Tag Archives: american politics

Constancy in the face of Change

safetypinThe election has many of us anxious, unsure of what will happen to us next, fearful that strides we have made will be stripped away.

The ground did shift underneath us all last week. But the tremble did not cause us to fall. I am no different from who I was last week in the matters that count. Last week I stood tall, aspiring to create a nation of dignity, equality, opportunity, safety and security for all our citizens. This week I stand perhaps taller and more firmly in those ideals and values. There is a greater sense of urgency in my posture today, but this is a good thing. Our movement forward has never been easy. The fight for human rights and inclusion, a nation freer from prejudice, hatred and fear have been an ongoing struggle. But our commitment remains, our resolve undiminished even if the challenge might be greater.

Today I wear a safety-pin on my lapel to let people who are fearful know that they are not alone. As an American, a Jew, and a Rabbi, I stand with them and I will continue to do my part as an advocate, and that we continue to stand side by side. We march forward dedicated to bringing America’s blessings to all.

Joining hands we move forward together toward a brighter future. We are the change we envision.

 

An Open Letter to Jared Kushner

An Open Letter to Jared Kushner

Mr. Jared Kushner

Publisher

The Observer

1 Whitehall St.

New York, NY 10004

November 11, 2016

Dear Mr. Kushner:

Congratulations to you on the victory of your father-in-law becoming the President-Elect. The election was fair and the people have spoken. However, this election has left a deeply divided country, many of us fearful because of things Mr. Trump has said and the groups that allied with him. We must see the repudiation of racism and bigotry, and Donald Trump must extend the hand of peace and wholeness.

You have claimed that Donald Trump is not an Anti-Semite. However, his words of divisiveness preyed on the fearful and the hate mongers. Groups including the Alt-Right, White Supremacists, and the Ku Klux Klan have rallied to your father-in-law finding permission to boldly and blatantly express their despicable views. This cannot be abided.

You uniquely have the president-elect’s ear as a confidante and advisor. You must use your position to speak on behalf of those genuinely fearful of persecution and loss of civil rights under the protection of a Trump Administration. The values you hold as an American and a Jew are antithetical to hatred and bigotry. Your full-throated voice must be raised to help heal and bring our country together, re-assuring all our citizens they are safe, their civil rights intact and sure, that all of us enjoy the full protection of law and dignity.

Sincerely,

Rabbi David Levin

I have looked into the face of the monster and I feel pretty good

 wethepeopleThe presidential political season is in full swing. I resist the temptation to shout, but anyone who grew up with Looney Tunes, Bugs Bunny and Elmer Fudd, knows exactly what I want to yell. And the smile this thought gives me is part of the overall good feeling I have about this season.*

 American Politics seems to be alive and well. The stakes have never been higher.  Deeply passionate feelings and hungry candidates are vying for votes. There is deep discontent in America and with good reason. Problems only seem exacerbated in the current climate of a paralyzed partisan Washington. Americans feel great pressure; threats abound from the outside world and within our borders. Divisiveness in the government has brought governance to a grinding halt. But the beacon of hope is that our system permits, even encourages debate- often raucous and vociferous debate and the capacity to make a change. The system, our system, is one of the few places where such a process is encouraged. In our recent history however, there has not been too little demand for accountability and change.

 On the eve of “Super Tuesday” it appears that the Democrats will likely nominate Hillary Clinton and the Republicans Donald Trump. This is after a series of knock down drag out fights to whittle the Republicans and Democrat fields down to the nominees. Town halls, debates, shouting matches and personal visits by the candidates have given the people a chance to speak in primary votes and caucuses.

 Interestingly, one of our worst fears has not come true. Many feared the Citizens United opinion would drive such lively debate out of the system. The money would overwhelm the speech of the common American. Refuting this most notably is the failure of Jeb Bush to win.   Ironically, it is the common American that has propelled a rich man to the Republican nomination.

 We the People have not had our final say. That occurs on November 8, 2016 as we go to the ballot box and exercise the sacred right/rite of voting. All of us need to exercise this privilege to decide who will serve as President of the United States. Those seeking power know the stakes are high and will use almost any means to get the necessary votes. It will be up to us the voters to decide which one of the starkly different candidates we will choose. The office of President then will be transferred peaceably to the one that we have selected. Only with our participation and then the on-going demand for accountability will the new President fulfill our will. It is time for all, particularly the frustrated and the often silent, to join the epic fight for our democracy. First each must cast a vote and then each must to continue to demand that our voices be heard in the halls of power.

 Trump or Clinton; A government Of, By, and For the People or a government for special interests, the choice still remains ours. And if we exercise our power, I will continue to feel pretty good.

* It’s Wabbit Season!