In this issue
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 Oct. 27, 2010 / 19 Mar-Cheshvan, 5771

No pandering to this mom

By Marybeth Hicks

http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | Ask any man, "Tell me about yourself," and he'll describe what he does for a living. Ask a woman, and she'll tell you about her relationships.

It's a little quirk in our hard-wiring that all women will acknowledge. To wit: Michelle Obama refers to herself as America's "Mom in Chief."

It's likely that the instinct that prompts women to define ourselves by our roles — wife, mother, grandmother, daughter, sister, friend — actually was at the heart of what has become a controversial issue in the Oklahoma governor's race between a married mother and an unmarried professional woman.

Last week during a gubernatorial debate, Republican candidate and current U.S. Rep. Mary Fallin was asked to define the biggest difference between her and her opponent, Democrat and current Lt. Gov. Jari Askins.

Mrs. Fallin, who is twice married and the mother of two children by her first husband and stepmother to her current husband's four children, noted her experience as a mother raising a large family.

Miss Askins has never been married or had children. Ouch.

After the debate, during which her comment reportedly drew "groans" from audience members, Mrs. Fallin was quoted as saying, "I was just explaining that these things give me a good perspective on the challenges Oklahomans face, and hopefully voters can relate to that."

Miss Askins, meanwhile, said she never planned to stay single but that marriage and a family simply never happened for her. "Rather than sit back and worry about it, I devoted my life to trying to serve all the children of Oklahoma," she reportedly said.

This episode, as well as last week's efforts on the part of President Obama to woo women back to the voting booth in the midterm elections, reminds me how much I loathe identity politics.

Pandering to targeted demographic groups is such a poor substitute for statesmanship.

Rather than focus on the stark and legitimate differences between conservative and liberal solutions to Oklahoma's political and economic issues, Mrs. Fallin lobbed a softball question into foul territory by contrasting her marital and maternal status with that of her opponent, while transparently pressing the "vote for another mom" button.

Frankly, as any good mom will tell you, this strategy falls under the heading, "If all your friends jumped off a cliff, would you jump too?" Conformity and critical thinking are not one and the same.

Resisting the instinct to define herself by her relationships, and better yet, eschewing the intellectually lazy habit of identity politics, Mrs. Fallin ought to have simply stated why Oklahomans would be better off if she is governor. She seeks smaller state government, a pro-business climate, school choice and strong enforcement of immigration laws, to name just a few reasons.

If I were voting in Oklahoma, I'd absolutely cast my ballot for Mary Fallin, but not because she's a mother.

I'd do so because of her understanding of the role of government that is best for all Oklahomans, whether or not they are married with children.

I'd do so not out of my own self-interested commonality with her, but out of my shared vision of a state that reflects my belief in liberty, personal freedom and responsible citizenship.

It's time politicians stop carving us into bite-sized chunks of self-interested voters, pitting the anxiety of one group against the fears of another.

On Election Day, we're much more than black or white, male or female, married, unmarried, gay, straight, Christian, Jew, parents or childless.

We're Americans who care about the strength and stability of the greatest nation on earth, and we're looking for leaders who define themselves by the principles that made us so.

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JWR contributor Marybeth Hicks, a wife of more than 20 years and mother of four children, lives in the Midwest. She uses her column to share her perspective on issues and experiences that shape families nationwide. To comment, please click here.


© 2009, Marybeth Hicks