On Tuesday June 5, Rabbi Shumley Boteach easily won the Republican primary in the Ninth Congressional District. The rabbi will now square off against eight term congressman Bill Pascrell who trounced his long-time colleague Steve Rothman. Rothman moved into the newly configured 9th CD rather than face Republican Rep. Scott Garrett whose new, ffith CD now incorporates towns Rothman represents in the current 9th CD.
Rabbi Shumley is an articulate, passionate defender of "family values.” I heard him speak briefly at a candidates’ night at the Bergen County Republican Organization a couple of months ago and it is easy to understand why grassroots GOP voters are attracted to his message in an era of uncertainty and insecurity. On the rabbi’s website his candidacy is distilled into “Congress needs a values voice.” This begs the question, what values?
Will the rabbi promote and defend the values of the Declaration of Independence, the Bill of Rights, and other principles of the U.S. Constitution that protect individual liberty and promote limited government?
Or, is Rabbi Shumley running to make the federal government enforce virtue among the people? That would be a joke since presidents and members of Congress have been systematically violating their oath of office to defend the U.S. Constitution by going to war without declaring war and perpetuating the unsustainable welfare state.
But given the domestic and international issues facing the American people, Rabbi’s Shumley’s website under "Issues" contains the three “big ideas” of his campaign: Education Vouchers, Tax-Deductible Marriage/Family Counseling, and Promoting Freedom and Democracy and Bolstering American Leadership to Protect Human Rights Worldwide.
First, education is a state or local issue, not a federal issue, even though the federal government has intervened into education for decades. Rabbi Shumley should read the Constitution; the federal government has no authority to make education policy. If he wants to promote better educational opportunities for all children, he should call for the abolition of the federal Department of Education. In addition, the rabbi should advocate the separation of state and education. Quite simple, education is too important for politicians and bureaucrats to interfere with.