Sunday, August 31, 2008

Patrick Buchanan and Sarah Palin: One Jew's Opinion and all of the usual suspects have jumped all over the Sarah Palin nomination. As usual, they are viewing the electorate as a series of ethnic, religious and interest blocs that need to be won over as if they were states. The fears and concerns of each group are played upon and manipulated, if not addressed.

Her greatest transgression has been reported to Jewish voters with breathless urgency. She campaigned for Pat Buchanan in 2000. Even politically conservative Jews have problems with Buchanan. His reflexive support for Nazi war criminals on trial is viewed with suspicion. His accusation that Jews urge the nation to war for their own interests has a negative historical resonance that is particularly strong with older Jewish voters. His revisionist approach to World War Two history and his statements about the holocaust bring his credibility issues with Jewish voters to critical mass.

There are other sides to Buchanan. His desire to defend America's borders, its cultural traditions and the faith of its citizens resonates deeply with millions. His opposition to gay marriage, abortion and the godlessness of public education are sentiments shared by many. The Democrats would have Jews quivering in fear of these sentiments. In truth, there are vast areas of overlapping concern to Jews who are guided by their traditions and Christians. Although Jews do not want to be mocked or missionised in public schools, the simple fact that most Americans are at least nominally Christian is an obvious fact.

Many Americans support Buchanan's domestic vision for America but have serious issues with his seemingly isolationist views on foreign policy. It was not an easy decision for me , but I shifted my support to other Republicans when Buchanan was running. I had the uncomfortable feeling that he would be as toxic to Israel as was Jimmy Carter. That was a decision I made with a heavy heart.

As much as I continue to oppose Buchanan's quest for high office, I am well aware of the millions like myself who were critical in their support of Pat Buchanan. The faults that others would overlook in supporting him were not the same ones I would overlook.

Sarah Palin supported Patrick Buchanan in 2000. If you do not know that now, it will be repeated endlessly from now until November. Sarah Palin has climbed the political ladder in Alaska from a small local mayoralty to the governor's mansion. She has established her reputation as an honest person whose personal values trump her party loyalty whenever the two are at odds. Her commitment to good government and the conformity of her personal life to her espoused religious faith have resonated with voters sufficiently to net her an approval rating frequently as high as 90% and never below 80%. Her ratings cut across Alaska's ethnic spectrum, as does her own household. (Her husband is of Yupik Inuit ancestry and a union member) Alaska's Jewish community is very fond of her. Her stated views on Israel are far more mainstream than those of Patrick Buchanan.

It is clear that Palin's ideological affinity to Buchanan is based on his domestic agenda. Like Buchanan, much of her political philosophy is derived from her religious faith. Orthodox Jewish voters share many of her concerns. Like her, they keep the popular culture at arms length in order that it not erode the foundations of the home.

The Democrats genuflect at the Wall of Separation Between Church and State. Many orthodox Jewish families labour under the burden of paying taxes to maintain public schools and paying tuition to maintain their own private schools. The same party that is pro choice and wants free abortions without parental support requires parental consent to administer Tylenol and prohibits school choice on on the public tax dollar. The party that rails against regressive taxes has no qualms about effectively taxing religious families into poverty. In the topsy turvy wonderland of Democratic political correctness, a prisoner may meet with the same clergyman on prison grounds who would be barred from a public school building to meet with students.

The Democrats have no mantle of sanctity when it comes to issues of Jewish concern. Obama remains the hands down choice of radical college professors who set the tone on campus after campus where the State of Israel is mercilessly villified. Jimmy Carter, Fidel Castro, Hamas and the Communist Party all swarm eagerly in the Democratic Party's "big tent" like flies on a dung hill. Sentiments and opinions once heard only in the precincts of the far left have now made it into the Democratic Party mainstream.

The Democratic Party has found many gullible customers for its fiction among Jewish voters. The same people who reject dietary and sabbath laws as outmoded speak of Roosevelt and the New Deal as reasons to vote for Obama. It is ironic that orthodox Jewish voters are most focused on the present in making political decisions despite accusations that we are living in the past.

The Democrats want us to focus on blocs. Women, Blacks, Gays , Jews Hispanics etc. In their market niche strategy, neighbours become strangers as they are pigeonholed into separate interest groups. It is a form of Balkanisation that erodes national cohesiveness.

Political parties build up individuals in ways that can be compared to software development. When beta software is tested, feedback from customers is incorporated into improved versions. Patrick Buchanan was in many ways a beta version of a presidential contender. If I were to look at Sarah Palin as his ideological successor, it would seem to me that a lot of the glitches have been ironed out. The Democratic Party has by contrast been slapping labes reading 1.0, 2.0 and 3.0 on products that have not progressed beyond the beta stage of development.

The Democrats are adept at putting a dismissive label on an idea to stop all discussion. My rabbi once was talking to someone who pointed out that the Nazis supported capital punishment. Instead of answering with discomfited silence my rabbi replied, "Hitler wore pants. Does that mean I should wear a dress?"

Sarah Palin was famous for using a line item veto on the Alaska state budget. Like many Republicans, this executive power was for her a matter of principal. I have no doubt that she looks at the political agenda of Pat Buchanan much like she would a Alaska's state budget. I am sure she is looking at it with a line item veto perspective.

We now know that Palin is anti abortion, devoutly Christian and in favour of more drilling for oil. If you can't tell me what is wrong with her, please move on.


Anonymous said...

Quite a good article.


Anonymous said...

Your article is seriously flawed and boarders on a all due respect says this about palin's supposed support of buchanan

Palin never endorsed or supported Pat Buchanan for president. She once wore a Buchanan button as a "courtesy" when he visited Wasilla, but shortly afterward she was appointed to co-chair of the campaign of Steve Forbes in the state.

I don't have the link, but Palin insists that she wrote to the local paper to state that she wore the button a a courtesy and didn't want anyone to think otherwise..I'd hope that if that letter to the editor exists you'll post a retraction..and even if it doesn't , that you see there's another side to this story .