J Street’s Ben Ami Smears Moderate Jews As Racists

It is difficult to pinpoint exactly when America became so divided as a nation. Political parties and politicians had smeared opposing sides since the founding of the republic – especially during election season – but citizens were able to sit and converse with people of a different party.

Some people have squarely put the blame on Donald Trump. The man didn’t merely have a different set of priorities and policies, but his vulgarity, misogyny and various racist and demeaning comments put him beyond the pale for many Americans. The fact that he won the presidency, did not simply upset people but made them question the moral fabric of society.

The people who voted for Hillary Clinton in November 2016 did not simply support her, they internalized her September 2016 comments about Trump supporters when she saidYou know, to just be grossly generalistic, you could put half of Trump’s supporters into what I call the basket of deplorables. Right? The racist, sexist, homophobic, xenophobic, Islamaphobic—you name it. And unfortunately there are people like that. And he has lifted them up.

Clinton took aim at half of America, and the insult felt by the targets of the attack, as well as the concurrence of her supporters, continues to be felt today in a deeply divided America.

The Jewish community may similarly have broken during the 2022 primary season.

In commenting about various Democratic primaries, Jeremy Ben Ami, the head of the far-left wing Jewish pro-Palestinian group J Street smeared Jewish moderates as racists, saying “There seems to be something particularly on the line for some parts of the Jewish community when women of color speak out.

The vile smear would be bad enough if Ben Ami was attacking the Republican Jewish Coalition, the opposing right-wing political advocacy group to J Street. But Ben Ami was attacking fellow Democrats who support the agenda of the moderate Democratic group, Democratic Majority For Israel (DMFI) and the bi-partisan group AIPAC.

The divide in the United States is tragically growing deeper. We may now also be witnessing the cleft in the Jewish community break open, as J Street slanders Jews to the right of their far-left ideology as irredeemable bigots.

Related articles:

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J Street Proves Again It’s Progressive, Not Pro-Israel

J Street Pushes to Make Israel a Partisan Issue

Will You Finally Show J Street and Its Backers the Door?

J Street: Home for Pro-Palestinian, Pro-Peace Americans

You Must Register To Vote

As society moves from a Bell to a Barbell Curve, with politics becoming dominated by the extremes rather than the center, it is important for all people over 18 years old to register to vote. Once upon a time, when the country was led by moderates, people could afford to stay home as the difference between a center-right or center-left candidate was pretty modest.

No longer.

In deep red and deep blue districts, extremists backed by the likes of the Democratic Socialists of America (DSA) are being elected to the office. They secure their positions in the PRIMARIES when many people don’t come out to vote, thinking that elections principally happen in November.

In New York State this year, primaries are happening on August 23, 2022, with early voting beginning on August 13. This second primary (one for statewide positions happened several weeks ago) is because of the late redistricting in the state. New district boundaries brought various politicians in and out of their historic zones, forcing a delay in the vote.

JULY 29, 2022 IS THE LAST DAY TO REGISTER TO PARTICIPATE IN THIS UPCOMING ELECTION FOR YOUR CONGRESSPERSON. You can download the New York State voter registration form, and mail it in before July 29 to help keep extremists out of power.

An example of the extremists in New York State can be found in NY-16, now headed by Rep. Jamaal Bowman who came to power with the backing of the DSA. His newly redrawn district covers southern Westchester County.

Bowman is in favor of:

Make sure everyone you know over 18 years old at the time of voting is registered by July 29, and then vote out the extremists in August.

Three extremists in Congress- Rashida Tlaib (D-MI), Ilhan Omar (D-MN) and Jamaal Bowman (D-NY)(Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

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The DSA, Kamala Harris and 53 Dead Migrants

A terrible tragedy unfolded on the US-Mexico border, as 53 migrants were found dead in the back of a truck, who were being smuggled into the United States. It is being marked as the deadliest human smuggling incident in US history.

The tragedy is a function of a number of problems, principally, the swelling number of people attempting to come into the United States from Mexico illegally.

From 2010 through 2020, the number of people coming over the US-Mexico border was a fraction of what has been happening under the Biden administration. Pew Research, summarized the statistics from the US Borders and Customs Protection (CBP), and tracked that 2021 saw the migrants from Mexico jump to over 608,000 and from countries other than Mexico to well over 1 million. Those countries with dramatic increases included Ecuador, Brazil, Nicaragua, Venezuela, Haiti and Cuba.

