Esor Ben-Sorek

The man from Montpelier

Not the Montpelier of France. Rather, the Montpelier capitol of the American state of Vermont. The home state of a Democratic senator’s dream of being elected to the White House.

Bernie Sanders is already contemplating his Socialist vision for America if he is elected president. The poor fool thinks he can win over a Trump re-election. It’s what is called a fool’s paradise.

Two major things against him. First, he is a Jew and no one in America, including the Jewish population, wants a Jewish president. Second, he is a socialist… a word that terrifies Americans who associate it with communism.

If he were president, few people would criticize his policies as a “damn socialist” . He would become instead the “damn Jew president”.

He grew up in the Midwood section of Brooklyn, son of Elias ben Yehuda Sanders, born in Stopnice, Poland and Dorothy Glassberg, born in New York City.

He and his brother Larry grew up in a Jewish home, but not a religiously observant one. He had a Hebrew education and a Bar Mitzvah but does not observe Jewish traditional customs. Occasionally he is invited to a Pesach seder at the home of a friend. Which of the Four Sons in the haggadah could he be?

He may have learned socialist ethics from his youthful years on an Israeli kibbutz, in 1963, Sha’ar Ha’amakim, near Haifa. It was a socialist plus kibbutz modeled after the practices of the Soviet Union and often flew the red flag, symbolic of communism. It was his “birth” into socialist idealism. He picked up a little Hebrew on the way. He may still remember to say “shalom”.

Over the many years since 1963 he has not spoken much nor written about his adventures in the State of Israel. Perhaps it is a hindrance to his political career…. “a Jew, a socialist and a friend of Israel”? Well… not quite the latter. A bit far removed lately.

He shared the experience with his first wife, Deborah Shiling, whom he divorced after two years. In 1968 he had a relationship with Susan Mott whom he never married but with whom he had a son, Levi. And later, he married Jane O’Meara, a Catholic woman with three children from a previous marriage.

His ties with Israel over the years were very minimal and there is no record of his having visited again since his 1963 education to socialism on a kibbutz.

One of his platform concerns for election is to decrease American aid to Israel on the grounds that “America is too pro-Israel” and needs to be more open to other Middle East societies That is his socialist ethic… no favoritism. Treat all equally.

As a senator from the state of Vermont (he chose to live there because he said “I love farmland”) he has been verbal, active and successful on behalf of the population of his home state and aspires to be so for the entire American population. He is well respected by colleagues and by Vermonters who elected him.

Last night I watched CNN’s three hour broadcast of the first episode of the Democratic Presidential Debate. There were ten candidates on the podium representing United States Senators, Congressmen and women, governors of states and mayors of cities. Each candidate was given an opportunity to explain his/her platform and the reason for being a candidate for the American presidency against the Republican Donald Trump.

They were questioned on their positions of Medicare, of universal free health care for all, immigration, the epidemic of gun violence in America, climate change, race in America and hate crimes, steel tariffs, trade wars and foreign policy.

Each had a specific time to respond to the questions. And each had the opportunity to respond to fellow candidates who shared different opinions.

Of the ten candidates at the first debate, three made me wonder how acceptable they would be to the democratic party and/or to the American public.

The senior Senator from Massachusetts, Elizabeth Warren because she is a female. (the first female candidate for president after Hillary Clintpn’s loss to Donald Trump).

The Jewish socialist senator from Vermont, Bernie Sanders, because of who and what he is.

And the gifted mayor of South Bend, Indiana, Pete Buttigieg because he is gay and married to another man. It would be awkward to replace a First Lady with a First Husband.

But of the ten, I was most impressed with Senator Elizabeth Warren. Most of what she proposed in her candidacy made sense. Bernie Sanders wants to abolish Obama care and Medicare and provide free health care to everyone. He lives in a fantasy world.

He compared it to the Canadian health care system, having returned from a recent visit to Canada to inquire of doctors and hospitals their feelings for the free for all health care in Canada. But he omitted some of the problems in the Canadian system which do not always treat the elderly or aged.

All of the candidates received applause and cheering following their remarks. The man from Montpelier got a good share. The female Senator Warren got a larger share.

On foreign policy issues, problems of China, North Korea, and Afghanistan were frequently mentioned. No mention of the dangers of Iran and no mention from Bernie Sanders about cutting back on American aid to Israel.

Debate round two will continue tomorrow night with ten new candidates.

As academic as were many of their responses to the various topics thrown at them, I have a feeling that Trump will win in any debate with whichever Democratic candidate is nominated by the party.

As for the Jewish socialist Sanders, Americans will not want him and Israel does not need him.

Therefore, instead of aiming for the White House in Washington, DC., the man from Montpelier should consider remaining in the senate, loyal to Montpelier, capitol of his beloved state of Vermont. A state where there are more cows than people.

He can continue there with his socialist ethics… those which he learned on a kibbutz in Israel long years ago.

About the Author
Esor Ben-Sorek is a retired professor of Hebrew, Biblical literature & history of Israel. Conversant in 8 languages: Hebrew, Yiddish, English, French, German, Spanish, Polish & Dutch. Very proud of being an Israeli citizen. A follower of Trumpeldor & Jabotinsky & Begin.
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