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(2,125 posts)
Tue Feb 16, 2016, 04:00 PM Feb 2016

Byko: Is America ready for a Jewish president?

Last edited Tue Feb 16, 2016, 04:56 PM - Edit history (1)

Byko: Is America ready for a Jewish president?
Read more at http://www.philly.com/philly/news/politics/20160216_Is_America_ready_for_a_Jewish_president_.html#bmlALwSxqeDCHcgQ.99

WHEN BERNIE Sanders won the New Hampshire primary, he became the first Jew to win a major party presidential primary - the first to even win delegates.

But how Jewish is he? Who even knows he's Jewish? Will it matter that he's Jewish?

In the recent Milwaukee debate, when asked how he felt about possibly "thwarting history" by blocking the path of the first woman president, Sanders replied enigmatically that, "from a historical point of view, somebody with my background, somebody with my views" would also be a first. Not exactly playing the Hebrew National card.

Hillary Clinton makes frequent mention of gender in her candidacy. Sanders never volunteers anything about his religion, and reluctantly replies to those questions. Is it personal, tactical, or practical?

Two of the three previous Jewish candidates for president - Pennsylvania Sen. Arlen Specter in 1995 and Pennsylvania Gov. Milton Shapp in 1976 - were early flameouts, probably more because of policy and personality than religion. The same for Joe Lieberman, an Orthodox Jew who ran briefly in 2004. (Shapp, however, told friends he doubted he would have been elected governor under his obviously Jewish birth name, Shapiro, which he changed while in business to avoid prejudice.)

One person of Jewish ancestry was nominated: In 1964, Arizona Sen. Barry Goldwater got the Republican nod. Goldwater's father was Jewish, but the conservative senator was raised Christian. At the time, Jewish journalist Harry Golden quipped, "I always knew the first Jewish president would be an Episcopalian."....

Often wrongly described as cranky, which is ageist and inaccurate, Sanders wants to be an "issues" guy and can be gruff when someone tries to inject what he regards as frivolities.

Undoubtedly it is. The author goes on to say he thinks it's not a big issue. I think Bernie is correct to keep this part of his identity out of the conversation about his candidacy, but that doesn't mean others won't interject it or aren't considering it as a flaw. There are still people who feel that this is a Christian country and the president, therefore, should come from one of the Christian denominations. The finger-gate article which recently appeared in WaPo, I believe, is a thinly-disguised Jewish dog whistle. While Bernie does not belong to the Israel-can-do-no-wrong faction, his very Jewishness places him in a minority. Nobody would dare openly state their anti-Semitism but that doesn't mean it isn't part of the virulent opposition that plagues Sanders.
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Byko: Is America ready for a Jewish president? (Original Post) farleftlib Feb 2016 OP
Yes, the US is ready enigmatic Feb 2016 #1
I'm not willing to consider it. The idea that we wouldn't be is beneath contempt Ed Suspicious Feb 2016 #2
I"m ready for THIS one Ferd Berfel Feb 2016 #3
Nah, I like the one we've got farleftlib Feb 2016 #4
I'll bet these guys will make it a big issue. valerief Feb 2016 #5
So? Ferd Berfel Feb 2016 #6
They're at least open about their hate farleftlib Feb 2016 #8
THey will always be there. We will always win Ferd Berfel Feb 2016 #11
Indeed. They're so last century anyway. nt valerief Feb 2016 #9
And out of this bunch, some in Congress will too. SummerSnow Feb 2016 #13
Look at them all lined up for the next gop debate SwampG8r Feb 2016 #15
'I think Bernie is correct to keep this part of his identity out of the conversation elleng Feb 2016 #7
No I couldn't because it's a legit concern farleftlib Feb 2016 #10
Message auto-removed Name removed Feb 2016 #12
Sometimes I wonder. Behind the Aegis Feb 2016 #14


(15,021 posts)
1. Yes, the US is ready
Tue Feb 16, 2016, 04:04 PM
Feb 2016

There will be ramped-up antisemitism from all sides but like Barack Obama in 2008, he'll handle it w/ grace.



(2,125 posts)
8. They're at least open about their hate
Tue Feb 16, 2016, 04:09 PM
Feb 2016

It's the secret haters I'm a bit worried about. The ones who'll try to make it about socialism or some other ridiculous meme.


(130,805 posts)
7. 'I think Bernie is correct to keep this part of his identity out of the conversation
Tue Feb 16, 2016, 04:09 PM
Feb 2016

about his candidacy, but that doesn't mean others won't interject it or aren't considering it as a flaw.'

Thanks SO MUCH for interjecting it and considering it as a flaw, NOT.

We could really do better without this, but I guess you couldn't manage to keep it that way.

Response to farleftlib (Original post)

Behind the Aegis

(53,928 posts)
14. Sometimes I wonder.
Wed Feb 17, 2016, 01:46 AM
Feb 2016

Certainly I don't think he's being Jewish makes him less qualified, and, yes, Obama was elected, but part of the equation of "are we ready?" is the aftermath. Look at the racism and jump in hate groups after Obama was elected! Clearly, many were not ready, including some who voted for him. It simply brought out some deeply ingrained racism. I don't think we can nor should "wait" for America to "be ready", those of good conscious are already ready and can help those who are not. If Sanders is selected as the candidate and wins the election, he will face much of the same, including from our side, that Obama has faced. So, the question, while making it sound like it about the electability of the candidate, IMO, is really about the psyche of the nation and our nation, while I love it, is deeply bigoted. If it were not, then silly questions like this wouldn't even need to be asked about any candidate based on his or her basic being (sex/gender, race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, religion/lack thereof, dis/ability, etc.).

As for " thinly-disguised Jewish dog whistles", no offense, but there is one in your very remarks. I also saw, the other day, on this very site, where Sanders was accused of "playing the Jewish card" when he actually said he was Jewish...in response to a question about diversity! Anti-Semitism won't just be a problem from the right; it never has been. It is a bipartisan bigotry.

Quite honestly, I think what is really throwing people is the fact he rarely discusses his religion and isn't that a quality we should want in a leader of our country? I certainly think so!

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