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Sunday, October 22, 2017

America...How Far You Have Fallen

Credit: Lind Allardice via publicdomainpictures.net
An American Eagle

This is far and away the most succinct and thoughtful explanation of how our nation is changing. The article appeared in The Israel National News.

Please take a moment to digest this provocative article by a Jewish Rabbi from Teaneck, N.J. Rabbi Steven Pruzansky is the spiritual leader of Congregation Bnai Yeshurun in Teaneck, New Jersey. It was written a couple of years ago but is still very pertinent for today.

It is far and away the most succinct and thoughtful explanation of how our nation is changing. The article appeared in The Israel National News, and is directed to Jewish readership. 70% of American Jews vote as Democrats. The Rabbi has some interesting comments in that regard.

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“The most charitable way of explaining the election results of 2012 is that Americans voted for the status quo – for the incumbent President and for a divided Congress. They must enjoy gridlock, partisanship, incompetence, economic stagnation and avoidance of responsibility. And fewer people voted.


But as we awake from the nightmare, it is important to eschew the facile explanations for the Romney defeat that will prevail among the chattering classes. Romney did not lose because of the effects of Hurricane Sandy that devastated this area, nor did he lose because he ran a poor campaign, nor did he lose because the Republicans could have chosen better candidates, nor did he lose because Obama benefited from a slight uptick in the economy due to the business cycle.
Romney lost because he didn’t get enough votes to win.

That might seem obvious, but not for the obvious reasons. Romney lost because the conservative virtues – the traditional American virtues – of liberty, hard work, free enterprise, private initiative and aspirations to moral greatness – no longer inspire or animate a majority of the electorate.


The simplest reason why Romney lost was because it is impossible to compete against free stuff.

Every businessman knows this; that is why the “loss leader” or the giveaway is such a powerful marketing tool. Obama’s America is one in which free stuff is given away: the adults among the 47,000,000 on food stamps clearly recognized for whom they should vote, and so they did, by the tens of millions; those who – courtesy of Obama – receive two full years of unemployment benefits (which, of course, both disincentivizes looking for work and also motivates people to work off the books while collecting their windfall) surely know for whom to vote. The lure of free stuff is irresistible.

The defining moment of the whole campaign was the revelation of the secretly-recorded video in which Romney acknowledged the difficulty of winning an election in which “47% of the people” start off against him because they pay no taxes and just receive money – “free stuff” – from the government.


Almost half of the population has no skin in the game – they don’t care about high taxes, promoting business, or creating jobs, nor do they care that the money for their free stuff is being borrowed from their children and from the Chinese.


They just want the free stuff that comes their way at someone else’s expense. In the end, that 47% leaves very little margin for error for any Republican, and does not bode well for the future.


It is impossible to imagine a conservative candidate winning against such overwhelming odds. People do vote their pocketbooks. In essence, the people vote for a Congress who will not raise their taxes, and for a President who will give them free stuff, never mind who has to pay for it.


That engenders the second reason why Romney lost: the inescapable conclusion that the electorate is ignorant and uninformed. Indeed, it does not pay to be an informed voter, because most other voters – the clear majority – are unintelligent and easily swayed by emotion and raw populism. That is the indelicate way of saying that too many people vote with their hearts and not their heads. That is why Obama did not have to produce a second term agenda, or even defend his first-term record. He needed only to portray Mitt Romney as a rapacious capitalist who throws elderly women over a cliff, when he is not just snatching away their cancer medication, while starving the poor and cutting taxes for the rich.


During his 1956 presidential campaign, a woman called out to Adlai Stevenson: “Senator, you have the vote of every thinking person!” Stevenson called back: “That’s not enough, madam, we need a majority!”

Truer words were never spoken.

Obama could get away with saying that “Romney wants the rich to play by a different set of rules” – without ever defining what those different rules were; with saying that the “rich should pay their fair share” – without ever defining what a “fair share” is; with saying that Romney wants the poor, elderly and sick to “fend for themselves” – without even acknowledging that all these government programs are going bankrupt, their current insolvency only papered over by deficit spending.


Similarly, Obama (or his surrogates) could hint to blacks that a Romney victory would lead them back into chains and proclaim to women that their abortions and birth control would be taken away. He could appeal to Hispanics that Romney would have them all arrested and shipped to Mexico and unabashedly state that he will not enforce the current immigration laws. He could espouse the furtherance of the incestuous relationship between governments and unions – in which politicians ply the unions with public money, in exchange for which the unions provide the politicians with votes, in exchange for which the politicians provide more money and the unions provide more votes, etc., even though the money is gone.
Obama also knows that the electorate has changed – that whites will soon be a minority in America (they’re already a minority in California) and that the new immigrants to the US are primarily from the Third World and do not share the traditional American values that attracted immigrants in the 19th and 20th centuries.

