Movie Review: The Founder

by Steve Lancaster8/31/17
I have avoided watching this movie for several years, but as it is available on Netflix I thought it might be worth some time. The movie claims to be the story of how Ray Kroc, an obscure salesman from the Midwest, became the biggest name in the restaurant business. The movie stars Michael Keaton as Ray Kroc, Nick Offerman as Dick McDonald, John Lynch as his brother Mac(Maurice), and Laura Dern as Ray’s long suffering first wife, Ethel.

The movie begins in 1954, Ray is a traveling salesman for Prince Castle selling multi-mixers for shakes and malts to restaurants, mostly drive-ins. Ray is a moderately successful of salesmen. The movie portrays him as struggling from one get rich idea to the next before driving to San Bernardino to find out why one restaurant wanted 8 multi-mixers. Ray was a much better salesman; this story is not Death of a Salesman. It is also not a rags to riches story, although The Founder wants to present it that way.

The original McDonald’s is on E street and 14th in San Bernardino CA. A location I know well, as in 1956 we lived near and I often ate there. I remember looking in the window at the staff producing hamburgers and fries. It was a whirlwind organizational ballet. I don’t know if I ever saw Ray Kroc there but I do remember seeing the brothers working on the floor. Ten years later, fresh out of high school, I would be working in a McDonald’s in Sacramento. And I did meet Ray Kroc at a training center called Hamburger High.

This was at the tail end of the first major expansion and by 1970, when I joined the Marines, there were over 20 restaurants in the Sacramento/Stockton market. The Founder, makes the McDonald brothers to be business babes in the wood, and Ray Kroc as a raptor tearing up the innocent. That view is partially correct.

The brothers were somewhat naive about franchising their concept, and Kroc did take advantage, but in the late 1950s franchising was a little understood model. The struggling development of how to franchise a restaurant and maintain quality, service and cleanliness is not dissimilar to every chain that started in the 50s and 60s.

The major conflict in The Founder between Kroc and the McDonald brothers is over quality; with Kroc seeking lower cost of sales and the brothers holding the line on quality as they contractually defined it in franchise agreements. There is an argument here for both sides; Kroc as a businessman is concerned with costs and the brothers are concerned with reputation. I am sure that there were some impassioned arguments.

In the end, Kroc makes a cash offer to the brothers with a verbal promise of royalties, a promise never kept, and the rest is history. The brothers got several million dollars and kept the original restaurant on E street, but had to rename it, The Big M; as using their own name was now copyright infringement.  That location was later bought by the Corp. and the only remaining evidence is a brass sign indicating the first location.

The first McDonald’s restaurants had simple menus, used fresh meat, fresh potatoes and shakes were made from soft serve ice cream. There were only a few menu items and they could be produced rapidly with a high degree of quality. Today a McDonald’s menu is a blinding assortment of different size burgers, breakfast items, and even burritos.   In Europe they even serve alcohol, go figure.

The original production methods of the McDonald’s brothers have been distorted.  In the Marines, we call it FUBAR (F***ed up beyond all recognition). The company is now in its 3rd or 4th generation of CEOs and the innovative ideas of Dick and Maurice McDonald and Ray Kroc have been cast off in favor of an expanding universe of products that neither the McDonalds or Ray Kroc would approve.

The Founder has a mixed message. It extols the entrepreneur and innovation, and at the same time condemns corporate business model.   Keaton makes a good Ray Kroc with the business he built from the 50s to the 80s. He had a multitude of faults, most of which are more than amply shown in The Founder. However, he also had a vision for the corporation he created and turned that vision into a world size business.

As a now former stockholder and early employee. I cashed in when the price hit $100. I guess my critique of the modern McDonald’s may be harsh. I seldom venture into a restaurant these days. The lousy service, long waits, and dirty interiors are just more than I can handle. However, The Founder does give a good overview of how this food behemoth began. Ray Kroc and the McDonalds are flawed people, who had good ideas and followed them, something America can be proud of. • (654 views)

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38 Responses to Movie Review: The Founder

  1. Timothy Lane says:

    Whatever else can be said, Kroc was a phenomenally successfully businessman.

  2. Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

    I may give that a watch, Steve. When I do, I’ll be sure to share my views.

