Why we are Continuing our Political Debate

Stephen Richer is co-founder of Gather the Jews.

About 10 days ago, I opened a discussion on whether Jews should be Republicans or Democrats.  On Wednesday, we posted an exciting article on why one member of the Jewish community aligns with the Democrats.

Days later, on Saturday, a gunman in Tucson, Arizona shot Jewish Representative Gabrielle Giffords (D-AZ) in the head and 11 others at the grocery store.

Many commentators suggested that this act of violence was prompted by the vitriolic language often used in American political discourse.  If we were just more civil, they argue, this shooting might not have happened.

In light of this, several GTJ readers suggested that I pause this series or terminate it all together.

But obstinate person that I am, I’m plowing ahead.  Why?

1)  Because there are legitimate differences between the Democratic and Republican parties that people are passionate about.  Let them be aired in a way that won’t send anyone to the hospital.

2)  Because the disgusting behaviors of one shooter cannot be blamed on society, and the causal link here is especially thin.  See George Will’s article in yesterday’s Washington Post for more on this point.

Rep. Giffords argued passionately for her beliefs in an effort to improve society.  Let’s keep doing what she did.

Let me know if you feel otherwise.  stephen@gatherthejews.com