Moshe-Mordechai van Zuiden
Psychology, Medicine, Science, Politics, Oppression, Integrity, Philosophy, Jews

Trump and false moral equivalence

US President Trump is a genius in getting himself into trouble. He does that to get free coverage to inform his fan club all day long.

Besides, the more he is criticized by the political establishment, the higher his fans think of him, dreaming that he represents their hatred against the political world that abandoned them.

On top of that, his untruthfulness provides good material for comedy shows, so maybe they pay him (Comedy Gate is not yet investigated).

Some of his blundering grab of free publicity, however, might be accidental. He’s not too careful, as that costs too much time and time is money. Mistakes always can be cleaned up, if needed, or so he believes.

A good example of this tactic is his false moral equivalence – equalizing things that are morally different.

He’s sinned against truth this way a couple of times already:

1. Trump compare Putin and Obama – worse: he called the first better than the last. One is a dictator and the other leader of the free world.

2. Most famously, he said about a Nazi march and a counter demonstration: “There were very fine people on both sides.” There were zero very fine people in the Nazi march.

3. Just in, he remarked about Roy Moore and his accusers accusing him of being creepy around teenage girls: “He totally denies it and you have to listen to him also.” I believe the accusers since he’s not been accused of being overly interested in teenage boys or grown women, and since he said that he never dated any girl without their mothers’ permission. Of course, accusing always asks courage; denial not – if one is innocent!

4. When accused himself, Trump often deflects the attention by accusing his opponents “being worse.” This too is a form of false moral equivalence. The issue isn’t what others did when he’s under public scrutiny.

We need simpler words to denounce this “applying single standards,” “comparing apples and oranges,” “comparing chalk and cheese.” What would be more accessible words to describe these fake incomparables, disparates, incommensurables? What could be easier words to condemning this form of falsehood?

Maybe we could say: This is a dishonest comparison. Or maybe: He makes things sound the same that aren’t because ….

About the Author
MM is a prolific and creative writer and thinker, a daily blog contributor to the TOI. He is a fetal survivor of the pharmaceutical industry (, born in 1953 to two Dutch survivors who met in the largest concentration camp in the Netherlands, Westerbork, and holds a BA in medicine (University of Amsterdam). He taught Re-evaluation Co-counseling, became a social activist, became religious, made Aliyah, and raised three wonderful kids. He wrote an unpublished tome about Jewish Free Will. He's a vegan for 8 years now. He's an Orthodox Jew but not a rabbi. * His most influential teachers (chronologically) are: his parents, Nico (natan) van Zuiden and Betty (beisye) Nieweg, Wim Kan, Mozart, Harvey Jackins, Marshal Rosenberg, Reb Shlomo Carlebach and lehavdiel bein chayim lechayim: Rabbi Dr. Natan Lopes Cardozo, Rav Zev Leff and Rav Meir Lubin. * Previously, for decades, he was known to the Jerusalem Post readers as a frequent letter writer. For a couple of years he wrote hasbara for the Dutch public. His fields of attention now are varied: Psychology (including Sexuality and Abuse), Medicine (including physical immortality), Science (statistics), Politics (Israel, the US and the Netherlands, Activism - more than leftwing or rightwing, he hopes to highlight Truth), Oppression and Liberation (intersectionally, for young people, the elderly, non-Whites, women, workers, Jews, GLBTQAI, foreigners and anyone else who's dehumanized or exploited), Integrity, Philosophy, Jews (Judaism, Zionism, Holocaust and Jewish Liberation), Ecology and Veganism. Sometimes he's misunderstood because he has such a wide vision that never fits any specialist's box. But that's exactly what many love about him. Many of his posts relate to affairs from the news or the Torah Portion of the Week or are new insights that suddenly befell him. * He hopes that his words will inspire and inform, reassure the doubters but make the self-assured doubt more. He strives to bring a fresh perspective rather than bore you with the obvious. He doesn't expect his readers to agree. Rather, original minds must be disputed. In short, his main political positions are: anti-Trumpism, for Zionism, Intersectionality, non-violence, democracy, anti the fake peace process, for original-Orthodoxy, Science, Free Will, anti blaming-the-victim and for down-to-earth optimism. Read his blog how he attempts to bridge any discrepancies. He admits sometimes exaggerating to make a point, which could have him come across as nasty, while in actuality, he's quit a lovely person to interact with. He holds - how Dutch - that a strong opinion doesn't imply intolerance of other views. * His writing has been made possible by an allowance for second generation Holocaust survivors from the Netherlands. It has been his dream since he was 38 to try to make a difference by teaching through writing. He had three times 9-out-of-10 for Dutch at his high school finals but is spending his days communicating in English and Hebrew - how ironic. G-d must have a fine sense of humor. In case you wonder - yes, he is a bit dyslectic. November 13, 2018, he published his 500st blog post with the ToI. If you're a native English speaker and wonder why you should read from people whose English is only their second language, consider the advantage of having a peek outside of your cultural bubble. * To send any personal reaction to him, scroll to the top of the blog post and click Contact Me. To see other blog posts by him, a second blog - under construction - can be found by clicking on the Website icon next to his picture.
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