Let My People Be

Welcome to Part II of National Governors Association Week at Deprogramming101.  In Part I, I shared my respect for the GOP governors and their staffs with whom I worked during my tenure at the association.  There were, of course, exceptions.  I share the following personal experience to provide context for today’s post.

In the mid-1990s, I attended an off-camera working session on proposed national education goals chaired by then NGA chair Carroll Campbell, the Republican governor of South Carolina.  Campbell made this topic the primary focus of his year as leader of the bi-partisan organization.  During the discussion, Republican Mississippi governor Kirk Fordice said he hoped the final version would be consistent with Christian values.  Campbell asked his colleague if a more inclusive approach would be to refer to traditional Judeo-Christian values.  Fordice replied, “If that’s what I meant, that is what I would have said.”  I was reminded of this episode watching an excerpt from Donald Trump’s infomercial for “God Bless America” Bibles.  Having been excluded from this Fordice-inspired grift, I decided it was time for my tribe to get a piece of the action.

The following are excerpts from an infomercial for the “God Save Democracy (GSD)” Haggadah, available at most temple gift stores and on-line booksellers for 60 shekels ($16.32 USD).

Do you wish your Passover seder was more relevant to the issues of the day yet still contained many of the traditional symbols and familiar passages associated with the exodus from Egypt?  Now you can have both.  This year, conduct your Passover celebration using the new “God Save Democracy” Haggadah.  Draw parallels between the Israelites’ deliverance from Pharaoh and our efforts to loosen the grip of an equally enraged, cruel tyrant who opposes all who do not pledge fealty to his every whim, without jettisoning the joy of reading prayers, singing songs and retelling of the story of Moses and the flight from Egypt. 

How does the GSD Haggadah do that?  By meshing the ancient with the modern.  Here are three examples. 

First, the seder plate where each item depicts an aspect of the exodus in years past and the challenges of present day.

  • Celery/Symbolizes how Donald Trump “stalks” women.
  • HORSEradish/Trump’s recommended treatment for Covid if ivermectin is unavailable.
  • Charoset/A reminder of the mishmash that comes out of Trump’s mouth.
  • Egg/In remembrance of days not so long ago when no one called this a human being.
  • Salt Water/Crocodile tears shed by “poor, victim me.”
  • Shankbone/Commemorating Trump’s golf strokes that landed in a penalty zone and miraculously appeared in the middle of a fairway.

Then, of course, there are the Four Questions.

Why is this candidate different from all other candidates?

    • All other candidates accept the outcome of elections.  Why does this candidate accept only elections he wins?
    • All other candidates salute the American flag to demonstrate their allegiance to America?  Why does this candidate salute convicted felons who stormed the U.S. Capitol and beat up policemen?
    • All other candidates promise to protect and defend the U.S. Constitution.  Why does this candidate promise to suspend it when it serves his interests?
    • All other candidates understand global alliances are essential to national security.  Why does this candidate prefer alliances with our adversaries instead of our friends?

And finally, even in celebration of the end of the Israelites’ enslavement, we acknowledge the suffering of everyday Egyptians in imposed on them by the actions of an arrogant and stubborn Pharaoh.  So too must we acknowledge the suffering of all Americans under Trump’s policies and practices.  That is why we spill a drop of wine for each of 10 plagues every American faced during his reign.

  • Charlottesville
  • Obstruction of Justice in the Russia Investigation
  • Justices Gorsuch, Kavanaugh and Barrett
  • Emoluments Clause Violations
  • Covid Response
  • Voter Suppression
  • Eight Trillion Dollars Added to the National Debt
  • January 6 Insurrection
  • Mishandling Classified Documents
  • The Dobbs Decision

Want an updated holiday experience that brings the hardship and agony under tyrants in days of old and new into your home yet is optimistic  about an eventual victory by the resistance?  Don’t wait.  Order your “God Save Democracy” Haggadah today.

חג שמח
Happy Holiday!

Disclaimer:  All proceeds from the sale of each and every “God Save Democracy” Haggadah go to the Making Attempts at Theocracy Zero Opportunity (MATZO)   PAC.  Think of each contribution as “unleavened dough,” financing the fight to educate those who cannot read or do not understand the establishment clause of the First Amendment.

For what it’s worth.


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