    In a similar vein, a couple nights ago I watched Silicon Cowboys. It’s about the rise of Compaq Computer. Not to be confused with the series, “Halt and Catch Fire,” which is a modernized (in terms of PC junk) retelling of this story. I’ve tried watching a couple episodes of this. When it delves into some of the computer detail, it’s good. But mostly it’s just an excuse to have a yute-a-thon. It’s like they took the real story and covered it with MTV.

    But the documentary, Silicon Cowboys, although not quite as full of computer detail, does tell a compelling story. And that story is about 3 guys quitting a company and starting their own. And this was before venture capitalism was even a term. But they found some money and the rest is history.

    There was already a clone industry prior to Compaq but all of the clones were not 100% compatible. And many overtly infringed on IBM patents, particular regarding the BIOS. Compaq found a way to legally reverse engineer it and their computer was 100% compatible with existing software for the IBM PC. People wanted a portable (lugable) computer so their business shot off like a rocket. They broke many records of “fastest to,” including fastest to a Fortune 500 company.

    The interesting bit was when IBM got around to trying to squash not only them but all PC compatibles. They came out with the IBM Personal System/2 with micro channel architecture. This scared the hell out of Compaq and the other PC-compatible makers. IBM has a lot of proprietary stuff inside their “micro channel architecture” — so much so that it appeared to be unbreakable.

    The good news for Compaq and the other PC makers was, one, IBM’s new system broke a whole lot of existing software. And, two, the PC makers got together, formed a consortium, and came out with the Extended Industry Standard Architecture. It would allow existing PC makers to improve speed (and match or exceed the new IMB System/2 machines) while providing 100% backward compatibility.

    These were huge stakes involved by the biggest players on the planet. Absolutely crucial to the ultimate success of the EISA standard was both Intel and Bill Gates throwing in with it. Both, at the time, were quite dependent upon IBM. But as the series noted, although the risks were huge, it was the path that could lead to bigger riches, and obviously did. Only a few years later, IBM quit making PCs altogether. That’s how much their butt was handed to them, largely of their own making.

    Many of IBM’s largest installed customers did not like the idea of breaking their existing software. At the same time, Compaq had made it acceptable for managers to purchase hardware that had other than the IBM logo on it. In the right hands, this whole incident could be made into a great techie movie.

    In this documentary, Compaq is basically seen as the forerunner of all the hand-held devices that we take for granted today. Eventually they couldn’t maintain profits in the face of Japanese PC makers, the founders eventually quit or were fired, and Compaq eventually merged with HP, and I have no idea how that merger stands today as a success.

    But this is a pretty good documentary if you’re interested in the history of computers.

  3. Kung Fu Zu Kung Fu Zu says:

    I recall reading some interview of Ray Kroc many years back and he had absolutely no love for the McDonald brothers. At the time of the interview, Kroc was worth hundreds of millions of dollars, but it still stuck in his craw that he had to pay the McDonald brothers a couple of million for the name.

    Around the same time, I read a book on the history of McDonald’s. As I recall, it basically claimed that the key to McDonald’s success with the fact that McDonald’s owned the property in which the early franchises did business. This was the brain-child of McDonald’s accountant or lawyer who, I believe, Kroc later fired. Apparently, this business maneuver saved McDonald’s from going under early on.

  4. Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

    Foods have gotten fattier, fancier, and saltier, but McDonald’s really did used to make a good hamburger. They probably still do in some places.

    I remember the first McDonald’s I ever knew, and one of the first in the area, in the 60’s. It was in Tacoma, a couple miles on the main drag from the Narrows Bridge. My grandparents lived in Tacoma so it was a semi-frequent drive. And very often, on the way over or on the way back, we’d stop by for a treat.

    I’ve watched the first 30 minutes of “The Founders” and it’s absolutely terrific so far. I can definitely resonate with what Ray Kroc was telling prospective customers while trying to sell his multi-mixer. He noted that you might indeed be making a great milkshake. But if it takes too long to get it to people, they will hesitate from ordering it again, even if they like it. Truer words have never been spoken. I can think of several local restaurants that fit that description…and that I avoid.

