Josh Eisen is running as an independent Congressional candidate in New York’s 17th district. Josh is a devout Jew who is running for the ordinary people within his district. His goal is to make sure the day to day lives for his constituents, heavily populated by Orthodox Jews, are easier. He focuses on transportation, COVID-19 and how it has affected Jews, comfort, and safety, and to get rid of bail reform. Josh Eison was kind enough to do an interview with me and make sure the people know who he is and what he stands for.
Q: Can you tell the readers a little about yourself, your platform, and why you are running for New York’s 17th congressional district?
A: My name is Dr. Josh Eisen, I am running for congress as you may or may not know in New York’s 17th district which is all of Rockland County and Westchester County. It is the third most Jewish district in the country.
I am running because for two elections in a row Nita Lowey ran unopposed. I pride myself on being a Progressive Republican, which really means; in terms of political activity, I am relatively Independent. I am close to many Republicans; I also have strong relationships with many Democrats.
In large part, I am running on a platform that is plugged into an ideology of ordinary men and women. That ideology cannot be explained in terms of normal ideology of left and right. I am not to the center right or the center left; I do not define myself on that spectrum because I am able to work with Democrats delivering food during a pandemic and I am able to work with Republicans delivering PPE during that same pandemic.
That is the ideology of the ordinary person. The ordinary person is not looking at delivery of PPE and food deliveries to poor people or people who need to be hold up in their homes because of medical issues during the pandemic as an ideological. Even though the mainstream media, and the media generally, has found ways to make almost everything as an ideological issue.
There is an ideology of the ordinary man and woman; it is easy to understand if you just are just one of them; and I am. So, for me I just continue to gage the ordinary people and I see that their demands and challenges have almost nothing to do with many of the same issues that people are discussing and talking about.
Q: I briefly looked you up before this interview and your platform is running on better transportation and better paying jobs. Could you tell me a little bit more about your platform, how you are going to help your community, and how it is different from what is already being done based on your ordinary person ideology?
A: In terms of our district, we live in a district where we deal with remarkably high taxes. So, that is an issue in our district in normal years and this year also; especially with the way taxes were restructured. I understand the ideology of the ordinary man. That ideology is not written on a blackboard of a university, it is not written in an academic journal, and it is not written in the pages of some scholarly book.
For most people, the cap is $10,000 and the majority in Westchester pay significantly more than that for their property taxes alone. That was certain a big issue until March, when Covid obviously became the number one issue and it still is.
There is an ideology formed around Coivd, but the ordinary person is just dealing with his life, and his job. People want to work but are also afraid of getting Covid. Ordinary people live this all the time.
Elite people live in comfort and safety, so for them; even the smallest amount of fear is scary. So, they run and hide, and they expect everyone else to run and hide; even though for many people, when they do run and hide, everything else in their lives falls apart. When the most important issue is Covid, I understand what ordinary people are going through.
I understand the ideology of the ordinary man. That ideology is not written on a blackboard of a university, it is not written in an academic journal, and it is not written in the pages of some scholarly book. It is written on the canvas of their everyday lives, and that canvas is my idea of the ideology.
Q: New York is one of the worse states affected by Covid. But, lately, in the news you see it affecting the Jewish community specifically due to governmental leaders. How is that blatant antisemitism affecting your community and your campaign?
A: In New York we have a unique situation in which the governor [Andrew Cuomo] and the mayor [Bill DeBlasio] get together, separately, with wherever dysfunctional relationship they have with New York… after shutting down everyone equally and treating everyone like a child and with almost no respect, they then opened the state up because that kind of thing can only go on for so long before people stop paying taxes.
Being governor or mayor is not as much fun as it used to be. They opened things up and then they declared red zones. It happened that the red zones were by in large disproportionately in Orthodox, specifically in haredi Jewish communities. Cries of antisemitism were heard all over the place, but there are different reasons to explain those spiked numbers—Jewish holidays. Jews were congregating and they were going to their synagogues, sukkahs, blowing the shofar, and going to shuls.
So, yes of course, there was a little bit of a spike. Now everyone’s warning there will be a spike in Christmas. Why? Because that is when most of the rest of America does their congregating.
To single out Jewish communities on a holiday, was a little bit misguided,to say the least. To redline Jewish areas is always going to be a concern to Jewish leaders.
Q: Can you speak about your opponent and his ideas on bail reform vs yours? How is this affecting your district?
