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Tue Feb 16, 2016, 03:00 PM


Byko: Is America ready for a Jewish president? [View all]

Last edited Tue Feb 16, 2016, 03:56 PM - Edit history (1)

Byko: Is America ready for a Jewish president?
Read more at http://www.philly.com/philly/news/politics/20160216_Is_America_ready_for_a_Jewish_president_.html#bmlALwSxqeDCHcgQ.99

WHEN BERNIE Sanders won the New Hampshire primary, he became the first Jew to win a major party presidential primary - the first to even win delegates.

But how Jewish is he? Who even knows he's Jewish? Will it matter that he's Jewish?

In the recent Milwaukee debate, when asked how he felt about possibly "thwarting history" by blocking the path of the first woman president, Sanders replied enigmatically that, "from a historical point of view, somebody with my background, somebody with my views" would also be a first. Not exactly playing the Hebrew National card.

Hillary Clinton makes frequent mention of gender in her candidacy. Sanders never volunteers anything about his religion, and reluctantly replies to those questions. Is it personal, tactical, or practical?

Two of the three previous Jewish candidates for president - Pennsylvania Sen. Arlen Specter in 1995 and Pennsylvania Gov. Milton Shapp in 1976 - were early flameouts, probably more because of policy and personality than religion. The same for Joe Lieberman, an Orthodox Jew who ran briefly in 2004. (Shapp, however, told friends he doubted he would have been elected governor under his obviously Jewish birth name, Shapiro, which he changed while in business to avoid prejudice.)

One person of Jewish ancestry was nominated: In 1964, Arizona Sen. Barry Goldwater got the Republican nod. Goldwater's father was Jewish, but the conservative senator was raised Christian. At the time, Jewish journalist Harry Golden quipped, "I always knew the first Jewish president would be an Episcopalian."....

Often wrongly described as cranky, which is ageist and inaccurate, Sanders wants to be an "issues" guy and can be gruff when someone tries to inject what he regards as frivolities.

Undoubtedly it is. The author goes on to say he thinks it's not a big issue. I think Bernie is correct to keep this part of his identity out of the conversation about his candidacy, but that doesn't mean others won't interject it or aren't considering it as a flaw. There are still people who feel that this is a Christian country and the president, therefore, should come from one of the Christian denominations. The finger-gate article which recently appeared in WaPo, I believe, is a thinly-disguised Jewish dog whistle. While Bernie does not belong to the Israel-can-do-no-wrong faction, his very Jewishness places him in a minority. Nobody would dare openly state their anti-Semitism but that doesn't mean it isn't part of the virulent opposition that plagues Sanders.

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Reply Byko: Is America ready for a Jewish president? [View all]
farleftlib Feb 2016 OP
enigmatic Feb 2016 #1
Ed Suspicious Feb 2016 #2
Ferd Berfel Feb 2016 #3
farleftlib Feb 2016 #4
valerief Feb 2016 #5
Ferd Berfel Feb 2016 #6
farleftlib Feb 2016 #8
Ferd Berfel Feb 2016 #11
valerief Feb 2016 #9
SummerSnow Feb 2016 #13
SwampG8r Feb 2016 #15
elleng Feb 2016 #7
farleftlib Feb 2016 #10
Name removed Feb 2016 #12
Behind the Aegis Feb 2016 #14