Tag Archives: LGBT

Is ridiculing feelings like Baseball, Apple Pie and Chevrolet? Not in my America

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We all know the saying, “As American as Baseball, Apple Pie and Chevrolet”.  I always liked that saying, because although I’m not a car guy and Apple Pie isn’t my favorite thing in the world, at least those 3 things, I do like baseball a lot,  have the ability to contribute positively to people’s lives.  So if Apple Pie and Chevrolet are to be associated with things very American, that only stimulates and strengthens my patriotic impulse.  Unfortunately in the time passed since the election, it appears that a large segment of society thinks there is something else that is the American way, and that is the ridiculing of feelings.

I am white, I am Jewish, I am straight and I am male.  So in all fairness, as much as I genuinely am not pleased with the outcome of the election, the worst of Donald Trump’s campaign statements and his new administration’s potential upcoming policy agenda, at least on the surface won’t impact me directly.  So if I would speak constantly of ongoing sadness and despair, although I would have every right to feel it, I could see the rationale in calling me a cry baby.  But what about those, potentially at least, who feel they will be directly impacted?

The LGBT community has watched as the country has elected a ticket with a Vice President formerly in favor of using HIV funding for conversion therapy and once signed a bill to jail same sex couples in Indiana who applied for marriage licenses.  Are gay people whiners if they express concern and even fear?  Is the cast of Hamilton really harassing the Vice President elect as stated by the President-elect Donald Trump because they use their platform to first welcome him to their show and then call on him to be a public servant for all Americans? Are the feelings of people whose lives could get directly impacted by policy or attitude wrong for having feelings? Not in my America?

What about law-abiding, patriotic American Muslims.  And yes, for those of you on the right rolling your eyes and wondering how a proud Jewish man and proud Zionist could say such a thing, there are significantly more of those types of Muslims in the country than there are terrorists or terrorist sympathizers.  Are they wrong for being scared?  Are they wrong for feeling fear of the backlash caused by comments by the President-elect  and his new National Security adviser during the campaign?  Are they wrong for feeling as though they are being made to feel less than welcome in what is also their America?  Is it OK to see them as a threat merely for being born into the religion they were born into?  Not in my America?

But no other group has been made to feel more deeply isolated and frightened by what has taken place during this election cycle than the Latino community.  Addressing those Mexicans who are murderers and rapists in a way that left it open to be interpreted as all Mexicans, rallying people behind the building of a wall between the US and Mexico, and most significantly garnishing support by proposing rounding up all undocumented aliens and deporting them, was all it took to create an atmosphere of fear and despair in much of Latino America.  This is about much more than Donald Trump’s campaign rhetoric.  This is also about how so much of the American public took to the rhetoric.  Blaming undocumented immigrants for your poor lot in life is at best a precursor to a dangerous racist society, at worst the creation of it.   So I ask you, were Latinos who were shaking and crying the day after the election crybabies and whiners?  Not in my America.

I have often said that you can dispute facts but you can not dispute feelings.  Someone is not wrong for how they feel.  Their feelings may be based in the perversion of fact, but questioning the legitimacy of feelings is as illogical as saying someone is wrong for liking Pizza or Star Trek.  People like what they like and feel what they feel.  Furthermore, when a large segment of society feels a certain way, especially when those feelings are based on things they have consistently heard for over a year and a half, who is anyone to ridicule those feelings?  Are people who have been the basis and so much of the foundation of Donald Trump’s success wrong for feeling targeted?  Not in my America.

Just as we should not ridicule the feelings of those decent people who chose Donald Trump because they found him to be the best choice moving forward, so too we should not tolerate the ridicule of the people who are not happy with the result.  Particularly those who feel their lives might very well be negatively impacted.  You might say that protesting will do nothing positive and may just make it harder to move forward.  I understand that viewpoint. Rioting and causing damage to property and loss of life should be met with harsh and immediate punishment.  Without question I get that.  But is ridiculing feelings as much a symbol of this great country as Baseball, Apple Pie and Chevrolet? Not in my America.

