Not So Secret Weapons – The Americans are onto something.
In America the liberals rule the roost these days. Obama (or more likely Axelrod) is busy trying to destitute the US under piles of debt by pushing the New Democrat’s social legislative agenda of massive government, spending and socialism – ‘We’re going to change the world!’ they famously intoned.
I first heard that phrase in a radio ad during the primary campaigns while I was visiting far from Tel Aviv in LA. It sent chills down my spine and not the excited tingles that Chrissy Mathews tends to suffer from either. Over in the US House & Senate Liberals again hold the power, for the netroots crowd these jingles and the majorities they hold should spell clear open road for the social progressive agenda.. But, it isn’t working out that way so far is it?
Despite a temporary profound lack of leadership in the GOP itself, the American conservative right is putting up a heck of a fight. Dominating where possible Obama infatuated airwaves, whipping up grassroots fervor & generally raising townhall hell. The crazy thing is, I’m noticing something at the root of all this resistance. There’s a surprising amount of very effective, and eloquent Girl Power at the heart of this. It’s coming from both prominent in the media and regular wives & mothers, whether they are pundits, bloggers, or just concerned citizens and online site commenters at blogs and news sites.
I see them everywhere, they are informed, passionate, and unlike guys somewhat less vitriolic in general. They aren’t cursing, making personal attacks. Instead they are cool headed, logical and as such I gather very effective at pounding home their message and stirring others to get involved. Overall these American conservatives are onto something, and have harnessed a powerful tool missing here in Israel and I’ll get to that soon enough below.
All this flies somewhat in the face of conventional wisdom, or generalization. After all, shouldn’t guys be the driving force on the conservative side in the ‘Grand Old Party’? It is after all according to that same conventional wisdom an old boys club. The times it seems, they are a changing. Let me highlight a few prominent examples of what I am getting at here, and then pull some lessons learned we can benefit from in Israel.
Michelle Talks with Beck on FNC
Gals like Michelle Malkin, who has her latest book sitting 4 weeks a top the NY Times best seller list are more than ever powering their way onto the scene. She’s upped her profile on the massive leading cable news ratings monster FNC of late in a big way. Multiple visits on Sean Hannity’ show (including last night), a visit with Glen Beck’s show the night before, among other big Fox News appearances. She’s also done multiple stints on other media networks like NBC’s Today, even a gutsy showing at ABC’s the View. In each showing (and I’ve caught many of them) Malkin resonates with conservatives, I know because I am one. She’s setting the agenda.
Much of this is related to promoting her new book. But hey, Capitalism is healthy, forget broccoli.. Everyone should have at least three servings of Capitalism a day to stay fit & healthy so I certainly don’t begrudge her efforts. Beyond TV of late, her own websites including Hotair where I’ve been a happy commenter since its opening a few years ago, definitely dominate a nice slice of the conservative blog arena.
On the whole this represents a surprising amount of leadership the way I see it, she is helping set the conservative agenda offline and on. Now in all honesty, I’m not neutral here. My now American brother ribs me about the fact I am a Malkin fan often. But that doesn’t take away from the realities here, the hatred she engenders from aptly titled ‘unhinged’ Liberals are testament to her influence. While Michelle doesn’t often stray into Israel related topics, she is however a bulwark on the Anti Jihad front, and Allahpundit & Ed Morissey over at her site Hotair more than pick up any Israel related slack bless their good souls.
Jennifer Rubin on Washington Journal (C-Span)
Between what can only be described as prolific writing of a scale I’ve rarely seen, both at Contentions (Commentary’s online blogging forum) & PJM, where she is also the online Washington Editor; Rubin is swiftly becoming a conservative online powerhouse in my opinion, and that’s not to say she hasn’t had a long career as a writer earlier. Whether it be picking apart Obama’s abundant hypocrisies, or placing herself squarely in the mix on American Israeli relations, she’s often just ahead of the curve. Hitting the issue just as it is about to bloom to full fledged blogging net-wide frenzy.
It doesn’t hurt that she can bounce her writing off a cadre of other very strong thinkers at Contentions, but it is certainly noteworthy that she is yet another woman pushing the conservative agenda most effectively. I know that specifically speaking in the small but often loud and passionately conservative Pro-Israel blogging community, she is extremely well respected and with good reason. These women are inspiring conservatives, engendering thought, and ultimately enriching the conservative arena in a big way.
Two Charmers: Palin & Shimon Peres meet during the '08 Campaign
Beyond running on the recent GOP ticket for Vice President of the United States, no one currently strikes fear into the hearts of Liberals like Sarah Palin. She makes them literally lose their marbles, the response is predictably vicious from these same Liberals & their affectionate American media. Now let’s be honest, Palin is not a writer, she’s not an issue machine schooled in the arts of conservative or independent thought, and she’s certainly not setting the intellectual agenda in the same manner that say a Malkin or Rubin can through their insight & eloquence.
