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 April 7, 2008 / 3 Nissan 5768

Civil tongues

By Cal Thomas

Printer Friendly Version
Email this article

http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | In Abraham Lincoln's first Inaugural Address, the 16th president appealed to the "better angels of our nature."

In a recent speech in Prescott, Ariz., where Barry Goldwater launched his 1964 presidential campaign, Sen. John McCain made a similar appeal for this presidential campaign to avoid partisan sniping and instead engage in civil debate.

Lincoln's appeal to angels was overcome by the devils of the Civil War. And Lyndon Johnson routed Barry Goldwater in the 1964 election, in part because Goldwater was smeared as a warmonger.

Like Lincoln, McCain is trying to rise above the din and elevate the level of political discourse. In his Arizona speech he said, "Let us remember, we are not enemies. We are compatriots defending ourselves from a real enemy. We have nothing to fear from each other."

Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama has said similar things about jettisoning the polarization of the past and talking to each other with respect.

All of this sounds noble and the stuff of congeniality awards, but can it work beyond primary season? When the going gets tough, will one or both candidates be forced to launch verbal missiles? Can either or both candidates declare conscientious objector status and still hope to win a political war?


Every weekday NewsAndOpinion.com publishes what many in the media and Washington consider "must-reading". HUNDREDS of columnists and cartoonists regularly appear. Sign up for the daily update. It's free. Just click here.

McCain and Obama will have people on their "side" dispensing plenty of rhetorical fire. Ed Schultz, a liberal talk-radio host, has called McCain a "warmonger." Schultz's comment came at an Obama fund-raiser in Grand Forks, N.D. Obama had not yet arrived in the room and apparently was not told of Schultz's remark because he made no reference to it in his speech or afterward (contrast this with McCain's immediate denunciation of anti-Obama comments by his supporters, which he deemed inappropriate).

The next day, an Obama spokeswoman issued a statement that sought to distance Obama from Schultz's comment. It said, "John McCain is not a warmonger and should not be described as such. He's a supporter of a war that Sen. Obama believes should never have been authorized and never been waged." Civility would have been better served had Sen. Obama spoken those words and not a campaign spokeswoman. Outrageous public comments deserve a public rebuke, not a press release.

The Lincoln-Douglas debates of 1858 might serve as a model for civility. While intense because of the issue of popular sovereignty, which Stephen Douglas supported and the issue of limiting slave expansion, which Lincoln championed, those debates were full of substance. They held the attention of thousands who watched them in seven Illinois towns. As Robert W. Johannsen writes in "The Lincoln-Douglas Debates of 1858," a new introduction to the transcripts, "Anyone reading the debates will immediately make the comparison between political culture in the 1850s and political culture in the present — and come to the obvious depressing conclusion about the level of today's political discourse."

It is depressing that sound bites have replaced sound judgment and character assassination of one's opponent has become expected political strategy.

We are in the middle of a war, a war that is religiously based and, thus, more powerful than military might. This is a war that will likely outlast many future administrations. It is critically important that the public engage the candidates — and the candidates each other — in a debate about how to fight and win this war.

We also must debate the role of government in our lives. Calling upon government to do for us what we ought to be doing for ourselves is the antithesis of what John F. Kennedy called for in his 1961 Inaugural Address.

McCain should say that America's greatness is not its government, but its people who tell government what it is allowed to do. Barack Obama belongs to a party that believes the opposite to be true. He and his fellow Democrats think government should dictate what we are allowed to do, while simultaneously demanding ever-increasing amounts of money from taxpayers for its programs.

Is that uncivil? No, it is the truth and it could launch a real and beneficial — even civil — debate.

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.

Click HERE to purchase it at a discount. (Sales help fund JWR.).

Cal Thomas Archives

JWR contributor Cal Thomas is co-author with Bob Beckel, a liberal Democratic Party strategist, of "Common Ground: How to Stop the Partisan War That is Destroying America". Comment by clicking here.

© 2006, Tribune Media Services, Inc.