Home
In this issue
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 24, 2012/ 4 Nissan, 5772

American Id-eology

By Kathleen Parker

Kathleen Parker


http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | LAS VEGAS--- As the sun rises and dabs Caesars Palace with morning rouge, irony struts down the strip of casinos, shops and nightclubs.

What better place to contemplate moderation, the topic of a panel and my purpose for being here, than in the epicenter of human excess? The Black Mountain Institute (at the University of Nevada at Las Vegas) posed this question to a panel of three, which also included Norm Ornstein of the American Enterprise Institute and Fox News’s Juan Williams: “Is moderation possible in American politics?”

The implied consensus would seem to be: Probably not. Or at least not without massive reforms and/or a renaissance of civic duty. The hyper-partisanship we at least say we love to hate isn’t likely to recede, given the rewards.

Although the discussion was aimed at politics, the question can’t be considered without also contemplating the broader culture. Conveniently, the Vegas Strip provides an apt metaphor for both the culture and the political medium. Call it the American Id-eology: Ids all the way, supersized. We are, in a word, immoderate.

This was not always so. Once upon a time, moderation in all things was the maxim by which most people tried to live their lives. Today moderation is merely boring. Extreme is the virtue of the cool, as well as of a populace whose attention span compares favorably to a gnat’s. Judging from the girths ambling along America’s sidewalks, few appetites go untended.

Likewise in the political realm, passions roam unbridled. By saner standards, what would be readily identified as fanaticism is considered conviction, while resistance to compromise is allegiance to principle. In an environment where talk radio and cable TV set the tone of discourse, dispassion and facts give way to heat and opinion. In the policy arena, moral principle morphs into purity tests for politicians, and moderates run for the hills.

Such does not bode well for a nation in trouble. What we need are calm voices and pragmatic minds. Instead, we have fewer people self-identifying as moderate, down from 40 percent to 35 percent in the past 10 years. Yet, stop people on the street and they’ll tell you they’re sick of the partisanship and gridlock. They want Washington to reform itself. But do they really?

I’m not so sure. Meanwhile, mightn’t we cast an eye inward? Yes, there are substantive changes that might alleviate the partisan nature of our political arena. Campaign finance reform was one such effort, though in its place we got a more damaging mechanism for corruption, the now-benighted super PACs. Ornstein suggested another radical idea — making voter turnout mandatory, which would dilute the impact of special interests and advertising. He quickly pointed out that this will never happen in a country that hates all things mandatory. Thus, we might look deeper at the causes of our immoderate natures and see where voluntary, individual adjustments might be made.

First, we must recognize moderation once again as a virtue, both in our public and private lives. Those who shun political moderation view its practitioners as traitors to some higher cause, spineless and weak. Many Republicans cheered Olympia Snowe’s announcement that she would retire from the U.S. Senate. What use was a moderate voice to the hard-right agenda?

But the shunners are something worse than spineless or weak. They are incurious and, by the rigidity of their convictions, lacking in imagination. Want boring? Talk to someone enamored of his own certitude.

Moderation isn’t an endpoint or even a center point, necessarily. Rather than a template, it is an approach, a tone, a cock of the head, an open mind, a willing ear, an unjaundiced eye. A moderate wonders what other facts might be brought to bear. A moderate figures we’re in this together and believes that a meeting of minds is not tantamount to surrender.

Perhaps the nation gets what it deserves, but I’d rather think not. One young woman in our audience identified herself as a millennial and wondered why her generation should bother to vote. Because! I wanted to shout, you don’t get to complain about the state of affairs if you don’t participate in the process. Because it is your civic duty.

But I would have been shouting at the wrong person. She was, after all, in attendance and cared enough to pose a sincere question. She was, by her presence, exactly what civic duty demands. I would further submit that civic duty also demands moderation.

To answer the panel’s question, moderation isn’t only possible, it is crucial.

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.

JWR contributor Kathleen Parker can be reached by clicking here.

Kathleen Parker Archives

<

© 2011, WPWG

Columnists

Toons

Lifestyles