the future (unborn children). We borrow from each other, but never from the future. Nor can we borrow from our minor children because children don't have money. Educated people cannot countenance dumb statements and that's a reason they lean the way they do.

livinincali wrote:

If you give someone living paycheck to paycheck a $10/hr an hour raise are they going to use that addition money to save and behave rationally or are they going to blow it on junk from China.

How is that relevant to increasing goods and services for everyone?

More consumer spending does generate more goods and services.

livinincali wrote:

That's where the Ivory tower types get it wrong. They can't force people to behave in a logical economic manner.

It's not about morals or individual choices. It's about total aggregate goods and services for everyone.

So how is the ivory tower getting it wrong?

livinincali wrote:

The poorest of poor in this country live better than billions of other people on this planet.

How is that relevant to increasing the aggregate standard of living we enjoy?

It seems defeatist and counter to human ingenuity to say that the way we live is good enough.

Submitted by FlyerInHi on December 2, 2014 - 2:35pm.

njtosd wrote:

http://research.vtc.vt.edu/news/2014/oct...

So, it could be that like hair color and eye color, genetically related groups are more likely to share political opinions. It also suggests that no matter how much we think we've chosen our politics, we probably haven't.

Maybe conservatives' responses to disgusting images show their lesser ability to think abstractly and separate their individual revulsion from the theoretical.

In talking to conservatives, I often hear arguments like "I'm successful, so why should I feed losers who don't have the discipline and force of character to take care of themselves. I started from nothing, and I made it. So can they. They live pretty well already, so they have nothing to bitch about."

Liberal are more likely to talk in broader terms about policies that work for everybody, taking their individual circumstances less into account.

Submitted by livinincali on December 2, 2014 - 2:39pm.

FlyerInHi wrote:

How is that relevant to increasing goods and services for everyone?

More consumer spending does generate more goods and services.

It really depends. If I give everyone in America a check for 1 million dollars and they immediate quite their job and go out and spend the money did I grow the economy or shrink the economy. I have more consumer spending initially but I also encouraged people to stop being productive at the same time.

FlyerInHi wrote:

It's not about morals or individual choices. It's about total aggregate goods and services for everyone.
So how is the ivory tower getting it wrong?

Well more people working to produce something of value increase total goods and services but how does handing out food stamps, welfare checks, medical subsides, etc. encourage people to do productive things in the economy. Freeing up more money to buy iPhones built in China and enrich a company that already has tons of money isn't doing much to help the main street economy in the US. Yet that's where the problem lies, we can encourage demand but we can't necessarily direct that demand to something that will benefit the US economy on the whole.

There is no free lunch or painless solution to the problem of too much debt. The ivory tower keeps thinking they can grow their way out of this problem but they are wrong. Doesn't stop them from trying and claiming that the reason it didn't work is because it wasn't a big enough stimulus package. Those plans fail because they don't understand that people act in their own self interest and often irrationally.

Submitted by spdrun on December 2, 2014 - 3:01pm.

FlyerInHI - more goods and service don't necessarily equate to a higher standard of living. There come a point of diminishing returns. A person can only use one iPad at a time :)

If anything, the pressure to upgrade turns into a wealth transfer mechanism from the middle-class to the wealthy, and to Chinese biorobots building crap abroad.

Submitted by FlyerInHi on December 2, 2014 - 3:13pm.

livinincali wrote:

It really depends. If I give everyone in America a check for 1 million dollars and they immediate quite their job and go out and spend the money did I grow the economy or shrink the economy. I have more consumer spending initially but I also encouraged people to stop being productive at the same time.

"ceteris paribus" is the caveat.

There's also an optimum point.

Maybe giving each person $1 million extra will make them lazy. But giving them $3/hr extra might make them more productive. You don't know that.

And what's wrong with trying? Isn't progress all about trial and error?

livinincali wrote:

Well more people working to produce something of value increase total goods and services but how does handing out food stamps, welfare checks, medical subsides, etc. encourage people to do productive things in the economy. Freeing up more money to buy iPhones built in China and enrich a company that already has tons of money isn't doing much to help the main street economy in the US. Yet that's where the problem lies, we can encourage demand but we can't necessarily direct that demand to something that will benefit the US economy on the whole.

