Thursday, October 30, 2008

Obama/Biden '08

I am deeply preturbed by the frenzy of ridiculous fear surrounding the possible election of Barack Obama in our community.

After much inner debate I have decided to vote for Obama/Biden.

I am voting for Barack Obama because I think there’s a tremendous opportunity at hand to elect someone with a special ability to lead and inspire. For the most part politicians are cranky old saps too set in the world of politics to see past their narrow vision. But every once in awhile someone like Kennedy or Reagan comes along. I think Obama is a brilliant writer and thinker with an open and creative mind. America and the world needs someone like that right about now.

I understand the frum community generally weaned on the brilliant pages of the likes of the New York Post thinks it can laugh at the rest of the Western World and go on an isolationist path. This is wrong and dangerous. We need a leader who can command respect around the world. We need a leader with a mandate and a voice that people will listen to.

Apparently the new dirty word around town is Socialism... Spoken of in hushed whispers and fearful rumors. Why is it that when the Israeli Government decides to be more capitalistic and slash funding for charities and social welfare programs theyre called all kinds of horrible names? The whole concept of Ma’aser and the like are socialist.
Taking 5% more taxes from those making over $250,000 and allowing other less fortunates to have evil?

His past associations don’t concern me in the least bit. I’ve read his books and followed his career. He’s a good hearted person with a good head on his shoulders and sound judgement.
His policies are very clearly articulated on his website and on Israel it’s almost identical to McCains. I believe he’s sincere in his positions. I don’t think there’s anything wrong with being a strong supporter of Israel and at the same time acknowledging that there’s another people involved and even empathizing a little with the plight of ordinary Palestinians. That doesn’t either make someone evil.

I think it’s difficult for a white person to look into a Black church and take out some dramatics and antics and judge a person by that.
I remember living in Israel when the media would go crazy every time R’ Ovadia Yosef called Chilonim colorful names etc. Does that mean Aryeh Deri should never run for office?? A Chiloni just doesn’t get the frum mind and lingo and the same is with those Black congregations.
Or imagine someone from some Chassidic community runs for President and the media gets hold of a tape of him sitting in shul while his Rebbe is railing against Treifene America!

I was actually shaking my head when Obama got up in front of AIPAC and promised a United Jerusalem. I thought he’d be different. Come on, we all know that these issues like Jerusalem will be on the table in final negotiations. McCain knows it, Bush knows it first hand, the Israelis know it. To get up in front an audience and just lie to get applause and to please the heart of a community that is just out of touch with reality was dissapointing to me, and I’m glad he clarified that the next day. To me that showed a maturity.
The whole issue of talking to Iran is also so ridiculous. Obama said that if it’s in the interest of the United States he would sit down with anyone. Hello? The Government is elected to serve the interest of the country and to be open minded and even do things that might upset the emotional equilibrium of the population. So yes, Mr. Obama thank you for articulating something so simple and basic.

Finally, the ugly truth is that our community is tinged with racism. If anyone would hear average Americans talk about us the way we talk about some minorities they’d be horrified...but that’s for another post.

I liked McCain a lot but I was very dissapointed at the pettiness and impulsiveness that he’s shown during this campaign.

Don’t forget we’re voting for President of the United States here...not President of the Jewish people. The country is going through tough times. Obama has good plans on the table, a good flexible open mind and a way of connecting to the people and articulating ideas. It’s what our country needs most right now.

I don’t see Obama as the lesser of two evils. I see him as a potentially great President.
I see him as a very smart, humble man who knows how to listen and has the ideal temperament to the United States during these difficult times.

One last thing..
The fact that America is potentially a week away from electing a black president with a name like Obama and a muslim grandfather makes me very proud to be American.