It is a different world, and a different America . Obama is part of that different America , knows it, and knows how to tap into it.

That is why he won.


Obama also proved again that negative advertising works, invective sells, and harsh personal attacks succeed. That Romney never engaged in such diatribes points to his essential goodness as a person; his “negative ads” were simple facts, never personal abuse – facts about high unemployment, lower take-home pay, a loss of American power and prestige abroad, a lack of leadership, etc. As a politician, though, Romney failed because he did not embrace the devil’s bargain of making unsustainable promises.


It turned out that it was not possible for Romney and Ryan – people of substance, depth and ideas – to compete with the shallow populism and platitudes of their opponents. Obama mastered the politics of envy – of class warfare – never reaching out to Americans as such but to individual groups, and cobbling together a winning majority from these minority groups. If an Obama could not be defeated – with his record and his vision of America , in which free stuff seduces voters – it is hard to envision any change in the future.


The road to Hillary Clinton in 2016 and to a European-socialist economy – those very economies that are collapsing today in Europe – is paved.


For Jews, mostly assimilated anyway and staunch Democrats, the results demonstrate again that liberalism is their Torah. Almost 70% voted for a president widely perceived by Israelis and most committed Jews as hostile to Israel . They voted to secure Obama’s future at America ‘s expense and at Israel ‘s expense – in effect, preferring Obama to Netanyahu by a wide margin.


A dangerous time is ahead. Under present circumstances, it is inconceivable that the US will take any aggressive action against Iran and will more likely thwart any Israeli initiative. The US will preach the importance of negotiations up until the production of the first Iranian nuclear weapon – and then state that the world must learn to live with this new reality.


But this election should be a wake-up call to Jews. There is no permanent empire, nor is there an enduring haven for Jews anywhere in the exile. The American empire began to decline in 2007, and the deterioration has been exacerbated in the last five years. This election only hastens that decline.


Society is permeated with sloth, greed, envy and materialistic excess. It has lost its moorings and its moral foundations.. The takers outnumber the givers, and that will only increase in years to come.


The “Occupy” riots across this country in the last two years were mere dress rehearsals for what lies ahead – years of unrest sparked by the increasing discontent of the unsuccessful who want to seize the fruits and the bounty of the successful, and do not appreciate the slow pace of redistribution.


If this election proves one thing, it is that the Old America is gone. And, sad for the world, it is not coming back.

The problems we face today are there because the people who work for a living are outnumbered by those who vote for a living.



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Coach Phatty is a writer for BrooWaha. For more information, visit the writer's website.
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13 comments on America...How Far You Have Fallen

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By riginal on July 11, 2013 at 01:43 am

Coach looking at it from an Australian's (dumbass) point of view it doesn't mattter who the dickens says what about anything regarding politics anywhere at any time any place in the world...it's all semantics. I blame bad leadership wholey and solely as the END result of the 'calibre' of the proponents at any given election. How can anybody blame the people of any country for putting in a leader who at best is the best of a wanking lot of "put our party in we'll be great once again! At least that's what my advisers and spin doctors tell me at this point in time? But that's all i can say at this point cos i'm appealing (not really!) to your conscience...don't worry bout mine...we'll sort that later when i'm in office and the bulldust settles." No country will ever find political Nirvana because of the quality of its leaders. Australia kicked the Pm out and rightly so in my book but then you turn the political page of CHANGE and another 3D Disneyland wannabe character pops out in all his unglorified glory spouting the same old vacuumed crap.Here's an idea! Instead of the ridiculous graphs at election time or the 'worm' effect why can't they put the two final candidates on stage wired to 'lie detectors!' Gosh! You can't do that it would be inhumane! What the hell! One candidate might be so adverse to telling porkies that it would put BOTH of them at a disavantage? Or,maybe they would nullify each other? A prime example of political religious fervor "say what we tell you" surrounds the new Pope. Why? Because he's HONEST and tells it how it is. No matter how the people surrounding him try to distort what he says, in plain speak, and that's what's missing in the world.Show the people a man or leader who stands for something besides a 'stage' performance whose prepared to listen and implement commonsense that will benefit the multitutude and mankind in general and you've got a leader, not a puppet hooked on the fraying strings of "yep! we got our best high interests at heart...!" Ongoing rhetoric of what could be,not what in all fairness SHOULD be...for the good of all and to hell with the despots. And the political news pundits that trawl through the sea of same old same old. But then maybe i've done just that?Still rather have your president than the hasbeen laughter fest we have inherited through 'backstabbing' agenda. And Miss management, the girlfriend of 80% of politicians. House of cards? Shuffle shuffle...bout time they were dealt with.

