So Long, Democratic Party

The past eight years have been one slow death march of the Democratic Party’s abandonment of its Jewish voting bloc.
May 12, 2024
MicroStockHub/Getty Images; AlexSecret/Getty Images

Not that my political affiliation is any of your business, but I thought I might share with you that after 46 years as a die-hard Democrat, I have alerted the New York State Board of Elections that I am now, officially, an Independent.

Honestly, I couldn’t take it anymore. My options, as a voter, are now more open than ever.

The past eight years have been one slow death march of the Democratic Party’s abandonment of its Jewish voting bloc. It coincided with a descent into an illiberal, ahistorical and morally misguided adherence to identity politics, intersectionality, CRT, DEI, anti-colonialism, and the social upheavals wrought by “political correctness.”

It has led to a wide assortment of pathologies, ranging from restrictions on free speech and open inquiry to the debasement of our immigration laws, the bedlam on our streets and college campuses, the desertion of foreign allies, the brainwashing of our youth, the wrecking of our economy, the upending of gender and sexual categories, and an appalling anti-Americanism that I surely have not seen in my lifetime.

Party leaders have taken for granted that Jewish Republicans are an anathema, and people like me, who identify with 19th-century liberalism, have nowhere else to go. Believing that there is no risk of flight, they have consigned Jewish -Americans to a political party allied with those who would wipe Israel from the map (if these domestic haters could only find it on a map).

Those presumptions may turn out to be false. Jewish affiliation with Republican politics has already grown, and stands at 29%—even before some of the recent events that have alienated Jewish Democrats. And while there’s no actual party for Americans who eschew the two-party system altogether, I do not believe I will be alone this election as an unaffiliated voter.

To remain with the Democratic ticket would make me feel like a real donkey. I can live without an animal mascot representing independent voters (I suggest one that naturally stands apart from the herd). And I have reconciled myself to knowing that in 2022, New York banned any political party wishing to refer to itself as Independent.

Not being able to vote in the primaries is a small sacrifice. Standing on principle is more important, along with sending a message that the Democratic leadership already knows: it is no longer the party of FDR, JFK or LBJ. It has no affinity for Clintonian centrism, either. The Party has fast become a home for left-wing zealots for whom nothing matters more than pronoun usage, open borders, and emptying our prisons of overrepresented minorities.

The Democrats finally became the party that progressives and socialists wanted in electing Barack Obama. It was unfeasible for him, at the time, to implement the political transformation he had hoped his administration would bring. (Yes, I voted for him twice, even as I feared the generational damage it might inflict.)

Ironically, it was his politically more moderate vice president, Joe Biden, who would eventually accede to the Oval Office and take America in a direction that would make Bill Ayers, Pastor Jeremiah Wright and Reverend Louis Farrakhan proud.

For me, the breaking point came with Joe Biden’s shameful CNN interview where he made clear that the United States would not support Israel’s incursion into Rafah to route the remaining Hamas terrorists responsible for 10/7.

Let me get this straight: The United States devoted a decade to hunting down and assassinating Osama bin Laden, killing 250,000 Afghani and Iraqi civilians along the way. No condemning U.N. resolutions. No protests. No International Court of Justice proceedings. All throughout America’s War on Terror, Israel provided necessary intelligence and regional backup, and erected a 9/11 memorial—the only one outside the United States listing the names of all victims.

Yet, the Biden administration is withholding from Israel the necessary weaponry (already earmarked by Congress) with which to conduct its wholly justified military operations? Israel does not require Biden’s blessing. And the precision of the Rafah campaign will now be less precise.

Curiously, the president repeatedly acknowledged that 10/7 was an unprovoked attack for which Israel has a moral and legal right of self-defense, and that Hamas presents an existential threat that must be eradicated. Biden’s “ironclad” commitment to Israel has already gone limp. Apparently, unlike the United States, Israel must be denied its moral obligation to bring justice to its people and security to its borders. It can defend against missiles, but not dismantle them at the source.

Biden’s actions have given comfort to Hamas and its patron, Iran. Why should Hamas return hostages (some, Americans), if Biden is singularly focused on constraining Israeli military offenses?

Moreover, Biden just gave a shout-out to those ignorant college students and their Jew-hating, anti-American professors. Sorry, “Genocide Joe,” asserting your mojo and cultivating a youthful antisemitic constituency won’t help you come November.

For reasons only rabid progressives can explain, Palestinians, who are more like Hamas accomplices than true civilians, are more precious than the world’s other civilians. Is it because Jews aren’t permitted to win wars, especially against brown-skinned people? The Jewish state must always agree to ceasefires, perform humanitarian acts while fighting in self-defense, and sue for peace.

This betrayal has little to do with moral equivocation and everything to do with local politics. Biden will, apparently, do or say anything to woo the 600,000 Muslim voters of Michigan, and stay within the good graces of that dreadful Detroit Motown act, Bernie Sanders and the Squad.

Is it worth it, this backstabbing of Jewish-Americans, an important minority reliably loyal to the Democratic Party? Always true blue, as if the Party had nominated Moses as its standard bearer and Anne Frank as his running mate. The progressive perfidy is even more heartbreaking. Jews stood at the forefront of nearly every movement of social activism in the United States, from labor unions to civil liberties, feminism, civil rights, and gay rights.

Apparently, the reward for all those years of solidarity has been exclusion and antisemitism.

I am under no illusion that my departure from the Party will matter to anyone. After all, jettisoning Jewish white males is one of the objectives of its racial identity and rigid orthodoxy. Should moderates ever reclaim control from the Marxists and Islamists, give me a call.

In the end, Joe Biden picked the Muslims of Michigan over moral clarity, a coherent foreign policy, and love of country. Yes, he’s increasingly addled. But he well knows that Jewish-Americans, or Jewish-Israelis, are highly unlikely to ever burn an American flag and shout, “Death to America!”

Is there anything else he needs to know?

Thane Rosenbaum is a novelist, essayist, law professor and Distinguished University Professor at Touro University, where he directs the Forum on Life, Culture & Society. He is the legal analyst for CBS News Radio. His most recent book is titled “Saving Free Speech … From Itself,” and his forthcoming book is titled, “Beyond Proportionality: Is Israel Fighting a Just War in Gaza?”

Did you enjoy this article?
You'll love our roundtable.

Editor's Picks

Latest Articles

More news and opinions than at a
Shabbat dinner, right in your inbox.

More news and opinions than at a Shabbat dinner, right in your inbox.

More news and opinions than at a Shabbat dinner, right in your inbox.