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The Ethnically Diverse Guide to Picking a Republican

AP GOP 2016 DEBATE A ELN USA CO

 

This year’s presidential political cycle has been one of the most interesting ones in history. going from diversity to division, and to some extent even segregation.  This article is my assessment as to what certain groups, based on religion, race, gender, etc. need to look for tonight from the Republican field regardless of whether or not they are Republican or Democrat.  It is who I believe would be their best choice if they would vote Republican and only based their vote on matters pertaining specifically to their group.  As a Jewish American I will begin there.

1-The Jewish community-

This is an interesting one because most of the candidates can make some legitimate claim to caring about the well-being of the Jewish people and the security and future of the Jewish people.  At the worst of times for Israel, the support from Cruz, Rubio and Huckabee was considerable, while candidates like Trump, Christie and Bush have certainly seemed to be friends more than foes.  The one candidate I dismiss out of hand is Rand Paul.  That being said, the Jewish people need to look for someone who balances support for Israel for a purely political reason with someone who is all about their Christian values and or evangelism.  For me, although Huckabee is a friend of Israel, the fact that his friendship is based so much on his religious values, makes him a guy I like, but not someone I think the Jewish people should choose as president.  As far as Trump is concerned, I am quite certain he is a friend of the Jews, certainly since he has a Jewish daughter, but his recent comments about Israel and his choice to punish Netanyahu for saying that he does not support his call for a ban on Muslim immigrants puts him behind the others.  Bush, Christie and Kasich are OK, but not outspoken enough in their support.  Carson doesn’t make me feel very confident about how he would handle foreign affairs and subsequently isn’t worth the risk.  That leaves Cruz and Rubio.  During the Gaza War both of these candidates stood strong in their support of Israel, but Rubio comes across more to me as politician looking for the Jewish vote, while Cruz looks like someone unwavering in his support for Israel and friendship towards the Jewish people.  His right wing stances on so many other issues has to be taken into account when voting in the general election and yes he is also very Christian in his values, but since I believe his support is based at least as much on his wisdom as his religion, out of the Republicans he seems like the clear choice.

CHOICE: Ted Cruz

2-African American community-

Whether or not people of color vote Republican or Democrat this coming election, there is a significance in this election unlike any other.  After 2 terms of Barack Obama, making history should be put to the back burner in the coming election.  Safety of black communities   and economics need to be the priority. The vote usually goes towards the Democratic party, but if it would go Republican here is how I believe it breaks down.  With the increasing number of incidents leading to the death of black men at the hands of the police, and I am merely stating it happens not assigning blame, the most important factor to look for in choosing the next president is someone with a level-headed, non-biased approach.  Although I am not one of those people who thinks Trump is a racist, the last thing we need in this country to better race relations is someone who shoots from the hip and blurts out inflammatory comments.  That kind of rules out Chris Christie as well, not so much because of the comments he makes, but the perception he sometimes creates. As far as Ben Carson is concerned, yes  I know he is  black, but I’ve heard nothing from him to indicate that he is in touch with today’s reality.  I am not saying he isn’t, and I am definitely not the most qualified to speak on this, but to me he sometimes just comes off like another wealthy Republican, which on its own is fine, but as a choice for president for the black community, not so much. Part of what would make a Republican choice so interesting for the black community is that some candidates pull in lumps of white America, even elements that are racist. Tea Party candidates or anti-establishment candidates give a perception of being detached from the minorities in America, subsequently making Cruz, Rubio and Fiorina the wrong choices.  When looking at the remaining candidates the one that makes the most sense as being someone who can improve the inner cities while keeping a cool head during tense race-related issues is Governor John Kasich.  What he has done in Ohio would strongly help the African-American community nationwide and can’t be ignored.

CHOICE: John Kasich

3-White Males-

This is an interesting category because although I myself am a white male, I am one of those Jews that base my vote on being Jewish more than being white.  To be frank, that is because I personally refuse to make that distinction for myself.  That being said there are many white males in this country that do make that distinction without being bigoted or racist just as I often make my distinction based on being Jewish.  I know that conventional wisdom and the polls show that Trump must be their clear choice but I don’t know that to be true. Polarization helps no one in this country, and whether or not he intends to be or not, Trump is polarizing.  The question has to be asked though.  What is the white male’s main concern?  Probably the best word to use would be balance.  While the concerns of minorities in the country are being addressed, and rightly so, a white American male wants to know that he isn’t going to suffer as a result, not from actions of the minorities, but from neglect by the politicians.

