Tag Archives: Marco Rubio

And my Vote goes to…

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MY CHOICE FOR PRESIDENT IS…

As the Democratic National Convention gets underway, we know one thing for sure. November will be historic.  The citizens of America will either elect a businessman from New York, a man with no formal experience in politics or, for the first time in the nation’s history, a woman as President of the United States.  There have been times in the past when the candidates of one of the parties was somewhat more obscure, or at the very least less high-profile, but this year without question, name recognition is not an issue. Everyone knows who Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump are?  Or do they?

I don’t want to use this forum as a means of showing my support for one candidate by trashing the other, but in this election the majority of voters are at least somewhat impacted by that which they do not like about the other.  It’s very much about spin.  Take the most extreme supporter on either side and there is nothing the opposing candidate can do that will be seen as OK.  However, there is one glaring difference in my estimation. We can at least claim to know the worst there is to know about Hillary.  But what about Trump?  Somehow people have come to believe that a millionaire businessman, the owner of hotels, private jets and helicopters, is somehow a regular guy, a man of the people. They look at me with a straight face and say they won’t vote for Hillary because she is a liar or corrupt.They actually allow themselves to believe that Donald Trump has gotten to where he is out of sheer brilliance and hard work.  I won’t sit here and prosecute the case against him, but really?  If you believe that I have a great university you should attend. It will make you rich.

I know the criticisms against Hillary and I will openly admit that I don’t like everything about her, but do I have a far greater amount of confidence in her ability to lead this country in the right direction than Donald Trump?  Without question I do.  Was Benghazi a tragedy?  Of course it was.  Could things have been handled better? Maybe, probably, I don’t know. But I do know that under George W. Bush 13 embassies were attacked and 60 people were killed.  We’re America. We are hated by those who want to take what we have or change who we are.  We are targets and will remain targets as long as there is evil in the world.

I don’t like the Iran deal.  Never have, likely never will.  But even if I am to see it as a total attack on Israel, which I don’t necessarily do, I see it as President Obama’s deal not Hillary Clinton’s.  To say a Secretary of State is wrong for working towards the goals of her boss doesn’t make him or her complicit in the outcome of the goal, good or bad.  It makes them a loyal servant to the Commander in Chief.  I am also comfortable to go on record and say that in areas I disagree with the president, I believe him to be more someone trying to save the world, sometimes naively, rather than someone trying to bring anyone, including Israel, destruction.

Emails? Sorry. I am not even going to make a case as to why this is not enough reason for me to vote for Donald Trump over Hillary.

People say that Donald Trump is preying on the fears of the people.  That is partially true. Sadly I believe he is also exposing the stupidity of many.  I would never say that all people voting for Trump are stupid, many are highly intelligent, but I do believe he is counting on the vote of those that are stupid. If Hollywood made a movie, and the day after the Democratic National Convention started the Republican nominee’s best response to what he saw was calling the Democratic nominee Hillary “ROTTEN” Clinton, people would have assumed we were watching a Mel Brooks satire.  But no, this really happened, and it happened from someone people still take seriously.  Someone who made fun of Carly Fiorina’s face, likened Ben Carson to a child molester, called his opponents names like Little Marco and Lyin Ted, mocked a handicapped person, called Mexicans rapists, called for a ban of an entire religion, said John Mccain wasn’t a war  hero because he got caught, and yes, even spoke about the size of his penis. This man is somehow considered to be more qualified than Hillary Clinton?  Really?