1 HOPE THE METRE

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By Coach Phatty on July 11, 2013 at 11:06 am

Well said my friend!!

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By ranfuchs on July 12, 2013 at 08:55 am

"The problems we face today are there because the people who work for a living are outnumbered by those who vote for a living."

Yet, the majority of Jews, with high proportion of people work for living, voted Obama. Are they the only group of working people who did not vote for Romney?

The problem is Romney, as well, did not inspire traditional American virtues – of liberty, hard work, free enterprise, private initiative and aspirations to moral greatness.

He did not inspire people who wanted to start the engine of American economy -- the small businesses; he did not deal with the problem that it's the large corporate and not the electorate that determine policies. He did not show how he was planning to stop the deterioration of American middle class, which started in the 80s, and make middle class, once again, the power of America.

While academic can argue when the break happened, the American system is broken. Neither candidate seemed to have a solution for it -- One might argue that like any other empire, America model of success has come to an end, and it's already beyond repair.

Romney did not recognize it; Obama did, and rode the wave to failure better. Can we really blame him?

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By riginal on July 12, 2013 at 11:33 am

No matter how many 'rides to failure' a President has, or has had previously,if everyone believes as you state that America is "already beyond repair" then i guess that's it! But i don't believe the ordinary American believes that. We were supposed to run out of readily availible oil 2014. Did we? The world was going to end? Did it? Mankind is one of the most resilient creatures on earth. Despite the calamities it sometimes cloaks itself in via sheer stupidiy.It won't be academics breathing "fire and brimstone"that turn things round...or statements of doom and gloom. Maybe just a leader making some hard descisons.And cleaning out overpaid academics from the 'think tank.' Where for example would you like to reside assuming America is stuffed? But more to the positive side of things...if you were summoned to the White House tomorrow as an adviser to Obama what would your spiel be if asked for your learned opinion as to what should be done NOW? I'm sure you wouldn't stroll in and say,"the joint's stuffed man,it should have been fixed in the 80's man...what's for lunch? " You may on the other hand come out with some really sensible "can do" ideas. Thus you may stand out like a beacon of hope. Our pollies are content to sit on their glands/hands. I'm sure that's where the word 'ballsup' originated. I could be wrong though. Waiting for info on where one can go to avoid a 'stuffed country.' I suppose you could tell me to go to hell...but isn't that heated debate with no aircon? Like to hear what you would fix immediately in America,no-one else seems to want to wrestle with it? Academics stuffing their pipes of intellect and blowing smokescreens around the problem?

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By Randy Mitchell on July 12, 2013 at 12:52 pm

This article pretty much says it all as to why Obama won: people love their free stuff. However, when the full effects of his out of control spending habits come to bear, only then will the Obama voter realize the mistakes they've made. Obamacare, for instance, has already been delayed, by its creator by the way, because of its devastating effects on small business. It's a job killer, forcing more and more to depend on government which is what this president wants.

America has had tough times before, yet, it will rise again once a "real leader" comes to power.

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By riginal on July 12, 2013 at 10:41 pm

Last two lines Randy...you are the true American. "America has had tough times before, yet it will rise again once a "real leader" comes to power!" Let those who shelter under the American flag and benefits bestowed upon them ie: employment etc who chastise America as "stuffed" pack their bags and find a neutral "stuffed" country that will accomodate them? And their doomsday predictions. Incidently Randy if you guys ever unearth a great leader would you please send his brother to Australia? We need an adult leader. Not a politcal point scoring 'kindergarten' of childish uni graduated wankers who wear short sleeves under their suits cos they have never had to bite the bullet and roll their sleeves up!

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By Randy Mitchell on July 13, 2013 at 01:27 pm

Even during the toughest of times, America, and other free countries are still the best in the world. I'm hoping for a great return to leadership in 2016, and if so, I wish the same for you, Riginal.

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By ranfuchs on July 14, 2013 at 09:31 am

@riginal,

you ask what I would do. I would separate money from politics, as done in most first-world countries. Unless you force this separation, politics will progress in a single direction. A few very rich, a shrinking middle class, and a huge group supported by the government at minimal standards. Egypt (pre revolution) or Indonesia come to mind as a model.

In more details: http://www.broowaha.com/articles/16276/dear-president-obama

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By ranfuchs on July 14, 2013 at 09:35 am

@Randy. America is the best in the world is an empty statement. What is an absolute best?

America is best at some things, good at some, and bad at others. What is your criteria for best?

