Not outsiders

Not outsiders

Martin Raffel describes the angst he feels because of the electoral outcome (“Obama’s post-election Middle East peace process options,” Dec. 1). He shares his concern that the incoming Trump administration will actively pursue its own set of priorities with respect to progressive social, economic, and environmental programs. Raffel goes on to wistfully hope that the “community” will unite around his banner opposing the new administration if it embarks on such a path.

Raffel shouldn’t leave on any lights for the likes of Jews like me. We are firmly in the other camp and are anxiously hoping for the reversal of many of those very same liberal programs. We have actively opposed many of them when they were supported by other administrations, and we firmly believe that the pendulum on these matters is terribly out of kilter. Those programs have to be reformed or repealed. 

By way of background, I supported Donald Trump’s election bid and spoke on behalf of his candidacy at the Mercer County Republican convention in June. Because of my speech and that of Hamilton Mayor Kelly A. Yaede, Trump received the largest number of delegate votes at that convention, in spite of opposition from the establishment candidates. I also attended a Trump victory celebration at the home of another supporter, which was well attended and ethnically diverse. It seems that Trump supporters from New Jersey and Pennsylvania reflect the make-up of their communities, contrary to what some alarmists would have you believe.

I wholeheartedly endorse the idea of civil dialogue between opponents and supporters of the new administration. Conversation can indeed mend broken bridges. But please be honest about the motives of the invitations. Our sense of core Jewish values may be different from Raffel’s and we should look forward to joining together in shared support of only those we can agree upon. 

If our differences increase, it’s doubtful that existing Jewish organizations can meet our changing needs. We would much prefer to feel at home than to be constantly reminded that we are outsiders.

Marshall Lerner
West Windsor 

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