Why are Russian Jews conservative? 

Recent-immigrant Russian Jews are Republican, reports the redoubtable Tyler Cowen. Key sentence, quoted from Russian emigre novelist Gary Shteyngart:

Feelings of oppression that began within the anti-Semitic confines of the Soviet Union are turned from a defensive to an offensive stance under the false perception that the Democratic Party is indistinguishable from the Communist Party of the USSR.

I have long felt that, in answer to the question posed by Norman Podhoretz in his book  Why Are Jews Liberal? is that American Jews, who are mostly descendants of immigrants from the pre-1914 Russian Empire, are liberals because they’re still voting against the Czar. It follows that recent Russian Jewish immigrants are conservatives because they’re still voting against Leonid Brezhnev.

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Michael Barone

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