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April 17, 2014 / 17 Nisan, 5774
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The Decline and Fall of the American Empire

If this election proves one thing, it is that the Old America is gone. And, sad for the world, it is not coming back.

Ronald Reagan himself could not win an election in today’s America.

Ronald Reagan himself could not win an election in today’s America.

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One of the more irritating aspects of this campaign was its limited focus, odd in light of the billions of dollars spent. Only a few states were contested, a strategy that Romney adopted, and that clearly failed. The Democrat begins any race with a substantial advantage. The liberal states – like the bankrupt California and Illinois – and other states with large concentrations of minority voters as well as an extensive welfare apparatus, like New York, New Jersey and others – give any Democratic candidate an almost insurmountable edge in electoral votes. In New Jersey, for example, it literally does not pay for a conservative to vote. It is not worth the fuel expended driving to the polls. As some economists have pointed generally, and it resonates here even more, the odds are greater that a voter will be killed in a traffic accident on his way to the polls than that his vote will make a difference in the election. It is an irrational act. That most states are uncompetitive means that people are not amenable to new ideas, or new thinking, or even having an open mind. If that does not change, and it is hard to see how it can change, then the die is cast. America is not what it was, and will never be again.

For Jews, mostly assimilated anyway and staunch Democrats, the results demonstrate again that liberalism is their Torah. Almost 70% voted for a president widely perceived by Israelis and most committed Jews as hostile to Israel. They voted to secure Obama’s future at America’s expense and at Israel’s expense – in effect, preferring Obama to Netanyahu by a wide margin. A dangerous time is ahead. Under present circumstances, it is inconceivable that the U.S. will take any aggressive action against Iran and will more likely thwart any Israeli initiative.

That Obama’s top aide Valerie Jarrett (i.e., Iranian-born Valerie Jarrett) spent last week in Teheran is not a good sign. The U.S. will preach the importance of negotiations up until the production of the first Iranian nuclear weapon – and then state that the world must learn to live with this new reality. As Obama has committed himself to abolishing America’s nuclear arsenal, it is more likely that that unfortunate circumstance will occur than that he will succeed in obstructing Iran’s plans.

Obama’s victory could weaken Netanyahu’s re-election prospects, because Israelis live with an unreasonable – and somewhat pathetic – fear of American opinion and realize that Obama despises Netanyahu. A Likud defeat – or a diminution of its margin of victory – is more probable now than yesterday. That would not be the worst thing. Netanyahu, in fact, has never distinguished himself by having a strong political or moral backbone, and would be the first to cave to the American pressure to surrender more territory to the enemy and acquiesce to a second (or third, if you count Jordan) Palestinian state. A new U.S. Secretary of State named John Kerry, for example (he of the Jewish father) would not augur well.

Netanyahu remains the best of markedly poor alternatives. Thus, the likeliest outcome of the upcoming Israeli elections is a center-left government that will force itself to make more concessions and weaken Israel – an Oslo III. But this election should be a wake-up call to Jews. There is no permanent empire, nor is there is an enduring haven for Jews anywhere in the exile. The most powerful empires in history all crumbled – from the Greeks and the Romans to the British and the Soviets. None of the collapses were easily foreseen, and yet they were predictable in retrospect.

The American empire began to decline in 2007, and the deterioration has been exacerbated in the last five years. This election only hastens that decline. Society is permeated with sloth, greed, envy and materialistic excess. It has lost its moorings and its moral foundations. The takers outnumber the givers, and that will only increase in years to come. Across the world, America under Bush was feared but not respected. Under Obama, America is neither feared nor respected. Radical Islam has had a banner four years under Obama, and its prospects for future growth look excellent. The “Occupy” riots across this country in the last two years were mere dress rehearsals for what lies ahead – years of unrest sparked by the increasing discontent of the unsuccessful who want to seize the fruits and the bounty of the successful, and do not appreciate the slow pace of redistribution.

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About the Author: Rabbi Steven Pruzansky is the spiritual leader of Congregation Bnai Yeshurun of Teaneck, New Jersey, and the author most recently of “Judges for Our Time: Contemporary Lessons from the Book of Shoftim” (Gefen Publishing House, Jerusalem, 2009). His writings and lectures can be found at www.Rabbipruzansky.com.

