The Heresy and Evangelism of Bernie Sanders | Village Voice


Will Truman

Will Truman is the Editor-in-Chief of Ordinary Times. He is also on Twitter.

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8 Responses

  1. Avatar Saul Degraw says:

    This author is officially a moron. Most American Jews are still Denocratic. Like 80 percent. Why is he acting like most American Jews are right wing Republucabns? Most of those old Yiddish socialists that the author mentioned would have been dyed in the wool Zionists as well. This also escapes the author.Report

    • And Israel’s root are socialist; hasn’t this jerk ever heard of a kibbutz?Report

    • Avatar Art Deco says:

      Unless I’m mistaken, the author has confounded Sanders’ contemporaries with Irving Howe’s. Sanders was born in 1941; Howe in 1920. Brooklyn in 1952 had a considerable population of people who had come to this country as refugees (something that Leon Wieseltier, a decade younger than Sanders, has written about). However, the Socialist Party was a microfaction by 1952 everywhere but in Wisconsin (metro Milwaukee, really) and played no significant role in New York politics. The American Labor Party was still consequential in 1952, but it was in free fall demographically and formally dissolved before Sanders was out of high school. The ALP was based in the garment unions, which one might assume still had a mess of Yiddish speakers, but I would think that was a social circle distinct from those promoting either Zionism or Yiddish writing. Sanders’ parents may have enrolled in the ALP when they registered to vote (something you could do between 1938 and 1955), but they apparently were not garment workers. Jewish community politics in Brooklyn after 1954 would have been through the regular Democratic organization, reform clubs in the Democratic Party, the old Liberal Party of New York (an ALP derivative), or the Javits-Lefkowitz wing of the Republican Party.

      While we’re at it, is it proper usage to refer to people or corporations as ‘Yiddish’? Yiddish is a language. I’ve heard of ‘Yiddishists’ (purveyors and partakers of Yiddish language and literature).Report

      • Avatar Saul Degraw says:

        Yiddishkeit can roughly translate as Jewishness. But this takes a very Ashkenazi view of the Jewish world though.

        Sanders is Yiddishkeit through and through.Report

        • Avatar Art Deco says:

          In which frame? He’s not a practical man. If he’d grown up in Rochester, he’d have gotten that accounting degree at Baruch College, set up his practice on Monroe Avenue, and made a living satisfactory enough to afford a house in Brighton for his wife and children (of which their would have been two or perhaps three). Mrs. Sanders would have been a schoolteacher or social worker and spent just a few years as a housewife full stop. He wouldn’t have season tickets to the Philharmonic, but Dr. Shapiro and his wife down the street would. He sure would not have any bastard children nor would he have been futzing around trying to learn carpentry in his 20s.Report

      • Avatar Saul Degraw says:

        Bonus points for knowing Irving HoweReport

      • Avatar greginak says:

        Yes people are referred to as Yiddish. As examples i’ll trot out my long dead grandparents and their friends.Report

    • Avatar Art Deco says:

      You also see themes from the red haze journalism prevalent 35 years ago (and traded in by Ellen Schrecker in academic circles): the notion that ‘the left’ was destroyed by the federal police and associated cabals. They’re disinclined to acknowledge that their confederates never amounted to much in the broader population (Henry Wallace won all of 2% of the vote in the 1948 presidential election; there were a few Congresses between 1908 and 1953 wherein the ALP and like organizations had more than a half dozen seats, but none where their seat total exceeded 3% of the whole), and that the left-of-liberal vote just dissipated after its 1936 peak).Report