There's a lot here. But for one, medical care divorced from employment encourages people to start businesses and be more entrepreneurial. Smart phones make people more productive. They encourage all sorts of new services. China only gets a small portion of the added value.

The US is part of the world economy. World GDP growth is important to all of us.

livinincali wrote:

The ivory tower keeps thinking they can grow their way out of this problem but they are wrong.

You have not proved that they are wrong.
It's not just about growing the economy but arresting the decline. In fact, I believe that you're wrong because a contraction means a lowering of aggregate standard of living.

livinincali wrote:

Those plans fail because they don't understand that people act in their own self interest and often irrationally.

What plan failed exactly? In fact, the plans were successful but not successful enough.

The whole point is not to direct individual behavior but to provide the liquidity to spur aggregate productivity.

livinincali wrote:

There is no free lunch or painless solution to the problem of too much debt.

In the aggregate, fiat money is a close at it gets to a free lunch. It's just an invented human concept that facilitates commerce and the production of goods and services. That s the beauty of capitalism.

Submitted by Dukehorn on December 2, 2014 - 3:12pm.

kcal09 wrote:
Despite the clear abuse of Constitutional powers
(such as using the IRS as a weapon against conservatives) and the trashing of Israel and ultimately allowing Iran to get the bomb), why would educated Jews continue to support Obama and his party?

Maybe because we're Americans first and don't want to support a party which believes Moses is a Founding Father, which places states’ rights and sectionalism ahead of slavery as a cause of the Civil War; claimed that Joseph McCarthy’s blacklists of Americans were justified because communists had infiltrated the government during the Cold War; thinks that dragons still exist and are the dinosaurs of the past. [the past two weeks news on the Texas School Board "Republican standards" and a interesting critique blog of a science museum).

Maybe you know very little about Jewish history in the US? The history of discrimination/anti-semitism in the 20th century is well documented and there's some natural sympathy for the party which pushed for equal rights more than the other party.

That's just a start.

Submitted by poorgradstudent on December 2, 2014 - 3:39pm.

Since this thread is still going I'll pile on.

Mostly it comes down to being relatively socially liberal and generally okay with Big Government. Israel has socialized medicine and it works well there. So the two biggest rallying cries of the current Republican Party are ineffective.

Submitted by spdrun on December 2, 2014 - 3:47pm.

Republicans are just as much about big government as Dems, despite their arguing. The programs that they propose are just less useful to the average person.

Submitted by njtosd on December 2, 2014 - 4:01pm.

CA renter wrote:

While jealousy and the desire to attain a dominant position and to remain on top are perfectly natural human emotions (and probably necessary for survival, especially in more primitive times), the extent of this empathy/lack of empathy for others is likely at the root of our political/sociological differences.

Wait - you can't really be making the sweeping generalization that conservatives are less empathetic (are you? maybe I am misunderstanding). In fact, the heightened sensitivity among conservatives identified in one of the studies above would probably suggest the opposite. I have voted for presidents of both political parties and consider myself an independent. I don't think there is a difference in ultimate goodness between members of the two parties. I do think there is a difference in terms of perspective. I also think that each party has its share of bad eggs, and when it comes time to criticize, those bad eggs make good targets.

Submitted by njtosd on December 2, 2014 - 4:10pm.

FlyerInHi wrote:

In talking to conservatives, I often hear arguments like "I'm successful, so why should I feed losers who don't have the discipline and force of character to take care of themselves. I started from nothing, and I made it. So can they. They live pretty well already, so they have nothing to bitch about."

I'm sorry, Brian, but the conservative you quote above sounds just like you!!! You just have to change the object of disdain from a welfare recipient to a fat person. Do you talk to yourself?

Submitted by FlyerInHi on December 2, 2014 - 5:27pm.

njtosd wrote:

I'm sorry, Brian, but the conservative you quote above sounds just like you!!! You just have to change the object of disdain from a welfare recipient to a fat person. Do you talk to yourself?

