June 2, 2010
Rabbi Clarifies Left’s Beliefs
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How does anyone write about too much government spending and blame conservatives more than liberals for it?
Unless one is to posit deliberate dishonesty on the part of individuals who make such an obviously untruthful claim (and I do not make that charge against the rabbi), there is only one other explanation: the make-believe world that the left inhabits.
It is leftist policies that are bankrupting California, just as they are bankrupting most of the major cities of the country, many of the states and helping to end the economic viability of the European Union. But the belief in an ever-expanding state — that controls more and more aspects of society, provides “safety nets” to more and more citizens, and results in more and more economic equality — is so central to the left’s self-definition that to acknowledge the moral and economic bankruptcy, indeed the Ponzi schemes, that constitute welfare states, would be so painful for anyone on the left that doing so would mean leaving the left.
So the left makes up things to fool itself into believing the problem emanates from its opponents’, not its own policies. One day Rabbi Grater and those who agree with him may understand that the left is a god that failed. But as with the idealistic Western leftists who supported Lenin and Stalin, it will be too late. The catastrophes brought on by left-wing policies will have already devoured much the Western world’s economies; destroyed both their military might and their desire to fight evil; and destroyed religion, the thing that gives most people meaning — thereby leaving the world prey to the nihilists of Beijing and Moscow, the America- and Jew-haters in Tehran and other parts of the Middle East, and tyrants of the Third World.
If there were space, I would deal with the other make-believe assertions in the rabbis’ column — such as the left-wing myth that President Bush and other conservatives “disdain science.” For the record, Charles Krauthammer, a Harvard-trained psychiatrist and Pulitzer Prize-winning columnist, wrote that on the embryonic stem cell research issue, George Bush was far more intellectually serious than Barack Obama.
Nothing about the left has changed since I was a graduate student at Columbia. What I saw among New York liberals continues to this day: They study at liberal institutions under liberal teachers, socialize with fellow liberals, read liberal newspapers and books, and listen to NPR. Almost no liberal I have ever talked to reads National Review or Commentary, regularly listens to people like me on the radio, or reads any of the books by any of the innumerable right-wing intellectuals, such as Tom Sowell, Bill Kristol, Jonah Goldberg, Norman Podhoretz, Charles Krauthammer, Bill Bennett, Michael Medved, Hugh Hewitt, Mark Steyn, et al. Not one major university invites a conservative as the speaker at its graduation. Schools show students Al Gore’s “An Inconvenient Truth,” but not the British documentary shown on British television rebutting the Al Gore film.
On the other hand, virtually every conservative is exposed throughout his life — whether voluntarily or not — to what the left believes.
One more example of this left-wing bubble: Supporters of Rabbi Grater wrote a letter defending their rabbi against dissenting members of their synagogue. They praised Rabbi Grater for his courage. Now I have no reason to doubt that Rabbi Grater may be a great man, a great rabbi, a great father and a great husband. But for the rabbi of almost any Reform temple to write a leftist column or to give a leftist sermon is as courageous as an Orthodox rabbi sermonizing on keeping kosher.
But in the make-believe world of the left, giving a leftist sermon to a largely left-wing congregation is courageous.
Dennis Prager is a nationally syndicated radio talk show host, columnist, author and public speaker. He can be heard in Los Angeles on KRLA (AM 870) weekdays 9 a.m. to noon. His Web site is dennisprager.com.
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