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101 Responses to “The Decline and Fall of the American Empire”

  1. Sour grapes because Obama is trying to negotiate peace, that Israel has been unable to do with their neighbors. The prime minister Netanyahhoo would rather we bully Iran against the wishes of China and Russia and perhaps lead us to world war 3.

  2. Sour grapes because Obama is trying to negotiate peace, that Israel has been unable to do with their neighbors. The prime minister Netanyahhoo would rather we bully Iran against the wishes of China and Russia and perhaps lead us to world war 3.

  3. Sour grapes because Obama is trying to negotiate peace, that Israel has been unable to do with their neighbors. The prime minister Netanyahhoo would rather we bully Iran against the wishes of China and Russia and perhaps lead us to world war 3.

  4. why does the Rabbi continue to live in galus.

  5. Great article :) Obama is the worst thing that has ever happened to the States . I grieve deeply as I watch the greatest country in the world tank :(

  6. **** U and your condescending bull****. I can't believe your editor even allowed post in this paper for such a ridiculous piece fantastically devoid of any objectivity and insulting to any audience –specifically voter constituents. Signed, Voter/EMPLOYED/ Registered Nurse/not on welfare and incidentally voted along womens rights and pro-choice agenda. Voted for FREEdom of Choice not FREE STUFF!

  7. Tamika Renae says:

    I dealt with a Bush re-election, and survived it. So now we all must deal with an Obama re-election. All super powers eventually fail…if this one does it will be because of our fears. We fear more than we don't fear…make scary movies, thrillers, and can't sleep at night. Need some new heroes…and they aren't usually A President. It is an average Joe who turns out not to be so average.

  8. Steve Lehmann says:

    That's a fairly unpopular opinion among people that I know. I'm genuinely curious why you think that as I think you are a great guy and I respect you.

    Is it possible that people didn't vote Romney because the disliked some of the surface attributes like being anti-gay and the fact that he changed his opinion on most of the things he stood for between running for governor and then president?


  10. Bubba Dan says:

    G-d is using Obama to pass judgement. The USA has become a decadent and disgusting place. We no longer help each other as we are all so selfish. Everyone feels entitled and is into getting free stuff.

    Everything G-d hates is being done in America, immorality is on the rise, deviant sexual behaviors, homosexual marriages, sacrificing living children through abortion and promoting it worldwide. G-d will not stand by and watch this stuff go on forever, He will pass judgement and I believe he has started doing just that.

  11. Sound like the best summary I've seen yet.

  12. Praxidio Buenagua says:

    Wow. Congratulations President Obama.

  13. Yehuda Cohen says:

    Nothing new here with America, just more of the same but worse. The pattern has been set a long time ago and we see how it developed up until today. Look and learn.

  14. Anonymous says:

    Rabbi, get it right. OBAMA and all the other politicions in AMERICA are dictated what to do by an elite RICH conglomerate of multi-national MILITARY_PHARMA_INDUSTRIAL complex, that manipulates all aspects of the "NEW AMERICA", and that's what's really sinking the once great nation with a great constitution. Fake legislation called "EXECUTIVE ORDERS" has decimated the constitution and the amendments, until now, there's nothing but shreds of those documents.

  15. Gary Kreller says:

    Sorry Kenny, but I think that article was just a load of bigoted codswallop designed to further inflame an already divided electorate. I think it's just possible that Americans didn't vote for Republicans because the current crop don't actually represent those so-called "conservative virtues" or anything remotely resembling actual conservative values. Y'all seem to forget that what we are attempting to achieve here is a SOCIETY, not a collection of atoms.

  16. Sorry, we don't allow The conservative whackos in Israel and their warmongering leader to dictate our policies here and abroad. You obviously don't know us very well… We're not a crazy-assed theocracy nor a plutocracy.

  17. Anonymous says:

    Bull****. OBAMA could care less about peace, in ISRAEL, IRAQ AFGHANISTAN or anywhere else in the world. He hasn't changed a thing about what his TREASONOUS WAR.CRIME predecessor has done in IRAQ or AFGHANISTAN, and THAT'S AFTER the whole world knew that BUSH and CO lied repeatedly to the world about a number of things to allow them to attack two sovereign countries and kill hundreds of thousands of innocent civilians and obliterate the countries' infrastructure. All the USA's "leaders" are rapacious pawns of the ELITE RICH who have stolen the country and decimated it's constitution under the secrecy umbrella of "national security".