As a Jewish man and a Zionist I say this.  Many reading this see history and see Roosevelt and Churchill as great men.  I won’t sit here and necessarily challenge that.  Had they not led the world to victory against Adolph Hitler it is possible that western civilization as we know it would not exist and all we know as Jews would be gone.  But before we judge people on a standard of perfection, or even good or bad, ask yourself how many Jews might have been saved had they destroyed the railroad tracks leading to Auschwitz and other concentration camps.  If FOX News were around then, FDR might have been held accountable to the point of prosecution, Thomas Dewey might have been elected, and Harry Truman would never have become president.  Who knows how World War II would have ended?  I am not saying FDR and Churchill were perfect or the biggest fans of the Jewish people, but their jobs were to be leaders of the US and Great Britain, and that they were, in exceptional manners.  We have every right to demand our leaders don’t hurt our cause, but we also must realize we are electing a President of the United States, not a president of the Jewish people, and we must therefore expect that president to do what they deem best for the country.  Furthermore, before Jewish supporters get all excited about a Trump presidency merely because his daughter converted and he speaks harshly about Muslims, keep these 2 things in mind.  When Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu criticized Trump for his anti-Muslim rhetoric Trump punished him by cancelling his trip to Israel.  Also keep in mind how Trump plans to reconsider aide to our allies, including Israel.

The point is, no matter who you are or where you come from, whatever good you believe you are hearing about Donald Trump, he’s only telling you to get your vote.  Yes, you can say that about all politicians, but don’t tell me how different Donald Trump is from the establishment.  He funded the establishment, including the Clintons, for decades.

I don’t buy into the fact that a Hillary Clinton presidency will be 4 more years of an Obama presidency.  If anything I believe it is more likely to be closer to being 4 more years of a Bill Clinton presidency, and that would be just fine by me.  I honestly don’t know how good of a president Hillary would be, but I feel that her demeanor, her experience and her intellect is enough to make me very comfortable in giving her my vote.  I think her choice of Tim Kaine already shows she is making choices based on her agenda as opposed to the demands of others.  I think she is ready to be president today, as opposed to her candidate who will never be ready to be president.  Besides the fact that I’ve always been offended by the implication that America isn’t great, merely for the benefit of a slogan, I also know that Donald Trump couldn’t even make Atlantic City great again.

I know that many reading this find it hard to believe that I, someone who has always been so outspoken about the security of Israel could support Clinton over Trump, but guess what?  I find it hard to believe that you don’t.  You might be able to legitimately raise questions about her, but to me that doesn’t mean voting for Trump, someone who repeatedly shows signs of being a global menace.  I’ve seen and heard enough bad from Trump to not vote for him while seeing enough good to vote for Hillary, and that is what I intend to do.  What good you ask?  In this political climate don’t count on answer, because most people asking won’t accept my answer anyway.  You vote your conscience and I’ll vote mine and I’ll accept you for your choice whether you return the favor or not.  After all, that’s the American way.

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Something (it rhymes with Mitt)just got real and it’s all the Kardashian’s fault

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In an unprecedented action in American politics, the Republican nominee from the last election spoke about the inadequacies of the Republican front-runner in this election. Mitt Romney spoke today on national television to make the case against Donald Trump.  He referred to Trump as a “phony” and a “fraud”.  Trump fired back, calling Romney a “failed candidate”.  Is it possible they’re both right?  Could the nation be anymore divided?  Is all of this making it almost a certainty that a year from now we will have a second President Clinton?  It’s not a stretch to imagine the answer is yes to all of these questions.  The biggest question is, what has happened to the United States of America?

I blame the Kardashians more than anyone else.  Well sort of.  I’m kidding to some extent, but let’s face it.  We now live in a reality TV culture.  Whether it is scripted or not, people like watching a show that pretends to be real life.  Personally I prefer comedies and dramatic TV shows I know to be rehearsed fiction. The culture of the Kadashians has lead us to a fascination in all that is Reality TV.  Donald Trump, king of all apprentices, is as much part of the Reality TV culture as anyone else.  As a matter of fact, “The Donald” was somewhat off the radar till he became a hit again by declaring to many unfortunates, “You’re fired!”.  Now he is running for president, putting on a show, and the American people, myself included, are engrossed by the entertainment of it all.  I can pretend to be above the fray, but the truth is I’m excited about tonight’s debate.  Not like I would be about a fascinating documentary, but more like I would be about an ice hockey game between two teams with bad blood.  Why? Because I know there will be a fight.  As a matter of fact, this election cycle is looking more and like the WWE or the WWF or whatever the most popular wrestling organization calls itself right now.  Wait, I just remembered what they call themselves.  The Republican Party.

