Brent Budowsky, former Legislative Assistant to the late U.S. Senator Lloyd Bentsen, notes a certain inequality in the media's political spectrum:
"Conservative media, conservative politics, and conservative money have megabillion dollar machines. Liberal money people are stingier than Scrooge with liberal media. Liberal politicians view the progressive Internet and radio as colonial powers view colonies, as a source of money extracted from average Americans to finance overpaid consultants. And now liberal hosts feud with each other."
A portion of the conservative media (ABC) points to what appears to be a related fact: Few Jews Vote for Republicans.
"Commentators in the Jewish community and party pollsters debate endlessly why Jews are not more favorably disposed toward the GOP. Jews are wealthier and more educated than the average American, generally oppose affirmative action and favor strong support of Israel. On these counts the GOP should, many say, have greater appeal."
[Before anyone goes there, I am not - REPEAT: NOT - implying that wealthy Jews are living down to the slanderous anti-Semitic stereotypes so familiar to those whose politics make Hitler look like a Commie when it comes to funding more progressive media outlets. Instead, I believe that wealthy and liberal Jews aren't supporting Air America and other progressive media outlets, even though they share compatible political views, because they are putting their money to what they believe to be a better cause: defending Israel from all enemies real and imagined.]
And yet, when it comes to Jews, the Republicans tend to shoot themselves in the foot in most unattractive ways. A great example is the gross sensitivity mistake made by Latter Day Republican Saint Mitt Romney in his choice of location to announce his presidential candidacy: "a museum named after the most premier anti-Semite and xenophobe in American history." The National Jewish Democratic Council traded media broadsides with The Republican Jewish Coalition over Romney's soft historical education, yet neither organization appears to believe that Romney himself is anti-Semitic, just oblivious to Jewish sensitivities.
Jennifer Rubin, who penned the ABC article, tries to show some sensitivity herself as she explains why Jews aren't very favorable toward the Republican Party, but she falls a bit short:
"The GOP has become a rural, overwhelmingly Christian and Southern party. It is not populated by urban ethnics who, even if they aren't Jewish, understand Jews' cultural references and sensibilities…. In short, the Republicans are not just our kind of people, many Jews say. They don't sound like us, they don't talk like us and they don't understand us."
Ms. Rubin, that is the sort of talk one might expect from the automaking WASP author of The International Jew to justify its publication. Allow me to quote a short passage to illustrate my point:
"[T]here is lacking in the Gentile a certain quality of working-togetherness, a certain conspiracy of objective, and the adhesiveness of intense raciality, which characterizes the Jew. It is nothing to a Gentile that another man is a Gentile; it is next to everything to a Jew that the man at his door is another Jew."
They don't sound like us, they don't talk like us, and they do things differently. And yet, that may well be the qualification necessary for opening up a more progressive media. Jennifer Rubin brings up the Jews' religious devotion to "tikkun olam" — restoring the broken world — through service to society by helping those in need, and in service to the Divine through the restoration of the conscience. Such a restoration can mean being "more willing to act on what we know to be right" and "less willing to act in harmful or grasping ways."
There are similar concepts in Christianity, Gnostism, and Buddhism, and there may well be something similar in other religions as well. I'm not a religious authority, nor do I play one on television. But let's hope there is such a synchronicity of belief, for the need for such a transformation grows almost daily.
For instance, Leo Hindery Jr. and David Sirota are calling for Congress to take up a more confrontational role to oppose Bush administration efforts aimed at further exploitation of the working class. Said class is again hammered with losses with the announcement that DaimlerChrysler will cut 13,000 jobs, something that isn't getting near the same amount of attention in the So-Called Liberal Media as the death of Anna Nicole Smith, or the false tale of Nancy Pelosi's private air force.
While Rep. Rahm Emanuel and Bruce Reed remind the body which raised its own pay by $31,000 – about twice the current poverty income level for a family of four – that over the last 10 years, the minimum wage lost 20 percent of its purchasing power and impoverished 5 million more Americans, Hindery and Sirota relate several of the instances where the jobs once held by these same people were allowed by their self-serving public servants in Washington to force a terrible choice between either slashed wages and eliminated benefits, or the total loss of their livelihoods as their jobs end up in foreign lands.
Restoration of the broken world awaits those who are willing to take up the cause and fight the good fight, whether in the hallowed chambers of Congress or across the holographic ether. Let's hope that tikkun olam, along with its co-religionist brothers, takes root and makes the world a better place in which to live – for all of us.