Other VoicesWhat can I write about our ruler - uh - I mean president-elect that hasn't already been written? Am I worried about a catastrophic next four (and possibly more) years? You bet. I've been getting chain emails from deluded liberal Jewish relatives and friends trying to soften our fears because Obama has chosen a high profile Jew, Rahm Emanuel as his chief of staff. Debbie Schlussel has an interesting profile (and another piece here) on Mr. Emanuel. The fact that somebody is Jewish is no guarantee that they are pro-Israel or even pro-Jewish. Rahm Emanuel may turn out to be Obama's "show-Jew" a term I first heard from Woody Allen years ago.
Carolyn Glick, as always, gives us more to worry about in an Obama presidency, especially if like me, you think the terrorists of Hamas, Hezbollah, and Iran should be fought rather than appeased.
Due in large part to media credulousness, Obama's new image as a centrist was widely accepted by the public. And it is likely that Obama owes a significant portion of his support in the American Jewish community to the campaign's success in distancing Obama from men like Brzezinski and Malley.I sent this column to a cousin who emailed me a Rahm Emanuel column. I haven't heard back from her.
But now that the campaign is over, it appears that as his critics warned, Obama's moves toward the center on issues relating to the Middle East were little more than campaign tactics to obscure his true policy preferences. Two days after his election, Washington Post columnist David Ignatius gave a sense of the direction in which Obama will likely take US foreign policy. And, apparently directed by Obama's campaign staff, Ignatius based much of his column on his belief that Obama's foreign policy views have been shaped by his "informal" advisor, Brzezinski.
Based on what Brzezinski and Obama's "official" campaign told him, Ignatius wrote that the two major issues where Obama's foreign policy is likely to diverge from Bush's right off the bat are Israel and Iran. Obama, he claimed will want to push hard to force Israel to come to an agreement with the Palestinians as soon as he comes into office. As for Iran, Obama plans to move immediately to improve US relations with the nuclear weapons building ayatollahs.
As for Malley, an aide of his told Frontpage Magazine this week that acting on Obama's instructions, Malley traveled to Cairo and Damascus after Obama's electoral victory to tell Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak and Assad that "the Obama administration would take into greater account Egyptian and Syrian interests."
David Warren has some non-Israel related worries about Obama and his legion of unquestioning followers.
As I have quoted in the past, let me quote again, the profound words of the late Polish poet Czeslaw Milosz, replying to the central lie in Marxism, which remains the central post-modern or post-Christian lie: "A true opium of the people is a belief in nothingness after death -- the huge solace of thinking that for our betrayals, greed, cowardice, murders, we are not going to be judged."And then there are the political cartoonists. They're going to get the final word . . . and picture.
A great danger in democratic politics comes with just this denial. We are tempted to think that just by voting for a demagogue, a charlatan -- for any politician who tells us cynically only what we want to hear -- we can change the facts of nature.
We think that we can "make the rich pay," or otherwise transfer our personal responsibilities to the Nanny State. By some mysterious "social contract," we transfer to politicians the responsibility for what we have ourselves decided. And in due course, we may punish them, for what we got wrong.
I have to keep reminding myself though; no matter what happens, we must never give up, because there is always-