Mitt Romney Is Real Tikkun Olam Candidate

Republican Stands for Individual Freedom and Prosperity

Doing Good: Mitt Romney’s support for individual freedom and prosperity is the best possible antidote for President Barack Obama’s spiral of decline.
getty images
Doing Good: Mitt Romney’s support for individual freedom and prosperity is the best possible antidote for President Barack Obama’s spiral of decline.

By Noam Neusner

Published August 29, 2012, issue of August 31, 2012.
  • Print
  • Share Share
  • Single Page

(page 2 of 2)

The president says that deficits would be far lower if Congress could only raise taxes on the super-wealthy to Clinton-era heights. But that would raise roughly $80 billion more a year. In other words, we’d still have roughly 90% of the same deficit problem we had before.

So while I’d say that tikkun olam has had a pretty good four years, it sure doesn’t look to me like it has a very rich future. At some point, all that tikkun olam is going to wreck the country, and that, if I’m not mistaken, is pretty much the opposite of the goal of tikkun olam.

So with all due respect to all those Rabbis for Obama, maybe we should try another approach. If our goal is to heal the wounds in the world, maybe the right way to do that doesn’t involve seizing wealth from people who work hard to give it to people who don’t. Maybe it shouldn’t involve the construction of a vast super state of regulatory czars and czarinas, people capable of writing a rule that could, without review from elected legislators, destroy a citizen’s life work. Maybe we should ask ourselves whether tikkun olam means making people even more dependent on the goodwill of the state.

Maybe the best form of tikkun olam is to give people freedom and free markets as opposed to more state-sponsored goodies. Freedom and free markets have worked pretty well in lifting people out of poverty, creating strong middle-class societies, and supporting great voluntary and charitable institutions.

And by the way, freedom and free markets have been good for the Jews and for tikkun olam. Cast your eyes over the sweep of our 5,000 years of history. Wherever Jews have lived in relative freedom and free markets — the United States, Britain and its commonwealth, the Ottoman Near East, post-Enlightenment Western Europe — we’ve done pretty well. We’ve built great communities. We’ve devoted ourselves to Torah. We’ve pursued tzedakah, charity, with abandon.

By comparison, in nations where freedom was under attack or in decline, and the power of the state in ascendancy — most notably, monarchist Spain, czarist as well as communist Russia, most of Europe during the Middle Ages — Jews have suffered and so has Judaism, including and especially our capacity to commit acts of tikkun olam.

You could say that freedom and free markets are just about the best thing that Judaism has ever known. And in that sense, free markets and freedom have been good for tikkun olam.

So you have a choice this fall: You can stick with a president who believes deeply in the power of the state and who has done a lot to make tikkun olam voters happy, but who is, without question, endangering our nation’s ability to pursue tikkun olam programs in future years; or, you can switch to a candidate who believes in the power of individual freedom — and has shown through his own example of voluminous giving of charity to his church and his community that prosperity and success breed far more tikkun olam than can be achieved through the taxing power of the state. Vote Mitt Romney. He’s the real tikkun olam candidate.

Noam Neusner is a principal with the communications firm 30 Point Strategies. He was a speechwriter for President George W. Bush.


The Jewish Daily Forward welcomes reader comments in order to promote thoughtful discussion on issues of importance to the Jewish community. In the interest of maintaining a civil forum, The Jewish Daily Forwardrequires that all commenters be appropriately respectful toward our writers, other commenters and the subjects of the articles. Vigorous debate and reasoned critique are welcome; name-calling and personal invective are not. While we generally do not seek to edit or actively moderate comments, our spam filter prevents most links and certain key words from being posted and The Jewish Daily Forward reserves the right to remove comments for any reason.





Find us on Facebook!
  • From Gene Simmons to Pink — Meet the Jews who rock:
  • The images, which have since been deleted, were captioned: “Israel is the last frontier of the free world."
  • As J Street backs Israel's operation in Gaza, does it risk losing grassroots support?
  • What Thomas Aquinas might say about #Hamas' tunnels:
  • The Jewish bachelorette has spoken.
  • "When it comes to Brenda Turtle, I ask you: What do you expect of a woman repressed all her life who suddenly finds herself free to explore? We can sit and pass judgment, especially when many of us just simply “got over” own sexual repression. But we are obliged to at least acknowledge that this problem is very, very real, and that complete gender segregation breeds sexual repression and unhealthy attitudes toward female sexuality."
  • "Everybody is proud of the resistance. No matter how many people, including myself, disapprove of or even hate Hamas and its ideology, every single person in Gaza is proud of the resistance." Part 2 of Walid Abuzaid's on-the-ground account of life in #Gaza:
  • After years in storage, Toronto’s iconic red-and-white "Sam the Record Man" sign, complete with spinning discs, will return to public view near its original downtown perch. The sign came to symbolize one of Canada’s most storied and successful Jewish family businesses.
  • Is $4,000 too much to ask for a non-member to be buried in a synagogue cemetery?
  • "Let’s not fall into the simplistic us/them dichotomy of 'we were just minding our business when they started firing rockets at us.' We were not just minding our business. We were building settlements, manning checkpoints, and filling jails." What do you think?
  • PHOTOS: 10,000 Israel supporters gathered for a solidarity rally near the United Nations in New York yesterday.
  • Step into the Iron Dome with Tuvia Tenenbom.
  • What do you think of Wonder Woman's new look?
  • "She said that Ruven Barkan, a Conservative rabbi, came into her classroom, closed the door and turned out the lights. He asked the class of fourth graders to lie on the floor and relax their bodies. Then, he asked them to pray for abused children." Read Paul Berger's compelling story about a #Savannah community in turmoil:
  • from-cache

Would you like to receive updates about new stories?




















We will not share your e-mail address or other personal information.

Already subscribed? Manage your subscription.