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A Republican Jew on Passover

In the middle of our national flood of flagrant antisemitism from clueless college students, hateful Hamas supporters, and Nazi-in-training Democratic Progressives, this has become one of my favorite Passovers ever. Because I’ve finally done what five months ago I said I would–crossing the raging political waters to the other, safer side. Last week, someone on Facebook asked, in the shadow of the October 7th massacre, how will this Pesach be experienced differently than all other Pesachim. I answered, this year I’ll have a lot less sympathy for the Egyptians.

I spent the entire Trump presidency annoyed at my then-fellow Democrats. While I was still riding on the “let’s all measure our self-worth by our intersected identities” train, I could not stand the four years of sniveling, panicky, applied fear with which all of Democratic America so clearly decided to imbue every thought, every word, every prayer, every action. As if finding personal and communal self-respect and bravery was somehow completely impossible for anyone voting on the left side of the aisle to even conceive. 

I wasn’t thrilled with the politics of the moment. But I knew who I was. And I wasn’t—never have been and certainly am not now—a person who drives my entire human existence on a gas tank of fear of the entire world around me. As a party and a country, we lost so much potential—and so much self-respect—making a years-long project out of telling everyone how afraid we were. Did it really make anyone feel better? I hope so. Because not only didn’t it change a damned thing, but it made the entire era so much harder to deal with.

So I come to the post-10/7 era with some experience in realizing how to navigate a nation in which my measured worldview is at odds with a political movement that, once again, has gone completely fucking off the emotional rails. During Trump, the never-ending manufactured shock among Democrats that Republicans—after years of being told their perspectives didn’t matter—would dare to engage in ad hominem attacks on liberal politicians and voters was as non-credible as the equally nonstop Dem labelling of Republican policies as leading towards the end of America and American values. And don’t forget the choruses of “control the crazies in your own party” that went on and on and on and solved nothing.

And now, after Trump, under the Biden presidency, I’ve spent the past four years watching Democrats do the exact same things. Absolutely unrelenting ad hominem attacks from Democrats against Republican politicians and voters? Check. Refusing to deal with socially, economically, and national security critical situations and policies for the party’s political gain? Check. 

Out in public, vociferous refusals to check the crazies in their own party as the Progressives went from canceling the police to canceling border security to canceling Jewish Americans? Check. When Democrats in Congress repeatedly gave Rashida Tlaib’s Jew-hate a pass, the hypocrisy could not have been in fuller view. 

And, of course, it was the Republican Congress that finally—and rightfully—censured her.

Formerly Progressive Pennsylvania senator John Fetterman has said that he didn’t leave the Progressive movement, the movement—by dint of its increasingly hateful and un-American far-left ideology—left him. I share his ideological journey. As a matter of fact, I do believe antisemitism, weakened policing, and porous borders tear at the social, economic, and, frankly, moral fabric of the United States.

However, Democrats refusing to raise guardrails around around their own Progressive members and allowing them to lend credibility to a one-note ideological protest movement that supports a terrorist organization that literally states if you’re Jewish, your life doesn’t matter, and that you and your co-religionists should be killed in America and around the world? A movement that puts that kind of genocidal hate into action to attack, bully, demean, and instill fear in American Jews—and spreads that Jew-hate throughout downtowns and across campuses? While Progressive politicians and university presidents overtly place such ideology over protecting life?

This is exactly the kind of nakedly hateful, bullying, thisclose to murderous national outcome that Democrats spent the entire Trump presidency accusing the Republican Party of fostering. Except it’s the Democratic Party that actually got us here. I have a post-political friend now living in Europe who used to say she didn’t trust either party, because at their base, neither was truly on the side of actual Americans, or sought anything other than the continuation of their own political power.

But that’s not true, is it? Because Republicans didn’t come for the Jews. Democrats did.

That’s it for me. If Democrats as a party institutionally refuse to stand up to their own, nationally activated Progressive Jew-hate, that makes the Democratic Party a party of Jew-hate as a whole. Which means the only way to stand up to Progressive Jew-hate and protect American Jewish lives is to stand up to the Democrat party, itself. So for the sake of my own Jewish life and the lives of my fellow Jewish Americans, I cannot and will not any longer support the Democratic Party at all.

In fact, since 10/7, the only party that has consistently and unwaveringly stood up to antisemitic university leaders, stood against violent street and campus protests, and sought to enact legislative and regulatory barriers and consequences against institutionalized antisemitism is the Republican Party. (It’s also very worth noting, the only media platform that has consistently and unwaveringly covered those violent protests–at all, and more importantly from a Jewish lens that labels antisemitism for what it is and antisemites for who they are—is Fox News.)

I no longer support or have any faith in the Democratic Party, nor buy into Democratic—much less Progressive—tropes about Republicans or the Republican Party. I am now officially a registered Republican voter. I voted in the Illinois Republican Presidential primary for Nikki Haley. In November, I’ll vote for whomever is the national Republican presidential candidate—including Donald Trump. And I will continue to support GOP candidates—while voting strategically within my new party—over the long term.

Does all of that shock your Progressive sensibility regarding ongoing national struggles for women’s reproductive freedom, LGBTQ rights and transpeople rights in particular, immigrant rights, and the fights against racism and xenophobia? Will it make all of those efforts harder if Jewish Democrats walk away from the party entirely? Or swing voters?

Hmm. Maybe you should have supported Jewish Americans a little better over the past six months.


This Passover, I am unapologetically a socially liberal, fiscal and national security conservative Republican. I can fight within this party for the social outcomes I support (as many Republicans do—see: Arizona and the fight for abortion rights), including all of the above. But I will no longer do it through a morally toxic “identity-intersected colonialism” lens. I’ll do it through a Jewish one. And that means that I’ll do it in the party that hasn’t allowed 46 percent of its Congressional members to call for the destruction of Israel and for physical harm to befall American Jews. 

If my political choices have you screaming at your screen, you’re probably an antisemite. If you believe that Americans should be harassed for the actions of a country of which they aren’t citizens and where they don’t live simply because of a common religion, you’re definitely an antisemite.

And I assure you, in the GOP that’s still a pretty fucked up thing to be.


Mike Doyle

I’m an #OpenlyAutistic gay, Hispanic, urbanist, Disney World fan, New York native, politically independent, Jewish blogger in Chicago. I believe in social justice, big cities, and public transit. I write words and raise money for nonprofits. I’ve written this blog since 2005. And counting...

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