This falls very much into the category of, if it wasn’t so tragic it would be funny.  You have John Kasich, a decent man, with strong credentials and adult behavior languishing at the bottom of the pack not because he doesn’t have a good message, but because compared to “The Donald”, Cruz Control, and Groucho Rubio, the Governor of Ohio is just too plain boring.  Meanwhile, Dennis Miller, someone who I seem to remember as once being funny, thinks he’s a rip when he says, “If the ballot is between Hillary or Anyone but Hillary, my vote goes to Anyone but Hillary.” I get it Dennis, you hate her and you think you’re still funny.

The unfortunate and very frightening thing about all of this is, that as we enter a time when our leadership may be more important than ever before, and our enemies will do everything they can to see us flounder, we are most likely going to have a president too hated by too many people for anything good to get done.  People need to realize, and realize fast, that when watching the Kardashians, if what you see goes all wrong, only one family suffers.  If however we translate that mentality to presidential politics, millions of families will suffer.  Is it worth all this “entertainment”?  I think we all know the answer to that one.

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Super Tuesday notes: Including why the KKK thing does matter

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So let me get this out of the way first.  Who else out there thought Chris Christie standing behind Donald Trump during the press conference looked like someone stuck in traffic on the George Washington Bridge?  Either that or he was thinking, “Donald told me I have to stand here for a little while and then we’ll go for Ice Cream”.   As far as the overall results on Super Tuesday, I agree it established a clear path for Hillary Clinton on the Democratic side, but as far as the Republicans are concerned, am I missing something?  Was this not supposed to be a trouncing by Trump?  It looks like Sara Palin is so relevant she couldn’t even help him win Alaska. Are his 4 losses and other close races not a reflection of a tightening race?   Apparently not according to the pundits. Or is there something more devious behind all of this?

Although I am sure the more conservative of you will disagree on this, I believe with a few exceptions CNN is usually the most balanced of the major cable news networks. FOX leans to the right and MSNBC is too one-sided to the left to even be seen as a viable news source.  CNN does the best job at covering of at least feigning neutrality. However, it would appear that there may be something slightly more devious coming from within the CNN ranks.

Take today’s headlines on the websites of CNN and FOX for example.

CNN: Establishment reluctantly realizes a Trump nomination is near

FOX: BIG WINS, BIG QUESTIONS

So the case can be made that CNN leans to the left, and that promoting Trump’s victory with extra vigor helps Hillary Clinton’s chances.  After all, if you look at the polls, the only Republican candidate that loses to her head to head is Donald Trump.  Then again, in the name of equitable cynicism, maybe for FOX it is all about selling a debate that takes place tomorrow.  After all, a fait accompli would not be particularly good for ratings.

One thing is certain.  Super Tuesday was not nearly as super for Donald Trump as originally expected.  He lost 4 states  when previously he was touted as having a chance to win them all, and it was very close in states like Vermont, Arkansas, and maybe most notably Virginia, where Marco Rubio might have won if the primary had taken place a few days later.  Clearly the attacks on Trump have taken their toll.  The question is whether or not they came in time to stop him winning the nomination.  It’s too soon to tell, but the one issue that needs to be taken seriously is Trump’s handling of the interview with CNN’s Jake Tapper over the David Duke endorsement.  Donald Trump has been around a long time.  He’s been called a big mouth, a showman, an opportunist, and someone who only cares about himself. One thing he has not been called with any frequency is a racist.  I believe that is for one very obvious and simple reason.  He isn’t one.  However, in his straight-talking, populous, brash, appeal to the masses way, he generates enthusiasm from the angry, the scared, and yes, the bigots. Why?  Bigots are always looking for someone else to blame for their miserable lot in life.  Trump may not be one of those people, but the words he says and how he says them excites and entices the angriest and most hateful.  I believe the reason Trump was so hesitant in the interview was because the only word his “faulty earpiece” allowed him to hear, was the word endorsement.  I’m not saying an endorsement from David Duke is more important to him than right and wrong, merely that for Trump, the desire to win is so great he finds it hard to turn away anyone who likes him.Even if we are to give him his due and say it’s not his fault that these people support and like him, the fact that they do like him makes him dangerous.  Not because he will do anything to placate them, but anything that gives them enthusiasm and excitement is a dangerous thing. 

