Thursday, October 10, 2013
Afterword on Assimilationist Liberalism
Afterword on the earlier piece on assimilationist liberalism:
A number of people chose to misinterpret the message there as some sort of call for American Jews to replace the liberal agenda with the Tea Party conservative agenda. That was decidedly NOT the point of the article.
Let me be clear. My criticism of assimilationist liberalism is mainly a rejection of the assimilationist misrepresentation of the liberal political agenda as Judaism. This is pseudo-religion and political theology, it is not Judaism. I would however be as opposed to anyone suggesting that the conservative political agenda should similarly serve as a substitute or replacement for Judaism.
I am as opposed to conservative assimilationism as to liberal assimilationism. Assimilationist conservatives do exist. I happen to agree more with the conservative political agenda than the liberal one, but I would be just as repulsed by the idea that Jews should jettison their Jewishness and embrace conservative politics as a substitute for Jewishness. To their credit, I am not aware of any assimilationist conservatives who are reductionists like the "Tikkun Olam" liberal pagans and who claim that all of Judaism can be reduced to pursuit of the conservative political agenda.
There are conservatives who have abandoned any Jewishness and who pursue conservative political ideological goals. I think we all know of such people. I pity them. These asscons (assimilationist conservatives) are as likely to intermarry and raise non-Jewish offspring as are the asslibs (assimilationist liberals). A Jewish Republican with a Christmas tree in the parlor is as repulsive to me as a Noam Chomsky or a Tony Judt.
I happen to think that on most political matters conservatives are correct more often than liberals are. I also think that whether or not this is so or whether or not you agree with me is irrelevant to my thesis that American non-Orthodox Jewry committed national suicide when it abandoned Judaism and substituted for it the pursuit of political fads. And this mis-representation of Judaism as political fads, this pseudo-Jewish substitution, is what ultimately lies behind the massive existential threat to American non-Orthodox Jewry from intermarriage.
By the way, here is an interesting article that makes some of the same points as mine did: http://thefederalist.com/2013/10/10/how-liberalism-destroyed-the-american-jew/ Note that even the author here misinterprets "Tikkun Olam."