Texas has been particularly overwhelmed. Along the Rio Grande and Del Rio areas, migrant encounters are up over five times between 2020 and 2021.

And 2022 is seeing an even greater number of encounters – and fewer people being returned across the border.

According to the CBP, May 2022 had 239,416 migrant encounters, an all-time record, breaking the previous all-time record set in April. Only 42 percent of those were expelled, the lowest percentage since Title 42 was put in place. As a record number of people are coming across the border, a record number are also staying.

Amidst this onslaught, Present Biden requested eight percent LESS money for Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) in his budget. The proposal also includes a request for fewer detention beds. This plan for fewer people to control the border and fewer detention beds is exactly the opposite of the needs for the situation on the ground.

These bad policies are voiced by members of the Democratic Socialists of America squad, including Ilhan Omar (D-MN), Rashida Tlaib (D-MI) and Jamaal Bowman (D-NY) who have all called to ‘Abolish ICE’. They have essentially cheered the lack of action by ‘Border Czar’ Kamala Harris‘s do-nothing approach.

Vice President and “Border Czar” Kamala Harris (right) with Rep. Jamaal Bowman (D-NY) (middle) who has called to ‘Abolish ICE’

The DSA is loudly calling to abolish ICE and lobbying government officials for ‘Open Borders‘ which helped fuel the surge at the border, as well as the Biden-Harris lack of action. It should be no surprise that such activities led to the enormous human tragedy witnessed in Texas. More tragedies are likely to continue.

#NeverSquad

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If you Only Loved Refugees as Much as you Hate Donald Trump

The Arabists of the US Embassy in Israel

The United States relocated its embassy in Israel to the Jewish State’s capital of Jerusalem in 2018. Its website seemingly moved to Ramallah.

The embassy in Israel’s website has eight main categories: Visa, US Citizen Services, Our Relationship, Business, Education & Culture, Embassy, News & Events, and Palestinian Affairs Unit. The last category is designed to handle the needs of the Stateless Arabs of Palestine (SAPs). The website offers translation options for each category:

categorylanguages
VisaHebrew
US Citizen ServicesArabic and Hebrew
Our RelationshipArabic and Hebrew
BusinessArabic
Education & CultureArabic
EmbassyArabic
News & EventsArabic
Palestine Affairs UnitArabic
Translations offered on US Embassy in Israel website

Why would the US State Department not have a consistent method of handling translation for all of its services? It would make sense for translations of the English-language site to be in Hebrew and Arabic for every section of its website. However, the site is mostly translatable only into Arabic, making those only speaking Hebrew – Jews – unable to use the site.

Is the US embassy deliberately excluding Jews from being able to access some of its services? Is it a dynamic because the US State Department is populated by a bunch of Arabists – even in Israel?

The current Charge d’Affaires is Michael Ratney. His bio reviews that from 2015 to 2017 he was based in Syria. From 2012 to 2015 he was “responsible for the U.S. political, economic, and cultural relationship with Palestinians in Jerusalem, the West Bank, and Gaza.” Before that he did tours in Qatar, Iraq, Lebanon and Morocco. He speaks Arabic and French fluently. No Hebrew.

The Deputy Chief of Mission is Jonathan Shrier who spent much of his recent career in Pakistan and Afghanistan. His previous work in Israel was “aimed at improving economic conditions for Palestinians.” His foreign languages “include Chinese, Arabic, French, and Spanish.” No Hebrew.

The prioritization of Arabs in the US State Department shows up in every day matters as well. Consider comments by the US Ambassador to the United Nations Linda Thomas-Greenfield about Israel on October 19 featured on the embassy website (pictured above). She acknowledged Palestinian Hanan Ashrawi and Israeli Daniel Levy giving comments to the UN Security Council – both vilifying Israel – mentioning the Palestinian first. She didn’t protest the fact that no one called out Palestinian terror, corruption and incitement for the lack of peace before the UN body.

When Ned Price spoke about Secretary of State Blinken meeting with Israeli officials, he also mentioned Palestinians first. When Sen. Chris Murphy, Chairman of the U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Subcommittee on Near East, South Asia, Central Asia and Counterterrorism spoke to Christiane Amanpour on CNN about his trip to Israel, he led with the critical thing about his trip to Israel was “outreach with the Palestinians.” It’s a persistent theme.

The current configuration of the US State Department – even in the embassy in Israel – is oriented towards Israeli Arabs and Palestinians, not Israeli Jews.

Maybe when Tom Nides, who is Jewish, is confirmed as ambassador to Israel, the embassy and its website will actually start to constructively address Jews in the Jewish State.


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Fertility Rates and Household Wealth

A new U.S. government report noted that the birth rate continues to fall, now with a fertility rate of just 1.6 children per woman. That rate is considered “below replacement rate” meaning that the next generation will be smaller than the current one and that the overall population will grow older on average.

According to the World Bank, the overall percentage of the global population under 14 years old in 2019 was just 25.6%. It was just 18.5% for the United States, down significantly from 30.8% in 1961 in the post-World War II boom years.

There is a meaningful divide between the western world and the rest in terms of the number of children and how it relates to household wealth which will be reviewed here.

Children and Household Wealth around the World

There are three parts of the world which have a very young population, with over 35% of the population being 14 years old or younger: sub-Saharan Africa, several Muslim countries, and the islands of the Pacific.

Roughly 42% of sub-Saharan Africa is under 14 years old. Most of the countries are very poor, with a GDP per capital under $2,000. Outliers like Seychelles (with a relatively low 24% of the population under 14 y.o.) and Mauritius (17%) have much higher GDP per capita (GDP/C) of $17,448 and $11,099, respectively.

The other regions have a more scattered correlation between GDP per capita and high percentage of children as seen in the chart below.

Countries with over 35% of the population under 14 years old fall into three buckets: sub-Saharan Africa (not shown), Muslim countries (yellow) and Pacific islands (blue)

The blue dots represent Pacific island countries and the yellow dots correspond to Muslim countries. Pakistan, Tajikistan, Yemen and Afghanistan have GDP/C of around $1,000 or less. The two subsidized Muslim economies of Iraq ($5,955) and the Palestinian Authority ($3,562) are outliers in their relatively higher income levels and young population. Only Tonga and Samoa have similar around $4,000 GDP/C outside of Africa.

The United States

The GDP per Capita in the United States crossed $65,000 in 2019 while the fertility rate plummeted. The country has a diverse population so a deeper review of the drivers of the fertility drop as well as the dynamics of household wealth are worth exploring to appreciate the underlying causes.

As seen in the US Fertility Rate table above, the fertility rate for women of all races declined significantly between 2008 and 2016. The drop was greatest for Hispanic women (-26%) and Native Americans (-24%), followed by Whites and Blacks (-12% each).

The census data on average household income by race and status adds further color.

CharacteristicAll racesWhite alone, not HispanicBlack aloneAsian aloneHispanic (any race)
No Children89,31596,08160,794113,35470,604
With children <18119,506138,97079,151165,79380,592
Married no kids127,016132,34099,595141,35096,487
Married with kids146,238161,392123,121178,51094,336
Unmarried, no kids103,795107,34278,588156,37791,062
Unmarried with kids87,86595,92571,381(B)78,031
Male, no kids92,13399,11874,695123,49282,112
Male with kids83,98394,73363,69388,76473,777
Female, no kids74,95379,14869,54392,75564,067
Female with kids57,27465,24846,90090,47652,923
Household income for various US groups in 2019 according to the U.S. census. Too small a data set for unmarried Asian households with children at home.

There’s a lot of data here, so some observations:

Households headed by married couples with children at home make more money. Households (HH) with children under 18 at home make more money than those without, but that is purely driven by married HH. Asian married HH that have kids at home make an average of 26% more than married Asian HH without children. For Blacks the difference was 24%. Meanwhile, Hispanic married HH – and only Hispanics – without children make slightly more money than those with kids.

Non-traditional” HH with no kids make more money. Unmarried HH and those headed by either a single father or mother have greater wealth if there are no children. The difference is the greatest for Black HH headed by a woman, where average HH income is 48% higher if there are no kids at home, and for HH headed by Asian men, who make 39% more money on average if no kids are at home. Only HH headed by Asian women have virtually no difference whether there are kids at home or not.

