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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 Sept. 17, 2009 28 Elul 5769

No Rules in the Arena?

By Victor Davis Hanson



http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | It was certainly uncouth of Rep. Joe Wilson, R-S.C., to scream out "You lie" at his commander-in-chief in the middle of Barack Obama's recent health-care speech before a joint session of Congress.


And others who keep insisting that the president doesn't have an authentic U.S. birth certificate clearly come off as unhinged — much like just-resigned White House green-jobs czar Van Jones does for having signed his name to a petition stating that the Bush administration may have allowed the 9/11 murders of 3,000 people to happen.


During his speech the other night, the president calmly called for a new civility —although he had just accused his opponents of dissimulation in their attack on his health-care plan, while himself presenting many dubious suppositions as fact.


Over the last three decades, we saw vicious attacks on Ronald Reagan and on Bill Clinton, and their tough replies in turn. But recently the vicious rhetoric has escalated far beyond anything in the past. The smears seem reminiscent more of the brawling on the eve of the Civil War, or the nastiness during the 1960s that took decades to heal.


No one knows what the rules of engagement are now. Republicans have not forgotten that Democratic legislators loudly booed Bush during his 2005 State of the Union. Howard Dean, chairman of the Democratic Party, not long ago boasted, "I hate Republicans!" Around the same time, the New Republic magazine published an article entitled "Why I hate George W. Bush."


Major politicians like former Vice President Al Gore, Sen. Robert Byrd, D-W-Va., and former Sen. John Glenn, D-Ohio, have compared George W. Bush or his supporters to Nazis or the brown shirts. A major publishing house released a novel about killing President Bush; a movie won a prize at the Toronto Film Festival with the same theme. Bush Derangement Syndrome was no joke.


What exactly has gone wrong?


A number of things. For years, liberals were out of power. They became increasingly shrill in their frustration at George W. Bush — who seemed to set them off like no other Republican in memory.


Now that Democrats control both the Congress and the presidency, they are once more the establishment. Yet suddenly they have become angered that some conservatives, in tit-for-tat fashion, would dare resort to some of the crassness that was used to defame Bush — when any means were felt necessary to achieve the noble ends of opposing his policies.


Commentary, of course, has changed. The need for constant controversy on 24/7 cable television, nonstop blogging and ratings-driven talk radio ensure first thoughts are aired — before more sober second ones can rein in the emotion. News is entertainment. Anger sells. Slurs, not reflection, win ratings.


Many political hit men and talking heads are also baby boomers. They cut their teeth on coarse, anything-goes Vietnam War protests. These aging children of protest still haven't quite figured out that they are now supposed to be sober seniors teaching younger generations the vital rules of decorum. Instead, our teachers themselves still need to be taught manners.


Another cause of the new rudeness is that the country is fragmenting. Almost every issue is dissected by its effect not on the American people as a whole, but rather on a particular constituency defined by race, class or gender. The louder and more melodramatic the accusation, the more attention and federal money follow.


Yet, just as even the gory gladiators at Rome, in their blood-soaked arena, followed a few rules, perhaps we can at least do the same:


Don't call anyone a Nazi or brown shirt. Avoid shouting down a public official. Remember that there usually aren't clear good and bad political choices, just bad and worse ones. Don't get outraged at a slur against your team, if you once made the same sort of one against the opposition.


And, most of all, remember that while we're shouting at each other, the country is at war and piling up debt at the rate of $2 trillion a year — while plenty of rivals and enemies abroad are smiling as never before.

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.

Victor Davis Hanson, a classicist and military historian, is a senior fellow at the Hoover Institution and a recipient of the 2007 National Humanities Medal. Comment by clicking here.


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