In this issue

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 June 10, 2004 / 21 Sivan, 5764

A chance to settle down and see where we are

By Collin Levey

Printer Friendly Version

Email this article

http://www.jewishworldreview.com | When historians sit to pen the chapters on the 2004 presidential race years from now, Ronald Reagan will have a paragraph of his own. It won't be a tortured comparison with a current candidate. And it won't be because his death changed the outcome of the election — November is still a few months and many turns of the wheel away.

But the Gipper's voice this week resonated through the haze of years. It reminded us of his confidence in times more uncertain than these. And the sound cooled a molten period of national politics, at least for a moment.

Since the uprisings in Fallujah and Najaf, the news cycle has been relentless, careening from photos of flag-draped coffins to Abu Ghraib abuses to congressional hearings and back again. It seemed that the administration's sure-footedness had faltered and President Bush's supporters, some of them up for re-election themselves, began to look panicky. War was supposed to be easy and it wasn't. Why did we get ourselves into this?

Then Reagan died, and we heard him again: "Freedom is not the sole prerogative of a chosen few, but is the right of all G-d's children," he said while president. "We champion freedom because it is morally right and just." News anchors were reverent. Watching Americans filing by the coffin to pay respects, CNN's Anderson Cooper observed that the scene looked just the way Reagan had imagined his shining city on a hill would look: "Windswept, G-d blessed and teeming with people of all kinds."

Donate to JWR

And for one week, the campaigning stopped and we all got a breather, a chance to settle down and see where we are.

We got to see we've been deeply divided before and got through it. As we've looked at the fog of war in recent weeks, it's seemed that latter-day American wars have been hobbled by a lack of public support for fighting an enemy we had mixed feelings about. That was the case in Vietnam (see Hanoi Jane) but it was equally so in the Cold War, when many of Reagan's own peers in Hollywood happily joined with friends of socialism and communism.

The antidote to the intellectual mushiness then wasn't subtlety or coercion; it was clarity. Reagan's success and the endurance of his legacy are a reflection that Americans respond best to big ideas.

Bush's presidency, in this column's view, doesn't approach the sheer size of Ronald Reagan's in its vision, but it does share something else: existence in a time when one single issue dominates, when a clash of civilizations informs every other discussion. Reagan steered the country through the whirlpools of the Cold War arms race and Bush must do so with Islamic terrorism. Those are legacies, rain or shine.

John Kerry's decision to take a few days off the fund-raisers and campaign trail was appropriate, but it was also smart. The moment gives him a chance to switch gears at the perfect time — just far enough from the convention to perfect a new tone. When he spoke in Seattle last month, Kerry's ovations weren't for his plans and policies. The crowd only howled ferally when he said the word "Bush." Until now, it was Bush who has raised Democrats' pulses, not the droning senator from Massachusetts.

That will change. For the next few weeks at least, the magic word for leadership will be "optimism." The Bush campaign has already been running ads in swing states like Washington using the word, but it will be even more important to Kerry as the challenger. Reagan defeated a beleaguered incumbent with soaring imagery and hope. Kerry will be under pressure to modulate the bitter and resentful coterie at the Democrats' convention, knowing the GOP's in New York will be a warm glowing tribute to Ron.

The substance matters, too. Aside from our international policy, Kerry's campaign has been marked by a focus not on traditional class warfare, but on a new kind of middle-class entitlement, a sense that the necessities of a suburban lifestyle are rights, freeing us to spend our money on more frivolous pleasures. We shouldn't have to pay high prices for gas or for prescription drugs, which drain the disposable income available to buy ever-bigger palettes of digital TV and plenty of mochachinnos, the platform suggests.

That's a budgeting philosophy at odds with the Reagan policies that brought an economic boom through the '80s and '90s. His economic policy was as optimistic as his foreign policy, and sewn from the same beliefs about humanity — that we had the ability to do it ourselves if we could just be freed from the yoke of government. Stephen Moore, president of the Club for Growth, called him "arguably the most important economist of the 20th century."

As somebody who was 5 when Reagan took office, I belong to a generation that already has to make an effort to recall the despair and pessimism that preceded him. Had Reagan died in a quieter time, we surely would have known his value and honored him still. But we wouldn't have needed him nearly so much.

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

JWR contributor Collin Levey is a weekly op-ed columnist at the Seattle Times. Before joining the Times in September 2003, she was an assistant editorial features editor for The Wall Street Journal. Comment by clicking here.

© 2004, Collin Levey