Impossible for me to believe how many seemingly rational Jewish friends of Israel support the candidacy of Donald Trump. How did this happen? And how can those of us who see him for what he is work to change those misguided opinions? This is not a rhetorical question. How can we show our friends the fallacy of their thinking when it is so incomprehensible to us that they would ever think this way? It’s shocking.
Trump’s juvenile behavior, as in the frequent, “he started” remarks to justify spewing a vicious insult, his lies, his Trump University, his unwillingness or inability to learn the issues, his outright hatred of “the others” (and aren’t we Jews potentially “the others”), his total lack of preparedness, his dreadful education (he can tell us over and over how smart he is and that he went to Wharton but can he put together a coherent, cogent sentence?), his sewer talk, are all signs that he must be defeated. And these are only part of a huge list of deficits! We can all identify many others. We Jews desperately do not want or need a paranoid dictator in the White House.
I’ve heard all the anti Hillary and Bernie bashing. Yes. She’s a conniver and his positions on Israel are alarming. He’s not prepared to be president and we all know what we’ve got with her. More of the same. It’s a bad situation and the most troubling election in my life…..and probably you feel the same way.
But does that leave us in the hands of Trump? Emphatically not. All of the presidents in my lifetime have some apologizing to do, starting with my first, Franklin Delano Roosevelt. My parents, part of the Jewish mainstream, were almost worshipful towards Roosevelt. They were naive and didn’t have the facts. Most Jews didn’t. He was no friend of our people.
Truman was FDR’s successor and history seems to flipflop on that most unlikely president. Was there justification in dropping A bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki? I don’t know.
As I go through the list of my presidents it’s hard to make heroes of any of them. Really. A sad commentary. I suppose many of them suffered from the same condition: humancy, the human condition, to coin a word. They were imperfect and history teaches us more about them than we knew when they were in office. One can only hope that most of them were misguided, rather than evil. And that when they took their oaths of office they wanted to be remembered as great. Being president is a job of unfathomable intricacy. Hard to be infallible. We’ve seen that over and over.
But Trump exceeds them all. With presidents of the past their rhetoric and policies were a starting point. We could dream. We could hope. We could aspire. We were often disappointed but not always. Not always. With Trump there is no rhetoric that soars, no ideals to propel us, no hope that the imperfect will become perfect. There is only profane language, lack of ideals, lack of knowledge and complete lack of morality. Those who would have him become president know all of this. It’s undeniable. And yet they will vote for him? Please explain.
And one last thing: please don’t throw the Ivanka is Jewish card at me! Just don’t go there! It’s meaningless and irrelevant.