Now that the holidays are over, and the dust has settled, it’s time to focus on the pressing issues of the season, namely the upcoming General Election. Though Romney was the accepted winner of the first debate, which took place here in Denver, last night’s vice-presidential battle was neck and neck, with pundits still unable to declare a clear victor. It all fits with both the results of the IJN.com survey and our recent analysis of the campaign: The presidential election is dividing neatly on party lines and each candidate is desperate to shift opinions and increase support before November 6th.
For many in the Jewish community, a candidate’s stance on Israel will decide the casting vote. But despite Israel’s importance to our community, it would be short-sighted to choose a candidate solely on that criteria. After all, we live and conduct our lives in the United States and a candidate’s views on the economy and American society will have a bigger daily impact that his opinions on what’s happening in the Middle East. Don’t get us wrong; we’re not advocating leaving foreign policy out of the equation altogether, we’re just encouraging that voters take an in-depth look at all the issues, so that ultimately a well-informed decision is taken that can reflect the voter in all his/her facets.
To that end, we came across an unusual election resource from an unlikely source: Chabad. The Jewish outreach organization more commonly associated with encouraging the unaffiliated to bentch Lulav, have put together a video course entitled Election 2012: A Jewish Perspective, focusing on political issues beyond Israel, such as the economy, immigration and social services. There are six lessons in total, each about an hour, so you should come away with lots of facts to help you come to a decision.
Still undecided? We like the interactive “Match O’ Matic” questionnaire from ABC, where actual statements by candidates are offered as answers to questions ranging from the economy, however voters beware. This quiz is for the undecided – not uninformed. The questions require a certain level of knowledge on the issues, which may actually scare some potential questionnaire-takers away.
Are you still decided in your vote? Or have the recent debates caused you to rethink your position? Let us know by posting a comment.