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Please take a moment to digest this provocative article by a Jewish Rabbi
from Teaneck, N.J. It is far and away the most succinct and thoughtful
explanation of how our nation is changing. The article appeared in The
Israel National News, and is directed to Jewish readership. 70% of American
Jews vote as Democrats. The Rabbi has some interesting comments in that
Rabbi Steven Pruzansky is the spiritual leader of Congregation Bnai Yeshurun
in Teaneck, New Jersey.<>
Perspective of a rabbi
The most charitable way of explaining the election results of 2012 is that
Americans voted for the status quo - for the incumbent President and for a
divided Congress. They must enjoy gridlock, partisanship, incompetence,
economic stagnation and avoidance of responsibility. And fewer people voted.
But as we awake from the nightmare, it is important to eschew the facile
explanations for the Romney defeat that will prevail among the chattering
classes. Romney did not lose because of the effects of Hurricane Sandy that
devastated this area, nor did he lose because he ran a poor campaign, nor
did he lose because the Republicans could have chosen better candidates, nor
did he lose because Obama benefited from a slight uptick in the economy due
to the business cycle.
Romney lost because he didn't get enough votes to win.
That might seem obvious, but not for the obvious reasons. Romney lost
because the conservative virtues - the traditional American virtues - of
liberty, hard work, free enterprise, private initiative and aspirations to
moral greatness - no longer inspire or animate a majority of the electorate.
The simplest reason why Romney lost was because it is impossible to compete
against free stuff.
Every businessman knows this; that is why the "loss leader" or the giveaway
is such a powerful marketing tool. Obama's America is one in which free
stuff is given away: the adults among the 47,000,000 on food stamps clearly
recognized for whom they should vote, and so they did, by the tens of
millions; those who - courtesy of Obama - receive two full years of
unemployment benefits (which, of course, both disincentivizes looking for
work and also motivates people to work off the books while collecting their
windfall) surely know for whom to vote. The lure of free stuff is
The defining moment of the whole campaign was the revelation of the
secretly-recorded video in which Romney acknowledged the difficulty of
winning an election in which "47% of the people" start off against him
because they pay no taxes and just receive money - "free stuff" - from the
government. Almost half of the population has no skin in the game - they don't
care about high taxes, promoting business, or creating jobs, nor do they care
that the money for their free stuff is being borrowed from their children
and from the Chinese. They just want the free stuff that comes their way at
someone else's expense. In the end, that 47% leaves very little margin for error
for any Republican and does not bode well for the future.
It is impossible to imagine a conservative candidate winning against such
overwhelming odds. People do vote their pocketbooks. In essence, the people
vote for a Congress who will not raise their taxes, and for a President who
will give them free stuff, never mind who has to pay for it.
That engenders the second reason why Romney lost: the inescapable conclusion
that the electorate is ignorant and uninformed. Indeed, it does not pay to
be an informed voter, because most other voters - the clear majority - are
unintelligent and easily swayed by emotion and raw populism.
That is the indelicate way of saying that too many people vote with their
hearts and not their heads. That is why Obama did not have to produce a
second term agenda, or even defend his first-term record. He needed only to
portray Mitt Romney as a rapacious capitalist who throws elderly women over
a cliff, when he is not just snatching away their cancer medication, while
starving the poor and cutting taxes for the rich.
During his 1956 presidential campaign, a woman called out to Adlai
Stevenson: "Senator, you have the vote of every thinking person!"
Stevenson called back: "That's not enough, madam, we need a majority!"
Truer words were never spoken.
Obama could get away with saying that "Romney wants the rich to play by a
different set of rules" - without ever defining what those different rules
were; with saying that the "rich should pay their fair share" - without ever
defining what a "fair share" is; with saying that Romney wants the poor,
elderly and sick to "fend for themselves" - without even acknowledging that all
these government programs are going bankrupt, their current insolvency only
papered over by deficit spending.
Similarly, Obama (or his surrogates) could hint to blacks that a Romney
victory would lead them back into chains and proclaim to women that their
abortions and birth control would be taken away. He could appeal to
Hispanics that Romney would have them all arrested and shipped to Mexico and
unabashedly state that he will not enforce the current immigration laws.
