Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Coulter, Jews and Culturism

I saw Ann Coulter last night. Not surprisingly, she made some shocking remarks. Amongst them was the claim that liberals hate Jews. A liberal audience member hated the fact that she used the word hate! She responded by arguing that between covering for Palestinian atrocities, blaming Jews for infractions, protecting Ahmadinejad and other policies enabling the annihilation of Israel, it seemed like hate.

Then the liberal asked her a very interesting question, “If liberals hate Jews, why did the vast majority vote for Obama?” Coulter said she was personally dumbfounded by the phenomenon. She didn’t know. But she guessed it had to do with Jews once having been the “popular victims” and not having realized they’d lost the status. She has the instincts of a lightening rod! Her answer did not satisfy me.

Herein it gets personal. I am Jewish. And, though I do not identify as such, as thinker I must ask, “would it be anti-culturism if I did identify as a Jew?“ The answer is no. That is because Judaism is integral to Western history. We share values with the West. To be Jewish is to be a part of the West.

That said, culturists being culturists they must acknowledge Judaism has distinct cultural propensities. When the Jews came to America, like others, they brought their own history, tradition and ideologies with them. The largest influx of Jews to come to our shores was escaping tyranny and oppression at the hands of the Russian czar. A large faction was also embracing socialism as they rejected the faith of their fathers.

Jews' leading roles in the Civil Rights movement likely reflect this history. This Jewish orientation, magnified by a propensity for being lawyers inherited from Talmudic traditions, definitely sped up the rise of civil rights, multiculturalism and open borders. For better or worse, history impacts culture. And the entry of particular cultures into mainstream culture also has an impact.

Blindly using laws to assist all victims hurts Jews. We do not benefit when protecting the rights of anti-semites to enter the nation and spread theocratic ideals. Doing so puts Jews at odds with the protection of western culture. Insanely enough, many Jews even ride this cultural trajectory into positions where they fight for the rights of those who would destroy Israel. Rather than automatically siding with the underdog, due to our broader roots and heritage, we should just fight for the West.

Many Jews are Democrats because their parents were Democrats. Their parents were Democrats for the same reason. Ultimately, we fight for underdogs because of our treatment in Russia. Culturist explanations teach us that people naturally and without much scrutiny absorb the cultures that nurture them. By recognizing this trend we can diffuse it. We can start to ask ourselves why we Jews, of all people, would be so enthusiastic about a disciple of Farrakhan’s friend, Reverend Jeremiah Wright, who wants to have discussions with Ahmadinejad.
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