To brand President Trump just Evil, Substandard or Crazy may make us feel great but does not really yield such deep insights in what makes him tick, what needs to happen and what we can do. It’s also too much in the corner of name-calling.
To compare President Trump to Hitler and to Putin, as frequently has been done, may draw interesting, horrifying or amusing parallels. Yet in the end, similarities to these others just confuse, because he simply is not them and should be seen for who he is.
Let me suggest a few ideas instead, which might be more helpful and empowering.
- Trump is fully human and no mystery
- Profession: Master-negotiator and sales person.
- Attitude: He’s in it for the fun of it. Money, power and status are (his) fun.
- As a salesperson he has no problem going fox hunting and declaring hand on heart that he loves and respects foxes more than any other creature. In his book that is not lying; that is being professional.
- He happens to like Jews and Gays. His mentor was a ruthless Gay Jew, by the name of Roy Cohn. Maybe that could explain a lot. (Knowing what a sweet bunch Jews and Gays each are, ruthless should come as a surprise. However, considering what life was like for Gay Jews in the past should take away the wonder.)
- He has no clue about Racism, Sexism, Anti-Semitism, Able-bodyism, and Climate Change. While you were busy learning about life and society, he was busy making money. This makes him vulnerable to nonsense from his right-wing advisors. Teach him and he will adopt the teaching if it will give him more money, power and status (see above: 2).
- Learn from history but do not make yourself believe that we went back in time reliving it
- The US under Trump did not become the start of another Nazi Germany. Police brutality is not the Gestapo. Anti-Semitism and Racism are not state-run programs to annihilate the Jews or re-enslave Non-Whites. Notice the differences and use them. Democracy, freedom of the press and decency (from judges, journalists, Senators, activists and you) are powerful allies of the oppressed that are not going anywhere. Use these assets!
- Jews are no longer always the canary in the coal mine. Presently, in Russia the Gays are. For now, in the US the Non-Whites are. NB: They are not the “New Jews.” Jews and anti-Semitism are still here and will come back as target number one – don’t worry. (At US universities, Jews again are the favored scapegoats. That’s the future!)
- Keep some distance to see the Big Picture beyond the depressing details
- Conservatives are not evil. Recognize that they are for small government to gain more freedom to be naughty – and are willing to lie for it. Look at FOX to learn to recognize the lying from their facial expressions. (They barely can keep their laughter in, while they lie through their teeth. Experienced frauds sometimes use anger or over-seriousness to prevent bursting into laughter.)
- Recognize that progressives have a tendency to overregulate and stifle every discussion with arrogant overconfidence. They seem to believe being in exclusive possession of the Complete Truth. This does not leave enough respect and space to learn from people who think differently, which makes them too extreme, dictatorial and less effective.
- Why is there Evil? Why are we here? There are so many answers, but I find the traditional Jewish idea helpful: We are alive to earn our eternal award by helping to identify, oppose and uproot Evil. That means that Evil is planted here by G-d for us to oppose it. People who do so are partners with G-d; people who commit Evil are pawns moved by G-d (while they erroneously feel all-powerful and totally free). That makes Trump a G-d-sent Pragmatic Poker Playing Pawn.