Monday, September 25, 2006

A Friend's take on the Jewish Perspective

I asked a friend of mine to articulate some of the things he thinks is important for a candidate to garner the Jewish vote. This was his response.

Much of the US strength stems from the economy, and lower taxes have
consistently helped long-term growth and driven short-term boosts.
Republicans are most likely to lower taxes, on the local and national
level, though their spending restraint has disappeared with their long
tenure in Congress.
School choice ("vouchers") is very important, and should be a rallying
cry for all citizens who want an improved educational result in the
U.S. Capitalism and competition deserve a chance. The current public
school system is a money sink with no sign nor need of response to the
crisis in under-educating generations of Americans.
I personally don't care much about creationism, gay "marriage", or
reproductive choice as defining issues for a given candidate or party,
but we've seen the fellow travelers associated with these hot buttons.
So a candidate who's beholden to, say, abortion groups will often be
aligned with the Ted Kennedy line of the Democratic pary, and I find
that to be a useful discriminant in ruling out a given candidate.
I see nothing disloyal in putting Israel at the top of my Jewish voter
agenda--obviously this is relevant only at the state and national
level. Israel cannot afford indecision, and we saw that just now in
Lebanon. The Bush administration was far more determined than Olmert's
in seeking a crushing blow against Iran's proxy, Hezbollah.
We vote our consciences, our hearts, our wallets, and we must
prioritize, and choose among usually mediocre power-hungry people with
unappealing talents for self-aggrandizement. But we must participate
(and bring a barf bag to the voting booth if needed).

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