When Michal and I noticed that our arrival in the US would be on the morning after the presidential election, we knew that half the country would be very upset, no matter who won. But we are surprised at the revulsion of many of our friends, who are personally affronted that their candidate, Hillary Clinton, was elected by the “deplorables” who inhabit most of the “flyover” country. Many of them are too traumatized to even discuss the election outcome. But those that do, generally unconsciously adopt the smug New York Times-inspired condescension towards anyone who isn’t crestfallen over Trump’s victory.
We were appalled ourselves at the election of Barack Obama in 2008, but we took a deep breath and wished him and the country well. As it turned out, our worst fears were realized. Israel was diminished as America’s ally and the US purposefully withdrew from its position of global leadership, leaving an inevitable vacuum happily filled by Russia. Still, we felt that we gave the new president a chance after his victory.
Yes, Senate Majority Leader Mitch Mc Connell famously said, “My number one priority is making sure President Obama’s a one-term president.” However, “McConnell made his remarks in an interview that appeared in the National Journal on Oct. 23, 2010 — nearly two years after Obama was elected president. The interview took place on the eve the of the midterm elections.” (WashingtonPost.com 9/12)
This time, the supporters who decried the agenda against President Obama have instantly vilified the President-elect, following the lead of the establishment media. In truth, neither of the presidential candidates were liked by the majority of voters and many, if not most voters, chose the least objectionable candidate, not one they were enamored of. But the beauty of the American system is that every four years there is the option to peacefully “throw the bum out,” if the voters favor it. Why not give Trump a chance?
During the campaign, much was made of the possibility that Trump wouldn’t support any other Republican nominee. It turned out that, despite their pledges, many of those potential candidates didn’t support him. Likewise for the result of the election. It’s Hillary’s supporters who didn’t accept the election results, even rioting in cities like Portland after their candidate conceded graciously.
Of course, we expect the media to thoroughly vet all presidential picks for the cabinet and other high posts. Two pertinent examples will suffice to show the hyper-opposition being used to inflame opinion against the incoming administration. Senator Jeff Sessions, whose eventual approval is almost guaranteed, is being accused of racism because of remarks made more than thirty years ago, which led to the Senate not approving him for an influential court appointment.
Session’s record is a long one, as Alabama Attorney General and Senator, a record which shows his excellent qualifications for the Attorney General post. Yes, he will change the focus away from politically correct issue; most voters and the President-elect expect and demand that. No, he is not a racist.
Stephen Bannon, picked by Trump to be an important, close advisor and strategist, is being painted as an anti-Semite. Chief among the accusers is the Anti-Defamation League (ADL), once a highly respected organization with unimpeachable intentions. Today it is run by former Special Assistant to President Obama, Jonathan Greenblatt, who once worked for arch anti-Zionist George Soros. Greenblatt is an advocate for J Street, funded by Soros, which purports to support Israel but actually acts against Israel’s interests. Under Greenblatt’s watch, the ADL has become just another leftist, Jewish-supported organization hostile to Israel’s long term interests.
The ADL made news recently when it came out against Bannon. All the establishment media jumped on the band wagon, echoing the NYT and the Washington Post: Bannon is a racist and anti-Semite. But they didn’t report this retraction: “The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) has backed away from its earlier accusations against Stephen K. Bannon, stating on its website: ‘We are not aware of any anti-Semitic statements from Bannon.'” (breitbart.com 11/17) Apropos of that, the unapologetically right wing Breitbart site is also constantly vilified by the establishment media.
With friends from Israel who also live in Manhattan, we attended Friday night services at the beautiful Park East synagogue. Following a sit-down dinner, there was a talk by Alan Dershowitz, the famous Harvard professor, defense attorney, and Israel advocate. An acclaimed liberal democrat who opposes Jewish communities beyond the 1949 Armistice Line, Dershowitz represents the best of liberals, contrasting dramatically with many intolerant liberals who don’t tolerate any opinion differing from their own.
Among many other pithy comments, Dershowitz said that he hopes he will be able to vote for President Trump’s reelection in 2020! He then explained that he wished the incoming president well and hoped that his policies would benefit both Americans and Israelis, therefore justifying a second term. Dershowitz doesn’t wish that the new administration fail, or fantasize that he must now move to Canada or Israel. He wants Donald Trump, or any new president for that matter, to govern the country successfully and merit reelection.
Perhaps the problems bedeviling a change of administration in the US stem from the inordinately long campaigns. Does it really require a year and a half and billions of dollars to have an election? Other countries, Israel included, take only several months. In any event, this election signals a sea change in America: the probable end to the Clinton and Bush dynasties; the electability of a non-politician; and the hopeful end to the political correctness that has plagued the US (and other countries), forbidding the discussion of important topics.
Let’s give Trump a chance to succeed, for the sake of us and all Westerners.