Rabbi Shmuley’s congressional candidacy: is it “kosher”?

On Tuesday June 5th, Rabbi Shmuley Boteach easily won the Republican primary in the Ninth Congressional District.  The rabbi will now square off against eight term congressman Bill Pascrell who trounced his long-time colleague Steve Rothman.  Rothman moved into the newly configured 9th CD rather than face Republican Rep. Scott Garrett whose new 5th CD now incorporates towns Rothman represents in the current 9th CD.

Rabbi Shmuley is an articulate, passionate defender of ‘family values.”  I heard him speak briefly at a candidates’ night at the Bergen County Republican Organization a couple of months ago and it is easy to understand why grassroots GOP voters are attracted to his message in an era of uncertainty and insecurity.  On the rabbi’s website his candidacy is distilled into “Congress needs a values voice.”  This begs the question, what values?

Will the rabbi promote and defend the values of the Declaration of independence, the Bill of rights, and other principles of the U.S. Constitution that protect individual liberty and promote limited government?  Or, is Rabbi Shmuley running to make the federal government enforce virtue among the people?  Which is a joke since presidents and members of Congress have been systematically violating their oath of office to defend the U.S. Constitution by going to war without declaring war and perpetuating the unsustainable welfare state.

But given the domestic and international issues facing the American people, Rabbi’s Shmuley’s website under Issues contains the three “big ideas” of his campaign: Education Vouchers, Tax-Deductible Marriage/Family Counseling, and Promoting Freedom and Democracy and Bolstering American Leadership to Protect Human Rights Worldwide.

First, education is a state or local issue not a federal issue, even though the federal government has intervened into education for decades.  Rabbi Shmuley should read the Constitution; the federal government has no authority to make education policy.  If he wants to promote better educational opportunities for all children, he should call for the abolition of the federal Department of Education.  In addition, the rabbi should advocate the separation of state and education.  Quite simple, education is too important for politicians and bureaucrats to interfere with.

Second, the more tax deductions the better so people can keep more of their own money to meet their own needs.  But why stop at tax deductions for marriage and family counseling?  The rabbi should call for the abolition of the income tax, which would allow middle income families to control the money earn to pay for the necessities of life, including any social services they need.

And finally, Rabbi Shmuley has dressed up the neoconservatives’ egregious foreign policy under the guise of a universal human rights initiative.  America is not the world’s policeman.  The Constitution does not authorize the federal government to “spread democracy” and to right every wrong in the world.  A moral and common sense foreign policy requires that the United States government not interfere in the internal affairs of other nations and allow the American people to trade with other people around the world.

Nowhere on Rabbi Shmuley’s website is there any acknowledgement about the causes of America’s ills, crony capitalism, the Federal Reserve’s legalized counterfeiting, the culture of entitlement, the destruction of the people’s civil liberties and Washington’s counterproductive interventionist foreign policy.

Rabbi Shmuley is an intelligent human being.  It would behoove him to begin his general election campaign by immersing himself in the works of Bastiat, Hazlitt, Mises, Rothbard and other giants of the liberty movement at www.lewrockwell.com before he takes on the ultra-leftist Bill Pascrell.

The American people need to hear the truth, namely that the welfare-warfare state is a financial and moral disaster.  And who could better deliver that message than a rabbi who represents one of the great traditions of western civilization, Judaism, the essence of which is the sanctity of the individual?

 

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