Now that the DNC has cleared out the riffraff — Kirsten Gillibrand, Cory Booker, Kamala Harris, Andrew Yang, and all the other pretenders to the Oval — the most recent Democrat presidential debate offered an opportunity to get a clearer picture of each one remaining in the cage. They all are despicable.
1. Elizabeth Warren
Elizabeth Warren hates billionaires. She can't stand them. They are too rich, and they all think so highly of themselves. Not surprisingly, outside the limelight, over the years she has collected political donations quite handsomely from more than 30 billionaires, and now she even has super PAC support.
I know two billionaires personally. Neither of them presently donates a dollar of support for my congregation. As it happens, they each are decent people. I respect certain of their aspects, not others — and I decidedly never would want, not for one moment, to trade places with either. One of them has experienced two suicides within the nuclear family. The other has devoted himself to a child with a decades-long severe illness. I have encountered both these billionaires several times in public settings and in private rabbinical settings, and they both are decent people. Neither lords his money. They both dress, speak, and relate like regular people. They are like everyone else, only wealthier.
I likewise have known many more people with far less money. Some are wonderful. Some are evil. I became a rabbi because I deeply love people of all stripes, financial backgrounds, ethnicities, and such. Similarly, I became a professor because at my core I really like people. People have good and bad qualities. There is absolutely no correlation between money and goodness of soul. Rich people can be good, and they can be evil. Poor people can be good, and they can be evil. I have met clergy whom I aspire to emulate though I know I never will reach their level of character purity and spiritual excellence, and I have met a discrete handful of clergy, some who believe themselves to be prominent, whom I cannot respect because I have encountered their egos when their congregants were not around. I have met many attorneys whom I admire for their character and their unyielding passion to help others, and yet the single most evil person I ever have met in my life is a family law attorney.
In capitalism, man oppresses man — and in communism it is the other way around. Think about that.
Elizabeth Warren hates billionaires because she is deeply jealous, and she leverages her own vain envy to gain support from others who also are deeply jealous. Jealousy is foolish. When we celebrate others' successes, if achieved honestly, we are wise to endeavor through life to learn from their practices. I have seen the price on one's life that it takes to be rich, the price in family relationships, the price in spare time and relaxation, the personal toll of knowing how it all can collapse. We have seen titans like Harvey Weinstein and Enron billionaires fall from grace overnight. I personally know someone who acquired many millions in property development, then lost it all during the economic downturn of 2008. Few have the personal insight that I, as both a rabbi and as an attorney to billionaires, have had in this regard over the decades. Obama is wrong. They built it, and they deserve it. Indeed, in time, parasites like the Obamas and Clintons themselves became part of the vaunted one percent when they stopped envying and began emulating.
Envy is a parasitic evil that destroys so much in society. It engenders debilitating and consuming hate, yet does not enrich the envious. The jealous proletariat in Tsarist Russia may have overthrown the bourgeoisie — but they did not reap their bosses' wealth. Rather, they got Stalin, the NKVD, the Holodomor starvation holocaust of millions in Ukraine, repression, bread lines, and the Gulag. The jealous working class of Venezuela coveted those who were wealthier and dreamt of securing others' wealth. Instead, Hugo Chavez bestowed upon them starvation and misery, repression and death, in a country that had enjoyed so much wealth and so many natural resources.
Elizabeth Warren herself is a mega-millionaire. She built her $12 million fortune in part by snatching an affirmative action opportunity that otherwise would have gone to an authentic Black, Hispanic, or Native American. Instead, she lied about being an "American Indian." Then, once in the door at the Harvard faculty, she made millions on the side by working for corporate America. That is why she hates the billionaires — with a "B" — but does not incite hatred and jealousy against the millionaires — with an "M". She is phony, despicable. She speaks not only with a shrill and cracking voice but also with a forked tongue.
2. Bernie Sanders
The same shameless hypocrisy is manifest in Bernie Sanders, who dares not call his ideology "communism" because that term reminds all Americans of Stalin and Mao, midnight show trials and firing squads, forcible removal to reeducation camps and mass slaughter. So he calls it "socialism." But it is the communism that sees him honeymooning in the Soviet Union and praising Soviet communist bread lines without advocating for freedom of the oppressed seeking to leave. It is the communism of praising Castro in Cuba, Hugo Chavez in Venezuela, and himself calling for government reining in private enterprises and capital. As Michael Bloomberg noted, this is quite some country where a communist who attacks capitalism himself owns three houses and is a millionaire. So Sanders, like Warren, now attacks the billionaires, but not the millionaires.
