Aug 3, 2008

The Jewish Vote: Nice Try, McCain!

It amazes me to no end -- though, in reality it shouldn't -- how significant the Jewish vote really is. Jews make up, what, 2 to 3 percent of the U.S. population? And yet, we're courted with the best of them, by all parties in hopes that the vote will swing one way or the other. Both sides appeal to our attachment to Israel, whether we're Secular Zionists, Religious Zionists, not Zionists at all, or just see Israel as a necessity in case something bad happens again (we'll need a refuge). Otherwise, for some, it's just the mention of Israel that sparks our interest -- afterall, it's almost hard-wired for us to vote based on the interests of Israel, isn't it?

So I thought it was interesting that while reading the Chicago Jewish News that I happ'd upon a brief opinion piece about a statement by McCain in late July that he intends to move the U.S. embassay in Israel immediately upon his election to Jerusalem from Tel Aviv. I seem to have slept through this announcement -- either that or it was quickly shuffled away because of his ridiculous ads likening Obama to Britney Spears and Paris Hilton. At any rate, I Googled this interesting little tidbit and came up with a piece from the Huffington Post that quickly cleared up the reason it probably didn't seem to hit on the radar: Bush promised it 8 years ago, and has anything happened since then? Nope. Still in Tel Aviv.

From what I can tell, the moving of the embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem isn't really that important to the Jewish/Israeli community as most (ignorant) politicians might think. And this seems like common knowledge, so I'm still trying to figure out why the author of this little op/ed piece insists that Barack Obama needs to step up and make the same (lofty and unncessary) promise in order to level the playing field or something.

Believe me, this isn't going to win McCain the election. Lofty, overreaching and ignorant promises don't help your campaign, they hurt it. And I'm sort of glad that this issue fell off the radar about as quickly as it hit it. It seems to me that the big divide for the Jewish vote is that nasty race issue and the elderly Jewish community. So for something a little more light-hearted, and in case you never saw it, please watch this side-splitting segment from the Daily Show!


Anonymous said...

Jews represent 2-3 % of the registered voting population in Florida and for that reason they are considered a very important voting block.

I agree with you concerning McCains promise to move the embassy to Jersualem. The McCain campaigns promise to move the US embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem is a symbolic measure indicating his position that Jerusalem is the undivided capital of the Israeli State.

Obama’s positions that Israel should negotiate with Iran and his stance on Jerusalem have caused many Jews to view him with both suspicion and caution. Furthermore, Obama’s background with Jeremiah Right, whose congregation has twice published the Hamas manifesto has concerned many. Therefore, it should be self evident why McCain pulled such a swipe at Obama; since obviously the door is wide open, many Jews haven’t made up their mind who they will vote for.

I am a Jew though who has made up his mind, and I vote for “none of the above.” I personally don’t like McCain and I find Obama to be nothing more then a salesman in a talking suit. I wont spend time discussing why I wont vote for McCain but since you are a Obama supporter I will tell you why I dont intend on voting for him.

I find Obama’s message of “change” is what people want in America. This withstanding I have yet to hear nor most importantly observe any difference from Obama then I have from countless other politicians. I believe he is very charismatic and people believe in the IDEA OF CHANGE but again what change? Bill Clinton was just like Obama but a bit more charismatic. He is pandering to the moderate vote and even to republicans just like countless other democrats in the past. I hear the political commentators explain this away by stating;

“ There are two elections, one for the democratic nomination and the other for the presidency. And in order to win you must shift to the middle.”

My response is, “ Where is the change then? Isn’t he sounding like every other politician whose come before him?” The fact that Obama has now said he will allow “limited” offshore drilling is just one of many examples I can think of that indicates he is just like everybody else. As far as I can tell now the only “change” Obama brings to politics is his skin color and his age...

And I find it morally reprehensible that people use a mans skin color to determine if they will or wont vote for him. For some reason we make skin color an issue rather then on what a man says/does... Not saying all are but many are, for better or worse. Those are my misc thoughts at midnight... I sign off as a Jew proud to say I am voting for “none of the above.”

PS-That Jewish vote in Florida is important for McCain since he is looking at the Jewish congressman Eric Cantor for VP

chaviva said...

Anon, thanks for your comments.

However, if you don't intend on voting ... please don't bother doing any complaining over the next four years, becuase you lose your right to kvetch the moment you dislodge yourself from the Democratic process. At least, that's my policy.

And no matter how much we convince ourselves that skin color is not an issue, it is -- for just about everyone. We're not colorblind (as a rule), and we all, if even for a second, have experienced a moment where we saw race before all else in a person, be it walking down a dark street at night, being in a convenience store alone, sitting in a meeting, or otherwise. It happens. It's nothing to be ashamed of. Embracing the realization that yah, race matters a lot of the time, isn't a bad thing -- it's positive to recognize this fault within ourselves.

And need I remind you that Bill Clinton did a lot of good? I think the comparison is positive. I mean, let's look at the U.S. budget, for one ...

Chas said...

Clinton was a hero. He courted generation X, pointed out to us that we may be the first generation not to benefit social security, to possibly not have health coverage, he had a vice that cared about the environment, and I am very unhappy that his wife did not win the nomination. You talk about McCain and empty promises, what about Obama? Does the word "change" make you swoon with the rest of twenty-somethings. Truth be told, he scares me. Understand, I will vote for sure, but I honestly don't think it will be for Obama. Or McCain for that matter. I just don't know.

Miss S. said...

Hahahaha...I loved that; thanks for sharing! Shabbat Shalom!

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