Asian and Blacks have dramatically different household wealth. Not only do Asians make significantly more money than Black HH (86% more in HH with no kids at home and 109% more in HH with kids at home), the biggest drivers were in unmarried HH without kids and woman-headed HH with kids.

The change in household income adds additional color, with the table below showing the change from 2012 to 2019.

CharacteristicAll racesWhite alone, not HispanicBlack aloneAsian aloneHispanic (any race)
Married no kids38%38%40%39%35%
Married with kids44%42%51%49%50%
Unmarried, no kids35%34%37%62%20%
Unmarried with kids48%45%41%NA55%
Male, no kids38%41%42%37%32%
Male with kids41%41%35%34%44%
Female, no kids32%31%33%24%38%
Female with kids40%33%47%60%50%
Change in household income between 2012 and 2019 for various groups in the United States according to US Census

Households with kids have income growing faster. Income grew faster for households with children relative to those without kids between 2012 and 2019 for every type of household. Income grew fastest for those households headed by unmarried couples. Minorities faired better than Whites for female-headed homes with kids and married homes.

Hispanic households seeing the biggest gaps to an increase in income between having kids and not having kids. While Whites, Blacks and Asians mostly followed the averages or had mixed results, the Hispanic community saw big advances among those families which had children at home relative to the more modest gains among those with no children at homes.

In summary, the Hispanic community which accounts for 16.7% of the US population is having a steep decline in the number of children which is driving the overall low US fertility rates. While this is happening, the wealth for Hispanic households without kids is growing at a much slower pace than those HH with children. This is creating a gap in the Hispanic community between the wealthier HHs with children and the poorer ones which are having no kids.

Possible Reasons for Fertility Rates and Changes

There is clearly a correlation around the world that poorer countries have more children than richer countries.

The Guttmacher Institute estimates that 93 out of 1,000 pregnancies are unintended in poor countries compared to 66 in middle income and 34 in wealthy countries. Abortions are also more prevalent in wealthier countries with 40%, 66% and 43% of such unwanted pregnancies ending with an abortion in poor, middle and wealth countries, respectively. The net result is a higher fertility rate in poorer countries.

Religion should also be considered as a factor as many devout Muslim countries do not promote contraception and abhor abortions.

The low fertility rates in the United States goes beyond income and abortions.

Minority groups have the highest rates of abortion in the US. In 2016, 28% of abortions were by Black women even though they account for just 13% of the population. Hispanics accounted for 25% of abortions while they make up 17% of the population. This is in contrast to the global trend where poorer segments had fewer abortions.

In the US, Hispanics and Blacks still have higher fertility rates (2.1 and 1.9, respectively) than Whites (1.7) but the trends are much steeper for Hispanics as they are quickly adopting the more prevalent fertility rates found throughout America.

The lower fertility rates may seem strange relative to Pew Research which shows that women in America are having MORE children, albeit later in life as they prefer to pursue advanced degrees and build their careers. Pew notes that their work looks at the lifetime fertility rates of women whereas the standard definition of fertility is based solely on that one year’s accounting of births.

The Pew report also noted that one of the biggest changes in fertility is among women who were never married having children, where 55% of women aged 40-44 have had a child in 2014, up from just 31% in 1994. Incorporating the data above, this suggests that unmarried women are having children despite the fact that they are likely to be poorer for doing so, but the income level for this segment (unmarried moms) is growing the fastest.

Outlier

One country seems to be defying the trends in fertility, with a higher fertility rate and a high level of wealth: Israel.

From 2000 to 2019, Israel’s fertility rate stayed relatively constant, growing from 2.95 to 3.01. With a GDP/C of $43,600, this is a remarkable achievement.

The country’s ultra-Orthodox and Bedouin communities continue to have large numbers of children and the number of abortions in the country continues to hit new lows every year.


A quick read of the low and declining fertility rates in the US is certainly reason for concern, but a deeper dive into the numbers reveals some important facts. 1) Women are extending the period of time in which they have children to later in life so the total number of children they have is actually rising. 2) The drop off in fertility in the US is mostly due to the Hispanic community moving quickly towards the societal average. 3) The average income for the growing “non-traditional” households (unmarried, single parent) with children is growing faster than the rest of society.


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Voting All of the Above

Democrats and Republicans are taking aim at each other about voting rights. Each has portrayed the other as racist, naive or dishonest. In truth, each makes fair points and the best policy is to incorporate suggestions from each.

