As this is my last column before the presidential election, I have been pondering Tom Lehrer, the famous American comedian and New Yorker.
Lehrer wrote and sang satirical songs with titles like “Poisoning Pigeons in the Park” and “The Old Dope peddler.” I once heard him interviewed on BBC radio and he explained why he abandoned humor in the 1970’s, “I just didn’t think things were funny anymore,” he said.
I have heard many Jews express the opinion that Lehrer’s perspective fits today perfectly. Firstly, Cancel Culture has killed humor in any case and if there is a Biden and Harris victory, then nothing will be funny anymore.
Actually, I don’t see things as nearly so gloomy. As someone who has only been an American citizen for a little over one year, I have to tell you how very happy it has made me recently to get so many letters from some of the most famous people in the land.
You might think I am showing off, but no less than President Trump writes to me almost daily just to let me know how he’s doing. Not only that, he repeatedly assures me he could do even better with my help! I haven’t had any mail from the vice president, but Nikki Haley writes often as does Lindsey Graham and they all seem to have a high opinion of me and my potential to help their campaign.
Then there is Nancy Pelosi. She of course prefers to use e-mail (Democrats love trees and the paper industry is melting both polar ice caps and making polar bears homeless!).
Nancy is not a happy woman and I am once again flattered that she writes so often to share that with me. In fact, almost every one of her letters begins with phrases like, “I am livid” or “I am furious.” You might think her anger is about the hairdressing community, but you would be wrong.
She actually always goes on to complain that Donald Trump is doing well in some poll or other and is raising so much cash. Of course, I know that’s simply not true because he is always asking me if I can spare him a few dollars.
I like and admire Nancy. She’s the only person I know whom I understand more clearly when she speaks wearing a face mask than when she doesn’t. Gosh! Even Kamala Harris has started writing to me. In her first ever e-mail, she hoped I thought that she had beaten Mike Pence! I like her too; she really made me laugh.
Even Joe Biden e-mails regularly, although what he writes about is a bit hard to understand.
But despite these flattering communications, there has crept in a note of sadness.
It is not that I am unappreciative that the most well-known political figures on the national scene want to keep in touch and seek my input. I also do not want to appear either petty or picky, but I have been really hurt and disappointed that I haven’t heard a word from either the governor of the state I live in or the mayor of New York where I often work.
Now, I am not such a fool or political neophyte to be unaware that there has been a teeny, weeny bit of tension between both Mr. Cuomo and Mr. de Blasio and the Orthodox community recently. In fact, I hear there has been really quite a lot.
Mayor Bill (I hope I am not being too familiar in using his first name, but I anticipate we could become really close buddies) has had some harsh words for chassidic Jews of late. Oh, by the way, “chassidic Jew” is The New York Times’ term for any Jew who is Orthodox but does not wear a crocheted kippah (those kind the New York Times calls “Zionist Oppressors”).
A couple of months back, Bill de Blasio sent New York cops to break up a Williamsburg funeral because a) they were not all wearing face masks and b) they were not using the opportunity of the rabbi’s death to simultaneously demonstrate for Black Lives Matter, in which case they wouldn’t have had to wear face masks at all.
I personally think it speaks highly of the mayor that he has not repeated this behavior. He now sends Black Lives Matter demonstrators to break up the cops. Well anyway, from Bill I have received not even one letter or e-mail. Zilch, zip, nada! I simply cannot understand it.
Then there is our great governor, Andrew Cuomo. I would have thought that at his recent press conference blaming coronavirus on the Jews of Brooklyn, he could have reached out. Who on earth supplied him with a picture of chassidic Jews at a funeral from 2006?
If he had just followed the lead of all these other national politicians and asked for my help, I would have immediately suggested he used the scene from Cecil B. DeMille’s “The Ten Commandments” of large numbers of Jews standing behind Charlton Heston at the Red Sea and not one face mask!
But it may not be too late! Surely the Dems believe they can woo back the Chassidic vote. I am willing to offer my help! Joe Biden’s promise to reinstate money for the Palestinian Authority, abandon sanctions on Iran, and restart the Iranian Nuclear deal with the right packaging and PR will be a breeze. I’m simply waiting for the DNC to pick up the phone.