President Trump: To be or not to be…That is the question!

I have a huge admission to make and I can’t find the means to do anything but to sit on a fence, which, I must admit, is nowhere to be when the stakes are so sharp!!

And that is: I have an existential crisis conflicting within me, and I am unable to resolve this conflict. You see, as a Jew (notice my name?) I am absolutely enamored with President Trump for keeping his campaign promise to move the US embassy to Israel’s historical and eternal capital, Jerusalem. Many presidents have promised to do this, but then have always reneged and changed their minds.

I also embrace Trump’s withdrawal of the US gift of $200 million to UNWRA to allegedly assist the Palestinians whose leadership have only used such funds for graft and promoting further conflict with Israel.

I totally support Trump’s choice of UN Ambassador, Nikki Haley, whose outspoken criticism and fearless speeches against the Palestinian/Hamas terror campaigns against Israel bring tears of pride to me for listening and hearing what should have been publicly stated and recorded so long ago.

I embrace President Trump’s tariffs on Iranian and Turkish products whose leaders publicly proclaim the elimination of Israel, Zionism and Jews in a variety of themes on and ongoing basis. I love the way Trump stands up to dictators, authoritarians, and human-threatening leaders around the world, either by tweeting his disdain for them or just commenting out loudly. President Trump is the American leader unencumbered by diplomatic niceties, but rather as the outspoken leader of a powerful country afraid of no one. This is my leader, and in all of this I am so proud of him. I am also totally amazed as to how the American economy, under his presidency, has exploded to stratospheric heights, and has also lowered the unemployment rate to record setting numbers. The Dow Jones has never been higher than as it stands right now. For all of this I would vote for him hands down, eyes closed, and feet willing me to the election polls.

But I am also an American, although you’d never guess by my British accent, and I am so very fearful of his inability to be presidential on the front of values, morals, and behavior expected from the most powerful leader of the free world leading the most powerful country in the world. For what has emerged from recent trials of Trump’s henchmen, Paul Manafort and Michael Cohen (and still yet more to come…just be patient!) is a very sad story of potential greatness having exploded into crimes and felonies the likes of which we have not seen since disgraced former president Richard Nixon and the Watergate investigation. Specifically in the case of Michael Cohen, the clear implication of statements that he made to the judge during his guilty pleas, was that he was directed by then candidate Trump to use funds that had been earmarked for his presidential campaign, to silence the ready – to – be – published stories of affairs that Trump had engaged in with pornographic star Stormy Daniels and Playboy centerfold Karen McDougal. Clearly in the race for president the most senior and trusted members of the Trump campaign knew of hush monies being distributed to these women cover up infidelities. All this despite Trump’s denials which he made to the press when asked for his responses. This means that, lost in his unfaithfulness to his third wife, Melania, is the possibility that the President himself engaged in criminal behavior violating campaign laws of grave political considerations.

There are also questions about the Trump Foundation, and whether it was used to promote his presidential campaign again in violation of campaign finance laws. You can nearly hear the voice of Sam Ervin, former head of the Watergate Congressional Committee, drooling out the famous words: “What did the President know, and when did he know it?”

The President stands today bruised and battered, a laughing stock in the international community. And it seems that so many of those who have had the closest relations with him have fallen. by the wayside, our have been condemned and verbally brutalized by presidential tweets. (Just follow Jeff Sessions, the Attorney General of the USA braving this way through Trump’s onslaught against him )> The closer you get to Trump, the more likely it is that you’ll suffer serious political excommunication, if not public disapproval.

The major questions throughout all of these scandals is as follows: For how much longer will the American people tolerate this President? He has been shown to be an individual who refuses to speak the truth, behave honestly, or adhere to any religion’s concept of morality and ethics ( even as I know this is, anyway, Amnerica’s political system !) And yet as I write, Florida has just selected a Trump supporter, Republican Ron DeSantis as their candidate for governor to compete with what was expected to be a shoo-in Democratic Mayor, Andrew Gillum. Amongst Trump’s supporters, his popularity remains consistent and un impaired by a perfect storm of scandals that would have tripped up lesser mortals

So help me out: What do I do? As I see it, America is facing a constitutional crisis of the highest order, and the point to make is how much will the country suffer before America’s example to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness be held hostage and crumble in another brave attempt at democracy that failed?

About the Author
Rabbi Chaim Landau is Emeritus Rabbi and President of the Baltimore Board of Rabbis. He served the Bnai Jacob Congregation and later Ner Tamid Congregation in Baltimore. He was born in the UK, graduated Jews College with Bachelors Degree in Jewish Studies, has Smichah from Israel.
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