Friday, October 31, 2008

Is It Good For The Jews? Some More Random Thoughts

An ad was run by a group of Jewish Republicans in Pennsylvania warning us against voting for Obama. They warned us Jews to remember "the lessons of the 30s and the 40s."

I am not 100% sure about what lessons they are talking about. In the last post, I assumed that they were talking about the centrality of Israel to Jewish life, and the need to respond --even overrespond -- to any dangers to Israel.

However, the set of lessons that I always take from the 30s and the 40s is that if someone writes his own campaign biography -- for example, Mein Kampf -- and says that the point of his existence is to murder all the Jews, you have to take that person at his word.

When so-called conservative radioheads and cable commentators complain that "our country" is being taken over by "those people", it's simply an act of free speech. Rush Limbaugh is always the first to tell you that the only purpose of his radio program is to generate revenues.

However, when a candidate for Vice President tells you that she is happy to be in the "Real America", you have to take her at her word. When she is talking about the "real America", she doesn't mean my fat Jewish ass. She doesn't mean my daughter from Asia, or my sister-in-law from Haiti, or my 3 Haitian-Jewish nephews or their respective families.

When a candidate for President tells you that his opponent want to "spread the wealth" and "approves messages" implying that Barack Obama is a "socialist", it says here that the point is that tax breaks are all well and good -- so long as those tax breaks go to Joe The Plumber -- and other real Americans. Tax breaks that go to other people -- not real Americans -- are just socialist redistribution to underserving "others".

When the Republican National Committee runs advertising deploring "Hollywood values", I am always like -- opposed to what? Back in the 30s and the 40s, the Jews from Pennsylvania will recall, Americans were a little more honest about what they were talking about. The Hays Office was established to censor movies. In the words of one important supporter (I can't recall, maybe even Hays himself), the point was to have the Catholics sensor the Jews to make sure the Protestants didn't see anything they weren't supposed to see.

As if there wasn't a problem in the world -- no war, no racism, no slavery, no sex, no violence, no children in factories and on farms seeing life to the fullest -- until the unfortunate day that some Jew put out a movie.

The problem with the nomination of Sarah Palin is not that she is unqualified. She has shown herself to be a very able politician. Her only flaw is that she has no interest in things that do not concern her directly . The situation in Israel, and the situation of people who are not "real Americans" did not really impact her life as the Governor of Alaska. She is interested in those things now, you can be sure.

I am a party of one, I know, but Sarah Palin is as qualifed to be President -- today -- as George Bush is qualified -- today.

She is more qualified than Bush, it seems to me, since after a short life of having nothing handed to her, she finds herself, at the age of 44, as one of the most powerful people in the Republican Party.

Only problem with Palin so far is that in playing Nixon to John McCain's Eisenhower, she has spent the only 7 weeks we have known her spewing nothing but bile and hatred.

And the lesson of the 30s and the 40s is that you have to take her at her word.

The lesson is that you can not let someone get so close to power without knowing what her real opinion is on anything. The only thing we really know about her is that she runs a socialist state where the principal resource is owned by the government, and that she can cut a good licensing deal with the oil companies. She sends out royalty checks to real Americans.

We also know that she is a marvelous stump speaker, 8-10-12 hours a day. On-script, and off-script. (Can you imagine Bush off-script for more than 30 seconds?). And we know that Governor Palin can easily stoke a crowd into shouting "socialist" "Muslim" "terrorist"and "kill him".

You can't let someone that unknown get that close to power. Especially, when her President is so old -- not because 72 is 0ld -- but because being a POW survivor, cancer survivor, up-24-hours-a-day for 2 straight years will make you old.

So the choice winds up being between Zionism and Judaism. And its tough.

4 years ago, with Bush in the White House, a man with no racist tendencies, I understood the Zionists' worries and factored them in. Even though I could not pull the lever for Bush, I understood the revulsion towards John Kerry.

But now.

The lesson of the 30s and the 40s for me is that the oldest, most cosmopolitan Jewish population in Europe was crushed in the blink of an eye.

Most likely, time will prove me wrong about Sarah Palin. But not before Election Day. Until then, I can only go with what I know.

What I know is that Palin is the force that has unleashed all those pent-up Southern frustrations about the 60s -- both the 1960s and the 1860s.

What I know is that John McCain says that Sarah Palin is the best choice because she stirs up the passion of the base.

You have to take McCain at his word. And with McCain even more so than with most, because McCain's feeling for something is always stronger than the words he uses to describe it.

Me too. In the end it comes down to my feeling. And my feeling is that on the Jewish/ Zionist borderline -- on where we are now in this Obama/ McCain decision -- the Zionist response is to move to Israel.

I go with the Jewish response where it is incumbent upon the Jew to be a good citizen of the country in which he finds himself. In the United States, it means to vote for the candidate that will give him the most freedom within the United States.

The candidate most likely to assume that he is a "real" American.

And that person -- by default -- is Barack Obama.