So what’s the bottom line on Hangover Wednesday?  Yesterday’s big winner was Hillary Clinton.  Not just because of what happened on the Democratic side but because of what happened on the Republican side.  For the Undecideds who may or may not like or trust her, when all is said and done her advantage may come down to the age old saying, better the devil you know than the devil you don’t know. And those Undecideds may just make the difference.

I can’t wait till March 15th.

 

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The Ethnically Diverse Guide to Picking a Republican

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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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The Impact of ISIS on American Politics

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Like it or not, ISIS is influencing the American electorate. It would appear that the horrific terrorists attacks in Paris had an effect on much of the country not felt after any of the many and equally horrific terrorist attacks in Israel. Suddenly the dialogue changed from attacks on “those people over there” to an “attack on us and our way of life”.

Don’t get me wrong.  I believe Americans to be good people.  I am proud to be one. When they do hear about terrorist attacks in Israel, a large percentage are for the most part supportive and compassionate.  But there in lies the first problem.  When an Israeli citizen gets gunned down or stabbed it’s not given the same significant coverage by many of the news outlets. Last week when 18 year old Ezra Schwartz, an American, was killed in a terrorist attack in Israel, CNN still headlining with the search for one of the Paris attackers, listed the other top stories on the bottom left of its website.  The terrorist attack in Israel and Ezra’s death was one story down from Carly Simon’s revelation that Warren Beatty was the subject of her 70’s hit “You’re so Vain”.   Hard to blame the average citizen if as a result many do not even know who Ezra Schwartz is.

Ironically the murder of Ezra, an American citizen would by itself not have done much to influence the average person nor most of the presidential candidates, but since the attacks in Paris national security and the war on terror have now become that issue the candidates clearly deem as the one they are choosing to exploit to get elected.

Forgive me if I seem cynical, but prior to the attacks in Paris the only Republican candidate I heard make mention of Israel in the previous debate was Ted Cruz.  Granted I didn’t watch the entire debate, and I am not saying there aren’t others who clearly support Israel; Mike Huckabee, Marco Rubio, Donald Trump and Jeb Bush clearly have shown a tendency towards friendship towards the Jewish state;  but in this particular debate it was only Ted Cruz who appeared to make a point of the importance of the relationship between the 2 countries. All candidates expressed the importance of stopping ISIS, but since no one in either the Republican or Democratic field is a supporter of terrorism, I would expect nothing less.  What did strike me is that until Paris, no one seemed to be making it clear how important of a fight the fight against ISIS really is. Now all of that has changed.

With the threat of ISIS finally being taken as seriously as it should have been at least a year ago, presidential hopefuls are doing their best to impress the American electorate with their tough words and strategies.  The impact it seems to be having on the American people is when presented with a choice between a more mild-mannered intellectual approach or a loud bombastic aggressive approach, the polls suggest the people prefer the latter.  Henceforth the increasing popularity of Donald Trump.

I actually think the reaction of the people is just another example of what makes the United States of America such a great country.  In previous times when a global power was faced with bad economic times and the threat of an aggressor looking to destroy its country and kill its people, the backlash lead to vicious dictatorships and the murder of countless numbers of innocent people.  In America our backlash is Donald Trump. Might not be my first choice, but in today’s political climate worse things could happen.

The big question is, do any of the candidates on both sides of the political aisle have what it takes to defeat this global threat?  Loud words and exuberant proclamations may get someone elected, but when push comes to shove the actions taken and decisions made by the next president may very well determine the future of the entire civilized world.  With the increased attacks and ongoing threat from ISIS, it would appear that the Islamic State has, willingly or unwillingly, impacted how we choose to shape that future.  Hopefully the choice we make will be in our favor not theirs.

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