IssueSuggestionComment
Automatic registrationDemocratsGet all citizens registered easily
Accessible ballotsDemocratsAllow for big fonts, multiple languages
Picture IDRepublicansPrevent fraud and insure integrity of vote
Early votingDemocratsMake it easier for people to cast vote
No Mail-in voteRepublicansPrevent fraud and insure vote integrity
Suggestions to overhaul current voting system incorporating suggestions of both parties

Many of the above recommendations complement each other. Allowing early voting minimizes the need for mail-in votes. Requiring a picture ID to prevent fraud is logical and also dovetails with eliminating mail-in voting.

The most important thing regarding voting is for it to accurately reflect the desire of legal voters. Fraud and the legitimate fear of fraud undermine our democracy, the government and unity of the republic. For the sake of that unity, incorporate the logical proposals of both Democrats and Republicans.


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Capture The Flag

January 6, 2021 was a spectacle in Washington, D.C. when protesters stormed the U.S. Capital building which was convening to certify the results of the presidential elections. The overrun of the capital came just as Democrats won two Senate run-off seats in Georgia giving the party full control of Congress. One person was shot and killed and members of Congress needed to be escorted to secure rooms as the building was put in lock down. A curfew was imposed on the city.

U.S. Capital building stormed by pro-Trump protestors, January 6, 2021

People bemoan that the United States has become a Banana Republic which cannot peacefully hold elections or have a transition of power. They wonder how a powerful and wealthy country could descend into such chaos. Quickly pointing to President Donald Trump as the instigator for the event is a missed opportunity to expose the root causes of the mayhem. The danger of not exploring it is the casual dismissal of needed changes to society that go beyond January 20th when Trump leaves office and when the world moves passed the pandemic, hopefully in the coming months.

The instigating reasons include the notion that there is theft, the normalization of violent protest and the breakdown of trust and respect. All of this in the backdrop of a broader move to extremist views by many Americans and the relatively newer belief that government actually matters.

On Stealing

People become enraged when they feel deeply wronged, especially when it comes to something being stolen. If rights, liberties, lands or votes are viewed as being stripped away, then people will actively resist such wrongs.

President Donald Trump actively fed the narrative that peoples’ votes were being stolen which was the reason he lost the election, with “Stop the Steal” exclamations. He told his supporters to not even bother voting in the Georgia Senate run-off, as the system wouldn’t let their voices be heard.

This is not new, as Democrats often make claims of “voter suppression.” A conspiracy theory came out of Hillary Clinton’s mouth four years ago when she said as she lost “they were never going to let me be president.” Her backers believed her and held “Not My President” rallies during Trump’s early months in office.

The United Nations also promotes the notion of theft when it comes to Israel. It uses racist language that Israelis are “stealing Arab land” as if dirt can be inherently “Arab” (imagine someone saying that Alabama is inherently “white”). It established a special agency, UNRWA, which promises to enable millions of Arabs to “return” to Israel, actively fueling anger at the Jewish State.

Normalizing Violent “Protests”

The world actively promotes Palestinian “resistance” and normalizes terrorism. The 2% War which began in September 2000 killed and maimed thousands of Israeli civilians is commonly called the “Second Intifada” meaning “uprising,” softening the crimes of the murderers. Left-wing media states that Palestinians are only “resorting to violence” even when all their foundational charters and glorification of terrorists are plain to see.

In the United states, when the Black Lives Matter protests burned cities to the ground the media said that the protesters were “mostly peaceful” despite the videos of massive looting and scenes of charred buildings. The public seemingly gave a pass to the anarchy. When anarchists seized downtown Seattle and declared their alt-left caliphate with a concocted flag, the police were ordered to not engage.

Normalization by definition creates a new normal.

The Loss of Trust and Respect

There has been a continued erosion in the trust of institutions in the United States over several years. Blacks and liberals have distrusted the police for a long time but the nature of distrust has broadened and deepened.

The Internet is a great tool in allowing people to connect and find areas of interest but its use has had broad ramifications for businesses and society.

The personalization capabilities of search engines has allowed people to narrowly focus on topics and points of view that interest them. Such model and migration of eyeballs has shifted advertising dollars from television and newspapers to online giants like Google and Facebook. It forced the legacy media to pivot their businesses from neutral providers of information to highly-biased disseminators of propaganda. The media’s business model became #AlternativeFacts. When the Internet giants then followed suit during this election and shut down opinions which it found offensive, there became a deep resentment to all of the media.

