Tag Archives: Mike Huckabee

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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