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Jonathan Tobin: Defending the Right to a Jewish State

Heather Hale: Compliment your kids without giving them big heads

Megan Shauri: 10 ways you are ruining your own happiness

Carolyn Bigda: 8 Best Dividend Stocks for 2015

Kiplinger's Personal Finance editors: 7 Things You Didn't Know About Paying Off Student Loans

Samantha Olson: The Crucial Mistake 55% Of Parents Are Making At Their Baby's Bedtime

Densie Well, Ph.D., R.D. Open your eyes to yellow vegetables

The Kosher Gourmet by Megan Gordon With its colorful cache of purples and oranges and reds, COLLARD GREEN SLAW is a marvelous mood booster --- not to mention just downright delish
April 18, 2014

Rabbi Yonason Goldson: Clarifying one of the greatest philosophical conundrums in theology

Caroline B. Glick: The disappearance of US will

Megan Wallgren: 10 things I've learned from my teenagers

Lizette Borreli: Green Tea Boosts Brain Power, May Help Treat Dementia

John Ericson: Trying hard to be 'positive' but never succeeding? Blame Your Brain

The Kosher Gourmet by Julie Rothman Almondy, flourless torta del re (Italian king's cake), has royal roots, is simple to make, . . . but devour it because it's simply delicious

April 14, 2014

Rabbi Dr Naftali Brawer: Passover frees us from the tyranny of time

Greg Crosby: Passing Over Religion

Eric Schulzke: First degree: How America really recovered from a murder epidemic

Georgia Lee: When love is not enough: Teaching your kids about the realities of adult relationships

Cameron Huddleston: Freebies for Your Lawn and Garden

Gordon Pape: How you can tell if your financial adviser is setting you up for potential ruin

Dana Dovey: Up to 500,000 people die each year from hepatitis C-related liver disease. New Treatment Has Over 90% Success Rate

Justin Caba: Eating Watermelon Can Help Control High Blood Pressure

The Kosher Gourmet by Joshua E. London and Lou Marmon Don't dare pass over these Pesach picks for Manischewitz!

April 11, 2014

Rabbi Hillel Goldberg: Silence is much more than golden

Caroline B. Glick: Forgetting freedom at Passover

Susan Swann: How to value a child for who he is, not just what he does

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Financial Tasks You Should Tackle Right Now

Sandra Block and Lisa Gerstner: How to Profit From Your Passion

Susan Scutti: A Simple Blood Test Might Soon Diagnose Cancer

Chris Weller: Have A Slow Metabolism? Let Science Speed It Up For You

The Kosher Gourmet by Diane Rossen Worthington Whitefish Terrine: A French take on gefilte fish

April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review Feb. 19, 2008 / 13 Adar I 5768

The allure of Obama for young people

By James Klurfeld


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http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | I received a lot of e-mail on last week's column predicting that Sen. Barack Obama would become the target of a lot more negative press, now that he has become the Democratic front-runner. Most of the messages were from supporters of Sen. Hillary Clinton, who said it's about time.

And sure enough, even with his significantly big win in Wisconsin on Tuesday (maybe because of it), the questions about Obama are exploding. Just how is he going to do what he says he wants to do: bring the nation together to find solutions to long-simmering problems? And do the numbers behind his policies add up? Here come the barbs and arrows.

Some are trivial points, such as those about a comment made by his wife, Michelle, about how she is proud of the nation now that it is voting for her husband. But others are substantive, such as the very penetrating column by economist Robert Samuelson in Newsweek, saying Obama's numbers for saving Social Security and implementing a universal health care plan while still cutting some taxes don't add up.

But there's another aspect to the Obama phenomenon I'm watching that is up close and alive on the campus where I work. He has inspired many young people who didn't know a hanging chad from a superdelegate. He has captured their attention, moved them emotionally, inspired them to become involved. And that is no small accomplishment. Friends my age say it's reminiscent of how John F. Kennedy inspired a generation of formerly apathetic young people to become involved with government and politics.

In a nation that has witnessed an almost steady decline in voter participation, especially among young people, what Obama has done - and you have to give him the lion's share of the credit - is important. In state after state, the Democrats have turned out in unprecedented numbers in primaries and caucuses, and the youth vote has been a factor.

A premed major in my class on journalism and politics, Thomas Kingsley, visited me in my office last week to gain more insight into what's happening in this campaign and to find out how he might become more politically active. Thursday morning he informed me that he had not only signed up with the Obama organization on campus but was being sent to Rhode Island next week to prepare for the March 4 primary. And this isn't an isolated case.

I know my political history well enough to appreciate that young people's voting turnout has always been significantly smaller than that of older people. And in a general election, as compared with a primary, young voters have historically mirrored the vote of the population as a whole. I still recall 1972, when Democrats believed that the first generation of 18-year-old voters, fed up with President Richard Nixon's prolonging the Vietnam War, would give Democrat Sen. George McGovern the boost he needed to score an upset. It was a daydream. The young people ages 18-25 voted for Nixon in about the same proportion as their parents - but, of course, in much smaller numbers. McGovern carried one state: Massachusetts.

But we should never underestimate the importance of inspiration and the ability to communicate effectively in a system as complex and hard to move as ours. When was the last time we came together as a nation to deal with the really difficult challenges facing our country, instead of just kicking the can forward? How far back do you have to go to remember a time when there was a sense of bipartisanship and a willingness to sacrifice in the short run for long-term goals?

For a generation that knows only trench political warfare, vetoes and stalemates, the hope of something different, something better, is awfully attractive. Can Obama be a transforming figure? I'm intrigued that a lot of young people, who don't carry around my baggage of dashed hopes, think he might be.

Every weekday JewishWorldReview.com publishes what many in the media and Washington consider "must-reading". Sign up for the daily JWR update. It's free. Just click here.

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James Klurfeld is a professor of journalism at Stony Brook University.


Previously:

02/19/08: Obama sounds good, but words aren't enough


© 2008, Newsday Distributed by McClatchy-Tribune Information Services

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