There is something almost supernatural about election season. It is an exciting and electrifying time. Just look at the astounding TV viewership of the Amy Coney Barrett judiciary hearings to catch a glimpse of democracy in action and the spellbinding nature of the American way. Fox News dominated the cable news networks with 2.985 million viewers. CNN has to play catch-up because at the outset they cut away early, using pundits to criticize Judge Barrett instead. CNN’s actions prompted Senator Ted Cruz to tweet, “Presumably they’re worried voters will be impressed by Judge Barrett.” Nominating Judge Barrett might have been President Trump’s smartest election strategy to date. She is making him look good even to his detractors.
No matter what aisle on the political spectrum you might sit in, you must thank President Trump for rousing the masses from their slumber. He got more people to vote in 2016 than ever before in American history. According to the projections for 2020 he will outdo himself. In 2016, 136,669,276 Americans voted. In contrast, President Obama brought out 131,313,820 voters in 2008. According to the Democratic voter targeting firm Catalist, 2020 will tip the scales at 156 million. This view is shared by Republican firms as well. Glen Bolger at Public Opinion Strategies says, “The emotion behind politics is sky high and I don’t think it’s just one side. I think it is on both sides.”
Each and every election brings to the forefront the rising stars of each party. At the outset, I must state, I do not endorse candidates. Although my articles are written from a personal perspective and do not necessarily reflect an organizational viewpoint, I feel compelled to highlight on occasion individuals who stand out particularly in their advocacy for Israel and the Jewish people.
One such person is Tom Kean, Jr. who is running for Congress in New Jersey’s 7th Congressional District. He is a graduate of Dartmouth College and was first elected to public office in 2001 to New Jersey’s State Assembly. He has been a New Jersey State Senator since 2007. In 2008 Tom Kean was elected by his peers unanimously to become Senate Republican Leader.
Tom Kean comes from an illustrious powerhouse public-service family. His grandfather Robert Kean served 10 terms representing New Jersey’s 12th District from 1939 to 1959. Robert Kean was one of the few congressmen who urged President Roosevelt to rescue Jews in Hitler-occupied Europe. As a result of his efforts, Congressman Robert Kean was honored with an eternal flame at the Yad Vashem Holocaust Memorial in Jerusalem. Congressman Robert Kean also helped in the creation of the state of Israel. Both of these actions have had a profound and everlasting effect on his grandson, Tom Kean, Jr.
Tom Kean, Jr.’s father served as governor of New Jersey from 1982 to 1990. Governor Tom Kean is probably best known for his chairmanship role on the National Committee on Terrorist Attacks upon the United States, better known as the 9/11 Commission.
With this pedigree it is not a wonder that Tom Kean, Jr. has become a standout and rising star. However, he is a great friend of Israel and the Jewish people in his own right.
I thought a few quotes from Kean would make this patently clear. First, “Tom Kean stands by Israel, a trusted ally to the United States in the war on terrorism and a beacon of hope and freedom as the only true democracy in the Middle East.”
Second, “As a New Jersey senator, Tom Kean cosponsored legislation prohibiting the investment of pension and annuity funds by the state in companies that boycott Israel or Israeli businesses. He was also instrumental in the New Jersey Division of Investment’s determination that Airbnb’s discriminatory policy against Jewish-owned properties in Judea and Samaria made them ineligible under New Jersey law. Ultimately, Airbnb reversed its policy on the listing of Israeli settlements.”
Third, “It is imperative that the PA aggressively root out terrorism, establish and secure freedom of speech and press throughout its territory, revise its school curricula with regard to its presentation of Jews and Israelis and undertake serious political reform. They must also agree that Jerusalem will remain Israel’s undivided capital and recognize Israel’s sovereignty over the entire city.”
Fourth, “I believe the Iran Deal was deeply flawed and support extensive sanctions to change Iran’s behavior. A nuclear Iran is a threat not only to Israel but also to the security of the entire world order.”
Tom Kean is a breath of fresh air. With the Democratic Party being hijacked by the likes of Ilhan Omar and Rashida Tlaib, Tom Kean will guarantee that Israel and the Jewish people will be protected in Congress. The election is in full swing. It is really and truly remarkable that heroes like Tom Kean are there and fighting every day for America, Israel and the world. He is the real deal.Joseph Frager, MD