Harold Kirtz bemoans a lack of civility (“Striving for Civility in Our Community and Nation,” Jan. 12). In addition, he bemoans the loss of the small-l liberalism that the Jewish community thrived under. Predictably, he assigns all the blame for this to Donald Trump.
Civility and small-l liberalism have been dead for some time. President Barack Obama called people like me “bitter clingers,” and presidential candidate Hillary Clinton called us deplorables.
I date the loss of civility to the late 1980s, when Supreme Court nominee Robert Bork was rejected strictly on ideological grounds and party lines. U.S. politics became a zero-sum game with no common values.
The second development is the rise of intersectionality, which states that all oppressed groups have common enemies. Intersectionality applies only to the left.
That is why leftist icon Linda Sarsour can declare that feminism and Zionism are incompatible and be supported by large numbers of Jewish women. That is why it is likely that the average non-Jew in America is more supportive of Israel than the average Jew. That is why many in the U.S. Jewish community have a harder time with Trump recognizing Jerusalem as the capital of Israel than the Saudis or Egyptians do.
In the last decades, liberals have presided over the loss of millions of American jobs, and instead of the Marxist theory of religion being the opiate of the masses, prescription opioids have flooded the market.
Kirtz seeks dialogue with us uncivilized natives. Most of us are too busy trying to hold down jobs and keep our families together to have idle time in dialogue. We also know that saying the wrong thing can make us unemployed, and we are not blessed with huge trust funds that can support us if we lose our jobs.
What we would like can be paraphrased in a memorable line from “Fiddler on the Roof”: “G-d bless the czar, and keep him far away from us.”
— Herbert Kaine, Berkeley, Calif.