When I was a child, according to a story that my mother has told me a few times, I apparently went into the voting booth with one of my grandmothers and pulled the lever to vote for Ronald Reagan. Not only this, but I repeated this four years later — and I wasn’t even ten years old yet! It was not until 1996 that I was able to legitimately vote for myself and my vote went for Ralph Nader, as I thought that it would be good to get the Green party officially recognized and taken more seriously in the following election — that did not work out so well.
Well it has been in the last two elections that I have voted for the Democratic candidate, our President Barack Obama and for this I have received a lot of flak from people in my synagogue who don’t understand why I voted for someone who they believe is terrible for the state of Israel. They give me a hard time for being in favor of Obamacare and raising taxes on the top two percent earners in the country.
For the sake of understanding this story well it is important that you know that after prayer in the morning, coffee and pastries are served in the kitchen area of the synagogue. People volunteer to bring in both ground coffee to brew and pastries to be served. There was one week in particular when I noticed that a couple of people were regularly complaining about a lack of pastries and asking where the pastries were to be found.
I asked the gentleman who makes the coffee every morning what I thought was a fairly straight forward question. “Why is it,” I asked, “that these people cannot stop complaining about where the pastries are to be found and that there are no pastries and never consider perhaps taking a turn bringing in the pastries?”
“That is a very Republican observation you just made” he said, smiling. I wasn’t sure what to say.
“Look,” I said, “It’s one thing if people don’t have the means to bring in the pastries. It’s another thing with the people that come to this synagogue — as far as I can tell, people are fairly well to do and yet they don’t have anything better to do than to complain about not getting their free pastries instead of helping to make a change in the situation.”
“There you are again,” he pointed out, “you see — the people who contribute the least are the ones who complain the most.”
I suppose it should not have surprised me that I could possibly have thoughts that would be considered Republican. I believe that every able person should work for a living if they can, and I have some extremely right wing thoughts when it comes to defending the state of Israel. On the other hand, I also believe that everyone who wishes to marry should be able to do so and that affordable health care is a right and not a privilege. I suppose that just makes me a well rounded person!