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December 2, 2014

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 May 21, 2010 / 8 Sivan 5770

The Morning After

By Paul Greenberg




http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | Now it's all over but the shouting and demands for a recount. Tuesday's primaries across the country have sounded the raucous overture for this year's production of "The Midterms, 2010."

Once again the high old time and low ordeal that is a political campaign has been concluded with a maximum of passion, if necessary the drummed-up kind, and a minimum of civilized discourse. Democracy marches on, perhaps over a cliff.

Or maybe onward and upward. Hard as it may be to conceive of such a possibility on the usual, bleary morning after a spirited election. That's the thing with democracy: You never know if it's going to produce one of those rare moments of exhilaration or another small flatus. You casts your vote and you takes your choice.

Every election begins in foreboding or enthusiasm, depending on your party's chances, and ends in disappointment or hope, depending on whether your candidate wins or loses. Or maybe on your age. It's a little like falling in love; the young of all ages exult in it while the old of all ages resign themselves to just getting through it. Much as they would any other sick spell.

If anyone is more relieved than the candidates to have a long primary that seemed even longer over with at last, surely it is those saddled with the job of covering it, trying to analyze it, and steeling themselves for the runoffs. Whoever came up with the idea of majority rule, and therefore runoffs even in party primaries, may not have fully appreciated/apprehended that, in this game, the extra innings may only extend the pain.

It happens every campaign season here at the newspaper -- the candidates come in, the candidates go out, and the interviews go on. Usually they're painless for all concerned, at least outwardly. (Thank goodness for Southern manners!) Though the thought does occur during some of these tete-a-tetes that this interview may be only a prelude to a long and undistinguished career of public disservice on the candidate's part. Many of the interviewees may not be all that impressed by the interviewers, either, and for good reason.

At least we in the perfidious Media, formerly the obnoxious Press, are not asking for a place on the public payroll, being a sufficient drain on a private one. Nor do we have the guts to risk the rejection that every bid for public office entails. You have to admire even the least promising of our callers for their sheer courage. Especially if they have enough sense to realize that their losing may be not only a distinct possibility but a just desert.

Yet, no matter how dreary many of these interviews become, there arrives a moment, sometimes more than one, that refreshes, affords hope, and generally makes us almost ashamed of our cynicism. I say almost. For journalists are basically shameless. Then suddenly we realize we've been interviewing quality. Or at least promise. As hard a time as we in the press may have recognizing it, there is still idealism out there. More impressive, it can show up even in a politician. Most impressive of all, it may be teamed with an appreciation of the sordid realities. We live for those moments. And they do occur.

It doesn't take much courage to sit up here in the bleachers -- or in a skybox if you're with one of the elite newspapers or more popular television networks -- and make acidulous observations from on high.

Teddy Roosevelt, who never missed out on a fight or hunt in his life, for he was the very personification of the politician of the saber-toothed species, put us kibitzers in our place when he stared us down through his pince-nez glasses and let us know who were the stars of this circus, and who was there just to clean up after the elephants:

"It is not the critic who counts: not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles or where the doer of deeds could have done better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood, who strives valiantly, who errs and comes up short again and again, because there is no effort without error or shortcoming, but who knows the great enthusiasms, the great devotions, who spends himself for a worthy cause; who, at the best, knows, in the end, the triumph of high achievement, and who, at the worst, if he fails, at least he fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who knew neither victory nor defeat."

Sir, we inky wretches are well rebuked. Our respects, and respect, to you. You were great copy in your day--and have been ever since. Even when some try to reduce you to a cartoonish caricature. Much like Cousin Theodore in "Arsenic and Old Lace," digging the Panama Canal down in those dear old ladies' basement, bless their homicidal hearts.

Today it is not agreement or disagreement that has become the standard response to politicians but unwavering ridicule. Which is to be regretted, much as some of them have earned it. The danger is that all of politics will be reduced to another episode of "The Daily Show." When irony becomes so thick and unwavering, the entertainment becomes only episodic, and the politics only an excuse for comedy rather than the rightful concern of grown-ups.

The problem -- well, the big problem -- with the pols who troop through this newsroom every campaign season is how careful many of them are to say nothing worth disagreeing with. They seem to have never met a platitude they can't echo. They go through their list of talking points rather than talk. They stay On Message, all right, like a kid who always stays in his room. Because the outside world might hurt him. His may be a safe life in his little cave, but is it living?

On this morning-after, a thank you to all those who dared run for public office, and especially to those who are licking their wounds today. If there be grace in politics, if Gentle Reader is looking for some rare glimpse of courage and generosity in a political campaign, of sacrifice and true faith, then look for it in the concession speeches.

Paul Greenberg Archives

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JWR contributor Paul Greenberg, editorial page editor of the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, has won the Pulitzer Prize for editorial writing. Send your comments by clicking here.

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