Amid this backdrop, liberal society endorsed the idea that people’s perceptions of race and gender trumped science, undermining the foundation of truth. Even language became “weaponized” as people received daily addenda to the dictionary.

As the foundations of language and science were being shaken, woke society came after America’s founding fathers and institutions.

Kneeling for the national anthem, and the blitzkrieg of tearing down statues of Jefferson and Washington and renaming buildings and institutions were taken by many Americans as not protests but a profound disrespecting of America. The nation’s capital building became a symbol to either defend or mock.

A Move to Polar Extremes and Suddenly Government Matters

Moderate politicians have been forced out of both the Democratic and Republican parties for the past twenty years. The primary system has favored those who can activate a loud loyalist base and targets politicians who have preferred bipartisanship. The test of party purity advanced more extreme right-wing and left-wing politicians, who resemble the talking points of narrow slices of extremist ideology fed on social media and the Internet.

As bipartisan politicians leave Congress and state houses, extremist opinions and laws get enacted. This leaves a bitter taste in the mouths of the minority as the majority advances its agenda without fear of being voted out of office. When a blue state sees a red state dramatically limiting abortion access, it passes laws allowing for legal abortion up until birth, essentially blessing infanticide.

Extremism doesn’t exist in a vacuum; each side feeds the other. Both sides see that government matters as they adopt extremist laws so it drives people to the polls, with the 2020 presidential election having the biggest turnout in 120 years.

Path Forward

There is not one single thing that needs to be done to become a more perfect union and a more perfect planet. The change of administration and broad vaccinations that are underway will certainly help, but much more needs to be done, as the storming of the U.S. Capital building has been years in the making.

  1. Leaders must stop promoting false narratives of “theft.” While there was certainly a media frenzy against Trump (as there was in 2016), there is no proof of massive voter fraud. Republicans must loudly denounce Trump’s comments, not just Democrats. In other parts of the world, we similarly need to stop inflammatory language such as saying “Arab land” which undermines a chance for peace and the UN promoting the notion that Israel is a “colonialist enterprise.”
  2. Don’t normalize violence and calls for violence. Watching U.S. cities burn and Palestinians blowing up buses and pizza stores and then excusing those actions as “justice” and “natural protest” encourages more violence. Denounce the violence, arrest perpetrators and strip those who call for such actions of any funding.
  3. Build Trust and Respect. It will be difficult for the media to turn back the tide and become neutral providers of information, and social media’s business model is built on giving people what they crave. As such, it is important that the source of all articles and information be included with articles. People understand that Fox tilts right and MSNBC tilts left and can thereby understand that they are only presented with half of the story. Regarding respect, people must understand that revolutions produce counter-revolutions and consider that a casual disrespect of someone or something will likely come full circle.
  4. Embrace the Center. While people encourage the idea of a “wide tent” and talking to the “other side” it must be acknowledged that the fringe must remain on the fringe and not have seats of power. People in the right-of-center and left-of-center can have constructive dialogues of compromise while those at the polar extremes can only battle. If the extreme right or left are aiming to “primary” an incumbent in your district, understand that a vote for such politician will leave them off any committees of significance in the capital.

The capture of the nation’s capital did not happen in a vacuum and it is incumbent on all of us to take actions to reverse course on multiple fronts.


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Vote Purple

American society has fractured. Badly.

The middle has been collapsing for some time. Senators like Joe Lieberman (D-CT) and John McCain (R-NV) could no longer exist in today’s political climate. The moderates in both the Republican and Democratic parties have been expunged in their respective primary seasons.

Fringe parties like Democratic Socialist and the Working Families Parties have successfully inserted themselves into America’s main parties. Far left extremists like Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Ilhan Omar are no longer on the outside looking in, but have seats in Congress, are members of important committees and been endorsed by the heads of the Democratic National Committee and the Speaker of the House.

In New York State, Democrats forcibly retired politicians that considered bi-partisanship a noble idea. The majority Democratic Party is now looking to seal the fate of the state by actively looking to expel the last of the moderates and achieve a super-majority to advance extremist ideas. The terms “DINO” and “RINO,” Democrats In Name Only and Republicans In Name Only have become slurs.