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By riginal on July 14, 2013 at 01:44 pm

Ranfuchs if you seperate money from politics Congress would have to be boarded up.That idea could get you stoned to death.You'd have thousands of gun-toting politicians holding banks up! Whoops! They've been there doing that. You sound like a despondent Clint Eastwood."The Good The Bad and the ugly?" Come to Australia and stay at my place for your holidays. We'll sit in the sun and eat icecream and marvel at what God has created...and dream of a batter future...i have a hot dog stand. We could pickpocket a couple of pollies for entertainment.

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By ranfuchs on July 15, 2013 at 08:58 am

@riginal,

USA is a stop on my way betweem Australia and Australia. Its sad to see how Australia is moving the American way. Howard did a great job starting the trend, now it's hard to stop

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By riginal on July 16, 2013 at 09:01 am

Can't argue with that logic. No singularity or independent thought not only breeds contempt it's an easy 'no brainer' and an easier path to follow.And merge. Ex-pollie Malcom Frazer (no better) appeared on tele t other afternoon at a media 'political USA roast fest' of inspired comment, to say that he didn't want Australia to go to war in Irak,and told the President so. He went on to say how there is more bloodshed there now and unrest than before? His words.Funny how hindsight statements and lack of guts rise like sour cream to the surface after a leader has retired and 'milked' the public purse via a comfortable lifestyle retirement.Old Mal only got in as a result of a disputation and support from a gutless Governer General. Gough Whitlam i believe did a pretty damn good job all things considered ie:employment etc, but times back then were simpler, people had a purpose,parental control revolt was not regarded as a sueable option as it is today.Incidentally,someone in the family went to Whistler Canada got drunk,She was snowed in...got snowed under.Can't handle it. One night in sick bay cost her $3500. She rarely drinks. She rang Arnie's secretary...they dropped the bill. Never mind we're just the parents...what the hell do we know? Talking bout politics is like trying to chainsaw fairy floss. It just sticks to the teeth... an indertiminate apparition. Want a good laugh? Watch our next election...'free' fairy floss for all.It's still a great world. Shaped by the misguided wrong political sculptors. Time to bring on the 'lie dectectors?' Political 'dogs' rubbing their bottoms along the money trough.De-worming needed? Their dates decarboned and de-taxed. Once again i reiterate though. They disarmed the Australian public.Why so hard in your region...lack of guts? unpopular? Not a vote catcher? Or is America now regarded as a gun/done deal ? Don't see many responsible organized marches. Waiting for the attack of the killer rabbits? My condolences to the parents of the young boy.So bloody sad,so bloody avoidable. So bloody tragic.

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By Caballero_69 on July 28, 2013 at 11:23 am

There apparently is no shattering the mental block of the frightened ellite. I am a two time Obama voter. I worked since I was eighteen. I served eighteen months in Vietnam. I taught civics in a struggling school district where I went deliberately to make a difference in the lives of impoverished young people. My wife, sons, and I pay taxes of all kinds as do my friends and fellow Obama voters.

This lengthy rehash of the 47% attitude is at best infuriating and at worst disgusting.

"the electorate is ignorant and uninformed. Indeed, it does not pay to be an informed voter, because most other voters – the clear majority – are unintelligent and easily swayed by emotion and raw populism." This is a blatantly, self-righteously elitist sentiment. The Republicans look down their noses at half the citizenry. The people they deride are often working two or three jobs and barely surviving. They don't pay income taxes, but they pay payroll taxes, sales taxes and other fees. Where do those who make such sneering accusations against large groups of Americans get off?

On Sept. 11, 2010. President Obama spoke about how Al Qaeda had “attacked the very idea of America.” He contrasted the “intolerance and extremism” we oppose with our own “traditions…as a diverse and tolerant nation.” Our enemies, the President continued, want to, “divide us, to deprive us of the very unity, the very ideals, that make America America-those qualities that have made us a beacon of freedom and hope to billions.”

The Republican elitists want to deprive us of this unity and these ideals as well. They relentlessly strive to pit one set of Americans against another. Every person born in the United States is a citizen of the United States. Every citizen is equal before the law and in the polling place. Those who have much cannot outbid those who have little. It is neither irrational, dependent, nor greedy to vote for the candidate who sought to be President of all Americans rather than the one who wrote off half the electorate.

The "old America" featured Jim Crow laws and open bigotry in word and deed toward African Americans in particular and minorities in general. Many who pine for it benefit from the tale wind whiteness put in their sails. The struggling do not want to plunder the comfortable. They want changes to the system so that the struggle can yield better fruits and they can join the ranks of the comfortable. It is high time and past that every patriot American join with every other and work relentlessly for a nation, indivisible, with liberty, equality, justice and prosperity for all.

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