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Rabbi Steven Pruzansky has the largest Orthodox congregation in Teaneck, New Jersey:


The most charitable way of explaining the election results of 2012 is that Americans voted for the status quo for the incumbent President and for a divided Congress.


They must enjoy gridlock, partisanship, incompetence, economic stagnation and avoidance of responsibility.


And fewer people voted.


But as we awake from the nightmare, it is important to eschew the facile explanations for the Romney defeat that will prevail among the chattering classes.


Romney did not lose because of the effects of Hurricane Sandy that devastated this area, nor did he lose because he ran a poor campaign, nor did he lose because the Republicans could have chosen better candidates, nor did he lose because Obama benefited from a slight uptick in the economy due to the business cycle.


Romney lost because he didnt get enough votes to win.


That might seem obvious, but not for the obvious reasons.


Romney lost because the conservative virtues the traditional American virtues of liberty, hard work, free enterprise, private initiative and aspirations to moral greatness no longer inspire or animate a majority of the electorate.


The simplest reason why Romney lost was because it is impossible to compete against free stuff.


Every businessman knows this; that is why the loss leader or the giveaway is such a powerful marketing tool.


Obamas America is one in which free stuff is given away: the adults among the 47,000,000 on food stamps clearly recognized for whom they should vote, and so they did, by the tens of millions; those who courtesy of Obama receive two full years of unemployment benefits (which, of course, both disincentivizes looking for work and also motivates people to work off the books while collecting their windfall) surely know for whom to vote.


The lure of free stuff is irresistible.




The defining moment of the whole campaign was the revelation of the secretly-recorded video in which Romney acknowledged the difficulty of winning an election in which 47% of the people start off against him because they pay no taxes and just receive money free stuff from the government.


Almost half of the population has no skin in the game they dont care about high taxes, promoting business or creating jobs, nor do they care that the money for their free stuff is being borrowed from their children and from the Chinese.


They just want the free stuff that comes their way at someone elses expense.


In the end, that 47% leaves very little margin for error for any Republican, and does not bode well for the future.




It is impossible to imagine a conservative candidate winning against such overwhelming odds.

People do vote their pocketbooks.


In essence the people vote for a Congress who will not raise their taxes and for President who will give them free stuff, never mind who has to pay for it.




That engenders the second reason why Romney lost: the inescapable conclusion that the electorate is ignorant and uninformed.


Indeed, it does not pay to be an informed voter, because most other voters the clear majority are unintelligent and easily swayed by emotion and raw populism.


That is the indelicate way of saying that too many people vote with their hearts and not their heads.


That is why Obama did not have to produce a second term agenda or even defend his first-term record.


He needed only to portray Mitt Romney as a rapacious capitalist who throws elderly women over a cliff, when he is not just snatching away their cancer medication, while starving the poor and cutting taxes for the rich.


During his 1956 presidential campaign, a woman called out to Adlai Stevenson: Senator, you have the vote of every thinking person! Stevenson called back: Thats not enough, madam, we need a majority!


Truer words were never spoken.




Obama could get away with saying that Romney wants the rich to play by a different set of rules without ever defining what those different rules were; with saying that the rich should pay their fair share without ever defining what a fair share is; with saying that Romney wants the poor, elderly and sick to fend for themselves without even acknowledging that all these government programs are going bankrupt, their current insolvency only papered over by deficit spending.



Similarly, Obama (or his surrogates) could hint to blacks that a Romney victory would lead them back into chains and proclaim to women that their abortions and birth control would be taken away.


He could appeal to Hispanics that Romney would have them all arrested and shipped to Mexico and unabashedly state that he will not enforce the current immigration laws.


He could espouse the furtherance of the incestuous relationship between governments and unions in which politicians ply the unions with public money, in exchange for which the unions provide the politicians with votes, in exchange for which the politicians provide more money and the unions provide more votes, etc., even though the money is gone.




Obama also knows that the electorate has changed that whites will soon be a minority in America (theyre already a minority in California) and that the new immigrants to the US are primarily from the Third World and do not share the traditional American values that attracted immigrants in the 19th and 20th centuries.


It is a different world, and a different America.


Obama is part of that different America, knows it,and knows how to tap into it.


That is why he won.




Obama also proved again that negative advertising works, invective sells and harsh personal attacks succeed.


That Romney never engaged in such diatribes points to his essential goodness as a person; his negative ads were simple facts, never personal abuse facts about high lower take-home pay, a loss of American power and prestige abroad, a lack of leadership, etc.


As a politician, though, Romney failed because he did not embrace the devils bargain of making unsustainable promises.




It turned out that it was not possible for Romney and Ryan people of substance, depth and ideas to compete with the shallow populism and platitudes of their opponents.


Obama mastered the politics of envy of class warfare never reaching out to Americans as such but to individual groups and cobbling together a winning majority from these minority groups.


If an Obama could not be defeated with his record and his vision of America, in which free stuff seduces voters it is hard to envision any change in the future.


The road to Hillary Clinton in 2016 and to a European-socialist economy those very economies that are collapsing today in Europe is paved.




For Jews, mostly assimilated anyway and staunch Democrats, the results demonstrate again that liberalism is their Torah.


Almost 70% voted for a president widely perceived by Israelis and most committed Jews as hostile to Israel.


They voted to secure Obamas future at Americas expense and at Israels expense in effect, preferring Obama to Netanyahu by a wide margin.


A dangerous time is ahead.


Under present circumstances, it is inconceivable that the US will take any aggressive action against Iran and will more likely thwart any Israeli initiative.