The dynamics extend beyond state politics and congress. The Democratic Party has selected, Kamala Harris, the most liberal and least bipartisan member of the Senate to be Vice President. They have made clear their intentions to establish long-term changes to America in packing the Supreme Court and adding Washington, D.C. as a new state.

For their part, the Republicans can’t stand the incumbent president of their own party, with dozens upon dozens shunning Trump. It’s an unheard of dynamic in the history of American elections: Republican hate Republicans and Democrats hate Republicans. It sounds like an easy vote this election.

Not so.

The cleft in society will not be bridged with endorsing a party that has swung far from the center. It will also not be cured with a vote for an Independent or Libertarian, which might feel like good, but does as much as throwing a pebble into the trench.

In this contentious election, the best path forward to heal the country is to vote purple – not all blue (Democratic) or pure red (Republican) up and down the ballot, but to vote for a mix of both parties. If you live in a deep blue state, vote straight red, and if you’re in a deep red state, vote blue in every race. Americans must force the parties to find common ground, as a sweep for Democrats or Republicans in 2020 is a vote for extremist ideologies and policies.

The protests in the streets of America have ranged from Black Lives Matter, COVID-19 lockdowns, abortion, immigration policies and more

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The Mason-Dixon Plaid

The Mason-Dixon Line was known as the demarcation between the northern states and the southern states in the US Civil War. The line clearly separated those states in which slavery was prohibited (the Union north of the line) and the slave states (the Confederacy south of the line).

The Civil War waged from 1861 to 1865 and was the bloodiest war in American history with 618,000 killed, more than all other U.S. wars combined (WWII and WWI had 405,000 and 116,000 fatalities, respectively). The death total was roughly 2 per cent of the country, equivalent to over 6 million people today. It is remarkable to think about the millions who fought to preserve (and counter) a preferred form of government, rather than let the country divide seamlessly.

It is difficult to imagine how the Civil War would have played out if the warring parties were not delineated by the neat Mason-Dixon line but a patchwork of alternating states. Would the war have ended faster and with fewer deaths if a few surrounding states ganged up on a common enemy in the middle? Or would the destruction have been far longer and worse for each side with alternating gains and losses on multiple fronts? Imagine if the dynamics were even narrower, with alternating cities and neighborhoods which pit neighbor against fellow neighbor.

A civil war between standing armies would be nearly impossible in such configuration. It would more likely resemble a series of micro-battles in which one square of the plaid pattern attacked another rectangle. A raging riot would break in part of one city and a pogrom in another. Lawlessness would prevail as police forces fragmented between the sides.

It is doubtful such war could conclude with long-term stability and peace. The tensions would likely come to the fore every so often, much like the hundred-year battle between the Arabs and Jews in Israel. Competing visions for a single land is unsustainable as simmering feuds between neighbors and clans never dissipate as people mourn for the loss of family, friends and illusion that the past can be recreated.

The United States is an increasingly polarized society. Radical leftists are taking over the Democratic Party while the Republican Party disembowels itself under President Trump. The alt-left and alt-right visions for America are radically different as the country that once touted itself as the home of the middle class has jettisoned the political moderates. While the deep blue is mostly on the coasts and deep red is predominantly in the middle of the country, the depth of colors offends every non-zealot in every corner.

At this same moment in time, the pandemic has introduced a mindset that one’s neighbors can literally kill them. The notion of “give me liberty (to not wear a mask) or give me death” is being shouted at the man on the street, not a monarch thousands of miles away. The stresses of financial and physical health against a backdrop demanding purity of thought at the risk of losing one’s job have pushed people to the edge.

The Mason-Dixon Plaid has crisscrossed the country amid a pandemic setting the stage for a long and brutal battle pitting neighbor against neighbor. It is being launched with ostracizations and evictions, boycotts and theft, and weapons are being drawn. This civil war will not end when the pandemic eases, but with a turn towards the center where neighbors can speak and listen to jointly compromise on a shared vision for the land.


