Monday, September 25, 2006

A Letter Sent to the Cleveland Jewish News

To the Editor:

You've recently published letters criticizing ads by a group called the Republican Jewish Coalition. I know nothing more of them than the ad content disclosed. But I don't recall seeing a commandment telling us to vote Democrat always, to bash Republicans always, and to believe (especially in this era of blogs) everything liberal media portray as fact.

The USA is a superpower, and can afford some mistakes, though some can be very costly, as was (is?) the late recognition of the Islamo-fascist threat to the West.
Thus a critical judgment I apply to every political candidate: Israel's fortunes. It is not hypocritical, disloyal, parochial , etc. to place Israel's safety, security, and fate at the top of my agenda as a Jewish voter. The U.S. may stumble and will recover; Israel has essentially no economic nor strategic depth, and unflinching US support is crucial.

I personally support school choice, and a voucher system may well spur improvement in all schools, public and private. Apparently reproductive choice is a liberal commandment but school choice is not. Gay "marriage" and creationism are not critical issues to me:that is my "choice".

My parents were civil servants, union members, and Democrats--until the late 1960's, when street crime ("all politics is local") and then inflation challenged their voting allegiance.

Each of us should choose candidates whom we may support in enough respects that we feel we are making the best civic choice. Sometimes the need for a majority in the House or Senate may supersede some of the defects in a given politician. So the party label may be more important than the candidate in some cases, and this is certainly distasteful. But reflexively bashing one party while ignoring the blackness of one's own kettle is intellectually lazy and sloppy. Let's see and hear reasoned argument rather than ad hominem attack.

Samuel Salamon
Cleveland OH 44115

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