It’s in New York that I met my first Italian friend. His name is Johnny and he’s one of the nicest people I know. It’s in New York, also, that I met more Irish, Hispanic, Black and many other friends. New York has always been the bedrock of American diversity, opportunity and strong bonds. This is why I call on my fellow New Yorkers to behind Ted Cruz — a candidate who has united so many Americans behind him in the fight for jobs, freedom, and security.
In a roller coaster-like campaign the likes of which America has rarely ever seen, the past few months have seen all too many animosities and divisions. Comments like which, historians and pundits agree, have never been heard in American politics and have become the everyday norm. In-fighting and hostilities among Americans being watched by the entire world, while the dignity of our country compromised. It's time to end that all.
Ted Cruz — himself the son of a Hispanic immigrant father and an Irish-Italian mother — has shown to be a unifying candidate in an ever divisive campaign. His wife Heidi, a woman dedicated to her family and her career, has stood beside him at all times, serving a role model to American children that a woman can be. As Mr. Cruz described her “Every day she's teaching our daughters, Caroline, and Catherine that strong women can accomplish anything in the United States of America,"
Are Mr. Cruz’s “New York values” comments a selling point in New York? Probably not. Even though Cruz did not mean to criticize New Yorkers, it is understandable that some New Yorkers might be offended by those comments. Does that mean that we should compromise our real values for that? Of course not. The alternative to a Cruz presidency runs far more contrary to anything we hold dear and precious to us. Do we really prefer a campaign that refers to Mexicans as “rapists and murderers” to a candidate that has shown his respect and consideration for all? I sure hope not.
Would we really allow a temporary upset at a perceived insult to compromise the respect and dignity that the women in our lives deserve? Having to choose between Mr. Cruz — himself a champion of women’s rights — and Mr. Trump’s infamous treatment of women, there is no question whom New Yorkers will be voting for. How can we look our wives, mothers, and daughters in the eye choosing to support a Trump campaign with all that it has said about women, over Mr. Cruz, who shows nothing but respect and esteem for women?
Voting for Mr. Cruz is voting for an electable candidate that will make sure that hateful rhetoric, racism, sexism, violent rallies and personal attacks all come to an end. One might argue that the values of a senator from Texas are not exactly the same as NYC voters. No one will argue, though, that sexist, racist and hateful rhetoric belong in New York, either. We know better than that. Mr. Trump’s values are far more distant from us than those of Mr. Cruz. The distance between New York and Texas may be great; the distance between New York and intolerance and disregard to others is far, far greater. This is why I will be voting for Mr. Cruz this coming Tuesday and this is why I hope my fellow New Yorkers join me.
New Yorkers have always been known for having thick skin. If in this election we chose to vote for a candidate who has nothing to do with what we cherish most — and abandon the candidate whose values and passions are most similar to ours — then we New Yorkers will be making a great mistake. If on the other hand, we decide to stand with Ted Cruz — a candidate who shares our passions, hopes and aspirations, our respect for women, civil society, diversity and religious liberty — then we will once again show America there is nothing like real New York values. We owe it to ourselves, we owe it to our wives and daughters, and we owe it to the America we love.
Rabbi Elchanan Poupko is a Fellow at the Institution for Advanced Research in Jewish Law at Yeshiva University. He also served as a Rabbinic Intern at Park East Synagogue in New York and and as the founding editor of The YU Lamdan-The Wilf Campus Torah Journal. Rabbi Poupko is a member of the Rabbinical Council of America.