The US will preach the importance of negotiations up until the production of the first Iranian nuclear weapon and then state that the world must learn to live with this new reality.




But this election should be a wake-up call to Jews.


There is no permanent empire, nor is there is an enduring haven for Jews anywhere in the exile.


The American empire began to decline in 2007, and the deterioration has been exacerbated in the last five years.


This election only hastens that decline.


Society is permeated with sloth, greed, envy and materialistic excess.


It has lost its moorings and its moral foundations.


The takers outnumber the givers, and that will only increase in years to come.


The Occupy riots across this country in the last two years were mere dress rehearsals for what lies ahead years of unrest sparked by the increasing discontent of the unsuccessful who want to seize the fruits and the bounty of the successful, and do not appreciate the slow pace of redistribution.



If this election proves one thing, it is that the Old America is gone.




And, sad for the world, it is not coming back.


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Ok, so this person's candidate didn't win, and he's not happy about it. I get it. I haven't always been happy with the results of elections either, especially in the county and town where I live, where one party wins every election, and guess what, it isn't the party I usually vote for. As for presidential elections, I just calculated that this election brought me back up to .500 in my voting-for-winning-presidential-candidates average. (That's counting Bush as the winner in 2000, which... nah, let's not "go there", as people say these days.) So is the cup half full, or half empty? I don't know. But I do know that the world is not ending, the nation is not collapsing, etc. just because this guy's candidate did not win an election. President Obama won because that's who more people preferred. Why they did so is a matter of individual choice.


And by the way, I do wish this rabbi would leave his (and my) fellow Jewish people out of this. I don't need to be told who to vote for by him or anybody else.

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Record food stamp rolls, record growth in "disability" rolls, growing entitlements, and a shrinking percentage of tax payers. Sounds to me like a country on the wrong side of the economic curve.


But more compelling are the Rabbi's continued remarks in the comment section:


"Since Republicans stand for traditional values, and the Democrats are the party of abortion, homosexuality and promiscuity and decadence is de riguer in American society the Democrats are ascendant and the Republicans are in decline. The Republicans are out of the moral mainstream as are Torah Jews by the way. That is why it is hard to stomach religious Jews voting for such a party; they must have to either modify their Torah values or divorce them from being a relevant factor in their lives.

And, yes, empires have collapsed because of moral rot even quicker than because of economic ruin."

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Yah, what a bunch of poppycock.


We'll never get back to real conservativism as long as these overly ideological nitwits keep tryin' to cast the American electorate as somehow beneath their own holy selves.


If yeh want individual responsibility, then perhaps it should start with Israelis and their sympathizers takin' responsibility for themselves and their own behavior, rather than expectin' the Americans to send their dollars and their children to the defense of a foreign state that wants to practice apartheid. Whining about da U.S. bein' reluctant to engage in another costly foreign war while cutting taxes hardly seems like a conservative message.


Do yeh folks actually recognize a fellow manipulatin' you for his own lobbying purposes?




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So it worked out. The majority of folks voting did't want Romney as president, and HE didn't want to be president.


Well, if you don't want to become president, running as the Republican nominee is a great strategy to accomplish that goal!

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"Do yeh folks actually recognize a fellow manipulatin' you for his own lobbying purposes?"


Can't say if the manipulation would be recognizable because the original post was not worth slogging through. Once we read the erroneous idea that "They must enjoy gridlock, partisanship, incompetence" we lost interest and thought to ourselves "if only!" Because we know the problem with this administration has not been that it has been gridlocked but rather than it hasn't been gridlocked enough. And we know that partisanship is neither good nor bad, it's what one is a partisan for that may be so. And we don't fear incompetent government as much as we fear government that is hungry to grow its power and control and is competent at doing so.


But fairly often we do notice comments that stand up for "real conservativism" the way Marc Antony stood up for Brutus in that famous speech that illustrates manipulation.(This message has been edited by Callooh! Callay!)

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NJ, at first I was a little surprised that JoeBob would bother to let us know that the writer was an Orthodox Rabbi and that it was somehow important that he had the largest Orthodox congregation in Teaneck. It also made me wonder how large the Orthodox community IS in Teaneck, if his was described as the 'largest' congregation. But overall I wondered, why is any of that relevant...until I got to the Israel connection.

And then I shared your reaction (except for that part about 'my people' since I can't claim to be Jewish, except for a very slim bit of DNA code from a very distant ancestor - which if it does make me Jewish, in that case I'm probably also 'black' somewhere back there but things are already confusing enough...and I digress).

It was pretty clear that you and Beavah were right about the intent of the diatribe. What I was surprised about is how completely I misunderstood JoeBob who turns out to be someone who 1) follows the advice of Orthodox Rabbis and 2) is terribly concerned about the effect of USA politics on Israel.

The world is just full of wonderful surprises!


Nevertheless, I heard something similar after Kennedy's election in 1960, Johnson's, Carter's, Clinton's...and this kind of hand-wringing probably went on after Nixon, Reagan, and Bush (no need to mention 'W' I suppose).


One other thing that caught my eye was the Rabbi's use of a quote from that well-known ultra-conservative, Adlai Stevenson, who in 1956 ran against the radical left-wing, progressive pinko, Dwight Eisenhower.

Yes, that's exactly they way I remember that election, ;).


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Ahhhh Joebob, ya never disappoint.


I find it real funny ya posted it


"The takers outnumber the givers, and that will only increase in years to come. "



Did it ever occur to you that if Romney would have simply kept his mouth shut he would have won?????




What exactly is the old America?????


Would that be women not voting and slavery????


Or are you talking about all of those over paid factory jobs????(This message has been edited by Basementdweller)

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