I get very upset when people, republican or democrat, conservative or liberal, say things like “I don’t like either choice for President”, or “I’ll vote for the lesser of two evils”. I cannot believe the number of people I have spoken with who say they just may not vote this year. Aside from being a defeatist attitude that I can do without, it is also naïve and uninformed.
I am very happy to say that I am voting for Barack Obama, and I want to explain a few reasons why. First off, I was a Hillary Clinton supporter at the beginning of the primaries (well actually John Edwards, but it became very clear early on that he was not going to win). I felt that she would be better suited to get things done, but alas, more people preferred Obama.
But now that the candidates are set, Obama’s message is one that I agree with totally, and fully support. I want to talk about a couple of areas of his platform as it would be futile to try and cover it all.
As an American Jew, I feel the need to discuss Jewish issues first. In actuality, I don’t believe that so called “Jewish issues” should be how I choose the president of the United States, but when speaking with friends and neighbors that is what seems to come up, especially at Synagogue. What are “Jewish Issues?” First thing that always comes to mind is Israel. Is Obama good for Israel and is he good for the Jews? That is what people keep asking. Well, I want to say that the answer to both is unequivocally YES.
Let me look at the last part first. Is Obama good for the Jews? When I hear this question, I cringe. What does it mean? What is good for the Jews? In America, it seems to me; whatever is good for America is good for the Jews. We are privileged to live in the greatest country that has ever existed on this planet. We have more freedoms and more possibilities that any Jews ever had; anywhere, anytime. There is nothing that I can imagine that would be good for America but bad for the Jews or vice versa. The two are forever intertwined. Is Obama good for America? That is easy. Our country and our planet is facing threats that were unfathomable in past times. Climate change, energy crisis and unaffordable education and health care are issues that every American should be using as their tests to choose the next president. People who see these issues in cyclical terms need to open their eyes and see what is happening right in front of them. Only Obama and the democrats will work towards a future that we will be proud to live in.
With five justices of the Supreme Court 70 years of age or older it is quite possible that the next president could be appointing as many. Of those five, three are on the more liberal side of the court and the appointment of conservative justices in their place will forever change the course of this country. I will not speculate what could change, but it is a very frightening thought in my mind.
Is Obama god for Israel? I choose to answer that second, because for the most part I find it an irrelevant question. I am an American and I vote for a president first and foremost based on how good he or she will be for America. Israel is the only democracy in the Middle East and America’s only real ally there. It is impossible in my mind to foresee ANY president break the bonds between Israel and the United States. Israel needs the United States and the United States needs Israel. So I find using Israel as a litmus test for electing a president to be very distasteful.
There you have it. I am proud to be an Obama supporter and pray for his election in November.