Left, Right and the Definition of Evil
Mr. Prager has stated he has had an obsession with fighting evil (“A Man and a Book,” April 20). He falsely accuses the left from its inception as combating something other than evil, and that is material inequality. Where, Mr. Prager, on your idea of the political continuum, does the right end and the left begin? Was the New Deal of FDR not fighting evil when he set up agencies to help desperately poor people during the Great Depression? Was FDR not fighting evil when he led our nation against Hitler? Was LBJ not fighting evil when he got Congress to pass to the Civil Rights Acts, making Jim Crow illegal? Was Obama not fighting evil when he got regulations back to stop the excesses of Wall Street and the banks that brought on the terrible Bush recession? Mr. Prager, in practically every one of your columns, you rail against the left. This, sir, is your obsession, and as a self-proclaimed fighter of good against evil, your obsession with the left is not good.
Leon M. Salter
Dennis Prager responds:
When FDR fought the terrible effects of the Depression, he was fighting tragedy, not evil. There is a robust debate among today economists whether FDR’s massive government spending helped or hindered recovery from the Depression. His own treasury secretary said in 1939 that it didn’t help. Yes, of course, fighting Hitler was fighting evil, and after Pearl Harbor, Republicans and Democrats alike fought Hitler. But the preoccupation of the left (not liberals, as I repeatedly note) has been economic inequality, not evil. That is why the left celebrated the Soviets until Stalin made a pact with Hitler in 1939. That is why the left mocked Ronald Reagan when he called the Soviet Union an evil empire. That is why the left mocked George W. Bush when he labeled North Korea a country-prison camp, and the Holocaust-denying Iranian regime, with its promise to wipe Israel off the map, an “axis of evil.” That is why the left opposed anti-communists far more than they opposed Mao (murderer of 75 million), Ho Chi Minh, Castro and other murderous communist tyrants. As for racism in America, more Republicans than Democrats voted for civil rights legislation, and it was Republican President Dwight Eisenhower who sent troops to integrate Little Rock High School in 1957. It was racists in the Democratic Party, not conservatives or Republicans, who blocked civil rights for blacks. American history’s most conservative candidate for president, Barry Goldwater, was a founder of the Arizona NAACP. And the roots of the current recession lie in policies put into place long before George W. Bush. It was largely brought on by Presidents Carter and Clinton, whose legislation and financial industry regulation coerced banks into giving home loans to minorities and other people with low incomes thought to be “underrepresented” as homeowners. Finally, Mr. Salter, outside of the Muslim world, virtually all the attempts to delegitimize Israel come from the left. Is that worth being “obsessed” about?
Something’s Not Kosher in Dodger-land
I was stunned to read in Michael Berenbaum’s opinion piece (“Time for a (Kosher) Hot Dog, a Beer and Dodgers Baseball,” April 20) that Dodger Stadium, of all places, does not sell kosher hot dogs, although it is located in such a large Jewish market. It’s also sad that a petition may be necessary to change that reality.
As a New Yorker and lifelong Yankees fan, I believe that there are two ballparks whose beauty elevates the already spiritual nature of the game of baseball – Yankee Stadium and Dodger Stadium. Yankee Stadium has glatt kosher food stands where hot dogs and other goodies are available. What are the Dodgers waiting for?
Even as the new ownership of the Dodgers spends millions on the team and keeping the stadium looking like new at the age of 50, it should use the vast resources of the Los Angeles Orthodox community to bring a shomer Shabbos glatt kosher food emporium to “The House That O’Malley Built.”
Director of Public Relations
Take a Chill Pill, Mom
Teresa Strasser’s son does not need chewable Xanax (“Chewable Xanax and the Shoe Debacle,” April 20). He needs his mother at home and no daycare. My heart goes out to this little boy. My advice to Ms. Strasser: You should take the chewable Xanax!
Barbara Joan Grubman
The article “$20 Million Gift to L.A. Federation Is Its Largest Ever” (April 20) neglected to state that in addition to funding Brawerman Elementary School West at Wilshire Boulevard Temple in 1998, Geri and Richard Brawerman provided the naming gift for the school’s east campus, which opened in fall 2011 at the temple’s historic building on Wilshire Boulevard.