Jewish Journal


Conventional Wisdom

by Elliot Steingart

August 29, 2012 | 11:23 am


It’s good to hear opposing viewpoints. It’s part of the reason I’m in a relationship. My girlfriend told me the name of the Hebrew God is Yahweh. I’ve been Jewish for 27 years and I’ve never heard of Yahweh. It’s worth listening to the other side even if the other side believes in Yahweh. It’s why I watched night 1 of the 2012 Republican National Convention.

I watched PBS’s convention coverage for fear if Mitt Romney gets elected we might not get the chance to watch PBS. He promises to slash its funding which I don’t think is right. If we could bail out Wall Street we should be able to bail out Sesame Street.

I lean left because my parents sent me to East Hills, a progressive magnet school located next to housing projects in one of the Pittsburgh’s poorer neighborhoods. Most kids got bussed out. We got bussed in. At first I thought this was some cruel joke. That is, until I started school and made friends with Jewish kids and black kids and even a child named Ayus born to a Canadian father and and Indian mother.

Our playground had a map of Africa. Together with my classmates, I ran through Kenya all the way to Nigeria and all the way back to Morroco for time out. Attending East Hills made me aware that not all my classmates had a mother and a father or a Gameboy.

At the time of the 1992 presidential election, Bill Clinton appeared on Nickelodeon. George Bush did not. When our 2nd grade French class did a mock ballot the only two people who voted for George Bush were Matt Glunt and Miss Jacesko. I still liked Matt. We played one on one in his driveway after school. He was just different from me. He liked Bush and I liked Clinton along with everyone else I knew.

I was a democrat because my my parents were democrats. Now I try to have my own political beliefs. I know I should read the ballot and research candidates more closely instead of voting for democrats simply because they great names like Phil Angeledes and Zev Yuroslavsky.

I’m the kind of liberal whose political beliefs are whatever the studio audience applauds at on Real Time with Bill Maher. Maybe I’m pro-choice, cool with gay marriage, and think the wealthy should have to pay a little more in taxes. I’m just not going to debate anyone with a different point of view. My friends are still my friends even if they vote republican. They are just a little different which is why it’s interesting to see what these people are like when there is an arena filled with them.

Watching the Republican National Convention is fascinating. In a way it’s like spying on the enemy. The convention republicans don’t look like the good natured republicans I know. These republicans look like extras in a Tim and Eric sketch. There are no Jews and the only black person is PBS corespondent Gwen Eiffel.

The republican speakers remind me of heels from WWF. Rick Santorum reminds me of Chris Jericho, brash, and ignorant to come across like he still has a chance of becoming the republican nominee. If only someone could hit him over the head with a steel chair to knock some sense into him.

Chris Christie is King Kong Bundy, the incorrigible buffoon. He does not have the charm of Mitt Romney, the Million Dollar Man. Though Romney has nothing on Ted Dibiase, only a similar bank account.

Romney, as some have suggested, does not have a defined persona. If what Anne Romney said was true, he seems like a great husband and a good businessman. I’m sure he is both, but I like the democratic party and PBS.

No candidate is perfect, but I’ll favor the one who plays basketball. President Obama killed Bin Laden, pulled back the troops and helped stimulate the economy, at least a little bit. Recently Obama bought beer for everyone standing in line at the Iowa State Fair. Romney wouldn’t do that. He wouldn’t even buy sodas.

Based upon the Republican National Convention,  the best praise I heard of Romney is that “Under Mitt, Massachusetts’s schools were the best in the country.”  Maybe it had less to do with Mitt and more to do with M.I.T and Harvard. How many African maps did he paint on the playgrounds?

The Republican National convention can cheer on Romney through dinks like Santorum and Christie and newcomers like Ted Cruz, a Spanish speaker running for senate and the guy who looks like Carlton Banks, but I’ll believe in Yahweh before believing in the republican agenda. 

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Good morning I think that your blog is very nice!

Comment by Paul Perri on 9/02/12 at 6:53 am




Elliot Steingart is a Los Angeles based comedian and writer who hosts a monthly comedy show, “Melgard Mondays” at Melgard Public House. Steingart has written jokes for...

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