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Where are the Jewish Republicans?


American Jews, probably to no one’s surprise, tend to be overwhelmingly liberal. According to a Pew study conducted in 2021, “seven-in-ten Jewish adults identify with or lean toward the Democratic party, and half describe their political views as liberal.”

Being from Brooklyn, where I have befriended and become acquainted with plenty of Jews (both practicing and secular), I am actually surprised by this seven-in-ten statistic from Pew; I thought it would have been much higher!

My mother, who is a secular Jew, came from a family that voted solidly for Democrats. Most of the Jews that ran for congressional office in New York, where she was raised, just so happened to be from the Democratic party. A Jewish Republican was about as rare as a sasquatch or a vegan lion.

What’s more, most secular Jews, like those on my mother’s side of the family, think of Republicans as being reactionary evangelicals, whom they have nothing in common with. To them, Republicans are illiberal, gun-toting, bible-thumping, pro-life Christians who espouse bigotry and racism. This depiction of Republicans, though obviously myopic and distorted, is about in line with what most secular American Jews believe.

Of course, none of this is true. Republicans are not a monolithic group; they are, as I have learned in my 25 years of life experience, actually quite ideologically diverse. Being active in Republican circles, I have encountered Republicans of many stripes: libertarians, neocons, paleocons, those who were socially liberal and fiscally conservative, socially conservative and fiscally liberal, etc. In fact, the eclectic nature of conservative thought has, in many cases, proved to be an obstacle to passing legislation in Congress, even with clear Republican majorities. Just look at what happened with the Speaker of the House vote. Freedom Caucus types are very different from those on the center-right. So no, Republicans are not monolithic by any stretch. In fact, they could afford to be a little more ideologically cohesive…


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