November 07, 2004


Why did over 1/2 the USA voting population (and we don't know what the non-voting population had to say) cast there votes for Bush and the Republican Party?

I don't like Bush, I don't think in the long run that he will be "good for the USA" or the world for that matter, and I believed much like Frum Dad; but I'm much less sanguine about the Democratic party. and liberalism, than before.

The fact is the Democrats and Liberals are losing me. They are losing me because of the disdain they have for those values I hold dear.

The discussion on one e-mail list that I am on hovered around the votes cast against marriage rights for gays; a ban I thought ludicrous, and made clear that I thought ludicrous. While I'm not for gay marriages I'm not interested in laws being written or retained which codify the sexual behaviour of two consenting adults. I don't want marriage police in my bedroom to certify I am conduction my
sexuality in accordance with some state belief. But I asked about the possibility of such a vote not being a statement of fear, as some would have it, but about being a statement of beliefs that certain practices were forbidden by moral laws.

Another poster responded that it was immoral to believe that homosexuality was immoral. That using the Bible as the standard of one's belief was, while s/he didn't quite use these words, reprehensible.

And here is where I jump ship; into the water unfortunately because the Republican/conservative boat isn't anymore comfortable to me.

But I have a right to my belief system.

Many may protest; but isn't it the same thing? You are claiming that homosexuality is wrong and we are claiming that belief is morally wrong.

In some senses of course it is. Proclaiming myself as an Orthodox Jew means I've accepted this theory of moral life as correct and others as incorrect, and to some extent, morally superior. This doesn't really need to be said; the same is applicable for all belief systems including atheism. Christians believe that Jesus came and the New Testament overrides what I refer to as the Torah. It doesn't surprise or upset me that a Christian would believe that my system of belief is inferior to theirs. It is implicit. Similarly an atheist believes that religion is a construct developed for the unscientific and that reason is a proper basis for morals. I know I'm simplifying the issue here, and people can tell me more, but this isn't to state the whole structure of any religious tenet. If I'm offended by this then I lead too sheltered of a life.

In any case, while believing they aren't equal to my belief system, I can not judge the system itself as inherently evil unless its tenets are so at odds with my belief system that there can be no real acceptance. Similarly, I can't, under normal circumstances, judge one person as less moral than I am as a person (excluding the hitlers of the world.) Such judgments are for G-d. Nor can I deny a person the right to think the way they do or believe the way they do.

I can proscribe against actions; not beliefs and thoughts.

There are other issues as well. The concept of abortion on demand; it used to be a cozier place for me---and that was even after having children. But when I hear people refer to the fetus in the womb as having no more significance than mucous in the nose, I must wonder what this choice has brought us. Turning back the clock isn't an option; but neither is going on as we are going on.

Morally equating targeting killings and the suicide bomber is repugnant to me and I believe repugnant to most people One is the killer of someone who if not stopped will continue to murder then other is cold blooded murder. I do not have to understand why they are doing it to know it is wrong and to know if one continues to embrace such actors they will continue to murder. I really believe that the Israeli-Arab conflict (for that is what is at the heart of this) would have ended much more quickly and much less tragically for all if the killings were simply condemned without the understanding. Lack of sympathy would have required them to use words and compromise rather than killing to gain their desire.

But as I said, I'm not a Republican. In many ways I'm a liberal tried and true. I would much rather feed a freeloader than allow a impoverished person to starve.
I think quality health care is something everyone deserves and no one should be better served. I think that the disparity in terms of wages between the highest and the lowest paid should be much lower than it is. I believe in quality housing for the poor, for equal police protection for all, and for a good sound education for everyone (though much different than is envisioned by most people.) I believe that environmental are vital to everyone; that global warming is upon us, and that we will suffer as a world if it isn't held in check. I'm a proponent of stem cell research using discarded or unusable embryos.

Therefore, when I go to vote, I have to vote on what the immediate issues are today.

I just wish there was a party I could identify with more strongly; I wish that was the Democratic Party. It could be, if they would stop shoving me away. But don't expect me to dance with you if your telling me how ugly I am.

Posted by Rachel Ann at November 7, 2004 10:18 AM

I just tried to post a comment, and my computer attacked me!

I meant to say, I agree with Rachel-Ann.

Posted by: Sally at November 7, 2004 08:26 PM

Well only 25% of American Jews voted for President Bush. You and Frum Dad are in the majority. I still hope to respond to Frum Dad. Even if it's after the election.
Soccer Dad.
(So many Dads :-)

Posted by: David Gerstman at November 8, 2004 12:17 AM

I love your closer--

I just wish there was a party I could identify with more strongly; I wish that was the Democratic Party. It could be, if they would stop shoving me away. But don't expect me to dance with you if your telling me how ugly I am.

That's it exactly. Or to borrow from an Onion satire headline, "People Don't Like It When You Call Them Stupid."

Posted by: ilyka at November 8, 2004 02:06 AM

Al Sharpton + Cynthia Mckinney = no place for the American Jew in the Democratic Party.

Posted by: RP at November 9, 2004 07:59 PM

Yeah. I've been having this problem too, in a way. Not so much with the really-crazy-liberalism that treats Secularism/Atheism as a religion and yet simultaneously refuses to recognize that that's how they're treating it -- which is essentially what the responding poster was doing...

Not so much with them, because I don't think they constitute the majority of liberals (though the "atheism is not a religion" delusion is more prevalent.)

But there is a problem with teh Democrats losing direction, trying to be "all tough," and then getting it wrong, or trying to be super-nice and going too far the other way.

This isn't well thought out, so I'm sorry. But the point is, yeah, I'm having the same kind of problem.

And, I'll say it here first. I just get a bad vibe from Hillary, so unless the GOP runs Geb Bush against her in 2008, I (probably) won't be voting for her.


Posted by: FrumDad at November 11, 2004 06:14 AM

Also --

SoccerDad, although it was only 25% of Jews overall, it was probably more like 80-90 percent of frum Jews. And I pretty much live in a ghetto.


Posted by: FrumDad at November 11, 2004 06:16 AM
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