What If Obama Wins?

By: Howard Kleinhendler. The Democrats kick off their presidential convention and the eyes and ears of the Country are converging on North Carolina. There will be the usual pomp and pageantry, the meaningless roll call of states and counting of delegates for the forgone nomination of President Obama and VP Biden. There will also be plenty of partisan speeches and endless interruptions of applause. After having just seen this movie on the Republican side one wonders why we have to sit through it all again.

But beyond the color war atmosphere of these conventions lays a more serious note. The presidential campaign is entering the home stretch. Some states start early voting in just a few short weeks at the end of September. Voters in the key swing states of Florida and Ohio, Virginia and Wisconsin have for the most part made up their minds. Many of the leading polls place the race within a couple of percentage points.  So now the million dollar question: who’s gonna win?

For many in Lakewood and the broader Orthodox community, the answer from coffee rooms to synagogues, from summer bungalows to Sabbath dinner tables is: “with G-D’s help, Romney.” Many Orthodox affiliate with the Republican party and the perception that its conservative platform more closely comports with Jewish values. And, there is some truth behind it. Republicans are generally pro life and against same gender marriage, although the New York same gender marriage law passed only because of Republican support (and those Republicans are still respected members of the party). But the main thrust behind the “Romenyacks” is the unshakeable belief that the Republicans will usher in new found economic prosperity. Gone will be all deficits; unemployment will collapse to under 5%; states will have unlimited funds for schools (both public and private); and private insurance companies will provide for all the medical care anyone might ever need regardless of their financial situation. (Why this didn’t all happen the last time we had a Republican president is not something that should be discussed. The question is merely liberal blasphemy).

Well, what if the unthinkable happens? What if the huge senior population in Florida doesn’t believe that Ryan’s reorganization of Medicare will actually save them money and preserve coverage. What if the steel workers in Ohio don’t buy into the notion that cutting taxes on the wealthiest one percent of the country will somehow produce enough revenue to meaningfully reduce the federal deficit. What if Wisconsin voters never really understand how severe cuts to federal spending can actually help cash-starved school districts.

Jews have lived in the Diaspora for millennia. Through every generation they have carefully navigated the whims and passions of the controlling political bodies; from the Tsars to the Kings, from the Chancellors to the Prime Ministers. And, yes, from Presidents of both Democrat and Republican persuasions. Yet, for some reason, this time, the Orthodox have placed all their eggs in one basket. They have sworn to live or die by the Republican agenda. Some have even used Jewish Halacha to justify their position; albeit without any reputable backing. But maybe this high stakes poker game is unjustified. Maybe the strong anti-Obama rhetoric is causing more harm than good. Maybe following the paths of great religious sages who always kept open contacts with all major power brokers and hedged their bets is not a bad idea. Maybe it’s time to consider the possibility of dealing with the “day after” when many political expectations are unfulfilled. 

Maybe it’s time to answer a pressing question: What if Obama wins?

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39 COMMENTS

  1. Where do you get the sense that people are putting all their eggs in one basket? While those who can be found from “coffee rooms to synagogues, from summer bungalows to Sabbath dinner tables” may be rooting for a Romney victory, those with access and those who act for the klal are doing as they have always done – maintaining connections with both parties. And as for the first group, I imagine the overwhelming majority will do as they have in previous elections – vote as their Gedolim direct.

  2. If Obama wins, America will end up like Greece and Spain.

    If Romney wins, it will take alot of hard work to stop those deficits, to repeal ObamaCare, to cut taxes so that businesses can hire again, and in general, stop the class warfare and the divisiveness that Obama has created in our country.

    We know the Democrats will attempt to stop him at every point of the way.

    Hopefully, Romney and the Republicans will bring our country back from the brink.

    Will he be successful? That depends on whether the Democrats sabotage him.

  3. How liberal policies have destroyed our great country:

    Not so long ago, your future was what you made it. The idea of depending on government for housing, food and medical care was absurd. You worked hard, saved and planned for your future on your own. Slowly at first, government started moving into the picture with positive results for the truly handicapped and unfortunate. But, there’s nothing more expansionist than a government program. Today it has grown to the point that huge numbers of healthy adults are wholly dependent upon government. Government housing, welfare, medicare, food stamps etc. Personal responsibility has slowly been replaced by a total dependence upon government for everyday existence. Don’t worry about tomorrow, the government will provide! And that’s the worst part, many have given up on even trying to provide for themselves. I seriously doubt that some were ever taught that ethic in the first place. With deficits of over a trillion dollars every year, even Mr. Benanke tells us such policies are unsustainable. It makes me wonder what will happen when the well inevitably runs dry. The news from Europe does not bode in that regard.