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End the Civil War Before It Starts: Vote Engel and Schleifer

The tension in U.S. politics has grown progressively worse over the past few years. The center began to crumble several years ago when centrist Democrats felt like there was no room for them in a party lurching leftward (goodbye Evan Bayh (IN) and Joe Lieberman (CT)) and the moderate wing of the Republican party took a whipping with John McCain’s failed run for president in 2008. By 2016, outsiders began to take over each party, when Bernie Sanders (VT), an Independent on the far left extreme had a real shot at being the Democrat’s nominee, and a political novice who spent virtually his entire life as a Democrat named Donald Trump ran through the establishment Republican candidates.

The far left-wing of the Democratic Party was livid with the way Sanders was treated by the party establishment and even more that Trump became president. They organized themselves as “Justice Democrats” and pushed to elect socialists into congress and to rewrite the Democratic platform. They had success in 2018 with the election of a few of their favorites including Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (nicknamed “AOC”) and three other women including Rashida Tlaib (MI), Ilhan Omar (MN) and Alyssa Pressley (MA), a group which became known as “The Squad”. These individuals would normally have only been found running on the Working Family’s Party or the Green Party with no shot at winning a seat in a system dominated by two-parties. But they have pushed their way in and are transforming the Democratic Party in a very toxic way, much the way Trump has in the Republican party.

The Justice Democrats are targeting additional seats long held by centrist Democrats in 2020. Two are in lower New York State, including Eliot Engel (NY-16) and the seat vacated by retiring Nita Lowey (NY-17). Their candidates are every bit as extremist as the Squad but with more up-to-date woke initiatives, and will push jobs and people out of the region and add fuel to the budding civil war in the United States.

Adam Schleifer versus Mondaire Jones

There are eight Democrats running for Nita Lowey’s seat, and Jones is currently in the lead according to polls. His vision for America is more radical than AOC, Sanders or Elizabeth Warren, all of whom endorsed him. His goal is best described as give everything away for free and let corporations and the rich pay for it. The fact that the numbers don’t add is irrelevant.

Behind Jones in the polls is Evelyn Farkas and Adam Schleifer. Voting for Farkas is equivalent to voting for former Secretary of State John Kerry (who endorsed her). She is well versed in foreign affairs but that doesn’t mean she has good ideas or capabilities to effectuate good US policies. Adam Schleifer is tied with her for second. He is so mainstream that the New York Times refused to mention his name even while profiling the other seven candidates.

New York Times endorsement of all alt-left candidates, refuses to even mention Adam Schleifer’s name

If you want to avoid being represented by an even worse-AOC or a John Kerry-clone, vote for Schleifer.

Eliot Engel versus Jamaal Bowman

Like Jones, Jamal Bowman is endorsed by the alt-left fringe. His pedigree as a middle school principal makes him as qualified for congress as Trump was for the presidency.

His platform includes:

  • Defunding the police
  • Abolishing the immigration department
  • Quick release bail reform
  • Medicare-for-all
  • Cancelling student debt
  • Free college
  • A full green new deal
  • Pouring additional tens of billions of dollars into the failed public school system rather than restructuring it completely the way he has proposed for the police
  • Expanding labor unions
  • Taxing the rich
  • Making tax payers spend $638 billion to bail out under-funded luxurious union pension funds
  • Paying people to have babies
  • Pushing programs to get the poor to own homes (like the initiatives that created the housing and market collapse in 2008).
  • Using financial pressure on Israel to end the “occupation of the Palestinian people
  • Re-entering the Iranian nuclear deal which gave the leading state sponsor of terrorism a legal pathway to nuclear weapons.

In the same breath as stating support for Iran’s nuclear weapons aspirations, he wrote that the US must “stand up to this far-right authoritarian movement that’s taking place across the world, not cozy up to them, whether that’s in Saudi Arabia, Hungary, Brazil, India, Israel.” Not Iran. Not North Korea. Not China or Venezuela. Israel.

New York voters have a chance to turn the tide against the growing cleft in America by rejecting the extremists running for office and push aggressively to get the vote out for Adam Schleifer (NY-17) and Eliot Engel (NY-16). Primary is June 23.

Adam Schleifer running for Congress


Related First One Through articles:

Please Don’t Vote for a Democratic Socialist

Bernie Sanders’ Antisemitic and Anti-Zionist Friends

Adam Schleifer Shares His Positions on Israel

The Left Wing’s Accelerating Assault on the Holocaust

As Ilhan Omar Clearly Demonstrates, Not Every “First” is Jackie Robinson

Naked Democracy

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