Russian Immigrants Lean Republican--and They Would Know, Wouldn't They?
I'm a day late in getting to it, but yesterday the New York Times published one of those articles that reminds me why I still subscribe to the grey lady. Headlined "Among New York's Soviet Immigrants, Affinity for GOP," the article reported on Russian enclaves such as Brighton Beach. Excerpts:
To many Russian and Ukrainian immigrants, the cornucopia in the shops along Brighton Beach Avenue — pyramids of oranges, heaps of Kirby cucumbers, bushels of tomatoes with their vines still attached and a variety of fish, sausages and pastries — seems like an exuberant rebuke of the meager produce that was available to them when they lived in the Soviet Union.
This contrast helps explain a striking political anomaly: immigrants from the former Soviet Union are far more apt to vote for Republicans than are most New Yorkers, who often drink in Democratic Party allegiance with their mothers’ milk and are four times as likely to register as Democrats than as Republicans....
One reason these voters tend to support Republicans is that they see them as more ardent warriors against the kind of big-government, business-stifling programs that soured their lives in the Soviet Union....
Tatiana Varzar came to the United States in 1979, at age 21, from the Ukrainian seaport of Odessa. She worked as a manicurist and then opened a small restaurant on the boardwalk that grew into Tatiana Restaurant, a spacious magnet for foodies who like a whiff of salt air and a sea view with their pirogen. Today it is a destination for high-powered Russians, like some of the executives who own the Brooklyn Nets.
“I am what I am because of capitalism,” Ms. Varzar said, “and Republicans are more capitalistic.”
A simple, honest job of reporting--and the result is a story that could hardly be more profound.
But will the New York Times write an editorial suggesting that these immigrants may be onto something? Will it occur to anyone in the newsroom that if Russian immigrants see parallels between the old Soviet apparat and the leadership of the Democratic Party, then those parallels might truly exist? That outrageous posters such as the one to the right might not be all that outrageous after all?
"To see what is in front of one's nose," as George Orwell remarked, "needs a constant struggle."