Why Is This Column Different from All Other Columns?

In these difficult, confusing times media has faced challenges it has yet to overcome. From disinformation to misinformation disguised as factual news, people need safe places where they can find honest news, clearly labeled opinion and verified facts that may bolster or counter readers’ own personal views. The goal of this column is to help people differentiate factoids from facts. According to the Oxford Dictionary, a factoid is an assumption or speculation that is reported and repeated so often that it becomes accepted as fact. While most people might innocently repeat a factoid, demagogues knowingly embellish factoids until they become outright lies that are then accepted as facts (especially among uneducated or desperate people). One example is the canard advanced by Trump that the 2020 presidential election was ‘stolen’ and fraudulent.

I hope that this column is not just an outlet for my own frustration with current times, in the United States and the world, but that it helps create a Socratic dialogue between the column and its readers so that together we might make more sense out of what often appears to be confusing events. Much of the increased antisemitism and anti-Zionism that is currently on display can be traced to the chaotic misinformation of the internet and the lack of education regarding the full history of the Middle East, colonialism, the Holocaust, and the establishment of Israel. One salient point: how many college students know about the early refusal by Palestinians to the establishment of two states—one Israel and the other Palestine (sound familiar?).

A national presidential election in 2024 promises—or threatens—to decide nothing less than the fate of American democracy. In normal times, a statement such as this would seem supercilious or an exaggeration. However, with a demagogue running in one party who completely aligns itself with an avowed enemy of America, Christian White Supremacists, racists, antisemites, and fascistic moneyed elites, there can be little doubt about the importance of the 2024 election.

One of Thomas Jefferson’s more famous quotes is “The government you elect is the government you deserve”.[1] With this quote, Jefferson was putting a country still learning how to live in a young democracy ‘on notice’ that voting was a serious responsibility. He was also warning them that the outcome of that voting was the entire country’s responsibility—whatever that outcome might be. We discovered the truth of this in the 2016 election. Yet while some have recognized the quote’s truth, others remain ignorant of that truth and are held under sway by a small minority who wish to go beyond the William Buckley traditional American conservatism to a fascist government that goes against every tenet of this country’s founders.

In future issues I will cover: the Israel-Gaza War, American antisemitism, the ignorance of American college students regarding world history (especially that of the Middle East), the Russian invasion of Ukraine, the difficult and fraught connection between American Jews and Israel, the morally and legally questionable Supreme Court, President Biden and of course his now-apparent Republican nominee, the Demagogic Evil Gnome. Please feel free to offer suggestions on some other topics you would like to see addressed.

I hope that this has given you a sampling of what this column hopes to do for you as reader, and for me as writer. I also hope that you offer salient comments, agreeing or disagreeing with the column that will offer both readers and I more intelligent information.

[1]  “Thomas Jefferson Quotes,” Goodreads, https://www.goodreads.com/quotes/9936224-the-government-you-elect-is-the-government-you-deserve.

About the Author
Madelon Rosen-Solomon is a journalist and writer with deep roots in the American Jewish Community. She holds a MA in Holocaust & Genocide Studies from Kean University, MS from Fordham University in English Education, BA from SUNY Purchase in Literature/American History (double major), and BA from CUNY Lehman College in Journalism/Theatre (double major). She is a member of the Holocaust & Human Rights Education Center in Westchester CountRy, where she served for 15 years on the Educators Planning Committee. Ms. Rosen-Solomon is a ASNE Journalism Fellow from Kent State. She was most recently a high school English and History teacher. Before turning to education, Ms. Rosen-Solomon had a career in public relations where she worked for several top-ten Manhattan PR firms before running her own PR Consultancy. She has represented a number of Jewish and Israeli performing artists and other accounts in the Jewish World including The Folksbiene Yiddish Theatre. As a Broadway theatrical publicist for almost 15 years, she was trained by David Merrick’s former press agent Max Eisen. Madelon has been a journalist on staff and freelance for several New York Metro area newspapers and magazines. An active member of Women of Reform Judaism and Temple Israel of Northern Westchester Sisterhood, Madelon writes about The Holocaust and Human Rights, Women/Gender Issues in Judaism, and the Intersection of Politics and Judaism. She is currently working on a book about Trauma and Holocaust Survivors.
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