He is two-faced and despicable. The man is a Jew, but an apostate who distances himself from the mainstream of those of his own ethnicity, aligning himself instead with the leftist radical outliers and the Jew-haters. He is the most intense critic of Israel in the United States Senate and is unabashedly and unequivocally endorsed for president by three of America's worst Jew-haters: Linda Sarsour, Rashida Tlaib, and Ilhan Omar. Obviously, such Jew-haters do not hate each and every last Jew. In every generation, there always is an apostate Bernie Sanders or George Soros to endorse — until the haters ultimately have no more use for them. Tlaib, Omar, and Sarsour had a cesspool full of Democrat presidential candidates from whom to select — and they glommed onto Sanders. Understand that anyone who sells out his fellow ethnic travelers for the support of those who endorse his apostasy likewise will sell out others who get in his way later. Fortunately, he never has had influence, and he ultimately will fail and bring down the Democrats as George McGovern did in 1972.
3. Michael Bloomberg
Whereas Warren and Sanders bear rot at their cores, Michael Bloomberg is different. He plainly is out of touch with humanity, aloof in his own celestial orbit. For law-and-order conservatives outside New York, it was assumed that Bloomberg's "stop and frisk" was a variation on the "Terry stop," based on reasonable suspicion of criminal activity. Who realized that Bloomberg's philosophical underpinning entailed the random grabbing of young Black and Hispanic males and throwing them against the wall? In the world of solid-core Republican conservatism, racism has no place. Our social fabric is weakened and the full economic and cultural benefit of our variegated populace is denied when we fail to take advantage of every skill and resource in our society. The recently exposed recording in which Bloomberg matter-of-factly describes police throwing randomly targeted Black young fellows against the wall is appalling and disgusting. One of those boys could have been a future Ben Carson or Clarence Thomas, Herman Cain or Thomas Sowell. Yes, to the degree permitted by law, stop and frisk those who appear dangerous. Former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani understood that enforcing "broken-windows policing" against people perpetrating "minor" crimes properly takes that social detritus off the streets before they perpetrate worse, because the window-breakers and turnstile-jumpers and sidewalk-micturaters do not stop there. But the notion of sending the police onto the streets with instructions to grab young Blacks randomly and throw them against the wall? That is not the world for which so many hundreds of thousands of Caucasian Americans of all ethnicities gave their lives fighting for the Union during the Civil War.
Beyond the remarkable contempt Bloomberg has manifested towards Blacks and Latinos, his comments about farmers and factory workers render him utterly and udderly unfit for the presidency. Maybe a mayor of New York City can get away with contempt for farmers, but not a president of the United States. His remarkable condescension, speaking of farmers as morons and idiots lacking "gray matter" and as too dull-witted to grasp his thoughts, is amplified by his describing contemporary farming as entailing digging a hole, dropping in a seed, and watering it. No wonder he avoided campaigning in Iowa and New Hampshire.
Nevertheless, there is a discernible difference between Bloomberg and Sanders–Warren. Sanders and Warren know better but are evil demagogues. They eagerly have leveraged the system to become millionaires themselves without getting their fingers dirty, then have manipulated their less sophisticated acolytes to believe their mendacities. Like the bullfighter who waves a red flag that makes a bull crazy and induces it to surge straight to its death, these evil cynics wave their red flags and shout "RACIST!" to incite hate among their mobs of the Envious. It is despicable. Bloomberg is different. He instead is so utterly out of touch that he does not even realize how condescending, arrogant, and uninformed he is. Like a Mitt Romney who troglodytically offers a debating opponent a "gentleman's wager" of $10,000, Bloomberg knows how to make money — and good for him! — but the only human faces he comfortably can look directly in the eye with currency are those of Washington, Lincoln, Hamilton, Jackson, Grant, Franklin, and Grover Cleveland. Since joining the race, he has recanted, reversed, and apologized for most of the more sensible policies he pursued when he was New York's mayor. Because he unknowingly is so elitist, he believes that he knows what is best for the rest of us: how much soda we may drink, how much food we may eat. We all may regard ourselves blessed by providence that he now is exposed as having no personality and as being especially uncomfortable when situated among people he deems below him — which is pretty much everyone. His attitudes towards women should help close the deal.