CHOICE: Chris Christie

4-Hispanic community-

Like the Jewish community, there are many in this group who as mainstream Republicans or mainstream Democrats are totally integrated into society and will vote entirely for their personal interests. When it comes to their ethnicity however, the issues are slightly more complicated.  With 2 of the top Republicans being of Hispanic origin, Cruz and Rubio, this a community that can also make history. That doesn’t necessarily mean that doing so is the best course of action.  Assuming I am correct in saying Trump is not a racist, his comments have alienated him from too many people, Mexicans being second probably to Muslims, for him to install confidence in the entire Hispanic community.  The other candidates are pretty non-specific when it comes to this part of American society but may all be good enough to deal with their interests.  An argument can be made for John Kasich for the same reasons stated earlier when discussing the African-American community, but in this case I believe something more significant would help.  In this case I believe Hispanics should vote for one who is Hispanic as well, partially because I do believe he cares about his history, but even more because I believe the image of who he is would help the Hispanic community. And if we are talking about persona and image, Marco Rubio clearly is stronger than Ted Cruz when it comes to representing Hispanics.

CHOICE: Marco Rubio

5-Women-

Sorry, despite the fact that to some she might be the obvious choice, I am not going to say Carly Fiorina. Just like it is not unprecedented in history to find that the best choice for men can be a woman, most notably Golda Meir and Margaret Thatcher, it is my opinion that the best choice among the Republican candidates for women is a man.  The one question for women would be, do you vote as a Jewish woman, a black woman, a Hispanic women, a gay woman, etc.?  But since this article is about how I think how people should vote only if they take what they are and or where they come from into account, I will give my opinion on who is  the best person for women to vote for based solely on the fact that they are women.  Should they choose to vote Republican it is definitely not Donald Trump, as revealed by the comments he made to Megan Kelly and Carly Fiorina.  You see I am one of those people who does believe the tone and demeanor of the candidate does reflect the strength of the candidate.  Then again I have made some notable mistakes based on that theory, but still.  That being said, despite the fact that Ben Carson has viewpoints that the more liberal women would vehemently oppose purely because they are women, the combination of being level headed, diverse and someone who listens to people would have me say that Ben Carson should be the choice of women voters, should they decide to vote Republican, which might be very unlikely considering the Republican candidate will likely be running against Hillary Clinton.

CHOICE: Ben Carson

6-LGBT community-

If I thought a Muslim takeover of the country was imminent I would recommend Donald Trump, based solely on the fact that gay people under Muslim rule would fare almost as badly as Jewish people would, but since I think that danger, although not entirely unrealistic is a long way away, I think gay people, should they decide to vote Republican, should make their vote based on safety and economics while staying far away from the candidates who have made it very clear they have different plans for their future.  Frankly Donald Trump, a New Yorker and therefore exposed to all types of people would likely work better with the LGBT community than many others, but the person I would suggest for this particular group would be Jeb Bush, seeing as he is far less extreme in his conservatism than many others in the pack while still caring about economics and safety.

CHOICE: Jeb Bush 

 

To conclude, there is no scientific study or survey attached to this article.  It is purely my opinion and admittedly it is based on the premise that people separate themselves from others based on religion, color, nationality, gender and sexual orientation, something which I ironically find unpleasant and conflicting.  You see when it comes time for me to choose my candidate, be it a Democrat or Republican, do I make my choice solely on the fact that I am Jewish and a Zionist, or do I take other factors into account?  I am close to my decision and will reveal it soon, but in the meantime it is a source of much inner turmoil.

I also purposely chose a different candidate for each group of people, partially because I believe in my logic but partially to underscore the problem facing the Republican Party. That problem being that there is not one candidate that speaks to all the people and only one candidate shouting at some.  It also wasn’t an accident that I didn’t pick the shouter as the best choice for any of the groups.

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