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{Reposted from the author’s blog}

After watching the President’s acceptance speech last night, I predicted exactly what the media response would be. They would focus only on what he did wrong that night as well as what he  has done wrong under his presidency – rather than on the  substance of his speech.

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I am not going to say much about the substance other than that I agreed with some parts of it and disagreed with other parts. The greater point to be made is that this was yet again an instance of unbridled bias by a media that can’t wait to get rid of him – grateful for the chance to able facilitate it in this way.  More than ever, media reactions like this show that the they have completely lost their credibility.

It is just about impossible to find unbiased reporting. That has always been true. What has changed is that we now know it. I suppose that is a good thing. Because biased reporting that is well hidden – disguised as being balanced – can easily lead to the same bias on the part of the reader (or listener… or watcher) of the news.

I therefore urge voters to look at the issues that concern them the most and evaluate what each candidate has done – or promised to do, and judge for themselves without regard as to how the media deals with those candidates.

On a separate note  some interesting comments from Lord  Rabbi Jonathan Sacks about about the political partisanship of the Orthodox Jewish leadership with respect to politics:

American Jewish rabbis are erring by endorsing — and opposing — President Donald Trump.

Although he has been close to many political leaders of all persuasions in his country, he never officially endorsed anyone.  I think that’s wise. And yet as he notes that here, it is becoming more common to do so.  Which happened most recently when Rav Shmuel Kamenetsky endorsed President Trump’s re-election.

I think he’s right about that. Especially now when the country is so polarized. Our leadership should not be taking sides. Because which ever side one takes will be seen by the other side as an immoral choice. In the case of this President that should be more obvious than ever.

When a religious leader endorses either a man that is seen by half the country as a scoundrel with no redeeming value and whose polices are seen as detrimental to our health and welfare – or endorses his opponent that the other half of the country sees as being manipulated by the far left which will result in the destruction of America as we know it –  it places that leader in a box.

If your candidate loses, the winner who was vilified by the man to which you were connected cannot help but taint you in his eyes. And by association the people you lead. That will not serve the Jewish community well at all. Besides all that Lord Rabbi Sacks says the following:

“You mix religion and politics, you get terrible politics and even worse religion,” he said, adding later, “I’m afraid I have absolutely not the slightest shred of sympathy for anyone who, as a rabbi, tells people how to vote.”

Pretty strong words. Which should be taken seriously. One might ask, if I agree with Lord Sacks, how could I have ever endorsed any political candidate in the past? Which I did in the last 5 elections – Gore, Bush, McCain, Romney, and Clinton successively.) And what am I going to do about the 2020 election?

Good questions. The answer to the first one is that I am not a rabbinic leader. Although I have Semicha, I never used it in any official (of even unofficial) capacity. And even though my endorsements are based on my values which are informed by my religious beliefs, my views are personal and not to be taken as representative of my people.

In the past, it really didn’t hurt us that much to endorse the Republican or the Democrat.We could be forgiven for being ‘mistaken’. But this year is a horse fo an entirely different color The last thing I want to do is to endorse half the country sees as an existential threat to the country. (Which both sides have said about the other.)

Endorsing a candidate this year has far reaching consequences. You cannot endorse one candidate without just about alienating significant numbers of  people. some of whom will equate my endorsement with my religion no matter how much I deny it.

That being the case, I’m not sure I will be endorsing anybody this year. Need to think about it.

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