I'm fully aware of that. There's is contempt and dismissal of people's struggles. That's my austere conservative side. Disdain, and morals have been used for millennia to keep people in check.

The difference with me is that there's no anger about "my money", wealth transfer and confiscation. Well, maybe a little (but not much) when it comes to medical care for people who "don't have their act together."

I am very surprised that conservatives think that people should have free access to the dessert buffet.

I make the separation between individual and aggregate. On an individual level, people do need to get their act together. But there are broad policies that would work to help everyone.

Submitted by Coronita on December 2, 2014 - 6:47pm.

Like I said before...At least at the local elections....Until CA democrats in CA change their viewpoint on affirmative action or ridiculous things like SCA-5 and drastically changes what "need based admissions means", I will vote accordingly against every one of them locally whether their opponent is GOP or an independent...indefinitely....

Anything to deny democrats a super majority in this state.Thank you State Senator Janet Nguyen of Orange County, District #34...

Which isn't really that bad because imho the local/state GOP candidates tend to be more moderate than probably some democrats from the midwest or south...

As far as the national election, I'll vote accordingly based on who the underdog is...

Submitted by an on December 2, 2014 - 6:53pm.

flu wrote:
Like I said before...At least at the local elections....Until CA democrats in CA change their viewpoint on affirmative action or ridiculous things like SCA-5 and drastically changes what "need based admissions means", I will vote accordingly against every one of them locally whether their opponent is GOP or an independent...indefinitely....Anything to deny democrats a super majority in this state.

Thank you State Senator Janet Nguyen of Orange County...

Which isn't really that bad because imho the local/state GOP candidates tend to be more moderate than probably some democrats from the midwest or south...

As far as the national election, I'll vote accordingly based on who the underdog is...

Exact. Unfortunately, I don't think CA democrats will change their tune anytime soon. Especially when they're courting the Hispanic votes.

There's absolutely no reason to give one party all the power. We've seen what happen when one side have all the power time and time again. They both suck when they have all the power. I so glad the Asian voters have woken up and see that (at least in CA), the Democrats don't really care about them. They like to lump all minorities into one bucket, but it doesn't work that way in real life.

Submitted by an on December 2, 2014 - 7:02pm.

Interesting exit poll from the 2014 elections:
http://www.cnn.com/election/2014/results...

Submitted by Coronita on December 2, 2014 - 7:57pm.

AN wrote:
Interesting exit poll from the 2014 elections:
http://www.cnn.com/election/2014/results/race/house#exit-polls

In this mid term, Asians were split nearly evenly nationally between GOP and Democrats...Compared to two years ago, I think the split was only 28% voting for the GOP... Granted it's a midterm election, but even compared to the last midterm, it's about 8%-10% increase for the GOP....

While probably not every asian feels this way, I know some asians do feel some of the policies set forth by the democrat platform are discriminatory against asians and this entire double standard unfairly punishes hard working individuals simply because of their race/ethnicity....Ironic, frankly...

My kid my be average at best (looks like it), but why should my kid have to work twice as hard for half the number of seats at colleges, simply because she has black hair, yellow skin, and an asian last name? Fvck that. And fvck affirmative action and quotas..

It's also interesting there were a lot of "minorities" that ran on the GOP ticket that won this time....

Submitted by FlyerInHi on December 2, 2014 - 8:37pm.

Flu, decades ago Asians discovered UCI and Taiwanese started buying houses in the surroundings so their kids could attend University High.

Michigan recently did away with affirmative action. Houses in Ann Arbor are cheap compared to the coasts. You could buy a house there and send your wife to live there with your kids for a few years. Michigan ranks among the top, and for now, there's less competition than in CA or NY.

Do you seriously think that Republicans are friends of Asian-Americans? Goodwin Liu was nominated by Obama to the Federal bench. He was on the path to the Supreme Court and was filibustered by Republicans.

My prediction is that as Asian-Americans participate more in politics, we will see something like voting patterns of Asians in Hawaii or San Francisco.

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