Monday, October 27, 2008

Baruch Haba, Baruch Obama

Readers of this blog know that I have expressed dismay at some of the virulent anti-Obamaism I have encountered, coming from some corners of the Jewish community.

From the very moment Barack Obama entered the presidential race, there has been a basic belief among some Jews that a victory for him would be RUINOUS for World Jewry, but especially so for the State of Israel.

And though there is not a smidgen of evidence in Barack Obama's public record to back up this belief, it has become the battle cry of the Jewish anti-Obamaists, many of whom are prone to expressing amazement that a fellow Jew might be so liberal or deluded as to fail to see this incontrovertible "fact."

But as I have discovered through the course of many fruitless conversations with Jewish anti-Obamaists, facts are useless in the face of fear, innuendo, rumor, lies, racism, Michelle Malkin and Fox News.

And this discovery, as I have written in this blog, has left me deeply depressed because I expect more from Jews. After all, I live on the Upper West Side of Manhattan, where the vast majority of Jews I encounter are fervent supporters of Obama.

For months, we Jews of the Upper West Side have watched in admiration as Barack Obama revealed himself to the American public as a smart, classy, charismatic leader who has run a commendably clean campaign, an advocate for the average American, a thoughtful, true maverick fully capable of restoring the badly tarnished honor of the United States. One by one, the defections from the Republican party have affirmed the power of Barack Obama's vision. The advisors he has accumulated are a Democratic dream team.

Likewise, we have watched in horrified fascination as John McCain, once a respected public figure, disintegrated before our very eyes into a snarling, nasty old man who cannot seem to articulate a clear vision for America -- especially for the economy -- or identify what separates him from the ruinous presidency of George W. Bush.

Cringing, we heard him speak disrespectfully to Barack Obama during the presidential debates, fail to tamp down radical rhetoric by lunatics like Rush Limbaugh, invent the now-laughable fraudulent American Everyman Joe the Plumber, recycle his tired talking points in every single interview he grants, and -- the kiss of death -- name Sarah Palin to his ticket.

Sarah Palin in a position of national power is a scenario that should send a chill up the spine of every single Jew in the world. From her abortion stand to her scientific views to her creepy theology, the nightmarish prospect of her nomination is a cause that should unite all Jews under the rubric of "Hell, no!"

Over the past few months, we Upper West Side Jews have congregated in shuls and on street corners, in each other's homes and at social events, seeking each other out like members of a support group because we all seem to know someone -- usually living in the suburbs and a family member-- who is a Jewish anti-Obamaist.

We have traded tales of frustrating conversations and tense arguments, expressing our puzzlement that the very things we see as laudatory about Obama are viewed as negative by right-leaning Jews. We bemoaned the Islamaphobia that had taken root. We rolled our eyes at the anti-Obama emails we received: Obama is a terrorist. Obama is a Muslim. Obama is not an American.

We tried to determine how much fear and how much covert racism fueled the beliefs of the anti-Obamaists.

Above all, we marveled that such divergent views of reality could co-exist in this country among educated people.

Well, imagine my relief this morning when I read that Jewish anti-Obamaism is a limited phenomenon.

According to the latest Gallup poll, American Jews support Barack Obama 3 to 1.

Seventy-Five percent of American Jews favor Barack Obama for President of the United States.

This cheers me almost as much as the guarantee of his victory. Am Yisrael Chai. My people have not totally lost their minds.

Od lo avda tikvataynu. All hope is not lost.

And baruch haba, Baruch Obama.

Welcome, Barack Obama.

The American Jewish community awaits you with open arms.

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