- Hardcover: 217 pages
- Publisher: Ivy House Pub Group (August 1, 2001)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1571972730
- ISBN-13: 978-1571972736
- Product Dimensions: 6.2 x 1 x 9 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 8 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,914,681 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Why Jews Should Not Be Liberals
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About the Author
Larry Sternberg is a CPA and accounting executive who observes the Jewish faith and has some background in politics and the study of Free Market economics. He ran for Congress in 1988 and then for the California State Assembly in 1996. A native of Chicago, Sternberg headed west to Los Angeles after a brief stint in the Navy. After graduating from UCLA, he went home to marry his sweetheart. They returned to L.A., where Sternberg worked at various government auditing jobs. The Korean War broke out, which prompted him to enlist in the Navy Officer Training program. He served three years of active duty as a naval officer, and was discharged in 1955. Since receiving his CPA certificate in 1957, Sternberg has worked as a chief financial officer for several small to mid-sized companies. Today, Sternberg enjoys spending his spare time sailing, traveling and watching sports, most notably UCLA football and basketball.
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Mr. Sternberg's central premise is that the Jewish people in America should not be political liberals because modern liberalism runs counter to the core of the traditional teachings of the faith (one can make a similar argument about Christianity - but in America, cultural Christians, i.e., the body of Christians who actively worship as well as those who don't, are split fairly evenly between political liberals and conservatives). Further, that freedom is the most important requirement for the Jewish faith to flourish - specifically, freedom from large, all-powerful government. The author's most poignant paragraph on the issue appears on page 187:
"Beyond all of this there must be the realization that socialism, and its twin liberalism, by granting more and more power to the state, by looking to the state to solve all of our social, economic, and even personal problems, in effect makes the state the "God" whom all should worship. By elevating the state to this supreme position, socialism or liberalism by definition, does thereby demote the eternal and One God, to an inferior position. In so doing these philosophies defy the Second Commandment, when God thundered to Moses and the Israelites on Mt. Sinai, `Thou shalt have no other gods before me.'"
This, then, sums up both the essentially spiritual nature of American liberalism while also explaining why liberals cannot be dissuaded from their beliefs with data and logic - for them, liberalism is faith - faith in a brighter tomorrow by applying raw government power in the service of theory.
In explaining this, and in imploring his readers to personal spiritual renewal, Mr. Sternberg has done a service for people of all faiths who may think of politics as a route for the salvation of Mankind on Earth, not simply those who follow the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.
Reviewer: Chuck DeVore is a Vice President at the Texas Public Policy Foundation. He served in the California State Assemblyman from 2004 to 2010. Before his election, he was an executive in the aerospace industry. He was a Special Assistant for Foreign Affairs in the Department of Defense from 1986 to 1988. He is a lieutenant colonel in the U.S. Army (retired) Reserve. DeVore is the author of "The Texas Model: Prosperity in the Lone Star State and Lessons for America" and the co-author of "China Attacks."
I can understand Sternberg?s bewilderment and I, too, think it is unusual whenever any group of people is so loyal to one political party. But some of his reasoning in this book just doesn?t fly. First of all, he misses the mark right off the bat when he says that the Republican Party supports and works to make government smaller. This is, of course, one of the great falsehoods in politics, for Republicans are every bit as hungry for power and cash as their Democratic counterparts. The only difference between the two major parties is how they spend the loot, not whether or not they want to spend it. Liberal Democrats would rather spend the money on social programs while Republicans would rather spend on national defense. These spending preferences could be one of the key reasons why Jews tend to be liberal, but Sternberg fails to make this connection.
Different topics are covered in this book, like health care, education, gun rights, affirmative action, and many others. In each case, Sternberg argues why the limited government position is the preferable one. I agree with him once again, but I think his explanations regarding how these smaller- government measures would benefit Jews is too vague and not very well- thought. He doesn?t really provide any concrete examples of liberalism harming Jews. His basis for the small government argument is only that Jews need to be wary of government power so that events like the German holocaust never occur again.
This book has a solid premise and a catchy title, which is why I obtained my copy. But its argumentation is not the best and it?s doubtful that it will do anything to change anyone?s mind. Read it, if you want, but don?t be surprised if you come away with only a small change of heart. It isn?t profound enough to get people to reconsider their political leanings, like the author intended.