He could espouse the furtherance of the incestuous relationship between
governments and unions - in which politicians ply the unions with public
money, in exchange for which the unions provide the politicians with votes,
in exchange for which the politicians provide more money and the unions
provide more votes, etc., even though the money is gone.
Obama also knows that the electorate has changed - that whites will soon be
a minority in America (they're already a minority in California) and that the new
immigrants to the US are primarily from the Third World and do not share the
traditional American values that attracted immigrants in the 19th and 20th
centuries. It is a different world, and a different America. Obama is part of that
different America, knows it, and knows how to tap into it. That is why he won.
Obama also proved again that negative advertising works, invective sells,
and harsh personal attacks succeed. That Romney never engaged in such
diatribes points to his essential goodness as a person; his "negative ads"
were simple facts, never personal abuse - facts about high unemployment,
lower take-home pay, a loss of American power and prestige abroad, a lack of
leadership, etc. As a politician, though, Romney failed because he did not
embrace the devil's bargain of making unsustainable promises.
It turned out that it was not possible for Romney and Ryan - people of
substance, depth and ideas - to compete with the shallow populism and
platitudes of their opponents. Obama mastered the politics of envy - of
class warfare - never reaching out to Americans as such but to individual
groups, and cobbling together a winning majority from these minority groups.
If an Obama could not be defeated - with his record and his vision of
America, in which free stuff seduces voters - it is hard to envision any
change in the future. The road to Hillary Clinton in 2016 and to a
European-socialist economy - those very economies that are collapsing
today in Europe - is paved.
For Jews, mostly assimilated anyway and staunch Democrats, the results
demonstrate again that liberalism is their Torah. Almost 70% voted for a
president widely perceived by Israelis and most committed Jews as hostile to
Israel. They voted to secure Obama's future at America's expense and at
Israel's expense - in effect, preferring Obama to Netanyahu by a wide
time is ahead. Under present circumstances, it is inconceivable
that the US will take any aggressive action against Iran and will more likely
thwart any Israeli initiative. The US will preach the importance of negotiations
up until the production of the first Iranian nuclear weapon - and then state that
the world must learn to live with this new reality. But this election should be a
wake-up call to Jews. There is no permanent empire, nor is there an enduring
haven for Jews anywhere in the exile. The American empire began to decline
in 2007, and the deterioration has been exacerbated in the last five years. This
election only hastens that decline. Society is permeated with sloth, greed, envy
and materialistic excess. It has lost its moorings and its moral foundations. The
takers outnumber the
givers, and that will only increase in years to come. The "Occupy" riots across
this country in the last two years were mere dress rehearsals for what lies ahead -
years of unrest sparked by the increasing discontent of the unsuccessful who want
to seize the fruits and the bounty of the successful, and do not appreciate the slow
redistribution. If this election proves one thing, it is that the Old
gone. And, sad for the world, it is not coming back.
A. Hall is an actor. He plays the coroner on CSI if you
watch that show. He also is a Marine Vietnam War veteran, but does not
that he had his legs blown off in that war.
This should be required reading for every man, woman and child in the United States of America .
"I'm 63 and I'm Tired" by Robert A. Hall
I'm 63. Except for one semester in college when jobs were scarce and a six-month period when I was between jobs, but job-hunting every day, I've worked hard since I was 18. Despite some health challenges, I still put in 50-hour weeks, and haven't called in sick in seven or eight years. I make a good salary, but I didn't inherit my job or my income, and I worked to get where I am. Given the economy, there's no retirement in sight, and I'm tired. Very tired.
I'm tired of being told that I have to "spread the wealth" to people who don't have my work ethic. I'm tired of being told the government will take the money I earned, by force if necessary, and give it to people too lazy to earn it.
I'm tired of being told that I have to pay more taxes to "keep people in their homes." Sure, if they lost their jobs or got sick, I'm willing to help. But if they bought Mc Mansions at three times the price of our paid-off, $250,000 condo, on one-third of my salary, then let the left-wing Congress-critters who passed Fannie and Freddie and the Community Reinvestment Act that created the bubble use their own money to help them.