    “Fast food” is usually used mostly as a derisive term. But what the McDonald’s brothers did was revolutionary: They served good food, fast, and it was consistent. This point was brought home early in this movie by several mentions of just how crappy drive-in food often was. The orders were often wrong. It took forever to get your food. Etc.

    There’s a lot of interesting history in the first 30 minutes. I didn’t know that one of the McDonald’s brothers actually designed that Golden Arches look. And I didn’t know that they had actually franchised before but it was a failure because it was hard to enforce consistency and quality. And this is about where I left off. And I’m pretty sure Ray Kroc is going to find a way to make franchising work.

    I think of McDonald’s today as being a shadow of what it once was. Yes, the menu has expanded. But I thought what made McDonald’s great was its less-is-more aspect. Now it’s just another restaurant that has burgers and stuff and sells espresso. Yawn. I remember as a child being excited to go to this restaurant. And this was way before they had the stupid play areas and such. It was just like a Disneyland for food. It was a fun place to go.

    Now it’s not. It’s nothing special. There are still good items on the menu. But it’s bloated itself into losing any kind of unique character. I have a McDonald’s practically across the street. It’s got “modern” architecture and stuff. But the tiling inside and general layout seem more like a lavatory with a counter.

    This movie is great if only to relive some nostalgia. I love the part where the McDonald’s brothers are explaining to Kroc their grand re-opening which was a flop. One thing was that people drove up in their cars and expected to be waited on. They had to be told to go up to the window and order.

    That’s pretty cool, Steve, to have known the first McDonald’s and to meet Ray Kroc. This guy is a big part of Americana. And, yes, those early shakes with soft-serve ice cream were better than the garbage that passes for shakes now.

    Certainly one can gauge early on that there was money to be made simply by offering people competence, quality, and consistency at a reasonable price. That basically defines McDonald’s and is the basis (theoretically) of every other type of franchise chain, food or otherwise. But few can pull it off. There’s one old 50’s style diner not far from where I live that makes great milkshakes. Another small one-off restaurant (run by a family who are friends of the family) make the best fries I’ve ever had. Both put the local McDonald’s to shame for these individual products. That didn’t use to be the case. McDonald’s use to be better than it is now. But I’ve heard that it still is good in some other places in some other states.

    • Steve Lancaster says:

      The dream of the McDonald brothers, more Dick than Maurice, and Ray Kroc, was to be so revolutionary that people would instantly respond. To a great extent up until Ray Kroc died that dream was realized. In the last 30 years something intrinsic has been lost. My belief is the personal feeling that the community has with the local restaurants. The movie makes a big thing of how Kroc recruited early franchise owners from vets, VFW, and other salesmen.

      If I recall correctly a franchise fee in the 60s was about 20K with liquid assets of $50,000. A lot of money in a 50s economy but not unreachable. The estimated profit for an owner over 20 years was a cool $1,000,000, with owner draw of of $50,000 salary. In the 50s and 60s a small business that sold nothing but QSC (quality, service, & cleanliness) that was remarkable.

      I recall that one owner I worked for had been a store manager for Sears. He took his entire savings, cashed out his retirement to purchase his first restaurant. Today his son owns at least 20 restaurants and is a multimillionaire. But I wonder if there is as much satisfaction with building a business, I think not.

      I think that sometime in the not to distant future, McDonald’s will crash in the same manner as other “never fail” business like Wards, Sears, Kmart, Penney’s and ERON. When that day comes the talking heads will mutter in wonder of why when the answer is plain to see.

      • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

        My belief is the personal feeling that the community has with the local restaurants.

        The cold, impersonal, slobbish “You want fries with that?” is a stereotype perhaps derived from sloven McDonald’s employees of the latter era.

        A Wiki article on the subject said that Kroc preferred hiring young people because they were more on the ball, and men because Kroc thought women would waste a lot of time flirting. Maybe there was something to that in his time. You can still find yutes willing to work hard and treat the customer with respect, but it’s getting harder. A kiosk ordering system is likely in their future.

        Thanks for the info on the franchise fees. As far as you could see from this movie, anyone one who could sign on the dotted line could have a franchise. As good as this movie was for the first 30 minutes, it quickly devolved into a no-talent movie-of-the-week sort of thing. There were almost no good details about McDonald’s in the last hour and a half. But we sure saw that Laura Dern was unhappy. I mean, who cares? I think these types of movies think they have to have some kind of relationship element to keep all the audience members (aka, women) happy.