A: My opponent, Mondaire Jones, is a person who defines himself not by the means and the challenges of the ordinary person but rather as an intellectual Marxist. He puts himself in the extreme Left of the spectrum, banking on the fact people do not understand that. I am a smart guy and so are my constitutents.,
I just do not understand the left, right spectrum in terms of raw legislation and policy; they just do not connect. He thinks they do connect. He believes in policies that make no logical sense and that are disconnected from all the voters and specifically even from the voters that he says are his base: African American voters, marginalized voters, poor voters, the voters who are disenfranchised.
He does not really represent them because he comes up with misguided ideas and one of them is this crazy bail reform. That he supports! It is totally insane. It allows criminals to literally walk the streets. This is a problem for all politicians, people on the left or right, because you have them embroiled in this big silly fight about the police. Defund the police. Do not defund the police.
There is nobody in the world who lives an ordinary life, those who have children and a spouse, a family, house, and property who wants to defund ANY of the police. Any ordinary person wants MORE security. There is nobody in the world who lives an ordinary life, those who have children and a spouse, a family, house, and property who wants to defund ANY of the police. Any ordinary person wants MORE security. They think defunding the police is crazy.
They think defunding the police is crazy.
What it means is that when someone gets caught up in the criminal justice system, whoever they are; but definitely African Americans, they suffer disproportionately because prosecutors care nothing at all about the Sixth Amendment and society doesn’t care about them. You can take a poll and ask what the Sixth Amendment is, and it is the right of EVERY American to have a quick and speedy trial by a jury of their peers. That is not happening because prosecutors, many of whom, walk around with a banner of social justice when they are getting their Law Degrees’ and how they are going to help.
Then when they go in, they are incentivized by convictions and convictions alone. And then many marginalized, poor, or African Americans are stuck with Public Defenders; even if they are competent, which most of the time they are not because they couldn’t get the D.A jobs, and those are the people who are now overloaded with case work.
You can take a look on my website (https://eisenforcongress.com/) about police to look at what prosecutors are doing, what district attorneys are doing, and to restore the Sixth Amendment. If we focused on that, we would not need bail reform.
So, my opponent supports for people to walk; and I support looking into people like him, lawyers who muddy up the system. We just come at it in quite different perspectives.
Q: How do you feel about the assaults against Jews, AOC and the squad in the government, and our relationship with Israel?
A: We are in a tricky situation. The democratic candidate, Mondaire Jones, is not be beholden to the people of his district; he is beholden to AOC and the radical left. He essentially raises millions of dollars in California to pay consultants in Washington D.C. That is what he does.
He has no idea what is going on in these communities; even though they are African American and minorities. They may not be as wealthy, but they are still Church going people who believe in the State of Israel and who believe in the importance to access their Christian Holy Sites. They know that under Mr. Mondaire Jones, they will not be able to have sites like those if Muslim states come into being anywhere near the land of Israel. So, I think he is just misaligned with his people in his district and he is aligned with the wrong forces in Congress. The forces that will be on the losing side of history; the forces that are anti-Zionist who have a flirtation with antisemitism itself.
The second part of this is the redlining that we talked about before, the redlining of the Orthodox district and that is just totally crazy. People should have a right to worship. Period. Full stop.
Q: Having outspoken leaders that are willing to SPEAK UP and say what is happening and that enough is enough, is necessary. You can watch in the news the executive orders Cuomo and De Blasio have made. They follow the Jews, they film them, fining them, and taking pictures within their schools. How would you help the Jewish community, especially with Covid and them being the main target?
A: I would use my platform in Congress to strongly advocate for any community where a State or municipality was shutting them down indiscriminately. I was just in a meeting in Rockland County, where we met with a rabbi who said that people were just taking photographs of his worshippers while they were leaving synagogue. Clearly, this gives license to people to come and take photographs of Jews, to look at them, publish them all under the guise of, “Oh, this isn’t antisemitism the government created a redline over here.”
Sadly, it brings out people who are going to scrutinize and whether their intentions are antisemitic or not ,it is hard for Jews to not feel like they are not being targeted. We need to really call out our elected officials’ task when they issue them, and they do not make any sense. As is the case now.
As many of us know, New York is having a hard time with Covid, Crime, and antisemitism. The leaders in charge are not doing their due diligence. They pick on the Orthodox Jew community, because they can.
Josh Eisen is running as an everyday man. He wants to make the day-to-day lives of his community easier, not harder. He is not your typical candidate running in a Congressional race, so he is not one to overlook
Angela Van Der Pluym is a Jewish girl from Chicago. She has a Political Science degree with an emphasis in Public Law and is part of the Young Leaders cabinet of Herut Noth America.