  18. Anonymous says:

    It is NOT just OBAMA, get it straight, it's MANY MANY deviant and foolish pawns for the rich elite that have caused the countries' demise. It's been going on for quite some time. AND, it's NOT just the USA, the "evil" you speak of is virtually everywhere on the planet, just open your eyes and look around to what's going on in the world. And, more importantly, look at your OWN spiritual failings 1st, before casting stones, lest you be called a hypocrite.

  19. Anonymous says:

    Sure. Like "congrats BUSH" in the past? Use your mind.

  20. Anonymous says:

    Kenny, grow a brain. Bush Jr was the worst EVER, enacting two aggressions against sovereign countries with LIES to the world, illegal mass spying on AMERICAN citizens, illegal torture and secret renditions, passing executive orders destroying the very foundation of freedom and the constitution in the USA ( PATRIOT ACTS ). OBAMA is merely continuing what SICKO-BUSH enacted.

  21. Gregg Munshaw says:


  22. Mercedes Muchita-Thomas says:

    This is a sorry article of lies.

  23. Kenny… the reason why Romney lost was cause he is Romney, an emotionless clown that most of America cannot relate to. If you cannot relate to a guy you are asked to vote for, then you cannot fundamentally trust him. His actions over the last 4 years in stalling any progression in government in the states by focusing on 2012 from the start of the Obama presidency is what turned off most people from him. The article which I have read says that Romney didn't run a negative campaign… that's hugely unfair since while the ads may not have been overly negative the mere fact that Mitt started campaigning in 2007 is by itself a negative act which itself was a statement of how he felt about Obama. Romney and his group of unhappy men are sore losers who want to dictate and work their way in america and THAT is why they lost. There was no attempt on their part to work with Obama from day 1… They were negative from the get go and that makes the government fail. We see the same thing in Canada and Ontario with our elected "unofficials". We the people choose a direction to go in. We elect the guy who represents that direction, and often times the loser of the election cannot accept the peoples choice and will spend the peoples money in time wasting arguments and challenges for the next four years to get the losers agenda done anyways. That's why people don't vote, because it doesn't matter who we vote for anymore nothing will ever get done. Until the politicians start to realize they work for the people, and not to advance their own agendas and financial situation, will anything ever get done.

  24. Matityahu Ben-David says:

    I didn't vote for Romney because I saw first hand how trickle down economics doesn't lift the lower elements of society. Outsourcing jobs overseas making business owners wealthier and stock prices going up does not result in money "trickling" down the working class. People won't buy into this failed ideology anymore. I'll even go to the extent and say Trickle Down Economics RUINED Judaism in America in the form of inflated kosher food prices AND $30k/year tuition. Time we get back to the basics and go back to the economic principles of Zaydie and Bubbie that led to the New Deal and brought the Jews up in wealth. It is rather racist to say it was acceptable for the Jews to use the "liberal" economic policy in the 40's and 50's but to now say no it's not ok for the new immigrants (ie. Hispanics). We need to take a good look in the mirror and find the heart of the problem with people flying OTD, insane tuitions, and a shidduch crisis (caused by chasing the Egel HaZahav (materialism) and worshipping Momma (Greek God of Wealth) and not Hashem.

  25. And then there is tricke down government from the public sector unions that steal millions from the taxpayer to fund their million dollar pensions. Do the math

  26. And elite welfare thives and unions taking their cut of taxes not goods.

  27. Obama is only a symptom of some deep anti semiticism a la the Democratic convention that fervently booed GOD and JERUSALEM.

  28. Matityahu Ben-David says:

    Yes, I agree there needs to be Union Reform, but overall it is still a better system than the new trickle down formula. Ask your grandparents.

  29. Bush has not been in power in 4 years. We you use this excuse, like the Obama, in another 4 years?

  30. What is "Supreme Commander , Grand Wizared of such and such". Sounds like the KKK only a a relativist one.

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