YDS: The Clare Spark Blog

January 19, 2016

“New York values”

New-Yorker-NY-Daily-News-side-by-side-CruzWhen presidential aspirant Ted Cruz accused his rival Donald J. Trump of professing “New York values” (ultra-liberal sponsorship of gay marriage and “pro-abortion” sentiments) I immediately took offense, for I recognized the latent antisemitism in that remark. Not so on Fox News Channel, with the notable exception of Geraldo Rivera, whose mother is Jewish.  Last  night (1-18-16) Irish Catholic Bill O’Reilly sharply distanced himself from the Geraldo diagnosis, perhaps  oblivious to his semi-conscious feelings. (As a culture warrior, O’Reilly blames “secular progressives” for assaulting Christmas. His [deicide] guests from that ostensibly atheistic faction have had “Jewish” names, though O’Reilly has not been an obvious antisemite.)

This blog goes over old ground, for since 1986 I have been studying both latent and explicit antisemitism, and I will be very specific.

Cruz’s characterization of “New York values” evokes the rural hostility to “Cain’s cities” that, in the [Iowan] agrarian argot signify violence and decadence. (See https://clarespark.com/2009/11/17/melencolia-i-and-the-apocalypse-1938/.) Moreover, New York has always been a target of politicians for its Jewish population, and it is accurate that “liberal” Jews have, since they were supposedly agents of ferment hostile to WASP America, risen in the socio-economic scale, and arousing fear of “the Jewish vote” (see https://clarespark.com/2011/06/17/the-famed-jewish-vote/).

But consider the two policies specified by Senator Cruz: “pro-abortion” and “gay marriage.” First, no feminist (female or male) is in favor of slaughtering babies. That expression “pro-abortion” evokes the blood libel, an ancient fantasy that Jews murder Christian infants for their matzo-flavoring blood. (Some feminists may refer to “abortion rights” but I prefer the notion of “choice.”)

“Gay marriage” offends some ultra-conservatives, because it evokes androgyny, blurring the sharp separation between male and female that, it is believed, are necessary ingredients for abolishing poverty in the (restored) patriarchal family. Hitler (in Mein Kampf) referred to the “feminized masses” who, in my reading, were oddly both gullible and too curious about the affairs of their betters. Hitler, like many historians, abhorred “mass politics” pandering to the base instincts, unlike the displaced aristocracy.

Caruba/Flickr in Reason.com

Caruba/Flickr in Reason.com

Close reading is necessary to decode propaganda. It is unlikely that Ted Cruz intended to vilify Jews. But when sharp eyed and sensitive students of stereotypes call him out on at least latent name-calling, it behooves him and all politicians and journalists to wise up, as O’Reilly likes to say. (Update: I found the Leipzig postcard under Google images for “mass politics”; i.e., the loss of the “good King” opens the door to the “special interest group” that divides and ultimately conquers “the body politic.”)

German postcard (1906): Leipzig special interest group

German postcard (1906): Leipzig special interest group

 

 

 

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2 Comments »

  1. Thank you for being so gracious as to print my comments above and on the spanking issue. On the NY values I need to apologize for my tone. After reading several more of your comments on your blog I think the Right is lucky to have you. So my last sentence above I apologize for. Lived in Israel for two years and loved it except for the statist politics, domestic and foreign policy. While I disagree 99% of the time with Chomsky I do agree with him that many of Israel’s so-called friends here are driving it to destruction. There is an anti-Zionist tradition on the US Jewish Right starting with Alfred Lilienthal, whom my boyfriend knew for over 30 years. We need to recover the art of disagreeing agreeably so here I’ll spank myself.

    Comment by Marcy Fleming — February 6, 2016 @ 7:08 am | Reply

  2. Get off it ! First, we Jews are not sacred cows and many of us reject the leftwing sewer of NYC and all it stands for. You see anti-Semites under every nook and cranny.
    See Goliath by Max Blumenthal. Israel has long been a racist, fascist, national socialist state and Bibi is a tribal racist thug.
    Cruz is way too pro-Israel and illustrates the fundies who are ruining the GOP.
    You illustrate to a T why the Right should not welcome former leftists into it’s ranks.

    Comment by Marcy Fleming — February 4, 2016 @ 7:59 am | Reply


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