        But this was supposed to be the story of McDonald’s. When that story was happening at all it usually came down to Kroc and one of the McDonald’s brothers having a nasty phone conversation. And maybe Ray Kroc was a shark and maybe the McDonald’s brothers were lovable yokels, victims of capitalist excess. But the actual life of the growth of McDonald’s, let alone someone struggling to acquire and run a successful franchise (which should have been the heart of the show, or at least a major part), went missing.

        I question whether this movie accurately portrayed either party. But assuming it did, the brothers brought their troubles onto themselves. And whatever the sins of Ray Kroc, he built a very successful chain of restaurants (or real estate holdings, if you will). At some point the McDonald’s brothers were unable to take the leap of imagination to the requirements of mass marketing, cost savings, etc. Hey, great. One can appreciate that these two guys were something special. But they seemed like they were unreasonably resistant to the needs of building franchises and seemed more insistent on showing everyone how god damn pure and caring they were.

        I sided with Ray in this, even though it appears he tried to re-write history and make himself the founder. He was, of course, of the successful franchising. There’s one scene in this — my favorite — where Kroc is talking frank with one of the brothers. And he says, “If one of my competitors was drowning, I’d take a hose and shove it in his mouth. Would you do that, Dick? That’s the difference between us.”

        It was a piece of dialogue that fell out of nowhere. Never before in this movies had Kroc been shown to have that attitude. So I don’t know if that was genuine. As I said, I don’t think you get an authentic look at these people. But who knows?

        What was interesting was the introduction of the powdered milk shakes. Those are crap and always will be crap. At the end of the movie it noted that McDonald’s went back to real ice cream at some point.

        • Steve Lancaster says:

          “What was interesting was the introduction of the powdered milk shakes. Those are crap and always will be crap. At the end of the movie it noted that McDonald’s went back to real ice cream at some point.”

          The powered milk shake never went over with the franchise owners, a few did make the change but customer complaints forced them to change back quickly. The movie makes a big deal out of this. I think because of the tie of Kroc to multi-mixer.

          I agree the movie doesn’t make much of the way McDonald’s grew after Kroc bought out the brothers, and I agree the brothers are presented as naive to the business world. These guys had been in the restaurant business since the 30s, with varying degrees of success. They finely got it right and did not know, or want to know, what to do next.

          I don’t know if Kroc ever said anything like that, but he might have. He was a ruthless promoter and aggressive salesman so, I won’t discount it. However, the same could be said of Ford, Vanderbilt, Rockefeller and others.

          Business is much like a poker game, if your not there to cut out the other guys heart and eat it raw, why are you there?

          • Timothy Lane says:

            It was Kroc who made McDonald’s what it became. hey had the germ of the idea, but needed him to build on it.

            • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

              Here’s a fact-checking site.

              If the info here is accurate, the whole powdered milkshake thing is a huge bunch of baloney:

              • Movie asserts: Dick is furious about mix rollout.

              NO. Dick and Mac were gone from the company by the time McDonald’s rolled out milkshake mix. The use of frozen French fries, however, did happen on their watch.

              Apparently there’s a lot of baloney about the handshake deal for supposed royalties. But this part is apparently true, and one of the best scenes in the movie (real being better than some of the schlock they invented):

              • Movie asserts: Ray explains that he didn’t just steal the formula and use his own name because no one would have eaten at Kroc’s


          • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

            These guys had been in the restaurant business since the 30s, with varying degrees of success. They finely got it right and did not know, or want to know, what to do next.

            That’s a good point. And thus this movie left many thoughtful details on the shelf in order to ramp up, I guess, the Crocodile Kroc vs. naive-good-old-boys conflict.

            I have no problem with Kroc being a ruthless promoter. I love how the movie opens with him listening to some “Positive Thinking” LP that stresses persistence. If that’s true (and seems likely for a salesman), his stick-to-it-iveness surely paid off.

            I don’t know how sincere Kroc was in positioning McDonald’s as representative of America and the family. But, at least according to this movie, he was highly conscious of the fact that many restaurants attracted the wrong element. They became hangouts for them. That, I guess, is why McDonald’s didn’t have juke boxes, etc.

