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December 2, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Defending the Right to a Jewish State

Heather Hale: Compliment your kids without giving them big heads

Megan Shauri: 10 ways you are ruining your own happiness

Carolyn Bigda: 8 Best Dividend Stocks for 2015

Kiplinger's Personal Finance editors: 7 Things You Didn't Know About Paying Off Student Loans

Samantha Olson: The Crucial Mistake 55% Of Parents Are Making At Their Baby's Bedtime

Densie Well, Ph.D., R.D. Open your eyes to yellow vegetables

The Kosher Gourmet by Megan Gordon With its colorful cache of purples and oranges and reds, COLLARD GREEN SLAW is a marvelous mood booster --- not to mention just downright delish
April 18, 2014

Rabbi Yonason Goldson: Clarifying one of the greatest philosophical conundrums in theology

Caroline B. Glick: The disappearance of US will

Megan Wallgren: 10 things I've learned from my teenagers

Lizette Borreli: Green Tea Boosts Brain Power, May Help Treat Dementia

John Ericson: Trying hard to be 'positive' but never succeeding? Blame Your Brain

The Kosher Gourmet by Julie Rothman Almondy, flourless torta del re (Italian king's cake), has royal roots, is simple to make, . . . but devour it because it's simply delicious

April 14, 2014

Rabbi Dr Naftali Brawer: Passover frees us from the tyranny of time

Greg Crosby: Passing Over Religion

Eric Schulzke: First degree: How America really recovered from a murder epidemic

Georgia Lee: When love is not enough: Teaching your kids about the realities of adult relationships

Cameron Huddleston: Freebies for Your Lawn and Garden

Gordon Pape: How you can tell if your financial adviser is setting you up for potential ruin

Dana Dovey: Up to 500,000 people die each year from hepatitis C-related liver disease. New Treatment Has Over 90% Success Rate

Justin Caba: Eating Watermelon Can Help Control High Blood Pressure

The Kosher Gourmet by Joshua E. London and Lou Marmon Don't dare pass over these Pesach picks for Manischewitz!

April 11, 2014

Rabbi Hillel Goldberg: Silence is much more than golden

Caroline B. Glick: Forgetting freedom at Passover

Susan Swann: How to value a child for who he is, not just what he does

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Financial Tasks You Should Tackle Right Now

Sandra Block and Lisa Gerstner: How to Profit From Your Passion

Susan Scutti: A Simple Blood Test Might Soon Diagnose Cancer

Chris Weller: Have A Slow Metabolism? Let Science Speed It Up For You

The Kosher Gourmet by Diane Rossen Worthington Whitefish Terrine: A French take on gefilte fish

April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review March 13, 2012 / 19 Adar, 5772

To pick an American President

By Paul Johnson





http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | Americans are facing what is likely to be a bewildering election year, and it's important that they keep in mind what this election is all about.

Choosing a President is the most vital act every U.S. citizen of voting age is called upon to perform. An American President is invested with truly awe-inspiring powers; therefore, the search is for a person of exemplary character who can be relied on to make the right decisions, not only on issues already before us but also on those unknown problems and events that will emerge over the next four years.

A successful President has certain simple yet definite characteristics. First is the ability to be decisive, to make clear decisions—often quickly and under pressure—on complex issues that he or she must then be able to present to the nation in terms it can grasp. Ronald Reagan had this power to an unusual degree, as did his colleague in Britain, Margaret Thatcher. It was one of the reasons they were able to form such a successful partnership.

Second, a President must possess two or three core beliefs that center on the nature and limits of government—what it ought to do, must do and should avoid doing. In an ideal world government would do only three things—and those because no one else can: run external defense, keep internal order and manage an honest currency. In the real world, however, government must perform many other duties. Yet the more it takes on, the less likely it will perform the three essentials adequately. A good President remembers this always.

Third, a President must be able to convey reassurance. Americans ought to be able to trust their President. George Washington had this gift; most Americans not only trusted him to do the right thing on their behalf but also saw him as a parental figure, exercising a form of authority that sprang from nature as well as from his election.

It would be absurd to expect the electoral system to produce a father figure every four years. It is the nature of politics that every President falls short of the ideal in one or another of the qualities described here. But it would be hard to think of anyone else so lacking in presidential essentials as Barack Obama. Indecisive and dithering, Mr. Obama doesn't seem to possess fundamental beliefs of any kind. His central conviction, insofar as he has one, is that government will provide the answers to the nation's problems, big or small. But there's no evidence that he's devoted any profound thought to how an Administration that took charge of everything would be able to function, let alone pay for everything.

What Americans ought to be looking for in Obama's replacement is someone who can redefine, in contemporary terms, what the essential features of the American system at its best are.

