I Remember My Father on Elections -- and How the Democrats Deteriorated

Where has the Democrat party gone?

To totalitarian Stalinism. It did not start yesterday, but it is proceeding at ever increasing speed.

Think what you will of Robert F. Kennedy Jr., and many of his positions seem classic crackpot to me, but unlike many in the Democrat party today, he understands the beauty and value of Israel.

In an interview with the Jewish News Syndicate, Kennedy stated: “There is nobody in the presidential race who is going to be a stronger champion for Israel than me…This affection, the affinity relationship with Israel, is part of the DNA of our family,…It’s been a great disappointment and troubling development to me that the Democratic Party has drifted away from its traditions.”

But this is a simply a symptom of the Democrat party being totalitarian Stalinists.

Today’s Democrat party hates Israel. But it also hates the United States, capitalism, freedom, individual rights, the very notion that human life has value. It believes the proletariat are cells in a collective owned by the government.

Many years ago, I was a history major as an undergraduate. My father did not think highly of that. He called history a bubbe meise, or literally an “old wive's tale,” and a term used to describe something untrue or unimportant. And indeed we have seen the mockery leftists have made of history, Marxist history is all untrue.

But history is important. The only way we can act rationally in the present is by learning from the past. So this is going to be a little bit of a personal history of my late father.

My father survived the Holocaust in the Stalinist USSR. His siblings and his parents were exterminated. They had lived in Krakow, Poland. But when Stalin and Hitler, both socialists and allies at the time, divided Poland, my father, 11 at the time, happened by chance to be away from home, and in a part of Poland the Russians took over. By chance or by God's plan or perhaps both, take your choice, he survived because he was on a trip with a relative. This man could not have children of his own because of a venereal disease, so he doted on the boy who became my father.

Years later my father would make his way to Israel, marry my mother, have me, spend nine years in the Israeli Defense Forces, and find himself in bloody combat, on the front in the 1956 Suez Crisis.

He often said he was proud of two things in his life, defending Israel and his son.

Shortly after the war, my mother persuaded my father to come to the United States. My mother could not stand the heat in Israel; there was no air conditioning then, nor could she stand the constant threat of war and the military actions my father was sent on. She was a Holocaust survivor herself, and she wanted peace.

Not surprisingly my father despised communism. People who lived under communism despise communism. People who stand in bread lines in the snow are not communists. Communists in the West are pampered graduate students who throw a hissy fit because Starbucks messes up their cinnamon dolce latte with almond milk.

My father never stopped talking about the horrors he had seen under Stalin. He saw starvation and executions.

I regret I was too stupid to record the stories. More than a decade ago, when I belonged to academic, science, and skeptic groups in New York City, I would routinely hear praise for Stalin from the cultural elites. I would also hear praise for the bravery of Palestinian terrorists. This is what progressives stand for. This is what Democrats stand for.

My mother and father adored John F. Kennedy and were crushed at his assassination. At the time they supported the Democratic Party. It was unthinkable to like the Republicans. My parents supported Lyndon Johnson in the 1964 election. They believed that Barry Goldwater was a fascist who would start World War III if elected. I still remember my father being shocked while having a discussion with a repairman to learn that the man was voting for Goldwater. My parents supported Robert  F. Kennedy when he was running, and were crushed at his assassination.

The 1968 election was the first in which my parents were eligible to vote. Naturally they voted for Hubert Humphrey. They were certain Humphrey would win.

Days after the election I was in a cab with my father and my Uncle, my father’s brother-in-law.  As I said my father lost his family, his brother-in-law lived with us, and my father treated him like he was his own brother.

I still remember their conversation in the cab. They were mortified at Nixon's victory. Absolutely horrified. They were worried about the future of Jews in America. They were talking about Nixon as if he were a Nazi.

It is 1972, and the Democrats nominated George McGovern for president.

I recall my father’s words as if it were yesterday, “I  recognize communism when I see it,” he said. “McGovern is a communist.” He voted for Nixon. The same Nixon who terrified him four years previously.

My father never voted Democrat again in the rest of his too-short life. My father was all set to vote for Bob Dole in 1996 and was happy to learn that he was five years younger than Bob Dole. But alas he passed away just prior to the election.

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