The Wisdom of Solomon

As the story goes, two women laid claim to a baby boy, each demanding her claim be heard. King Solomon was to decide who the real mother was so that she may take her son. Neither woman conceded her claim, so King Solomon decided that the baby would be cut in half so that each woman could have a part of the baby. One of the women was fine with the baby being killed, so long as the other was not able to take the boy as her own. The other woman asked the King to give the baby to the first, sparing his life. This selfless act revealed the true mother to King Solomon, who realized that no mother would be fine with her child being sacrificed in order to deny someone else a baby.

That tale is about a choice over one son. My choice is between my three sons and one daughter. I will not agree to sacrifice one for the others. I wholeheartedly disagree with the false equivalencies being made by some, claiming that both political parties, both candidates, etc. are the same. I demand better.

If we are to believe some Trump supporters, he is not only good for Israel, but so good for Israel that as a Jewish woman with Jewish children I could not sensibly withhold my full-fledged support from Trump. If I am to believe the lies coming out of the Trump campaign, that former Vice President Biden will be a puppet for the extreme leftists of the democratic party, then I would vote for Trump. If I want to keep my oldest son safe as he serves Israel in the IDF, if I call myself a Zionist, believing in the right of self-determination of the Jewish people, I should cast my ballot for Trump.

On the other hand, if I want to keep my Black Jewish family safe, I cannot support Trump, but must cast my ballot for whichever democrat is on the ticket. Never mind that the likes of Omar, Ocasio-Cortez, and Tlaib engage in openly antisemitic tropes and welcome radical homophobes into their fold. I should turn a blind eye to any self-proclaimed “progressive” who just happens to share the stage with bigots like Farrakhan. I would vote blue no matter who.

There are those on both sides of the aisle who question why I am not willing to sacrifice the safety and well-being of one of my children for the safety and well-being of the others. The answer is because they are all my children and thankfully, I do not have to.

I can engage in the democratic process and vote for a pragmatic, rational presidential ticket, without compromising my liberal, democratic ideals. I can vote for a president who does not make excuses for ridiculous conspiracy theories. I can vote for a president who does not demean women, disabled peoples, and immigrants. I can vote for a president who is not actively seeking to undermine the very institutions that provide the framework for our republic. I am not claiming that a Biden/Harris administration will be perfect, none are. I am not under the false belief that a President Biden and Vice President Harris will make decisions that I agree with 100% of the time. However, I have hope that they will strengthen our liberal democratic institutions that provide one of the strongest frameworks for democracy that the world has ever seen. My vote for Biden/Harris does not mean that my work ends, rather that it gets more complicated. If Biden wins the presidency, the demands for and the work towards a more perfect union will continue. I end with this quote by James Baldwin, “I love America more than any other country in this world, and, exactly for this reason, I insist on the right to criticize her perpetually.

About the Author
Brandy Shufutinsky is a social worker, with a MSW from the University of Southern California and a MA in International Relations from the University of San Diego. She hopes to utilize her advocacy in social justice on a global level, working towards making education more accessible to immigrant populations. She has previously been published in The Forward. Brandy is working on a doctoral degree at the University of San Francisco in International Multicultural Education.
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