I used to be a staunch Republican. I helped restart the College Republicans on campus. I had a Republican membership card. (I still think that it’s around here somewhere…) I even worked as a Registrar for the Republican Party.
Now, after 14 years in Israel, I find myself being a staunch,Â almost radical, moderate. Fanatic, even.
One reason for the shiftÂ stems from the rather shocking view of politics in Israel, and the realization that the US is no different – just more polite.
The other reasonÂ is that I’ve turned into a two issue constituent: Morality and Israel. Arguing over a couple percentage points in the tax burdenÂ (for taxes that are already incredibly low) leaves me cold. Pointing fingers over interest rates and the budget deficit makes me yawn.Â Caterwauling over trade can’t even compete with watching the paint dry.Â Â
True, issues such as Iraq and Iran make me sit up and take notice, (often mid-yawn), but generally speaking, I’m a two-issue political animal.
Oh, and I HATE incompetence. I guess that makes three issues. The problem with THAT issue is the inability to find out if a politician is incompetent until he/she is elected.
Take Jimmy Carter. He really is a great guy. He’s a man of profound generosity and spirit. There are few people that I would want more as a neighbor. He just exudes honesty and trustworthiness.
But, he sucked as a president. And, when it came to Israel, he was an idiot -Â a well-meaning idiot, but still an idiot.
But, I digress…
Why don’t I just get to the point.
I just found out this morning that the Republicans have been raiding the American treasury during their tenure in Congress. Via anonymous earmarks inserted into budget amendments, Republicans (and Democrats) have been takingÂ hard-earned taxpayerÂ dollars to reward political support.
Some of theÂ ‘earmarks’ went to good causes. The vast majority did not.
The reason for that is the word ‘anonymous’.Â WheneverÂ theÂ exercise of power can happen behindÂ closed doors, that power becomes corrupt. Corruption, just like theÂ roach and the rat,Â thrives in the dark.
Let’s hope that the Democrats shine a little light on the use ofÂ ‘anonymous’ power – and that the Republicans learn their lesson on corruption.
And, let’s all of us hope that everyone understandsÂ how important it is to support Israel.Â
If not, vote the bums out of office and get a new set of bums.