FULL TEXT OF AMERICAN JEWISH COMMITTEE STATEMENT ON BLOC VOTING
The American process of democratic elections
is being jeopardized by the divisive myth of bloc voting. We especially
deplore the current tendency to imply that a Jewish vote, as such, exists
in national elections.
American Jews are influenced by the positions that parties and candidates take on the domestic and foreign issues which affect the welfare of all Americans. Important issues may arise which may influence Jewish voters more than other voters In their preference for a candidate. But every individual Jewish voter is influenced by a multiplicity of considerations which have no relation to his group identity. No individual or organization can muster the alleged "Jewish vote."
This fact was well expressed as far back as 1927 by Louis Marshall, then president of the American Jewish Committee: "There is no Jewish vote. We are American citizens and we adopt the principles of one or the other of the parties in accordance with our idea of what best contributes to the welfare of the country. If I ever heard of any attempt by my own party to differentiate between its members on the basis of their religious faith, I would denounce it as being hostile to the spirit that should prevail in our country."
Jews naturally abhor anti-Semitism and all other forms of bigotry, and are oppose to any candidate who is guilty of such manifestations. All available evidence indicates that neither presidential candidate harbors anti-Jewish prejudice or for that matter any religious prejudice. We are confident that Americans of all faiths will be influenced decisively by the personal qualifications of the candidates themselves, the positions they espouse on the vital issues of the day, and the customary party loyalty of voters.
It has been claimed that the "balanced ticket" indicates that Jews and other groups can be marshaled to vote for one candidate or another on the basis of their group identity. The "balanced ticket" has not operated with that effect, but has, rather, served to secure ample representation for the religious, ethnic, or racial groups, comprising the American citizenry.
Even in New York City where Jews constitute more than onequarter of its population, there has never been a Jewish mayor Jewish candidates for the mayoralty of New York have often fared badly in districts heavily populated by Jews. In the senatorial election of 1956 the Catholic candidate received greater support from the Jews of New York than did his Jewish rival. There is ample evidence that, like other citizens, Jews vote readily for candidates who are members of other faiths and that appeals based solely on their narrow so-called Jewish interests have not succeeded.
The American Jewish Committee has cooperated with both major political parties in striving to keep bigotry out of election campaigns. Journalists and broadcasters should avoid injecting spurious and divisive issues into the current campaign.
Vice President Richard M. Nixon made the following statement
I completely share the sentiments expressed in your statement, and deplore any attempts to divide Americans on a religious, racial, or sectional basis. I think it is most constructive that you are issuing thus statement as we begin this election campaign.
Senator John F. Kennedy made the following statement
The statement by Louis Marshall seems to be as true today as it was in 1927. The enrollment books of both political parties prove that Americans do not stratify along religious, racial, or ethnic lines. Any attempt to classify Americans along these lines should be immediately repudiated and I welcome the statement by the American Jewish Committee on this matter.