But, she most definitely resonates strongly with social conservatives, and more than anything the masses of conservative women I mentioned above - Whom are speaking out, commenting, and making their voices heard across America in resistance to the progressive agenda, they identify with her like no other it seems. Her strengths on values, energy, and social issues in general resonate & inspire in a different but certainly just as, if not even more powerful manner than many conservative female pundits & writers can.
I’m not a big fan of the manner in which she recently handled her resignation as Alaska’s Governor – But I’m certainly not betting against the fact that Sarah Palin will continue to grow her conservative & commenting chops and be a force to be reckoned with for some time to come. Maybe not as an editor or groundbreaking author, but as a role model and speaker conservatives naturally gravitate to through her values, beauty & easy going charm. The loyalty and masses of women she has inspired are astounding, she deserves much credit in this female conservative awakening I have observed on in this post.
Apart from the energized masses of conservative women we are now seeing offline & on, there are many other prominent conservative women whom are inspiring these masses & contributing to this awakening, Monica Crowleys, Ann Coulters, Laura Ingrahms etc. I could go on.
Back to Israel, another beautiful woman in her own right.
By contrast to America, here in Israel ‘right is might’ currently. The far left may have wrestled control of America for now but in Israel the left is struggling to stay above water politically. That is not the only contrast however. In Israel there are also many prominent women in media, commentary and politics. The contrast is found in the fact that in Israel prominent women by and large hail from the center left or very far left. Quick examples would obviously include Tzipi Livni, Israel’s former Foreign Minister and current Kadima party leader, Dalia Itzik – former speaker of Israel’s Knesset / house.
In media, Israeli women are also prominent on TV as anchors & pundits, in Newspapers and on Radio – But just as is the case politically, many if not the vast majority are not conservative but quite liberal. Their agendas and the issues they canvas for are the issues of the left in general. In conservative politics, on conservative issues, in conservative media we are lagging greatly compared to the Israeli left & American right with prominent, outspoken, intelligent & inspirational women who can effectively harness and inspire both effective media messaging, and powerful grass roots activism to fuel conservative thought & issues.
Is it religion?
Is it because traditional & fully observant Judaism generally dominate the Israeli right? I’m not sure, the upsurge of the American right by women in America of late as I mentioned is powered by wives, mothers and concerned women of all conservative stripes. Many are religious Christians themselves, how come Israel’s religious women and right are not more prominent speakers and agenda setters?
Likud MK Tzipi Hotovely
More importantly how do we make it so they are. This not so secret weapon the American right has unleashed is one to covet. Political fortunes change quickly in Israel, to stem the left we will need to evolve and harness this untapped vast resource on the right going forward in a big way. We need to figure out how to be more inclusive and how on the right we can empower our mothers, wives & sisters to contribute & inspire in the manner Americans have and Israel’s left is.
There are exceptions, Israel National News (Arutz Sheva) has had popular female radio commenters / hosts. But this is a drop in the Med so to speak. In politics, the fresh Knesset representative Tzipi Hotovely from Likud (I swear, I didn’t name her for the purposes of this post lol) is a good start. She made waves on Israeli TV as a pundit, which propelled her to be elected to our Knesset. She is young, intelligent & dynamic. She is exactly what I am talking about and we need many many more.
A strong, vibrant Israel & Israeli right
Why is Hotlovely Hotovely so rare? Where are the other religious & even not religious conservative women and how can we get them heard? How can we get them to inspire, and how can we ensure Israel stays conservative, strong and firmly empowered on the right going forward? Beyond the natives, Israel is rich in American & Russian immigrants. They are passionate people to the core and by and large of the right. Beyond native born Israelis we need to also empower the wives, daughters & sisters of this rich immigrant population. Propel them through language barriers and get them involved more & more as well. This is a rich resource, we need them to blog, we need them to become activists, we need them to be prolific writers and idea women like the Americans have successfully done.
Israel is legendary for its secret weapons. This is a not so secret weapon we need to nurture badly on the right. Our non religious women already serve in the IDF & National Service. They are already admired the world over for being strong and effective, we by default build into them leadership qualities. We entrust our security and our future to them in Israel without a moments hesitation such is our confidence in their abilities. But, somehow we are failing to elevate them to the next level.
The Americans will be able to reverse their current sad state of affairs politically, and I am convinced their conservative women are leading the way. Here in Israel we must also reverse this different sad state of affairs, and allow our women of the right room to lead as well. I don’t know how, but I suspect a new way of thinking & evolution in valued traditional & Orthodox Judaism may be the key, though resistance may be equally strong. Israel’s controversial ‘hilltop’ & settler communities as an example feature some pretty strong women. We saw them prominently during the traumatic Gaza withdrawal wearing their orange colors with pride. How is it that like our American sisters they often become wives & mothers, but never take the next step to becoming inspirational leaders as well?