4. Joe Biden
Joe Biden is finished. More than a "has-been," he really is a "never-was." His prior campaigns for the presidency, from 1988 to 2008, failed. His myth is that he has great foreign policy experience. Yet when Obama named him as vice presidential running mate, Biden reflected remarkable foreign-affairs ignorance while debating Sarah Palin, whose own foreign policy inexperience allowed him to escape public shame. Four years later, he reflected mental imbalance when he giggled moronically throughout a vice presidential debate with Paul Ryan. We have continued to watch this "man who rides the trains" continue to derail — sharing stories about young boys rubbing his leg hair, falsifying tales of personal heroism in Afghanistan, falsifying his life by stealing the speech of British Labour leader Neil Kinnock, and never being quite sure which state he is in. He has reversed himself this year on virtually every policy for which he stood previously. His lifetime of racist comments would leave an observer bewildered that any African American ever could vote for him — but for Obama having propped him as a shield. As Biden exits the stage during these months, his twilight months, the whole country now knows that the convivial "Uncle Joe who rides the trains" corruptly filled Biden pockets with overseas millions from Ukraine to China, as his misfit son, discharged from the military because of drugs and now enmeshed in a messy paternity dispute with a pole-dancing stripper, raked in the payoffs under his father's aegis.
5. Amy Klobuchar
Amy Klobuchar is particularly evil. For more than a decade, I worked at prominent major law firms where some of America's highest-rated legal experts practiced. I got to see, from inside the legal kitchen, how that sausage is made. More than 90 percent of such attorneys at such firms are people of the highest personal ethics and skills. Contrary to mistaken memes and jokes, attorneys on that level and in that milieu work hard, bill their hours honestly, and perform with extraordinary excellence. But at every one of the three powerhouse firms where I practiced, there always were the one or two law partners who were despicably cruel and vicious, not only to opposing counsel but also to their own subordinate legal associates. I saw suicide in the subordinate ranks from such oppression. Yet the same vicious tyrants were all smiles and charm when dealing with their paying clients, sugar and honey. And they were humble and deferential in the courtroom before judges and juries.
When Amy Klobuchar puts on that plastic smile, "Minnesota Nice," even as she is being bashed and pilloried at Democrat debates, that smile patently is phony. Like Hillary's infamously staged laugh, that frozen Klobuchar smile under withering public attack and calumny hides seething rage. When her clients — the voters — are not around, she is cruel and vile to her subordinates. It is documented that she throws solid objects at them in fits of rage, sabotages their job applications when they seek employment elsewhere, and even made at least one subordinate clean out a comb that Klobuchar used to eat a salad. Amy Klobuchar is a villain. Her limelight moment on the Senate Judiciary Committee, when she maneuvered Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh briefly to lose his equanimity, then to apologize, induced her to believe that she successfully had auditioned for the presidency by dint of that plastic smile. With her similarly fantasizing committee colleagues Kamala Harris and Cory Booker now having been relegated to understudies, she deserves to join them. With Minnesota's Democrat presidential aspirants having degraded from the heights of Hubert Humphrey to the decent mediocrity of Walter Mondale to Klobuchar, it is not surprising that the Minnesota Democrats also count Ilhan Omar among their faithful.
6. Pete Buttigieg
As for Peter Paul Montgomery Buttigieg, he has the temerity to attack Trump supporters as people who do not live their lives according to the Bible's principles. If we elected our presidents based on biblical principles, we would have chosen presidents like Mike Huckabee and Fr. Robert Drinan instead of the likes of Harding, Kennedy, Clinton, and Obama. Jimmy Carter campaigned successfully as a religionist, and half a century later we can view that result dispassionately. There is no Bible test for the presidency, but for Buttigieg to preach Bible to others is the most shamefaced chutzpah. How fitting for his husband and him that that he was mayor of South Bend! He is a phony. He fired Darryl Boykins, the first ever Black police commissioner in South Bend, and ended up having to settle the ensuing race-discrimination lawsuits out of court for $800,000. He was elected to office his first term with all of 10,991 votes — and with 20 percent fewer (8,515 votes) the second time. That persuades him he is ready to lead 300 million Americans. His city had a population of 132,445 in 1960, and that has declined steadily, holding at 101,000 for the past 10 years. Crime statistics in South Bend are appalling; the city's violent crime rate is higher than the national average by 157 percent, higher than Indiana's average by 152 percent, and 96 percent of America's other cities are safer. Violent crime there has increased steadily while he has been in office. Buttigieg may be articulate, and in some ways but not others is less repulsive than are Sanders, Warren, and Klobuchar. However, he is not ready for prime time, and he certainly is not the one to preach Bible to America.