            We may think this notion of a family-friendly, flag-waving restaurant naive, at best, and cynical, at worst. But I’ll tell you, McDonald’s was indeed (and still is for the most part) a family-friendly place. And, in retrospect, seeing how many bastards in our society profit from tearing down America, I view Kroc’s promotion of his restaurant as red, white, and blue to be a good thing because it beats the hell out of the alternative.

            I had a hankering for a McDonald’s hamburger while watching this last night but it was just a little too late to go out.

            As for competition, I don’t know the details of Kroc’s gumption. But instead of eating anyone’s heart, he was creating something new. It was then after his bold success, as far as I can see, that everyone and his brother was out to eat his heart and duplicate his success and take from his market share. Many did, of course, but god only knows why we need a Burger King if there’s already a McDonald’s. But Wendy’s at least differentiated itself a little bit more, and certainly associated itself with good old hometown Americana.

            Certainly there’s a sort of market-metaphysical question regarding whether or not the nice guy will always finish last in the marketplace. In fact, the McDonald’s brothers were doing rather well (and, of course, ended up with a million dollars each from Kroc for his buy-out). I have no idea if this movie is an accurate portrayal of them. But if it is, they sort of wanted to have their cake and eat it too. They wanted success and recognition (and deservedly so) but weren’t willing to pay the price for it. To some extent, you need those guardians of quality. Steve Jobs performed that function, and more, for Apple, for instance. But you also need a Ray Kroc if you want to go big.

            The McDonald brothers should have either been content with what they were doing — perhaps opening a few more restaurants close enough to supervise — or they should have worked harder to work with Kroc. I think this movie was steered toward seeing Kroc as a crocodile and the brothers as victims. But the brothers, to my mind, just came off as way too crotchety for their own good. Either fish or cut bait. That sort of thing.

            • Timothy Lane says:

              I’ve read a piece attributed to Kroc in which he points out that so many qualities (such as genius) often go unrewarded, but not persistence.

              • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

                My advice is to watch at least the first 30 minutes of this movie. It starts with some advice from Kroc about persistence and having a lot of poor geniuses, etc. It’s good stuff…and likely quite true in the main.

              • Kung Fu Zu Kung Fu Zu says:

                Does anybody still say, “If at first you don’t succeed, try try try again”?

                There is nothing new under the sun, but too many have forgotten or never learned from the wisdom of the past.

            • Steve Lancaster says:

              One of the reasons that we find so many quick service restaurants in the same areas is the extensive research that McDonald’s does before committing to a location. One of the more obscure items is they count the number of basketball hoops on garages, and the presence of groups like the Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts. And how many veterans organizations and private clubs in the area i. e. Elks, Odd fellows and the like.

              Owners are encouraged to fly the flag. One owner here in Fayetteville has the Scouts raise and lower the flag daily. He has an outside speaker to play reveille in the morning and taps when the flag comes down at dusk.

              All of this and the usual demographics goes in and the decision to build or not is made. Knowing how McDonald’s does market research the other chains just piggyback on it and build as close as they can get.

              Some of this I believe is Kroc’s personal insight on what makes a profitable location. I think for the most part it still holds true today.

              • Kung Fu Zu Kung Fu Zu says:

                One of the reasons that we find so many quick service restaurants in the same areas is the extensive research that McDonald’s does before committing to a location.

                In a similar way, Rocky Aoki of Benihana’s used Marriott as a gauge where to locate his restaurants. Several decades back when he opened a Benihana’s on 635 in North Dallas he was asked how he determined where to locate his restaurant. He replied that if Marriott decided to build somewhere, he didn’t need to do any other research as to where he would build, or something to that effect.

              • Timothy Lane says:

                Then I guess we wouldn’t expect to see a lot of McDonald’s franchises in San Francisco, Portland, or Seattle at least if they’re still following that same model. New England probably wouldn’t have many either.

            • Kung Fu Zu Kung Fu Zu says:

              I don’t know how sincere Kroc was in positioning McDonald’s as representative of America and the family.

              It is interesting to note that McDonald’s was a worldwide phenomenon. Although there were none in Vienna while I studied there, they arrived soon after I left. There was one just outside the main train station in Cologne in 1974.