I'm tired of being told how bad America is by left-wing millionaires like Michael Moore, George Soros and Hollywood Entertainers who live in luxury because of the opportunities America provided to them. In thirty years, if they get their way, the United States will have:
1. the economy of Zimbabwe,
2. the freedom of the press of China
3. the crime and violence of Mexico,
4. the tolerance for Christian people of Iran
the freedom of speech of Venezuela ..
I'm tired of being told that Islam is a "Religion of Peace," when every day I can read stories of Muslim men killing their sisters, wives and daughters for their family "honor"; of Muslims rioting over some slight offense; of Muslims murdering Christian and Jews because they aren't "believers"; of Muslims burning schools for girls; of Muslims stoning teenage rape victims to death for "adultery"; of Muslims mutilating the genitals of little girls; all in the name of Allah, because the Qur'an and Sharia’s law tells them to.
I'm tired of being told that "race doesn't matter" in the post-racial world of Obama, when it's all that matters in affirmative action jobs, lower college admission and graduation standards for minorities (harming them the most), government contract set-asides, tolerance for the ghetto culture of violence and fatherless children that hurts minorities more than anyone, and in the appointment of U.S. Senators from Illinois.
I think it's very cool that we have a black president and that a black child is doing her homework at the desk where Lincoln wrote the Emancipation Proclamation. I just wish the black president was Condi Rice, or someone who believes more in freedom and the individual and less arrogantly in an all-knowing government.
I'm tired of being told that out of "tolerance for other cultures" we must not complain when Saudi Arabia uses the money we pay for their oil to fund mosques and madras Islamic schools to preach hate in America, while no American group is allowed to fund a church, synagogue or religious school in Saudi Arabia to teach love and tolerance.
I'm tired of being told I must lower my living standard to fight global warming, which no one is allowed to debate. My wife and I live in a two-bedroom apartment and carpool together five miles to our jobs. We also own a three-bedroom condo where our daughter and granddaughter live. Our carbon footprint is about 5% of Al Gore's, and if you're greener than Gore, you're green enough.
I'm tired of being told that drug addicts have a disease, and I must help support and treat them, and pay for the damage they do. Did a giant germ rush out of a dark alley, grab them, and stuff white powder up their noses while they tried to fight it off? I don't think gay people choose to be gay, but I #@*# sure think druggies chose to take drugs. And I'm tired of harassment from "cool" people treating me like a freak when I tell them I never tried marijuana.
I'm tired of illegal aliens being called "undocumented workers," especially those who aren't working, but living on welfare or crime. What's next? Calling drug dealers, "Undocumented Pharmacists"? And, no, I'm not against Hispanics. Most of them are Catholic, and it's been a few hundred years since Catholics wanted to kill me for my religion. I'm willing to fast track citizenship for any Hispanic who can speak English, doesn't have a criminal record and who is self-supporting without family on welfare, or who serves honorably for three years in our military. Those are the kind of citizens we need.
I'm tired of the trashing of our military by latte liberals and journalists, who would never wear the uniform of the Republic themselves, or let their entitlement-handicapped kids near a recruiting station. They and their kids can sit at home, never having to make split-second decisions under life and death circumstances, and bad mouth better people than themselves. Do bad things happen in war? You bet. Do our troops sometimes misbehave? Sure. Does this compare with the atrocities that were the policy of our enemies for the last fifty years and still are? Not even close.
So here's a deal for those folks. I'll let myself be subjected to all the humiliation and abuse that was heaped on terrorists at Abu Ghraib or Gitmo, while the critics of our military can be subject to captivity by the Muslims, who tortured and beheaded Daniel Pearl in Pakistan, or the Muslims who tortured and murdered Marine Lt. Col. William Higgins in Lebanon, or the Muslims who ran the blood-spattered Al Qaeda torture rooms our troops found in Iraq, or the Muslims who cut off the heads of schoolgirls in Indonesia because the girls were Christian --
MORE ON YOUR FUTURE HEALTH CARE.
The shoes continue to drop. See two articles in recent WSJ editions. Incidentally, twenty minutes per day with the WSJ will make you more "healthy, wealthy and wise" than hours on Facebook, My Space, Twitter and all the other e-crutches.