Tuesday, October 20, 2009

In Defense of Chairmen Merwin and Ulmer

Two Republican county chairmen in South Carolina wrote an op-ed in support of one of our greatest Senators, Senator Jim DeMint. In their op-ed, they innocently used the argument of the frugality purportedly displayed by some Jews as a role model for sound economic policy. Their choice of words was open to misinterpretation, but their well meaning and intentions were not.

Democrats pounced on one line in the op-ed and even a great Jewish conservative organization, afraid of what this would do to Republican recruitment, wrongly chastised the writers. To be fair, the organization stated that the intentions behind the op-ed seemed fine, but that the wording was problematic. The trouble is, it’s only problematic if you grow up among Jews and know that saying “the Jews who became wealthy” sounds like a slur based on the way it’s been used by those who are less than friendly. These two gentlemen were using Jewish frugality as a compliment, as was clear from the context of their remark.

Democrats are always quick to pounce on any misconstrued line that they can use to portray the party as racist. Republicans need to simply speak the truth. The statement that should have been issued would be one that praises the intent of the county chairs and then explains that a better choice of words could have been used, while pointing out that in their region the meaning of their words was purely complimentary. Attack Democrat scandalmongers, not well meaning conservative op-ed writers.

As a party, we should be less concerned with the hissy fits of Democrats, who know all too well that the more they act out, the greater the reaction they will get. We should be more concerned with defending good party leaders and, when needed, privately training them to avoid unnecessary albeit well meaning remarks that are open to misinterpretation.

The basis of societal harmony demands that when people inadvertently use language that can be construed in a negative light, they be afforded the courtesy of being told as much privately. They can then be asked to issue a clarification. In similar vein, Chairmen Merwin and Ulmer should have been asked to issue a clarification, not have been made the subject of a press release.

I agree that the line “There is a saying that the Jews who are wealthy got that way not by watching dollars, but instead by taking care of the pennies and the dollars taking care of themselves” is a poor choice of words. But I think that this is only obvious to people who’ve grown up in areas where many Jews live and who understand that the same line has been used as an insult.

Furthermore, as the first visibly observant Jewish candidate for state office in my state, as someone who served as a director of the Ten Commandments Commission and who has fought for Judeo-Christian values, allow me to make the following clear: The same liberal Democrats who are quick to yell “anti-Semite” are the same people who’ve attempted to sell out both American and Jewish security in order to curry favor with the world’s “intelligentsia” (a misnomer if ever there were one). By contrast, the Republican Party has stood for the inalienable rights of all people since its founding right through to this day. Republican intent trumps Democrat pandering hands down, no contest, TKO.

Messrs. Merwin and Ulmer are fine people and I’m proud, not ashamed, to be in same the party as they are. When we start parsing words instead of measuring intentions, we all have a problem.

Yomin Postelnik
Candidate for Florida House of Representatives
Republican Committeeman and Conservative Writer

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