Harry Maryles

Senator Mark Kirk – a Proven Friend

One problem (among many) with Donald Trump’s candidacy is that it will affect the down ballot candidates of the Republican Party. I say this as a non partisan – although a right leaning one on most issues. I vote for the individual not the party. If one looks at my voting record – that would be amply reflected. I voted for Bill Clinton twice as I did for Ronald Reagan. As much as I don’t like Hillary Clinton, she is the lesser of two evils. I will vote for her over the disastrous Trump.

Many of Clinton’s supporters say she will govern from the center. But I think her primary opponent, Socialist Bernie Sanders, has pushed her even further to the left than she was before. A lot more than her husband, former President Bill Clinton.

The way to prevent some of her liberal agenda from bearing fruit is to vote for a Republican congress in both the House and the Senate. Because even though Clinton is less of a disaster than Trump by far. She is still a disaster. Her economic programs consisting of more tax and spend entitlements will increase the budget deficit and the national debt. And we already owe China the family store!

What’s worse is that she will continue the foreign policy of her predecessor. That too is a disaster. Just to take one example – instead of increasing the crippling sanctions on Iran and bringing them to their knees, where the world could have dictated much better terms for removing those sanctions – the deal made by the US gave Iran – the biggest state sponsor of terrorism – billions of dollars to further that cause; allowed them to keep most of their nuclear infrastructure intact; and few years hence allows them to pursue nuclear weapons freely. This is a country that has vowed to wipe Israel off the map. They have been vowing this for over 35 years. Soon they will have the means to do it.

This is not a foreign policy that will benefit mankind. It is a prescription for a major nuclear conflagration in the not too distant future that will affect the entire world. And yet this is the kind of foreign policy she enthusiastically supports.

I am still going to vote for her for what are becoming increasingly obvious reasons. But in my view it is vital to do what we can to counteract her agenda on both the economy and on foreign policy. Which means voting for Republicans down ballot. I say this even though I do not vote ‘party’ but ‘individual’. That should still be the guiding principle for everyone. But surely one should not vote against someone because of their party’s Presidential candidate. That would be biting off your nose to spite your face.

In Illinois, Republican Senator Mark Kirk is being challenged by a war hero, Democrat Tammy Duckworth. She is an Iraq War veteran that suffered severe combat wounds, losing both of her legs and damaging her right arm.  I salute her service. For her sacrifice and dedication, she deserves the eternal gratitude and respect of all the American people regardless of party affiliation.  But that does not make her an ideal candidate for office. We must look at her policies!

For those who care about the welfare of the Jewish State, her policies are not so stellar. She is party loyalist that supports the Iran deal. More telling is her endorsement by j-Street, the liberal lobbying group that was established as a counter to AIPAC. This pro Israel lobbying group has been successful in arguing Israel’s case to our elected officials. AIPAC is respected in Washington on both sides of the political aisle. They are seen as a required stop for every Presidential candidate seeking office.

J-Street tends is tends toward a more Palestinian view of things –albeit without the antisemitism that often accompanies it. Their view is that Israel should make peace right now with a 2 state solution. This ignores the increased terrorism that would be generated if the entire West bank were handed over to them. A lesson that should have been learned by handing over Gaza. Israel thought that would be a great gesture.  Palestinians could then show us what peaceful co-existence would be like in a 2 state solution.

We all know how well that worked out. We cannot give Palestinians control of the West Bank until we can be assured that they will not turn it into another Gaza. Which is the opposite of what their popular leadership (Hamas) has all but promised to do. Tammy Duckworth is of the J-Street mindset.. She apparently feels that Israel can ignore the reality of Gaza and hand over the West Bank to their leaders.

The United States cannot afford to do this to its closest ally in the Middle East. It would be against America’s best interests. Not to mention immoral.The West Bank must remain in Israel’s hands until such time it can be proven that it will not turn into another Gaza.

Both Kirk and Duckworth were invited by Agudath Israel of Illinois to address a group of rabbinic and lay leaders across the spectrum of Orthodoxy in Chicago. Kirk immediately accepted and met with this group. Duckworth has yet to respond. The following excerpt is why anyone that cares about the State of Israel should vote for Kirk. From Matzav:

In a passionate response to a participant who asked what motivated him to fight for Israel and the Jewish people, Senator Kirk explained that he views it as a primary moral obligation. He described himself as a student of history who appreciates the uniqueness of the Jewish people and the persecution they have endured for generations. “We must learn lessons from the 1930’s: take the threats of Israel’s enemies seriously and understand that appeasement only emboldens them. We must do whatever we can to right the wrong done to the Jewish people. It is the moral test of our generation to stand up and do what we can to protect this special nation.”

Senator Kirk did not just have this meeting for political expediency. He is a true friend of the Jewish people. After he was elected in the last election he requested to address the Jewish community to express his views about Israel and the Jewish people. The Jewish community responded by inviting him to speak at KINS, a Modern Orthodox Shul in Chicago’s West Roger Park. A neighborhood heavily saturated with Orthodox Jews. He did not have to do this. He was already elected. And yet he still expressed a desire to show us who he is.

This is the man we should support. Mark Kirk is a Republican that must remain in congress. He is a good man and deserves to be re-elected. Even if only to retain a Republican seat in a very likely Democratic administration.  We could use a lot more like him. This is not to say that Ms. Duckworth is an antisemite. I’m sure she is not.

But why go with an unproven candidate endorsed by J-Street – while the proven one is such a great friend to the Jewish people?

The media has been reporting that it is a very close race. (The same cannot be said for the vote for President. Illinois rarely goes Republican and it will surely not do that this time.) Please do not stay home – even if you can’t stand either candidate. Your vote will count. This election is too important to ignore. Come out and vote for Kirk. I will be. I hope you will too.

About the Author
My worldview is based on the philosophy of my teacher, Rabbi Aaron Soloveichik , and the writings of Rabbis Joseph B. Soloveitcihk , Norman Lamm, and Dr. Eliezer Berkovits from whom I developed an appreciation for philosophy. I attended Telshe Yeshiva and the Hebrew Theological College where I was ordained. I also attended Roosevelt University where I received my degree in Psychology.