It’s even easier to get wrapped up in the conventional democratic way of fighting an opponent or political movement you find distressing or even dangerous.
Yet when you have obviously & unabashedly anti-Jewish politicians, it seems a bit silly for Jews (including some frum Jews) to run after purely political solutions.
Needless to say, we are usually expected to make some effort, but it's important for daas Torah to decide how much effort derech hateva Jews should make, while taking other factors into consideration.
Why Politics Do & Don't Matter
And I'm not sure how much people care specifically about the Jewish community of their country, especially seeing as Jews tend to get along just fine without anyone else's help and are also such a small (though prominent) minority. I honestly don't think many people are concerned about increasing Jew-hatred in society. They neither feel it nor see it.
They care MUCH more about issues that directly affect them.
For example, who (outside of Jews) feel that America or Britain’s relationship with Israel really affects them or the country?
Many Jews feel that one of the big lessons from the Shoah is to pay a lot more attention to politics, especially if someone says he wants to kill you.
I don’t argue with that, but I simply follow it up with the question: “And then what?”
Why? Because I don’t see that any amount of campaigning and political participation and voting in the “right” people could have turned the tide of Nazism or Communism.
I think that many Jews in democratic countries have grown overconfident.
We’re used to having a voice and feeling equal.
But really, what’s the correct attitude and action to take?
We’ve seen this throughout history.
Here’s one bizarre example:
At the same time he upheld the savage Inquisition in Spain, King Charles V (1500-1558) provided German Jews with protection.
It makes no sense.
Yet it happened.
Who would have thought that the same king who allowed terrible torture and burning of Jews could also be their protector?
And this is what happened even earlier with King Achashverosh, who hated Jews even more than Haman...yet signed on a decree to prevent their genocide.
The Jew-Friendly President who Blocked the Jews
Coolidge was different than other politicians. Entering the presidency after the particularly corrupt Warren Harding, Coolidge got rid of the corrupt and inept people and hired decent officials in their stead.
In favor of small government, Coolidge cut taxes and lowered government spending.
He granted Native Americans US citizenship and instituted programs to improve conditions on reservations. Contrast him to Teddy Roosevelt (President from 1901 to 1909), who once called them "squalid savages" whose land needed to be "taken by the white race," and shoved them off reservations to give that land to American squatters, tourists, and national forests.
Coolidge defended the rights of black Americans and constantly pressured Congress to pass anti-lynching laws, refusing to appoint any KKK members to office.
He supported the nomination of a black Republican to Congress, shortened the workweek for women and children, increased teacher's salaries, and supported veterans.
As far as Jews go, he also seemed a relatively decent guy.
For example, Coolidge attended the cornerstone-laying of the Jewish Community Center of Washington, D.C. in 1925 and he said some very nice things. He praised Jewish participation in America’s Revolution of Independence, calling Judaism “the faith of liberty” and stating that "Hebraic mortar cemented the foundations of American democracy."
During the speech he included Jews in his opinion that when people have the freedom “to find the places for which they are best fitted…the vast multitude will rise to a higher level, to wider horizons, to worthier attainments."(1)
When unable to attend the Convention of the Zionist Organization in 1924, Coolidge extended his regrets for not coming and his good wishes to the attendees, then wrote:
“I have so many times reiterated my interest in this great movement that anything which I might say would be a repetition of former statements, but I am nevertheless glad to have this opportunity to express again my sympathy with that deep and intense longing which finds such fine expression in the Jewish National Homeland in Palestine.” (2)
Regarding a book of Jewish thought by England’s Chief Rabbi sent to Coolidge by an American Jew in 1923, Coolidge responded with a thank-you note in which he included the following:
“…I can see that it will prove of interest and value.” (3)
So he seemed to appreciate Jews and seemed as pro-Israel as an American president could be without there actually being a State of Israel.
And I’ve never found any anti-Jewish statements by him.
Yet it was this pro-Israel, Jewishly appreciative President who put the cap on Jewish immigration to America when he signed the 1924 Immigration Restriction Act.
Based on testimony by the Eugenics(!) Head Office to Congress, this new law designated that 86% of immigrants come from Western & Northern Europe, while Southern & Eastern European immigrants could make up only 9% of total immigrants.
Nine years before the evil fuehrer came to power in Germany, this law became the reason why Jews had such a hard time escaping Europe during the Nazi era.
Who Really Decides If It's Good for the Jews?
Just like all the other middle-class Americans.
While I oppose Jewish assimilation into American society, my point is that whether the non-Jewish ruling elite likes Jews or hates them, Hashem decides how Jews are affected by this.
Jews thrived in America, whether the government despised them or not.
Sympathetic non-Jewish rulers have sometimes proved powerless while Jew-haters sometimes provide the protection and freedom Jews need to flourish.
To truly affect our politicians positively, we need to turn to Hashem for our salvation.
He is the one who can make a sympathetic leader callous…
…or make a Jew-hater an ally & protector.