              At one time, (in the later 1970’s and 1980’s) I believe the busiest McDonald’s in the world was located on the Ginza in Tokyo. At another time I believe the one in Kamakura held that honor. Later, if I am correct, the crown was handed to the one located on Orchard Road in Singapore. One had to wait in long lines at each of these. I also remember the first McDonald’s opened in Budapest in around 1988 and it had long lines coming out the door. I saw all these first hand and asked myself, “Why would anyone wait in line for a Big Mac?” But American culture was still king in those days.

  5. Kung Fu Zu Kung Fu Zu says:

    The only time I saw McDonald’s as a young boy was when we went on vacations to Colorado or California. I remember laughing at their signs which claimed “Over one billion sold.”

    McDonald’s did not appear in most of Texas until the late 1960’s, as I recall. I can’t remember the details, but there was a legal battle between McDonald’s and an early franchisee in Texas, which kept McDonald’s out of the market until the suit was settled.

    I had an uncle in Oklahoma who worked for a large franchisee there and somehow through his connections, I believe, my father was offered the chance to buy a franchise around Dallas in the 1968-70 time frame. He thought about it, but decided to forego the opportunity as a franchisee had to live within fifteen minutes of one of his restaurants. He didn’t want to move the family as we had grown up in the area. And he was doing well in business in any case.

    I look back on this and cry. I could have been a burger king, of at least a prince.

    • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

      That’s a whopper of a story,. Mr. Kung.

      • Kung Fu Zu Kung Fu Zu says:

        I thought there was plenty of beef to it, but no special sauce in the end.

        • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

          I was talking to a customer last night about this movie. I was surprised and just slightly amazed that he knew of Joan Kroc and then proceeded to call out the list of her major donations (Salvation Army, National Progressive Radio).

          Age-wise, he’s of our generation. Still, this guy had given no previous indication that he had a head full of minutia.

          • Kung Fu Zu Kung Fu Zu says:

            Interesting that the fellow knew about Mrs. Kroc. I didn’t know about the contributions to the Salvation Army. I just knew she had made a number of contributions to liberal groups including NPR.

  6. Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

    One of the things I found amusing while reading some online information about Ray Kroc was about the Jewish guy that Kroc hired. He’s the guy who had the idea about buying the real estate and then leasing it to franchisees…especially as a way for Kroc to not be so cash-strapped.

    I read on Wiki or somewhere that this guy was at first reticent to sign on with Kroc because he wasn’t sure if he was anti-Semitic or not. And then it occurred to me how ridiculous this was. A guy offers you a top job and quite possibly a huge money-making opportunity. That’s a strange thing to do if you hate Jews.

    • Timothy Lane says:

      Well, you never know. Adolf Hitler made his living, such as it was, selling postcard-sized art while he was in Vienna. Most of his customers were Jews.

      • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

        Well, I guess my point is, it seemed ridiculous to worry that Kroc might be an anti-semite when he was handing you the keys to making millions of dollars. He’s sure got a funny way of hating Jews if that were the case. It just seems like many Jews have gone overboard on what they term antisemitism.

        • Timothy Lane says:

          And meanwhile, they ignore a lot of actual antisemitism by leftists and Muslims. As Dennis Prager says, many Jews are leftists first and religious Jews second (if at all).

          • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

            Good points.. From what I roughly understand, the bugaboo for Jews is Christians. They (or at least a good number of them) are so suspicious of Christians (or downright hateful of them) that they make common cause with the very people who actually have murdered and/or gassed the Jews — or belong to movements which are their ideological kin.

            Many Jews are still wandering in the desert.

            • Kung Fu Zu Kung Fu Zu says:

              From what I roughly understand, the bugaboo for Jews is Christians.

              Your understanding is correct. I have thought about this problem for some years and long ago, came to the conclusion that due to the unfortunate history of the Jews in Europe, many are at war, consciously or not, with Christianity and the West. I am convinced that is why so many Jews have been involved with every movement which weakens traditional Christianity.

              I have come across various comments which confirm my hypothesis, but the one below probably says it as well as any I have come across.

