Ungrateful, whining; they only see the bad not the good. Can faith and gratitude prevail in 2020?
In synagogue this past Shabbat, we learned about Moses sending spies to scout out the land of Israel and report back on what they saw before the Israelites move in to take over as God commanded (Numbers 13-18). Each of the 12 tribes are represented except the Levites, as they were not deemed a portion of the land. (I am a Levite, if you were unaware.)
After a 40-day sojourn, the spies come back and instead of briefing Moses and Aaron first, they spout out to all the tribes many horror stories about the land and how difficult this conquest is going to be.
According to the commentary, “national hysteria” takes place and “The people could not be placated.” A number demanded to go back to Egypt. Seems the Jews were a complaining lot, constantly wanting to go back to Egypt, despite their oppression, so they can be cared for by Pharaoh.
The Almighty responds by smiting the complainers (spies Joshua and Caleb, excluded) and making the Jews wander another 40 years in the desert before being “allowed’ into the Promised Land.
It’s so ironic this week’s readings come in the aftermath of two nights of Democratic presidential debates, which were akin to what Frank McDonough called “Panderfests” — attempting to sell the American voter on the notion the economy is “not working for everyone,” and we need more Big Government to give us “free tuition and healthcare” despite the economic consequences.
To the Democrat “spies,” the GOP tax cuts, deregulation, low unemployment (especially among nonwhites and women) and efforts to rewrite bad trade deals and everything else President Trump has done is just “not good enough.”
For the Democrats, we need to go back to the Egypt Obama created for us and feed at the trough of Big Government while worshipping another Golden Calf – which I wrote on these pages last year
And, this is going to be the defining issue of the 2020 campaign – will the voters show gratitude and continue the course Republicans have put us on so we can finish up better trade deals, secure our borders, reinvigorate the military and maybe take on infrastructure. Or, is the prospect of another four years of tweets and bombast from Trump so overpowering that people will vote him out?
In religious terms: “Make that bad Moses guy go away, mommy!”
Usually, when times are good in the U.S. the party controlling the White House is rewarded with a 2nd term and control of Congress. Nixon and Clinton both were aided by good economies in withstanding their respective scandals to get 2nd terms (though Nixon resigned rather than facing impeachment, which Clinton survived in his second term).
But Trump has changed politics and so the rules are different. Today, politics is like a live action sport and we have Red and Blue teams. No matter how good life is, a large number of Americans will vote for a socialist Democrat versus voting their pocketbooks. They delude themselves into thinking their Dear Leader and the government can do it better. Oh, Aaron – make us a golden calf to worship!
The irony here is all these liberals have benefited from Trumpism, too. Recently, on my trip to San Jose, to visit my son, I planned a side trip to Napa to see an old high school friend, a Democrat. To my astonishment, a day before the trip, he informed me I could not stay with him due to his wife’s detesting Trump. A developer, he said she felt I was more associated with Trump than other Republican friends, but during the conversation, acknowledged he is arranging four deals utilizing the GOP-enacted urban tax benefits! Unbelievable how a 47-year friendship can end over political differences. But that’s the intolerance of the Left, isn’t it?
So, Republicans have a challenge to showcase how well average Americans have done under Trump because frankly, the president creates too many side shows that distract from that message. Perhaps the Republican National committee can start airing infomercials and ads with real African American, Latino and female voters, along with poor rural whites, attesting to how good things are.
Back to the Exodus and Numbers for a minute.
The spies told the Israelites the land of Israel “is a land that devours its inhabitants,” a reference to the spies seeing a lot of funerals on their journey.
This commentary says: “Such misinterpretations are typical of people who choose not to have faith; invariably they interpret events that will conform to their own notions.”
I would argue that conservatism is about faith – faith in our Constitution and individuals. Democrats have lost faith in anything unless it’s Big Government and they who run it.