I conducted a non-scientific experiment recently on my Facebook page. I wrote the following in my status and waited for the responses to pour in:
“I’ve pretty much stayed off of this platform since the Orange Pylon became president despite getting over 3 million less votes than his better qualified opponent because I couldn’t stand the figurative shit eating grins of his racist supporters from the community I come from. I was ready to concede that it’s possible some people wanted a non politician to shake things up and they simply overlooked his racism. AFTER FOUR YEARS OF TRUMP, ALL HIS TWEETS, STATEMENTS, LIES AND INCOMPETENCE I CAN SAY WITH CERTAINTY, IF YOU VOTE FOR HIM IN 2020, YOU ARE A RACIST. Don’t really care if you want to accuse me of name calling or whatever, if you support Trump you are no better than the KKK, Nazis or well meaning German voters who wanted an outsider to shake things up in 1933. Don’t care if you won’t speak with me anymore, don’t care if you label me a commie don’t care actually what you think or believe because YOU ARE A RACIST.”
And pour in they did. There is one thing racists hate more than the people for whom they have enmity, it’s being called out for what they are. When they are, they find a great need to defend themselves and then they almost always show their true colors.
As in my original post I will concede the possibility that there were Trump supporters in 2016 seeking to shake things up and found him refreshing. I will further concede (for argument only) that there were/are Jewish supporters of Israel who believe that Barack Obama and therefore his former Secretary of State (and now his former vice president) were so bad that even Donald Trump would be better. I will finally concede that many Jews perhaps even MOST Jews, appreciate Trump’s moving the US embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, scrapping the Iran nuclear deal, supporting annexation and any number of other things he has done that are supposedly “good for the Jews.” (I like to joke that even a broken racist clock is right twice a day). After conceding those points I will make yet another statement; not one of those policies Trump initiated is worth the price of having him as president, NONE.
I will not use this space to argue policy, suffice it to say I am, what right of center Israeli’s slur those they don’t agree with as – a leftist, therefore what I think of Trump’s policies are irrelevant. I will say without any hesitation or doubt that Donald Trump is a rabid racist. He retweets racist videos, calls Mexicans rapists, ridicules the physically challenged, invokes slurs against Asians, and has used anti Semitic symbols and tropes in his campaign for president. The best his racist supporters can come up with to defend him (at least on my Facebook thread) are “yes buts.” Yes but Biden made a racist remark in 1977, yes but Bill Clinton harassed women, yes but Obama threw Israel under the bus………
Israel, I love you, but I am not prepared to make a Faustian bargain for an embassy move that can easily be reversed. Ditto on annexation. As for the Iran deal we can argue the merits of scrapping it but one truth most Israel Firsters avoid is that Bibi never had the guts of Begin or even Olmert to actually go and do something about a hostile country going nuclear. They actually blew up threatening nuclear reactors. They never had to go to the U.N. with a nursery kid’s drawing of a bomb and whine because they actually blew the weapons up. Poor Bibi, looks like he and his buddy Trump do have really small hands.
What Bibi has succeeded tragically in accomplishing is making support for Israel an almost partisan issue in American politics. I say almost because unlike right wing talking points, I do not believe you have to be pro Bibi to be pro Israel. In that worldview, Joe Biden who has a 100% voting record on Israel is anti Israel. The Democrat Party is and will remain overwhelmingly pro Israel, even if their support does not please Bibi or his Amen crowd of Israel Firsters.
America is now in a time of racial reckoning. Donald Trump is not the cause of it but he is a symptom of it. His presence in the highest office in the land however, has made protesting centuries of racial injustice easy. An overwhelming majority of Jewish Americans will not vote for Trump in 2020 just as they didn’t in 2016. A majority of Jewish Americans and I include myself in this group, are grappling with having benefited from systemic racism (or white privilege) and how we can become better people and anti racists. So I am sorry, but if you look at Trump only through the lens of what he has done for Israel, you may be pro Israel but in regards to the health of America, you are ambivalent at best and racist at worst.
This may be tough to hear, but if you just look at Trump’s words and tweets from the past four years and you still support him for president, you are a racist. Israel will survive no matter who the US president is, the great American experiment will not last four more years of Trump.