The Desperate Days of Summer

The Trump speech and the overall Republican National Convention¬† experience was extremely dark. To hear Trump tell it, Americans are living in medieval times. Then again, it’s not much of a stretch to imagine the rabid mob at the RNC piling eagerly into a public square for an auto-de-fe.

Women had to be protected from the violent Republican delegates because they held signs asking for tolerance and peace, an end to racism. In Trump’s world view, law and order means protecting the predators, not standing up for the righteous. He watched in approval as the violent delegates attacked, and he stood silent.

Earlier, Ivanka Trump Kushner presented a series of lies, told exquisitely. She tried to build a potent case for her father as a kind, tolerant man. To hear her tell it, he’s a feminist. There is no charitable way, other than Stockholm Syndrome, to explain her total dishonesty with the American public, especially with American Jews and American women.

Which begs the question, if his children are supposed to be his main character witnesses, why have they not been investigated more thoroughly? Exactly how much money will they likely inherit and/or profit from by Trump’s candidacy? At the very least, there should have been side tickers next to each kid, noting what they stand to gain.

I understand that we are supposed to welcome converts. But I’m ashamed that she is Jewish. Just the way most of us are deeply ashamed of Bernie Madoff and his highly destructive deceit.

Donald Trump was whistling to the silent majority, using anti-Semitic buzzwords such as ‘media elite’ and ‘America First!’ Not to mention praise for his renowned anti-Semitic and racist father, Fred. In fact, Trump’s anti-immigrant stance can easily be attributed to his upbringing, as this is a hallmark of his father’s beliefs.

When Trump articulated his anti-immigration policy, I couldn’t help shudder to think what would have happened to the Jews who needed refuge in America from the Holocaust. After all, Trump hates losers, disdains the captured. His official policy, if it had been enacted in the 30’s, 40’s, or 50’s, would have been a death knell for hundreds of thousands of Jews.

The American Jewish community had to fight hard against entrenched anti-Semitism, to change immigration policy and laws that would refuse Jewish refugees entry into the US. In fact, it is largely these efforts that have shaped American refugee-sympathetic immigration policies for the past nearly 70 years.

It is difficult to understand Jews or women who would support, or worse, defend, Trump’s rhetoric and policies. Identity politics aside, it can’t be that a pro-Israel policy is enough to ignore or excuse the vilification of American Jews and women, all minorities.

In searching for precedent, there are few more execrable stories than that of Jewish Stella Goldschlag Kubler. Dubbed by the Nazis as The Blonde Poison, after being tortured, Stella agreed to become a Catcher for the Nazis. Stella was beautiful, blonde, blue-eyed, and as such, appeared convincingly ‘Aryan’. In exchange for protection for her parents, money, and an elevated lifestyle, Stella turned Jews who were living in hiding over to the Gestapo.

Using her background of having attended Jewish day school, she was able to easily uncover Jews, particularly her former classmates who were trying to pass as non-Jewish in order to save their lives. She betrayed hundreds of Jews, and continued doing so, even after the Nazis killed her parents. She came to identify with the Nazis and hated her own people.

Stella is a haunting reminder that the Nazi’s strategy was to use Jews to harm and exterminate other Jews. This is how you break the human spirit. This is the ultimate manifestation¬† of a divisive agenda.

Some find it distasteful to reference the lessons of the Holocaust in order to provide context to the ugly anger politics we are suffering today. But to ignore these political antecedents is to be recklessly myopic.

Fear is powerful. And Trump uses it to tremendous, manipulative effect. He would have us believe that there is no sunlight in America’s summer. That come fall, he alone is our only hope. But this is never the perspective of a democratic nation.

Trump is trying to convince us that we are already living in a state of war. The question you need to be asking yourself is, if this is true, whose war are you fighting?

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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