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Sunday, June 04, 2017

Two Election Stories: New Jersey, November 7, 2016 & Belfast, Northern Ireland, United Kingdom, 2013


Please forward to people in Lakewood. C/P I gave R’Yeruchum Olshin shlita, ride this morning and said I can say over in his name to vote for trump cuz gmara says dovid did 2 aveiros and didnt lose kingdom, but Shaul did only one and lost kingdom. Why?  Answer is cuz Dovid’s aveiros were in his private life but Shaul was in the melucha.... lehavdil he said Trump is a mushchas.. in his private life but Hillary corrupt in public office.. Beshem R’Ahron Zatsal… Forward to everybody!![1]

Which roughly translates as:

[With the Help of Heaven]

Please forward [this] to people in Lakewood [New Jersey]. I gave [Rabbi] Yeruchum Olshin [May he live for many good days, Amen], [a] ride this morning and [he] said [that] I [may quote him – that is, Rabbi Olshin] in his name to vote for [candidate] Trump because [the authoritative commentary on Jewish law and practice explains] [King] David [had] 2 [failings] and [David] didn’t lose [his] kingdom, but [King] Saul [had] only one [failing] and lost [his] kingdom. Why? [The] answer is [because] David’s [failures] were in his private life but Saul[’s] [failure] was in [relation to] the [kingship] ... [albeit it is all distinguishable] [Rabbi Olshin] said Trump is [low] … in his private life but Hillary [is] corrupt in public office. [quoting Rabbi Aaron of blessed memory]… Forward to everybody!!

I think this passage is peculiarly interesting in regard to what it says and what it does not say. First, there is no appeal to any parochial Jewish (or Israeli) interests. There is nothing here akin to: Vote for X because X is good for the Jews (or Israel). Second, there is no appeal to any particular traditional religious values: Jewish or otherwise. There is nothing here akin to: Vote for X because X’s position on issue Y matches the Jewish position. Third, the rationale put forward to vote for the preferred candidate is entirely defined in terms of perfectly generalizable Kantian-Rawlsian public reason. It is just that the public reason is explained using Jewish imagery and biblical historical analogies. It is—when all is said and done—secular reasoning through and through.

A second story …

Belfast, Northern Ireland, 2013

Party Activist (from County Fermanagh): Mr Chairman for the last two elections, I knocked on doors and people said: “You are just another unionist party. Why should I vote for you?” How do I respond to that?

United Kingdom Independence Party Northern Ireland Party Chair: Well, you cannot lie to them. Tell them the truth. We are a Unionist party. We believe in the integrity of the whole of the United Kingdom and its four provinces—England, Wales, Scotland, and Northern Ireland.

But we are not just another Unionist Party. We are not a sectarian Unionist party. I am a former Ulster Unionist Party member, and also a member of the Orange Lodge and that is never going to change. Sitting next to me is Paul Nuttall, a Catholic, and our party’s highest ranking elected official (along with Nigel Farage and our other Members of the European Parliament). Paul flew into Northern Ireland from Brussels last night to be with us at this, our annual general meeting. We are pleased to have Paul here. UKIP welcomes Protestants, Catholics, people of other religions or no religion at all. We welcome all People of good will who are or who, here already, want to become and want their children to become—British.

The West is not done yet.


Citation: Seth Barrett Tillman, Two Election Stories: New Jersey, November 7, 2016 & Belfast, Northern Ireland, United Kingdom, 2013, New Reform Club (June 4, 2017, 2:26 PM), 

[1] See Robin Ticker, R’Yeruchum Olshin says to Vote for Donald Trump, Shemittah Rediscovered (Nov. 7, 2016, 5:16 PM),


dearieme said...

Yet the Guardianistas will class UKIP as practically Nazi. Is that better than the American equivalents classing Trump as "literally Hitler"? Marginally better; some Guardianistas have an inkling of the meaning of 'literally'.

Tom Van Dyke said...

The American left [and some of the right] went apespit when Jerry Falwell Jr endorsed Trump with the same logic:

"God called King David a man after God's own heart even though he was an adulterer and a murderer. You have to choose the leader that would make the best king or president and not necessarily someone who would be a good pastor. We're not voting for pastor-in-chief. It means sometimes we have to choose a person who has the qualities to lead and who can protect our country and bring us back to economic vitality, and it might not be the person we call when we need somebody to give us spiritual counsel."


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Anonymous said...

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