  4. Romney lost the campaign the day he chose Ryan and made Medicare reform HIS issue. The Jews have foolishly alienated an incumbent who is most likely going to win reelection as most incumbents do. Now Jerusalem is off the Democratic platform; the US is propping up the new Muslim Brotherhood regime in Egypt and the Joint Chiefs Dempsey says no way to stop Iran. The damage control has to start now before the election.

  5. It sounds like the writer has a great understanding of the republican democratic politics, however this does not seem to be the “Jewish” issue with obama. As you wrote in your article that through the ages we navigated through all walks of politics, and for some reason this time we are all putting all our eggs in one basket. Correct, but the reason is not solely because of his liberal stance, (I know plenty of democrats that are not planing on voting for obama) it is also for what any thinking person sees in this guy, for all that he stands for, and that is his Communist outlook and the fact that he has and is implementing his ways on us. This is something that should be bothering any person that lives in this “free country” and wants it to stay like that, and not want to “change” the fundamentals on which our country stands, and also for us Jews living with this chesed shel medina and understand the importance the freedom of religion gives us (all of us know stories personal and not from recent history how hard it was to act Jewishly in a Communist country)! Therefore we are putting all our eggs in one basket, not solely because of his democratic/liberal stance!

  6. Two words: Chav V’Shalom.

    Two More Words: Toeva Marriage. Game. Set. Match. Obama stands for the steady flood of moral sewage coming from the left wing of American politics. Torah Jews know, or should know, without a doubt who to vote for. Say what you will, but Romney is a decent religious Christian (I know Mormon).

  7. Calm down everyone.

    If he wins, it will be 3 years more of the same (by the fourth- no doubt – will be lame duck session).

    Indeed his foreign policy is non existent and domestic is just as poor.

    Hopefully people will come to their senses for AMERICA.

    But stop thinking the worlds comming to an end if he does.

  8. Actually, if he wins and ObamaCare isn’t repealed, you won’t know what hit us when ObamaCare goes is fully implemented in 2014. Just the taxes will send our economy into a tailspin, forget about the huge changes in healthcare that will come to us. And, of course, ObamaCare cuts $700 billion from Medicare, so Medicare will be drastically reduced. And since Obama won’t reform Social Security and Medicare like Ryan, these programs will go bust soon. And since Obama won’t stop the deficits, at some point very soon, our country will become like Greece. There will massive civil unrest and chaos in our streets.

    And the Jews will suffer, as they always do when there’s civil unrest.

    And when these exact things were happening in Germany in the late 1920’s and early 1930’s, Hitler was able to use the depression as a way to rally the voters to vote for him, and the rest is history.

    So even if you don’t care about America, at least care about your safety and the safety of your family. Vote Romney to prevent this from happening.

  9. Its not about democrat/liberal – vs republic, its about his agenda to change america into a Communist regime!! And that should not only disturb Jews but all proud Americans!!!

  10. What in the world are you saying? Forget the economy which Obama has lost millions of jobs forget the scandals of all the different departments forget solandra and the other bankrupt companies Obama gave millions to.What about his “apology tour” praising Putin and China Obama cannot stand up to nobody but Romney. He just forgave 1 billion to egypt??? He refuses to recognize the iranian threat And he HATES Israel.

    Seriously how can you vote for such a man????

  11. he is anti-israel—and further –he has done nothing to help an american jewish citizen who is held captive in bulgaria—we need not read between those lines to realize his dislike for our jewish people—4 more years—where he does not have to worry about re-election is frightening —

  12. What a rediculous piece.How about the fact that the democrats took
    G-D out of their platform!What about the fact tht they took Jerusalem as the Capital of Israel out of their platform!What about their full term abortion positions and Toieva marriage? And I am not even discussing his position on the economy and the socialistic take from the wealthy and give to the poor ideas !!! Mr. Kleinhandler you got to be kidding me !!!!!Its time you put aside your partisan views and started believing what is best for the country and the people who live in it.So typical of you to pin point a few liberal republicans in New York to distort the true beliefs of the republican people

  13. quote from huff post in an article re: the democratic convention
    “Democrats have dropped from their platform recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, a move that has opened President Barack Obama to criticism from Republican rival Mitt Romney.
    Four years ago Democrats stated unequivocally that “Jerusalem is and will remain the capital of Israel.”

