As my regular readers and social media “friends” can attest, I have taken a break from posting publicly and ranting about issues that concern me. I am suffering from PTSD — Post Trump Stress Disorder. Besides, anything I write about will be superseded, in my opinion, by something far more horrible than what repelled me in the first place. I’ve done a lot of wonkish study about Trump, his election, the policies he proposes and, most importantly to me, the blind almost cult-like support he continues to get from the American Orthodox Jewish community (from where I come and where I still have a large network of friends and associates) and center/center-right Israelis. I’ve come to some conclusions and what I’ve learned in my unscientific probe I share with you now.
Recently, I posted this to my community on a popular social media site:
For the sake of my country, I sincerely hope that special counsel Mueller finds no crimes were committed by the president or anyone in his circle in the Russia investigation. But I ask my friends who ardently support/supported him the following:
- Will you admit that at minimum, Trump and his minions
exercised poor judgment?
- Will you concede that had anything similar occurred in an
Obama or Clinton administration that impeachment
proceedings would have already begun?
- Will you admit that this outsider thing has run its course
and that he is in over his head?
- If you supported him over Israel, will you admit that it
hasn’t worked out the way you expected?
- Finally, is there anything this president does or did that will
EVER get you to denounce him?
Full disclosure; the vast majority of people in my network did not take the bait, the ones that did responded exactly as I predicted. Here are some of the comments:
- Lynch and Clinton on the Tarmac??
- More than willing to “admit” when fault is present but it would be nice if the others that play the game to do the same.
- I am not saying that Donald Trump is correct on many things but since he has taken office and before he was able to utter a word the Dems have been screaming. Its like that screaming kid…. he might be right but once he screams he loses the battle. Maybe Hillary and her supporters could have waited just a few days before pouncing. Sorry but the Democrats have to get over themselves.
- I assume you were equally dismayed when the IRS was targeting Conservative groups? Or when Susan Rice, knowing the real truth, claimed that the Benghazi massacre was due to a video? Or President Obama ordering Congress to stop its investigations of the gun running operation that resulted in the death of American federal agents? Or President Obama telling the then Russian President, that he’d have more wiggle room after the election? Hillary, and her use of an illegal server, got poo-pooed by the press all through the campaign. I am sure you were indignant over that?
- Since October, the Democrats have been calling for Comey’s head. Now that President Trump fired him, you and the Liberals claim corruption?
- A DNC operative was recently murdered. Where is CNN’s in depth reporting on that?
The respondents all are Orthodox Jews, suburban, upper-middle class or more, college-educated, and (outside of their politics) really nice people. The fall-back argument time and again is not to answer any of my direct, pointed questions, but to justify their support of Trump because of questionable acts from Clinton, Obama and Democrats in the past. The last comment about a Democratic operative being murdered came straight out of the Sean Hannity canard, since debunked. His harping on it has led to advertiser boycotts of his program and his sudden “vacation” from Fox News. The bottom line is this; they support Trump blindly first and foremost out of an exaggerated hatred of Obama, Clinton and Democrats in general. Secondly, due to a belief that support for West Bank settlements and against a Palestinian state is the only way to be pro-Israel. Finally, economic self-interest, this one bothers me the most and will be the subject of a separate rant.
To be fair and clear, I believe that the Democratic leadership is and was clueless about their support and arrogant in their conduct of politics. I listen to a lot of political podcasts and top Democrats are guilty of the same hubris in not answering questions and blaming others. In an interview with Senator Corey Booker, Ezra Klein of Vox Media asked if President Obama’s taking $400K to speak to a Wall Street firm was ill timed; his answer, a 45-minute treatise on money in politics. Politico asked former chief-of-staff to Bill Clinton and Hillary’s failed campaign manager John Podesta as to who clicked on the virus sent by the Russians that enabled them to hack into his emails that may have been the turning point in the race, he quickly blamed staffers. I can go on for sure.
Here’s the thing, Trump just returned from a triumphant 9-day foreign trip, the apex of which, to my network of friends was his 2-day stay in Israel. His words, actions and tone in their eyes, were a full 180 degrees from anything Barack Obama ever did regarding the Jewish State. I won’t argue those points now. The question I ask now is the question I grew up on when it came to politics: “Is it good for the Jews?” My answer is a definitive NO! Unless you live in a cocoon or with your head deeply planted in the sand, this president, no matter how nice he is to Israel, has a boatload of problems that are going to occupy most of his time for the foreseeable future. Americans fatigue easily from such distractions and even if Trump manages to serve two full terms, not a stretch in current America, the investigations and inquiries will throw many a curve ball into how policy is implemented and wreak havoc on his agenda. If there is a political backlash, something I see as likely, Israel will not come out of this unscathed and as such neither will the Jews.