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September 30, 2016 / 27 Elul, 5776
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Obama Wins Close National Vote, Mandate Denied, US Future Dim

Obama had no coat tails whatsoever in this election. He barely got over the hedge himself.


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Obama has won, for the second time, both Florida and Virginia, two states with total Republican domination over local politics. This means that the same voters who trust a Republican for governor and other state offices do not trust a right-wing Republican for president.

To remind you, President GW Bush had solid support from the Hispanic voters, largely because of his sane immigration policies. But Romney didn’t have very encouraging things to say to Hispanics on amnesty, etc., plus several South-Western Republican officials were hedging their own careers on antagonizing their Hispanic citizens and visitors, making the GOP in general a most unpopular brand over there.

What does all of the above mean for the Jews? I think the U.S. economy will not be coming back any time soon. Blame Bush 2, blame Obama, blame Wall Street, blame China, it doesn’t really matter. Our annual GDP growth is 1.7%. It’s a depressing rate suggesting that, after four years since the big crash, most businesses are still hesitating to move forward. It means banks are still hesitating to trust potential borrowers. As a result, new jobs are not being created and the number of people receiving their income from government entitlement programs is increasing alarmingly.

It’s not the end of the world, the U.S. economy is big enough to recover from this depression/recession – but, sadly, not with this president. Unless Obama finds a new, creative way he hasn’t thought of until now, to generate new confidence in the hearts and minds of decision makers in business and industry, we should expect more of the same: a sluggish, increasingly desperate crawl through the mud.

The truth is I’m less concerned about the fate of the State of Israel under Obama’s second term than I am about my Jewish brothers and sisters in America. I trust that the IDF—with God’s help—is good enough to defend the Jewish state with or without a very friendly U.S. president.

I don’t think the next four years will be fun for anyone in America, but for us, mostly right-wing, professionals and small business traditional Jews, it’s going to be sad and even a little scary.

A Romney win would have signaled a cultural change. I may not love everything about Mormons, but they don’t get drunk, they give to charity, and they have a lot of children whom they raise in loving families. I could think of worse presidential role models.

The U.S. president always marks the center. Everyone else is either to the left or to the right of him. That’s why I’m so anxious for a moderate-Republican as president, because he encourages centrist thinking. I thought that GW Bush was way too far to the right, without a broad mandate to do so. I think Obama has pulled the center over to the left by almost the same measure – except he hasn’t been as brash about it.

Back in 2008, I had tears in my eyes when Obama had won. I thought I was seeing an impossible dream coming true. This time around I feel angry and betrayed by the man who crushed my dream, who failed to do right by the multitudes who voted for him.

I do believe that the Romney loss must energize a discussion among right-wing American Jews about planning their future in Israel. Our website will continue to cover opportunities in Israel in terms of jobs, housing, medical care, creature comforts, socializing, a spiritual life and the economy. It is my honest opinion that, given the above predictions about the next four years, you could do a whole lot better on my side of the water.

Yori Yanover

About the Author: Yori Yanover has been a working journalist since age 17, before he enlisted and worked for Ba'Machane Nachal. Since then he has worked for Israel Shelanu, the US supplement of Yedioth, JCN18.com, USAJewish.com, Lubavitch News Service, Arutz 7 (as DJ on the high seas), and the Grand Street News. He has published Dancing and Crying, a colorful and intimate portrait of the last two years in the life of the late Lubavitch Rebbe, (in Hebrew), and two fun books in English: The Cabalist's Daughter: A Novel of Practical Messianic Redemption, and How Would God REALLY Vote.


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