Darkness in the White House

There were reports last week that White House staffers were literally meeting in the dark because they could not figure out how to turn on the lights. Visitors were forced to stumble around seeking doorknobs to enter and exit rooms. This scenario seems straight out of a 19th century horror novel. All that we have tried to suppress, our most base instincts, have taken over.

Donald Trump has surrounded himself with the worst human beings possible. Steve Bannon and Stephen Miller share frightening, dystopian thought processes. Stephen Miller rejected his Jewish parents, his upbringing, and instead chose White Supremacists who embraced Nazism, as his mentors. Couple his excessively dark world view and pathological dishonesty with Bannon’s fixation to blow up the world as we know it and you have a White House run by madmen and monsters.

I’m not making fun and I’m not joking. This is about mental illness run amok. It is not Conservative vs Liberal or Democrat vs Republican. This is not even about intelligence or lack thereof. I unfriended many Trump supporters on social media early on – because I came to understand them personally to be racist, xenophobic, homophobic, paranoid and isolationist, or misogynistic at the core of their being.

Hitler was a deeply disturbed, excessively mentally ill creature who reached down in and elicited mental illness and evil to permeate a nation and nations. Anti-Semitism is practically as old as the world itself. At its root it is the fear of the different, the other. Anti-Semitism is the repudiation of tolerance for belief in one God, the idea that we are all one, and yet hold distinct and differing views. This is what we are witnessing at the pinnacle of power in the United States today.

Stephen Miller denies Alt-Right White Supremacist Richard Spencer was a mentor. I believe him. But the fact remains that he worked with him on various projects. What kind of ideology do you have to possess to even be in the same circles as the likes of a Spencer?

Stephen Miller fell in love with the philosophy of the NRA early on, an organization tied to White Supremacist  ideology. Guns & Ammo became his bible of sorts.

Stephen Miller believes that Christmas is a religious holiday that has been enshrined in America and should be celebrated in public schools –¬†¬† the Jewish, Muslim, and other children be damned. My dad was beat up at school for being a “dirty kike.” I was harassed for celebrating the Jewish holidays. Some of my classmates felt it was unfair that I had an excused absence. It is this childish world view that Stephen Miller and Steve Bannon have elevated and Trump has embraced. It is ideology and prejudice cloaked in policy.

Stephen Miller has written that equal pay for women would be a dangerous and unfair practice for the American economy. He’s gone on to claim that women do not deserve to be paid equally since they take time off for childbirth. He figured all this out as a single man at the ripe age and vast life experience of a 19 year old. Now he is about a dozen years older and holds court with the President, whispering in his ear and writing his words for him. And there is no sign that he has grown or matured; rather, to the contrary.

He has promoted the ‘America First’ slogan, which was initially an anti-Semitic, isolationist stance in WW II. He relates to America as a home – a homeland. Here’s the thing – when you reject your own family and community as a home, which he has done vociferously, you tend to seek it elsewhere.

The phrase ‘Wandering Jew’ was coined because we became a homeless people due to centuries of exile. One of the ongoing tensions between Jews in Israel, and Jews in America or even Jews in the Diaspora, is where do we identify as our home?

Stephen Miller’s philosophy is directly at odds with Jewish philosophy and identity. His idea of what America is about is antithetical to the Jewish experience and a direct attack on what makes America a beloved and noble notion. The fact that he was born Jewish does not make him less of an anti-Semite. Just the way a black person can be racist and a woman can be a misogynist…Stephen Miller is emphatically not cover for the Trump Administration’s anti-Semitism in the universal sense of the word.

Rather than seeking truth, he takes issues and twists them as proof of his beliefs and ideas. He fails and refuses to understand the underlying causes. This approach is at the heart of anti-Semitism. He is blood libel gone global.

Stephen Miller’s world view will not enable us to defeat ISIS. He – and the Trump Administration – and Trump’s blind legions – will cause us to become more like ISIS. The Trump Administration is not populist – it is the fringe coming into power. On the surface they appear full of jingoism and patriotism – more American than anyone else. But they most definitely are not. They are to America what Neturei Karta are to Israel.

Electing Trump has caused America to be at war with itself. The question I am asking you, dear reader, is who do you want to be and what kind of country do you want to call home? Do we put a metaphorical mezuzah upon our doorposts? Will we all become monsters, or heroes and heroines? The choice must be ours.

About the Author
Dana is a Jewish feminist, writer and poet. She is passionate about her daughter, love, kindness, spirituality, the artist's voice, and speaking out for the vulnerable. She lives in Music City, Nashville, TN.
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