              As a politically conservative Jew (my wife is as well, but we are the only two among family and friends) from a family of leftist Jews, I can say from my experience that there is an extreme fear of religious Christians. Not trying to be so simple, but I believe in being brief in this format. 2000 years of mistreatment has ingrained this fear of the Christian. I believe this fear pushes the leftist Jew into a what they consider to be the opposing political camp. Knee jerk opposition to anything thought to be supported by the religious Christian, i.e. The pro-life movement

              Please understand that I find the attitude repulsive personally, I am just trying to explain and identify it.

              This comports with my personal experience as well. I have had Jewish friends comment that I was not brought up to dislike Jews like so many were. But as kids in school, we didn’t know or care what religion others belonged to. I can only recall one incident of one kid making something out of being Jewish. I did not understand it at the time and had to ask my mother why it would make any difference.

              In some ways, the split between the Christian Jews and non-Christian Jews in the first and second centuries was tragic.

              Of course, there is also the question of secular Jews being alienated from their own traditions. But that is another story.

              • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

                Of course, there is also the question of secular Jews being alienated from their own traditions. But that is another story.

                I think it’s the same story. And thanks for sharing that quote from your (presumably) conservative Jewish friend.

                I, too, grew up without Jews even being on the radar. In the Pacific Northwest, if there is any prejudice commonly passed on it is regarding the lazy Injun. And, well, if you see how the reservations have contributed to devastating the Indian people, a lot of what one sees is lazy Injuns, now surpassed by lazy, welfare-taking people of any and all colors.

                Dennis Prager is the best source I have for what is happening to Judiasm. He is very clear and blunt about it. He says the while the outer decoration may be Jewish, the actual values stem from Leftism, not the Torah.

                And the Catholics have a Leftist pope. And many Christian denominations have run off half-cocked on one fad or another. Only Islam seems to being trying to remain true to its founding….with devastating effect.

              • Timothy Lane says:

                A lot of evangelical churches remain true to the original Christian vision. They also tend to fare better than mainstream Protestant churches. And even some of those, such as the Anglican community, have factions that reject the religious leftism.

              • Kung Fu Zu Kung Fu Zu says:


                The link is to a piece by Ben Shapiro, who lays out the present situation as regards American Jews very clearly.


                The only thing Jewish about too many of them is the label and their hate of anything religious, especially Christian. They left Judaism behind long ago.

  7. Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

    Here are some quotes from that Ben Shapiro article that Mr. Kung linked to:

    The question I’m most often asked, thanks to my kippa, is why Jews vote leftist. The answer is simple: the vast majority of Jews don’t care about Judaism or Israel. They care about secular leftism, which is their religion.

    That’s in direct accordance with Dennis Prager. Love this bit as well:

    Jews, in other words, are not religious. They are secular leftists who don’t want to be labeled white people because they like being diverse and being able to enjoy the in-jokes in Woody Allen films . . . So why is it a surprise that most Jews vote leftists? Most Jews aren’t Jewish in any real sense beyond ethnic identification.

    And another great point:

    Now, there are older Jews who vote leftist because they remember the bad old days of country club Republicans who rejected them from the golf course, and don’t realize that things have changed rather dramatically. There are older Jews who vote leftist because they remember the legacy of European Christianity that preyed on Jews for centuries, and don’t realize that American Christians are Jews’ best friends, not the American left that stands by President Obama.

    But by and large, most Jews vote leftist because they are upper middle class agnostics with above-average levels of post-graduate education who believe that religion is a great ill, that Biblical morality is intolerant and vicious, and that Judaism itself is passé.

    • Steve Lancaster says:

      As generalizations those are true, but they leave much out. American Jews come in all political varieties, and it is true that more successful Jews in America tend to support big government and social welfare causes. However, both Shapiro and Prager have their own cultural bias. Both have very evident dislike for what they would refer to as religious fanatics.

      The fastest growing group of American Judaism is not Progressive, Reform or Orthodox but the ultra-Orthodox Haredim. They are forcing Synagogs across the country to adhere to traditional values, and most importantly they are having children 200-300% faster than the liberals. The average Haredim family is 5 children and growing.

      Our own Shul here in Fayetteville used to be very liberal, yet over the last 20 years as the population has grown the pews are occupied by more conservative Jews, we even have a small group of Haredim. In another 20 years it will be an Ozark Williamsburg, or lower East Side.

