It’s been obvious for a long time now that the American political elite is undergoing a transformation. In the post-war period, the threat of global thermonuclear war froze things in place for a generation or more. One party was the coalition of novus civis, the newly minted members of American society. They were led, of course, by patricians like Roosevelt, but the foot soldiers were the ethnics who had arrived in the late 19th and early 20th century.
The other party was for the patricians. These were the core Americans who were white, Protestant and identified with the old Anglo-Saxon order. This party was, of course, led by patricians, like Rockefeller. Bush and Lodge. Their foot soldiers were the middle-class burghers who dominated the merchant classes.
The sixties saw that come apart as the ethnics became prosperous enough to join the middle-class. Once the ethnics could afford a house in the burbs and send their kids to college, they started to re-think their membership in the Democrat party. Once it was clear that the Progressive wing of that party was ready to start shooting the ethnics, it was not a long walk to the GOP, which is what happened in the 1970’s. The Archies were chased off by the Meatheads.
That’s where things would have stood if not for the end of the Cold War. Fear of a nuclear holocaust forced both parties to police their worst elements. A general agreement in the political class was that dangerous or reckless men must never be in the White House. Kennedy took two in the hat before he could blow up the world and that was as close as anyone was willing to get. The presidents from Kennedy forward may not have been great, but they were not loose cannons or reckless men unwilling to abide by the rules.
That changed when the wall came down. Bill Clinton was and is a vulgar degenerate and quite possibly a sociopath. He was nominated and elected because everyone felt it was safe to indulge in our worst instincts. Similarly, George W Bush was just spite for knocking off his old man eight years prior. Obama was the end of a long Progressive cuckold fantasy about the solution to race problems in America.
This coincides with the changing roles of the parties. The Democrats are now a purely ideological party. They seemed to be wholly disconnected from the normal operations of a political party in a liberal democracy. Obama pushes forward with polices that are not only unpopular, but positively dangerous to the country. For instance, the Middle East is on the brink of a regional war entirely due to his polices, that do nothing to advance American interests.
Coalition parties are the natural home for the religious. That’s why the American model has worked. You could be a Christian and a Democrat or a Jew and Republican. Allegiance to a party was about policy preferences, not group membership. Ideological parties require complete fidelity to the ideology. You can’t be a Progressive, for example, and oppose abortion or sodomy. That’s why Christians have been purged from the Democrat Party over the last two decades.
Jews are about to face the same dilemma, but from a slightly different angle. First there is the issue of Israel. Obama and the Progressives are about to give them the South Africa treatment. You can be sure that the word “apartheid” will be bouncing around the fever swamps and into the liberal press. The Jews are about to be declared the black hats and Netanyahu will be Die Groot Krokodil.
The other issue is the fact they are white, at least from the perspective of the coalition of the dispossessed. The Progressive cult awards piety points based on one’s distance from the evil white man. The typical Jewish male looks like a garden variety white guy to everyone else in the cult. More important, they are closer than the Muslims so the choice is easy, as far as Progressives are concerned.
Its why, ultimately, ideological parties are bad for Jews. There’s simply no getting around the ethnic loyalty problem presented by Jews in an ideological movement. One can stop being a Catholic, a Christian or a Shriner. You’re born a Jew. It’s the only religion that is also an ethnic group. For ideologues, Jews can never be trusted because they can never fully break from being Jewish. As the old Bolshevik saying goes, a man cannot chase two rabbits.
It is tempting to think that the Jews will just follow Archie Bunker over to the GOP. Maybe that will happen. I know a lot of Jews who are repulsed by what they see from the Left. But that assumes the GOP itself is not changing in response to what’s going on with its dance partner. The evidence suggests the GOP is, at the minimum, been destabilized, even as it is the majority party now.
The American system has always worked on the basis of two parties representing competing coalitions. Those coalitions agreed on the big stuff. They disagreed on the small stuff and how best to administer all of it. For the first time we now have a party that explicitly disagrees on the big stuff. In fact, one party appears to be defining itself as explicitly un-American.
The struggles you see with the GOP trying to formulate a response to the behavior of the Democrats is what you would expect from people trying the old tactics only to see them fall flat. The software of the GOP is built for a different age to face a different opponent. That means the GOP will have to change to match the Democrats, but into what?
History does not provide reasons to optimistic.