  14. Yes obama might win. Yes we’ll survive. But the Deficit, Unemplyment, Gas prices & moral decency will just get worse & worse. U disagree, Herr Kleinhandler ? DB.

  15. I remember what was done to this country from 2000-2008. I cannot return the Republicans to office to repeat the disaster they created. American corporations are sitting on the largest cash reserves in history. They are not expanding their business or hiring as has always been done. They are buying out smaller corps and laying off more people. Israel has always done what they want to do. America has no impact on how Jerusalem is treated. Neither Romney or Obama will effect that.

  16. Gd Forbid, If Obama wins,
    we will see the transfomtion of healthcare to substandard levels
    All illeglas will become legal,
    the stock market will crash,
    Israel will attack Iran,
    Gas prices and shortages
    The constitution will be altered
    term limit laws will change
    the govt will intrude into our lives 1000 X more than it has now.
    More spending
    More taxes
    More unemployment
    More crime
    More corruption
    More societal decay
    Free speech will be stifled
    and America will essentially be a different country Chas V’Shalom

  17. think about the number of lakewood families or businesses that rely on the government for some sort of aid. Housing, food, WIC, health care, school aid, subsidized tax credits, EITC, Family leave, medicaid, medicare. Obama is not perfect, but the Democrats offer more than Romney. Romney left Massachusetts in a greater debt, less jobs and more government. RyanCare is dangerous to seniors. Vote against your own interest and you support your neighbor.. make sure schools have food for school lunches, no building contracts to small business, small business loans, ONLY THE RICH will survive and be rewarded.. it will be BUSH 3 and 4.

    i was unemployed under Bush and 32 weeks and i was on my own.. at least the obama administration understands and is humane. it is more family centered…

  18. Four years ago, did any of us truely believe that someone with Muslim blood running through his veins would be _good_ for us? I didn’t vote for him then, and I won’t vote for him now. Show your support by showing up to vote!!!

  19. again, i challenge those who are interested in a Romney administration to forgo all government benefits, tax credits, subsidies and entitlements.

    I lived in Massachusetts under Romney and it a worse opening opening of coffers to friends, payoffs than the Bush years. Who gets rich, Drug companies, oil companies and the bank.

    I am still waiting for my tickle down.. it never does. ..

  20. its the easy way out!!!! working hard is good…. even i fyou make minimal wage… getting money for nothing… is not good for anyone…..from someone who has never been on programs and struggled to pay thier bills…. its calling being real with life working hard long hours no entitlement and being happy to be able to pay your food bill in npgs becuase you work hard and maybe sometimes not being able to buy all the food you want becuase your having a diffcullt month with alot of expenses!!!! self esteem comes from working hard and pushing yourself, not sitting and making cheshbonos of how many programs you can be on…..noone feels good like that its the easy way out!!!!!!!!

  21. Think back, all our troubles started with the Bush time. We were in great shape when Clinton was in, then came Bush, everything went to H— in a hand basket. Maybe people should stop trying to get aid for everything they do and go out a get a job. Stop the free hand-outs,that is what Obama is trying to do to get us back on track.

  22. safety net = democrat party hack
    “Lakewood” says: “Stop the free hand-outs,that is what Obama is trying to do to get us back on track.”

    Lakewood apparently forgot to take his/her meds.

  23. Look at the posting about ppl complaining about their food stamps. Thank Christie for balancing a budget.. haha.. on the backs of state worker. Not to mention the number from Ocean County on Food Stamps and Medicaid. You have to be a citizen to be entitled to those programs. How many Ocean Country families collect section 8, medicaid, HUD, medicare, food stamps, wic, special ed, tuition benefits, student loans, disability, workers comp, head start, job training, small business loans, rent subsidies, EITC, family leave.. All these program will disappear and Survival of the fitttest is the Romney Creed. Let them eat cake.

  24. Admit it. You are against obama for only one reason. He’s not white. He’s brilliant, and his technique for getting out of a recession is proven to work by other countries, his healthcare plan is admittedly Romneys idea, and a good one, too, and government oversight is necessary to make sure things go right. Why do republicans want nobody to protect you from consumer fraud by big business? Why dont they want government to police wall street? Don’t you remember how much people lost? Why would they want health insurance to be super expensive so you can’t afford it? What do you have against a system where its not expensive because the risk is spread over so many people? Think about it

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