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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 August 28, 2007 / 14 Elul, 5767

Why do so many good people hold bad positions?

By Dennis Prager


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http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | I have spent a good part of my life trying to understand people I disagree with, whether on the right or the left, whether members of my own religion or of other religions or of no religion.


In particular, I have wanted to understand people who hold leftist positions. Many people who hold them are personally decent, some very much so — yet they hold positions that I believe increase cruelty (e.g., advocating withdrawal from Iraq); increase criminality (e.g., more lenient attitudes toward punishing criminals); hasten the decline of Western society (e.g., pushing multiculturalism); and undermine liberty (e.g., expanding government, passing more and more laws, taking away ever larger percentages of citizens' money).


They also panic easily (e.g., heterosexual AIDS in America, carbon dioxide emissions leading to global catastrophe); and the further left one goes, the more morally confused they are (e.g., the inability to label the Soviet Union an "evil empire"; the exaggeration of America's flaws — it is sexist, imperialist, racist, homophobic — and the undervaluing of its virtues).


Why is this? Why do so many good people hold bad positions?


There are many reasons. I believe that naivete about human nature and about evil heads the list. But high up there as an explanation of liberal and leftist thinking is the desire to be loved.


All normal people want to be loved — and that is a very good thing when the love is sought from good people with whom we have close relationships.


But many people want to be loved by far more than friends and relatives. For example, most celebrities ache for the love of the public, and while that is a psychological problem for them — since the love of the public is not personally fulfilling and one then craves it more and more — the yearning of celebrities for an adoring public has no negative impact on society.


The yearning to be loved becomes a major problem, however, in most other instances. It becomes a problem, for example, when in raising children parents are guided by a desire to be loved by them. Parents cannot properly raise a child if they are unwilling to be disliked, even occasionally hated, by their child.


Sometimes what we have to do to raise a good child means not being loved at that moment (or even for extended periods over the course of years). That is one of the major reasons it is so difficult to raise children.


The liberal view of child-rearing over the last generation or two has placed love well above discipline, let alone punishment. The expressed reason is never that the punished child will not love the parent, but it is probably a factor in some liberal parents' mode of child-rearing.


But there are two areas where liberals do express a yearning to be loved, and these have macro, indeed, global, ramifications.


The most dangerous one is the liberal desire for their country to be loved.


One of the most often repeated liberal laments about American foreign policy under President George W. Bush is that America is more hated around the world than ever. As if a country being loved is evidence of its moral virtue.


The very idea is irrational. Name a country that is loved. Does a single country come to mind? Of course not. Canadian students traveling abroad often make sure — via a big maple leaf on their backpack, for example — to communicate that they are Canadian, not American. But that is because of America-hatred, not because foreigners love Canada. The idea is amusing. Are there pockets of Canada-love in India about which we have heretofore not heard? Are there 50 people in Uruguay who love Sweden, to mention the liberals' most admired country?


People don't love countries except during exceptional and brief moments in history — such as when Germans loved America for the Berlin airlift or the French loved us right after we liberated their country from the Nazis.


The aim of the United States of America should not be to be loved. As nice as that would be, the one superpower on earth is never going to be loved — though I would bet a large sum of money that if China or Russia or any other country became the reigning superpower, people the world over would yearn for the good old days when America was the superpower.


America would presumably be more loved if it abandoned Israel or if it abandoned Iraq. Each case would be morally wrong, but, hey, we'd be loved. Liberals believed we would have been more loved if we had destroyed our nuclear arsenal during the Cold War. Or if we had not pressured West Germany into accepting Pershing missiles.


Of course, in all these cases, if America had sought love, evil would have prevailed. But at least we'd be loved. What else really matters?

JWR contributor Dennis Prager hosts a national daily radio show based in Los Angeles. He the author of, most recently, "Happiness is a Serious Problem". Click here to comment on this column.


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© 2007, Creators Syndicate

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