What makes me a Jewish political conservative

What makes me a Jewish political conservative

 July 16, 2013 |  By Alan Bergstein

I was raised by my hard working immigrant parents in a Brooklyn, two bedroom, one bath apartment shared by five. No automobile, clothes were washed in the bathtub and the phone was located in Weinstein’s drug store down the block. My brother and I never complained, got educations and became professionals. And as many of my Jewish brethren around the country, through the years, we prospered and outgrew our traditional, lower economic surroundings and attitudes. We had homes, cars, traveled and our humble beginnings thankfully faded away.

We also matured politically, chucking our socialist upbringings out the window and taking advantage of the wonderful opportunities this great country offered us: the reason, of course, that our parents came here in the first place! So why are so many who were raised as we were and today living in prosperity, still mired in the “one bathroom” political mentality in which they were raised? Their origins of the Lower East Side and Brownsville have long since faded from their memories. Are they or their kids still operating sewing machines in the garment district? Are they earning livings driving cabs or trucks, selling door to door, packing cartons or stocking shelves as in the days of yore? No way! They have stormed into the upper middle class strata based on their drive, intelligence and fortitude. And the government had very little to do with their success.

My question then, is why are they for higher taxes, the reduction our defenses and clamoring for the redistribution of (their) income? Why are they in support of a president who castigates the free enterprise system that gave them the incredible opportunity to thrive in ways that their parents could have only dreamed? What reasons do they have for supporting the denigration of individual accomplishment? Most of them, in a wink, will tell you of their kids’ financial prosperity, successes and accomplishments, encouraged and prodded by this free, capitalistic, competitive society. So why do they yearn and vote for the return to their lives of yesteryear? It makes no sense to me for I refuse to even consider going back to that pathetic Brooklyn mentality even as much as I refuse to go back to my “Roosevelt” days.

However, there is hope on the horizon for the growth of political Conservatism among Jews. The younger population, more affluent than their parents at the same time in their lives, has little or no knowledge of the Depression years, of union membership or of religious discrimination. They earn big bucks, enjoy their well earned prosperity and want to stay that way. They have no interest in giving up that for which they have worked and studied so hard, in order to share with those who have not. Their attitude reflects the American way. And thanks to the actions of Barack Hussein Obama, Jews of all ages are moving toward the conservative political philosophy, recognizing the animosity the Left has for Israel and the Democrat Party’s wooing of the hostile Muslim world. I celebrate the removal of the term, “Jewish umbilical-cord Democrat” from my lexicon in describing the political wisdom of modern American Jewry. May G-d bless this nation and those who have sacrificed so much for our freedoms.

Alan Bergstein is a retired NYC school administrator residing in Boca Raton for the past 22 years. He is a columnist, public speaker, father of four and prides himself as being a staunch Jewish activist.

The above was published in the Sun-Sentinel at

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