web analytics
January 30, 2015 / 10 Shevat, 5775
 
At a Glance
InDepth
Sponsored Post


A Colossal But Essential Pain In The Neck

Front-Page-101212

The excuse I always hear from those who refuse to register is that doing so places them on a list for performing jury duty. I must concede that there is a tiny kernel of truth in this. The commissioner of jurors does indeed check the voter rolls to find potential jurors. The trouble is that the commissioner also works off of a database that checks drivers licenses, social security records, tax returns and a half dozen other public lists you can’t avoid. You could lock yourself in a closet and they’d still find you. And anyway, what’s so terrible about jury duty? I’ve been called down three times, actually served on a jury once (we found him guilty, in case you were wondering), and I never found any of it a hardship. When you fail to register, the only thing you accomplish is eliminating any hope of influencing anyone. There’s no upside in that.

Register for One of the Major Parties. If you register as an independent, or for one of the minor parties, you are significantly reducing the value of your vote. You gain nothing by disqualifying yourself from voting in primaries. To the contrary, primaries are often the most important elections of all. This is because the major parties look at them as the ultimate test of their organization. In a primary, the candidates are usually similar ideologically. The parties therefore view these elections as the acid test of their effectiveness. They know their organization is strong if their candidates win, and they know the opposite is true if their candidates lose. Vote any way you like in the general election. But make sure to vote in the primary. The parties will pay more attention to you if you do.

Always Vote, Even if Your Candidate Has No Hope of Winning. This might be the most important rule of all. Win or lose, once the election is over the politicians and the professionals pour over the numbers to see who showed up to vote. Showing your willingness to vote for a loser can have a more powerful effect than voting for a winner because it shows dedication. These are the voters politicians pay attention to.

Not Everyone Can Donate Money, But Everyone Can Donate Time. If you are one of the lucky people in a position to give tzedakah, politics is not a bad place to put at least some of it. The $80 million AIPAC collects each year gets leveraged up to over $3 billion of foreign aid given to Israel annually. But even if you can’t donate money, you can always donate time. I’m not even talking about the things that require a major commitment like handing out fliers or sticking up signs. It can be as easy as showing up for a rally or just putting your signature on a petition.

Don’t Worry About Your Shul Losing Its Charitable Status. This really gets under my skin – asking an executive director of a shul for an e-mail list and being told he can’t release it because it might jeopardize the shul’s tax-free status. One has only to look at how effectively and brilliantly the African-American community has used its churches as sources of political power to understand how nonsensical this fear is. I have never heard of an attempt to deny a shul, a church or a mosque its tax-free status for engaging in political activity. The IRS can’t even deny 501(c)(3) status to the Church of Scientology. I have enough respect for the intelligence of shul leaders to understand what they are really saying is, “This politics stuff is a real pain in the neck, so could you please just leave us all alone?”

A few months ago, the New York State Republican Party held its primary. None of the elections generated any excitement, because all the candidates will face an uphill battle in November. In Lawrence, we’ll get about 2,500 voters to turn out for a contested school board election. Only 75 people showed up for the primary. It was a real missed opportunity. If thousands, or even hundreds, of people had shown up, Republicans and Democrats alike would have gotten a strong message that this is not a community they can afford to ignore.

About the Author:


If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.

Our comments section is intended for meaningful responses and debates in a civilized manner. We ask that you respect the fact that we are a religious Jewish website and avoid inappropriate language at all cost.

If you promote any foreign religions, gods or messiahs, lies about Israel, anti-Semitism, or advocate violence (except against terrorists), your permission to comment may be revoked.

No Responses to “A Colossal But Essential Pain In The Neck”

Comments are closed.

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Current Top Story
Jeremy Bird, working for Israeli campaign outfit V15, shown at Ted Talk, May 20, 2014.
V15 US Political Operative Marinated in Hate-Israel Activism
Latest Indepth Stories
Eli Weiss

Shepherding in the Shomron isn’t your usual kind of shepherding – despite his business-minded beginnings, Eli has discovered that a strong ideological impetus powers the job.

Resnick-013015-Pilot

I said to myself, “This story has got to be told. We’re losing this generation of World War II and if we don’t listen to them now, we’ve lost it.”

Eller-013015

His entire existence was about spreading simcha and glorifying G-d’s name on a daily basis.

IRAN-US-POLITICS-MILITARY

An Israeli strike could theoretically damage Iran’s nuclear program; only US can terminate program

At some point we need to stop simply defending and promoting Israel and start living in Israel

“We Jews are the only people who when we drop a book on the floor pick it up and kiss it.”

Though Zaide was the publisher of The Jewish Press, a big newspaper,I always remember him learning

Speaker Silver has been an extraordinary public servant since his election to the Assembly in 1975 and has been an exemplary leader of that body since 1994.

He spent the first leg of his daylong visit to the French capital at Hyper Cacher.

Drawing Congress into the Iran nuclear debate is the last thing the White House wants.

Great leaders like Miriam and like Sarah Schenirer possess the capacity to challenge the status quo that confronts them.

Obama’s foreign policy is viewed by both liberals and conservatives as deeply flawed

Many journalists are covertly blaming the Charlie Hebdo writers themselves through self-censorship.

Why does the Times relay different motivations and narratives for jihadists in Europe and Israel?

More Articles from Uri Kaufman
New York Times columnist, Thomas L. Friedman.

What I cannot concede is the honesty of a reporter who cites a study in support of a proposition without telling his readers that the study actually concluded the opposite.

Front-Page-101212

Seven years ago, I was approached by a group of friends with an unexpected request. Would I be interested in running for trustee of my local public school district?

In March 1978, at the conclusion of the Litani Operation in South Lebanon, five Israeli soldiers and a civilian jumped into a car and decided to go on an outing. The group took to the road in defiance of army regulations and somehow got waived through a forward checkpoint. Moments later they found themselves surrounded by heavily armed Palestinians. Four of the five soldiers were killed instantly, while the civilian miraculously made it back to Israeli lines the next day.

For Jewish-Americans, the December date that lives in infamy is December 17. For on that day in 1862, Major-General Ulysses S. Grant issued General Order 11.

“It’s been a long time since American Jewry has been [so] shaken,” declared the Israeli newspaper Haaretz in its July 9 Magazine cover story. Judging from the volume of chatter thundering across the upper firmament of the media heavens, this is no exaggeration.

A week from Friday will mark the third anniversary of the cease-fire that ended the Second Lebanon War. And while the fortunes of war run to infinite varieties of the unexpected, there is one thing of which we can all be certain. Hizbullah Secretary-General Hassan Nasrallah will appear, if he hasn’t already by the time this article is published, on a video screen from the secret bunker he is afraid to leave, and in between chants of “Death to America!” and “Death to Israel!” he and his supporters will again proclaim glorious victory over the infidel Jews.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/indepth/front-page/a-colossal-but-essential-pain-in-the-neck/2012/10/11/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: