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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 April 17, 2008 / 12 Nissan 5768

It's a tough life being a critical elitist

By Jonathan Gurwitz


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http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | Barack Obama is right. Plenty of Americans are bitter — not only in small towns, and not only in Pennsylvania, as the presidential hopeful suggested at a private fundraiser in San Francisco on April 6.


They're bitter about losing jobs overseas...and about the obstacles that make it difficult for entrepreneurs to create more jobs at home. About the war in Iraq...and about opportunistic politicians willing to score cheap political points on the backs of our men and women in uniform.


About a Congress too timid to touch entitlement or immigration reform, corporate executives who bag multi-million dollar bonuses as their businesses go down the tubes and a popular culture that shows utter contempt for traditional values. You better believe there are some bitter Americans.


So the focus on that term, as though the b-word had suddenly become a stinging epithet for main street America, is a bit strange. Stranger still is the sight of Hillary Clinton lecturing about the code words of elitism


About the same time Obama was sweet-talking San Francisco sophisticates, the senator from New York and her sometime campaign partner at long last made public their tax returns from 2001 to 2007. During those years, the Clintons reported earning $109 million, mostly in speaking fees and book deals.


It's a tough life being a critical elitist. Which is perhaps why Clinton and so many others have missed the greater significance of Obama's "bitter" observation. When people lack evidence of progress in their daily lives, Obama said, "it's not surprising then that they get bitter, they cling to guns or religion or antipathy toward people who aren't like them or anti-immigrant sentiment or anti-trade sentiment as a way to explain their frustrations."


Now set aside for a moment Obama's own churchgoing, which is an essential prerequisite for street credibility for anyone pondering a political career on Chicago's South Side. And forget his anti-trade sentiment while campaigning in the Rust Belt, which is merely another example of political opportunism.


Obama says his choice of words in San Francisco was clumsy. He clearly did not mean to imply that only the economically marginalized value their Second Amendment rights and go to church, or that all those demanding the federal government control U.S. borders are racists. And it is undoubtedly true that bigotry flourishes in places and times of economic hardship. Think Germany in the 1920s and 1930s.


Still, it would be difficult to overlook the elitism peripheral to Obama's analysis: The gun cabinet and the house of worship as refuges of the resentful are not much different from the hanging tree and the Klan. Frustrated people cling to guns and G-d. And those gun-toting, church-going folks tend to be racists and xenophobes.


It's impossible to separate this analysis from a prevailing liberal conceit, made popular in the best-selling book, "What's the Matter with Kansas: How Conservatives Won the Heart of America." According to author Thomas Franks, conservatives trick the dimwitted residents of red states to vote against their economic self-interest by baiting them with emotional wedge issues like gun control, gay marriage and other cultural and religious issues.


That was the background to Obama's Bay area talk — explaining to his donors why so many people are so cynical about a political pitch from a black man named Barack Obama. The problem, however, is not the color of his skin or the origins of his name. It is that a vast number of Americans are embittered by the liberal impulse to trivialize their beliefs about self-defense, religion and secure borders.


In 1984, Democrats held their national convention in San Francisco. A month later at the Republican National Convention in Dallas, Jeanne Kirkpatrick delivered a keynote address in which she decried the tendency of "San Francisco Democrats" to look for the worst in America.


First it was Princeton- and Harvard-educated Michelle Obama finally being proud of her country. Then it was Jeremiah Wright's tirades. Now this.


Pandering to $2,300-a-head donors on San Francisco's Billionaire's Row, Obama was right at home.

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JWR contributor Jonathan Gurwitz, a columnist for the San Antonio Express-News, is a co-founder and twice served as Director General of the Future Leaders of the Alliance program at NATO Headquarters in Brussels, Belgium. In 1986 he was placed on the Foreign Service Register of the U.S. State Department.

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© 2007, Jonathan Gurwitz

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