Wednesday, October 15, 2008

At least they visit

Heard about "The Great Schlep"? Complete with Sarah Silverman YouTube video?

If not, basically, the concept is that young Jews are supposed to go to Florida, or, I guess, e-mail, and convince Bubbe and Zayde to vote for Barack Obama, and tip Florida.

Because, of course, elderly Jews are just shaking in their shoes at the thought of a Democrat in the White House. Because, you know, Jews have a track record of being more frightened of black politicians than, say, WASPs are. Because elderly Jews have no way to, say, read the newspaper, or get any other political news, and their TVs are permanently tuned to Fox News. Because Jews living in Florida get TWO votes apiece, and anyway, the Cubans are a lost cause.

And because younger Jews are supposed to go along with this anti-Semitic narrishkeit to prove what good progressives we are.


I think this is the way it's supposed to go:

Sadie: Oy, bubeleh, I don't know. I hear he wants to destroy Israel, and he's a Muslim. And, you know...(lowers voice), he's black. Vay's mir, what's going to happen to us if he wins?

Sam: I hear he's a terrorist already! Who doesn't love America!

Becca: (suppressing a little smile), Bubbe, Zayde, let me tell you who Barack Obama really is. He's not Muslim, and he doesn't want to hurt Israel or the Jews. (Proceed with talking points, which include 'Barack Hearts Israel and So Do You', and 'He's Black! Let's talk about it!')

Sadie and Sam: Oy, bubeleh, you've given us so much to think about. Maybe Fox news doesn't tell us always the whole truth! Let's vote Obama 2008!

I suspect this is how it really will go:

Sadie: Oy, bubeleh, it's so nice you came to visit, but I'm so busy I can't sit down right now! The ladies are coming over in fifteen minutes and I need to get these cookies out of the oven! Go sit with your Zayde. I'll just put the hors d'oeuvres on the table...

Becca: Is all this for your bridge group?

Sadie: Bridge? I gave it up. No time. This is for the Golden Sands Beach for Obama Committee--we have envelopes to stuff, and Esther is bringing her laptop so we can look at the new numbers on all the polls. Go, sit with Zayde.

Becca: Uh, Zayde?

Sam: Dollface! You look wonderful! Here, put this on. (offers her a pin saying "Barack Obama" in Hebrew letters). Did your Bubbe tell you the committee is coming over? We can use some help with those envelopes! You have that job working with computers, do you know how to do a PowerPoint? We're having a fundraising lunch for the Obama campaign next week, and Esther Birenbaum says we need a PowerPoint.

Becca: Stop! This is not the way it's supposed to be! I came all the way from Boston to tell you not to worry about Barack being a Muslim! I schlepped down here to tell you that he loves Israel! I came here to tell you that he's pro-choice, and that Sarah Palin believes you're going to hell! What IS this?

Sadie and Sam: Oy, bubeleh, don't get upset. Sit down. Eat something. Of course you can tell us anything you want, and we'll listen. It's just--Rivkaleh, we've been campaigning for Democrats since we collected pennies on the subway already for FDR when we were kids. You thought we were gonna vote for McCain? But at least you're visiting, it's wonderful, sit down, here, tell us what you came to tell us--oh, you've got talking points. How nice! Something like this we should have at the lunch! Do you want to do doorhangers with us tomorrow?


Friar_Yid said...

It's not anti-Semitic to point out that plenty of old Jews are waffling on who to vote for- my own bubbe, a lifelong Dem, included. I doubt she would vote for McCain (more likely she would stay home and not vote- which might be even more painful for her)- but the fact that I have two neo-con uncles (at least one whom IS quite racist and convinced that Obama is a terrorist, et al) feeding her misinformation (see Jackie Mason on youtube) does worry me.

So while there might be some stereotyping behind the motivation of the Great Schlep, I think the concerns are real and legitimate.

Kai Jones said...

I'm a convert: can I go to Florida and visit somebody else's grandparents?

BBJ said...

Friar--I really don't think the premise is legit. Silverman's video says bluntly that older Jews are less likely to vote liberal than younger 'civil-rightsy' Jews, which is statistically silly.

Kai--I suspect that some grandparents would love a visit from a nice Jewish grandchild who just doesn't happen to be their personal grandchild. Perhaps we could start a website.