The economic crisis that began in 2008 and has continued with no sign of healing is essentially a crisis in the banking system. Since the days of President Andrew Jackson in the 1830s, Americans have been suspicious of bankers, especially when they're seen to be running the economy. This is certainly what they were doing during the first decade of the 21st century, and some kind of breakdown was inevitable.

Banks are important, and the smooth flow of financial resources from them to the rest of the economy is essential for an economy to function successfully. But banks must be subservient to the economy as a whole and should never be in a position to dictate terms or put their own special interests first.

The heart of the U.S. economy is the provision of goods and services. These must be in adequate supply at highly competitive—in terms of the rest of the world—rates and in forms that are innovative, efficient and reliable. This year's election provides an excellent opportunity to redefine and present this message with a clarity and force that will strike home with the voters.

This is not to say that the job of the U.S. government is to shape and run the nation's economy. Far from it. Government's job is to make it possible for the economy to run itself, in the interests of all its components and to the benefit of the American people, whether they be producers, suppliers or consumers.

What government must ensure is that the distortions in the system that produced the 2008 economic crisis cannot be repeated and that the hijacking of the economy by irresponsible and reckless bankers does not occur again.

These are some of the themes that should dominate discussions during this year's election. Indeed, if we want to encapsulate what the election should be about, it's this: the reeducation of the American people in the virtues of capitalism.

Every weekday JewishWorldReview.com publishes what many in the media and Washington consider "must-reading". Sign up for the daily JWR update. It's free. Just click here.


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Eminent British historian and author Paul Johnson's latest book is "American Presidents Eminent Lives Boxed Set: George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Ulysses S. Grant". Comment by clicking here.



Previously:


12/13/11: American Culture Rides High
10/20/11: Who Can Lead Us To Safety?
08/23/11: Wanted: Global Role Models

07/05/11: Debt: A Moral Issue

06/08/11: The Moral Logic of Intervention
03/10/11: China's Secret Weakness: Is history repeating itself?
02/10/11: Assessing America's Foes
11/29/10: Wanted: Someone to Trust
10/19/10: Are Universities Worth It?
06/01/10: The English Language and Freedom
04/20/10: Listening and Telling the Truth
02/28/10: There Is No Keynesian Miracle
10/20/09: A Job Waiting for a Woman?
07/21/09: Obama Has to Be World Sheriff
03/24/09: Short works of genius that cheer up the writing profession
02/11/09: What would Darwin do?
01/27/09: Are you sophisticated? Here's how to find out
01/06/09: What did they talk about in the Ice Age? The weather, of course
09/09/08: Time, and our appalling ignorance of it
08/19/08: Eye-stopping glimpses of an exotic and forbidden world
06/30/08: How to fill a lecture hall, and how to empty it
06/23/08: Americans should count their blessings
05/20/08: Pajamas for Presidents
05/13/08: Literary woodlice boring needless holes in biographical bedposts
04/01/08: When markets come crashing down, send for the man with the big red nose
04/01/08: Quality for dinner. Pass the Fairy Liquid, Old Boy
03/25/08: In search of an American President with brains and guts
03/18/08: Technological warfare against mice won't work. Try cats
03/11/08: What is a genius? We use the word frequently but surely, to guard its meaning, we should bestow it seldom
03/03/08: Fiction as a crutch to get one through life
02/26/08: Impatience + Greed = Trouble
02/13/08: Shakespeare, Neo-Platonism and Princess Diana
02/07/08: Where Industry Has Failed Us
12/19/07: People who put their trust in human power delude themselves
12/12/07: What is aggression?
12/04/07: Pursuing success is not enough
11/07/07: Are famous writers accident-prone?
10/31/07: Courage needed to disarm Iran
09/20/07: Who Will Say ‘I Promise to Lay Off’?
07/24/07: Greed is safer than power-seeking
04/02/07: Benefactors must be hardheaded
03/07/07: American idealism and realpolitik
11/28/06: Space: Our ticket to survival
10/24/06: Envy is bad economics
10/11/06: Better to Borrow or Lend? Rethinking conventional wisdom
08/22/06: Don't practice legal terrorism
08/08/06: A summer rhapsody for a pedal-bike
08/03/06: Why is there no workable philosophy of music?
07/11/06: Historically speaking, energy crisis is America's opportunity
07/06/06: The misleading dimensions of persons and lives
06/06/06: First editions are not gold
05/23/06: A downright ugly man need never despair of attracting women, even pretty ones
04/25/06: Was Washington right about political parties?
04/12/06: Let's Have More Babies!
04/05/06: For the love of trains
03/29/06: Lincoln and the Compensation Culture
03/22/06: Bottle-beauties and the globalised blond beast
03/15/06: Europe's utopian hangover
03/08/06: Kindly write on only one side of the paper
02/28/06: Creators versus critics
02/21/06: The Rhino Principle

© 2009, Paul Johnson

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