Thursday, October 28, 2004

 

Frum Dad for Kerry

(Note: "Frum" means a very observant, Orthodox Jew.)

This is a very interesting (and long; only snippets below) single-issue blog by a blogger who calls himself Frum Dad explaining why he thinks Orthodox Jews (and other religious types) should vote for Kerry. He touches mostly on gay marriage, Iraq, Israel, abortion, and the economy. It's mostly meant for observant Jews, but I think anyone will benefit from reading it.

(Note 2: A lot of this is extremely technical unless you're also an Orthodox Jew. But most of it is very clear and definitely worth reading for a very different, and well thought out, perspective. Please read the whole thing, even if you're not Jewish.)
I'm Frum. I'm voting for Kerry. Why you should, too.

The fact is, for a fair amount of time now I've been thinking about -- and working on -- a sort of large scale (a) general defense of political liberalism slash (b) reconciliation of the apparent contradiction between my Orthodox Judaism and my liberal political views slash (c) argument supporting Kerry slash (d) argument opposing Bush.

And it's coming along, in fits and starts and chunks and drafts and bits and pieces. It's vast and lyrical and impeccably reasoned, eloquently expressed, and elegantly structured. If I could ever get it finished I'm sure George W Bush himself would either vote for Kerry or at the least renounce the path he's been on for the past four years.

:::snip:::

I've heard a lot of people that I normally respect say a lot of very sketchy things about how the Torah vote is clearly for Bush. Happily, almost all of these people wouldn't consider themselves absolute Torah authorities when it comes to most questions. They would, as is appropriate, seek what's called "Da'as Torah," or the opinion of a qualified posek or a rav, when making big decisions. Most of them would happily seek such advice when making even little decisions.

But somehow when it comes to politics, everyone's a gadol. Everyone considers themselves qualified to give over the Torah perspective, to state unequivocally that an Orthodox Jew, to be true to Torah values, must vote for Bush. And that's starting to drive me up the wall.

:::snip:::

Even without the war costs, Bush has squandered what was the biggest surplus we'd had in a long time, if not ever. Bush has put us in a deficit so deep that even Kerry's not promising to get us out of it, just to pull us out as much as he can. If I had done to my personal finances what Bush has done to this country, I would be too ashamed to show my face in my own hometown, let alone ask for more money, or more time in charge of the public fisc.

Come to think of it, there is a Torah aspect to this discussion, and it's Yoseph again. During the seven fat years, you save. During the seven lean years, you use those savings to survive.

Kerry is accused of being a tax-and-spend liberal. But Bush is a spend-and-spend Republican. His policies essentially look at the fat years as a time to spend, to make them fatter. We've seen Bush's policies before, when they were called Reagonomics, and they didn't work then, either.

I will live off the fat of these Bush policies. Or maybe not me, since the tax cuts don't go down that low, but people I know might.

But Rachel will pay for these expenditures.

And when I think of it that way, it makes no sense. I would happily give up everything I own today if I could guarantee that Rachel would have no financial worries when she grows up.

But the policies of this administration have done exactly the opposite. Today gets, Tomorrow pays. But tomorrow is my little girl, and somehow I'm saddling her with my debt. While I type these words I have the baby monitor on in my office; I can hear her rustling in her sleep, I can hear her breathing.

And I can't bring myself to agree to the idea that she will be poor so I can be comfortable.
Thanks to MaxSpeak, You Listen! for the link.
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