If you try to understand American politics as a philosophical debate between “left” and “right,” you will go crazy. It all makes sense, however, if you see it as a struggle of shifting coalitions of ethnic groups and regions– Northeast and Midwest, South and Pacific Coast, Latinos and Jews, evangelicals and Catholics, whites and blacks. The striking correlation between ethnicity and partisanship– between being black or Jewish and being Democratic, for example, or between being a white Southern Protestant and being Republican–is impossible to explain in terms of individually- chosen ideology or even class interest, because ethnic groups and regions in the U.S. tend to vote as blocs, regardless of income. ~William Lind
Following Mr. Lind’s lead, I would add that it will also drive you crazy trying to figure out why all those religious, family-oriented immigrants and minorities don’t vote the GOP ticket. Orthodox ethnic communities might also be considered to be full of “natural Republicans” to the extent that they are full of natural conservatives, but the funny thing is that no one has ever bothered to tell the ethnic Orthodox this. Invariably, among “cradle” and most convert Orthodox alike their politics consistently and overwhelmingly skew left, or at least this has always been my impression, because as ethnic immigrants or the descendants of ethnic immigrants of the late 19th and early 20th centuries they much more “naturally” identified with the Democrats and have retained this identification in large numbers ever since (the exception might be among Serbian-Americans since the 1990s), and the converts who join tend to enter in by marriage and often share the general political affinities of their spouses. Of course, you can find converts and “cradle” Orthodox in America on the right, but in terms of predictable political loyalties these still represent the minority.