Steve Hochstadt: What does matter in 2011 is that mainstream libertarians and conservatives think a film that portrays Jews as evil monsters bent on world domination is worth showing, praising, and promoting. After decades of retreat, the antisemitism of Ford and Coughlin, and of the Nazis, is back, on a screen near you.
Steve Hochstadt: Ending discrimination will not be achieved through a new military policy nor by new laws. Such political acts reflect an evolving popular understanding that America can prosper by defending equality.
Steve Hochstadt: Rather than make futile resolutions, I have been thinking about happiness. If I know what makes me happy, perhaps I can find more happiness this coming year.
Steve Hochstadt: We can’t create a perfect Christmas. But we can use this once-a-year moment to exchange gifts of love, to celebrate what we have and what we are.
Steve Hochstadt: The separation of church and state in the United States has allowed all religions to flourish free of state-enforced rules. One of the results is that no religion represents a majority of Americans.
Steve Hochstadt: I don’t want to live in any version of a “Christian nation”. I want to live in the United States, in which religious ideas are a private matter, in which my government plays no role in my spiritual life, and denominational beliefs play no role in government.
Steve Hochstadt: The billionaires who fund Tea Party organizations, the bankers and stock traders who support Republican campaigns, and the mining company owners who oppose more safety regulations let their public frontmen cite the Constitution, wave the Bible around, and accuse their opponents of socialism. And it still works.
Steve Hochstadt: No historian would transform the evidence into the nasty claims about Soros, and the Baumbach family who saved him, that Beck broadcast to his 2.6 million FOX News viewers.
Steve Hochstadt: Our nation also has far to go. Claiming that we are color blind, that whites no longer have privileges in America, that we need no longer worry about preventing discrimination is nonsense. One need only have observed the reception of our first black President to know how important skin color still is in America.
Steve Hochstadt: When the real estate boom turned out to be a house of cards, people’s debts came due much sooner than they had expected. Governments are much less to blame for the current foreclosure crisis than homebuyers, egged on by unscrupulous bankers.
Steve Hochstadt: If we tune out the shouting, we might find that we American voters are not at war with each other. Tuesday’s results included several messages about national policy that most Americans agree on.
Steve Hochstadt: Republicans and Democrats agree on little else, but that this will be a transformative year for our national politics. After saying that, I wish that they both would offer me more about how my family’s life, my community, my country will be better
Steve Hochstadt: Many American voters appear ready to ignore character, to vote for liars and jerks, as long as they say they will cut taxes or shrink government or whatever the popular panacea of the moment happens to be.