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 May 13, 2008 / 8 Iyar 5768

If On the Wrong Track, Why Go Left?

By Dennis Prager

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http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | Today's most widely accepted political belief is that because an unprecedentedly high percentage of Americans — 81 percent — believe the country is headed in the wrong direction, the Republicans are headed for a major defeat this coming November.

If this is the case, it can only be because the American voter translates "headed in the wrong direction" as "because the Republicans have had their way, so it's time to let the Democrats have theirs."

That should not be the case. I count myself as one of the 81 percent who believes America is headed in the wrong direction, and that is precisely why I am voting Republican. Moreover, I suspect I am not alone among the 81 percent in ascribing the wrong track to the leftist, not the conservative, influence on American life.

But if "headed in the wrong direction" really does mean for most Americans that voting Democrat will put our country on the right track, it is hard not to conclude that America has begun the decline that has ended all great civilizations. For if the Democratic Party — given how far left it has become — comes to control Congress and the presidency, America's values will soon stray so far from what they have been since its founding that it is difficult to imagine ever being able to undo the change.

Given that "on the wrong track" is defined as unhappiness with the economy, with President George W. Bush, and with the war in Iraq, let's analyze all this.

First, are the 81 percent unhappy with their own economic status or with the economic direction of the country? They are obviously not the same things. But whichever it is — and it may well be both — why do most Americans believe the Democrats' prescriptions are going to help? Why will a huge tax increase on all Americans earning over $200,000, on capital gains for all Americans and on social security (if Barack Obama is elected) help the economy?

When have tax increases ever helped an economy? Why will America almost alone among the industrialized democracies move in the direction of higher taxes? Are all these other countries that are lowering taxes harming their economies?

Furthermore, the economic plans of the Democrats to have the government take over health care and increase taxes will expand the power and reach of the state more than ever before, and will therefore make more Americans dependent upon the state than ever before. These are earthquakes in the American value system. If there are any values that can meaningfully be called "American," self-reliance and limited government are among them. The movement from self-reliance to reliance on the state is truly "un-American." For those who recoil at the use of this term, it must be noted that it in no way implies less love of America, let alone lack of patriotism. It simply states the obvious truth that self-reliance, individualism and limited government have been basic and distinguishing American values, and the Democrats and the left aim to undo those underpinnings of American civilization.

Second, regarding the unprecedentedly low popularity of President Bush, this, too, needs explaining and may not reflect well on the current state of Americans' values.

George W. Bush has passed legislation — such as prescription drug benefits for the elderly — that Democrats would pass; he is a personally decent and honest man who has led perhaps the most scandal-free eight years in modern American history; he has kept America free from terror since 9-11 — something no one, left or right, expected; pro-American leaders have been elected in European countries most identified with anti-Americanism — Germany and France; and until the sub-prime loan-induced credit crisis, the economy has been among the most robust in American history.

Now, undoubtedly the left will respond that this man is neither scandal-free nor decent since, in its view, he is a liar. "Bush lied" has been repeated by Democrats and the liberal media so often that they have both come to believe it. But it is the charge that is the lie. President Bush's claim that Saddam Hussein was developing weapons of mass destruction (WMD) was a mistake, not a lie. President Bill Clinton said the same thing when he was president, as did every major Western intelligence agency at the time of America's invasion.

It is hard to believe that "Bush lied" is the primary reason for his low popularity ratings. If it is, we are in deep trouble. It means Americans have been irrationally influenced, almost brainwashed, by the media.

Assuming, then, that "Bush lied" is not a primary reason for the president's unpopularity, the overwhelming explanation is presumably the Iraq War. But if so, that, too, represents an unfortunate decay in Americans' values. Whatever misgivings an American has about invading Iraq and removing Hussein, the facts are that America is winning now; that Iraq is becoming the first free and democratic Arab country; that Islamists are losing what they themselves call their most important war; and that, as a result of their barbaric cruelty in Iraq and their losing the war now, their popularity among Muslims (except Palestinians) is in decline.

Do most Americans really prefer Obama's and the Democrats' pledge to leave Iraq to the Republicans' pledge to win this war? No matter how horrific, even potentially genocidal, the consequences would be to Iraqis? No matter how adversely it would affect potential U.S. allies who will no longer trust our commitments to them? And no matter how much it would weaken America's domestic security, given an Islamist victory in Iraq? If so, we are in deep trouble as a nation.

If the answers to all these questions are that, by "wrong direction," Americans think we are too Republican and conservative and that a radically leftward turn — the Democrats never had a leftist (as opposed to liberal) candidate win the presidency — is what the country needs, we really are in decline.

On the other hand, perhaps most of the 81 percent think that "wrong direction" means, among many other things, the following:

  • Forty years of left-wing control of the news media, of Hollywood, of the public schools, of the universities and of nearly every big city government have nearly ruined those institutions.

  • Forty years of a litigation explosion has had terrible social and economic effects.

  • Children are being prematurely sexualized through early sex education.

  • A generation of children is being frightened about too much — from seesaws to dodgeball to ring-a-levio to secondhand smoke to the destruction of the world caused by global warming.

  • The left's war against Judeo-Christian values as the bases of American values is leaving us morally rudderless.

  • Redefining marriage to include people of the same sex for the first time in history, while compassionate to gays, will be disorienting to young people when forming their sexual identities.

  • Multiculturalism is destroying the concept of an American culture and people. Obama and the Democrats even opposed declaring English as America's national language.

So 81 percent of Americans are right. We are on the wrong track. But the future of America entirely depends on what track it is most Americans think is wrong, and if they really believe that the radical "change" Obama and the Democrats advocate will be the right track. If so, it may mark the beginning of the end of the America that our parents and their parents and their parents back to America's founding lived in. The left, given its demonization of America's history, would welcome that. Would the American people?

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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