      Support for Israel is a mixed bag with conservative and orthodox siding with Israel and liberal and some Haredim being more critical for different reasons. The liberals take the line of, “I don’t have an investment in Israel, America is the center of world Judaism.” The Haredim take the line that Israel is not Jewish enough and G-d will punish a secular state.

      Personally, as a citizen of both countries and children and grand children in Israel, and America, I am often torn between the realities of life on the front lines that my son faces daily and the relative comfort of life in America. In my opinion American liberal Jews are much like their Catholic cousins. They are willing to pay someone to be Jewish for them, just like Catholics pay the Pope to be Catholic for them.

      • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

        Well, let’s hope that more traditional Jews gain ground.

        Nothing against Jews, per se, Steve, but given that Europe (run by the Left) is becoming hostile to Jews, it’s time for Jews to question some of the prejudices passed down with mother’s milk. And anyone who watched that Google employee be fired merely for questioning the dogma of the Left should start questioning the Left’s lies of being the sacred holders of “tolerance” and “diversity.”

        I don’t have a beef with anyone who doesn’t believe in God. But the Jewish and Christian beliefs are that there is an overall story above the one of our own lived lives. It’s directed by a good amount of “thou shalt nots.” There are, of course, admonitions regarding what you should do….minutely so in the case of Jews.

        I sympathize with any orthodox-seeking individual struggling against the all-powerful beast of popular culture. It is our way. Moses wasn’t gone five minutes to receive The Ten Commandments when the Jews were partying down and worshipping a golden calf.

        I admit it’s much much easier to sprinkle superficial religious dust as a veneer on what is, in effect, the Religion of Leftism. This is why we have Pope Francis, of course. This is how many Jews, Christians, Protestants, and Catholics actually worship. And whether God is pleased or not that “diversity” has replaced the “thou shalt nots,” I can’t say. But at least let’s be honest about these things. And, really, that’s what I find interesting about this whole situation. It’s a culture (pseudo-religious or otherwise) based upon lies.

  8. David Ray says:

    A black teenage girl wrote an article describing how working at MacDonalds taught her more about responsibility than school ever did. Fact was school was teaching self indulgence.
    Dennis Prager read her article and tried to have her on his show. (I don’t know if he succeeded.)

    A Life book of fun facts wrote that Kroc built a MacDonalds next to the original store & drove it under to make it a museum. Is that true?

    Oh well. I know of a few stores that muslims burned down. You could see that dumb clown smouldering in a pile. Guess they sure taught that S.O.B a lesson!!!!

    • Timothy Lane says:

      It has been noted that one of the problems with minimum wages is that they get rid of jobs like that, in which young people basically learn how to hold a job.

    • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

      A black teenage girl wrote an article describing how working at MacDonalds taught her more about responsibility than school ever did. Fact was school was teaching self indulgence.

      So true, David…when there is tight management at McDonald’s. But just the fact of a job teaches kids a lot.

      I wish the world would wake up and see how destructive their self-indulgent “nice” often is. As the do-gooders keep raising the minimum wage, there will be less opportunity for teenage girls (or any other type of teenager) to gain meaningful employment experience. These ridiculously-high minimum wages means that machines will replace them.

      A Life book of fun facts wrote that Kroc built a MacDonalds next to the original store & drove it under to make it a museum. Is that true?

      I believe that was mentioned in the movie and I think I read the same thing online, David. I’m not sure if cruelty was the motive. But I read that there was (whether directed by Kroc or not) a virulent effort on the marketeers inside McDonald’s to re-write the history. If so, this movie left that out as it seemed to think that a series of nasty phone calls between the McDonald brothers and Kroc was the same thing as telling the history of McDonald’s.

      Still, the brothers did receive a million dollars. And their own obstinance (if this movie can be believed) likely held them back from even larger riches.

      The explanation given in the movie and (apparently) in real life is that the reason that Kroc didn’t just replicate the automated kitchen of the McDonald’s brothers was that no one would have eaten at a place called “Kroc’s.” This explanation might even be true. But surely Kroc knows he could have named the restaurant any pleasing name he preferred. I think he truly wanted to work with and through the brothers. He could have easily bypassed them completely.

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