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.
MM is a prolific and creative writer and thinker, an almost daily blog contributor to the Times of Israel, and previously, for decades, he was known to the Jerusalem Post readers as a frequent letter writer. He often makes his readers laugh, mad, or assume he's nuts—close to perfect blogging. He's proud that his analytical short comments are removed both from left-wing and right-wing news sites. *
As a frontier thinker, he sees things many don't yet. He's half a prophet. Half. Let's not exaggerate. He doesn't believe that people observe and think in a vacuum. He, therefore, wanted a broad bio that readers interested can track a bit about what (lack of) backgrounds, experiences, and education contribute to his visions. *
If you don't know the Dutch, get an American peek behind the scenes here: https://youtu.be/QMPp6h6r72M *
To find less-recent posts on subject XXX among his over 1600 archived ones, go to the right-top corner of a Times of Israel page, click on the search icon and search "zuiden, XXX". One can find a second, wilder blog, to which one may subscribe, here: https://mmvanzuiden.wordpress.com/. *
Like most of his readers, he believes in being friendly, respectful, and loyal. Yet, if you think those are his absolute top priorities, you might end up disappointed. His first loyalty is to the truth. He will try to stay within the limits of democratic and Jewish law, but he won't lie to support opinions or people who don't deserve that. He admits that he sometimes exaggerates to make a point, which could have him come across as nasty, while in actuality, he's quite a lovely person to interact with. He holds - how Dutch - that a strong opinion doesn't imply intolerance of other views. *
Sometimes he's misunderstood because his wide and diverse field of vision seldomly fits any specialist's box. But that's exactly what some love about him. He has written a lot about Psychology (including Sexuality and Abuse), Medicine (including physical immortality), Science (including basic statistics), Politics (Israel, the US, and the Netherlands, Activism), Oppression and Liberation (intersectionally, for young people, the elderly, non-Whites, women, workers, Jews, LGBTQIA+, foreigners and anyone else who's dehumanized or exploited), Integrity, Philosophy, Jews (Judaism, Zionism, Holocaust, and Jewish Liberation), the Climate Crisis, Ecology and Veganism, Affairs from the news, or the Torah Portion of the Week, or new insights that suddenly befell him. *
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, lehavdil bein chayim lechayim, Rabbi Dr. Natan Lopes Cardozo, Rav Zev Leff, and Rav Meir Lubin. *
One of his rabbis calls him Mr. Innovation [Ish haChidushim]. Yet, his originalities seem to root deeply in traditional Judaism, though they may grow in unexpected directions. In fact, he claims he's modernizing nothing. Rather, mainly basing himself on the basic Hebrew Torah text, he tries to rediscover classical Jewish thought almost lost in thousands of years of stifling Gentile domination and Jewish assimilation. (He pleads for a close reading of the Torah instead of going by rough assumptions of what it would probably mean and before fleeing to Commentaries.) This, in all aspects of life, but prominently in the areas of Free Will, Activism, Homosexuality for men, and Redemption. *
He hopes that his words will inspire and inform, and disturb the comfortable and comfort the disturbed. He aims to bring a fresh perspective rather than harp on the obvious and familiar. He loves to write encyclopedic overviews. He doesn't expect his readers to agree. Rather, original minds should be disputed. In short, his main political positions are among others: anti-Trumpism, anti-elitism, anti-bigotry and supremacy, for Zionism, Intersectionality, and non-violence, anti those who abuse democratic liberties, anti the fake ME peace process, for original-Orthodoxy, pro-Science, pro-Free Will, anti-blaming-the-victim, and for down-to-earth, classical optimism, and happiness. *
He is a fetal survivor of the pharmaceutical industry (https://diethylstilbestrol.co.uk/studies/des-and-psychological-health/), born in 1953 to parents who were Dutch-Jewish Holocaust survivors who met in the largest concentration camp in the Netherlands, Westerbork. He grew up a humble listener. It took him decades to become a speaker too. Bullies and con artists almost instantaneously envy and hate him. *
He holds a BA in medicine (University of Amsterdam) – is half a doctor. He practices Re-evaluation Co-counseling since 1977, is not an official teacher anymore, and became a friendly, empowering therapist. He became a social activist, became religious, made Aliyah, and raised three wonderful kids non-violently. For a couple of years, he was active in hasbara to the Dutch-speaking public. He wrote an unpublished tome about Jewish Free Will. He's being a strict vegan since 2008. He's an Orthodox Jew but not a rabbi. He lives with his library in Jerusalem. Feel free to contact him. *
His writing has been made possible by a (second-generation) Holocaust survivors' allowance 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. 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 an original 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. *
His newest books you may find here: https://www.amazon.com/s?i=stripbooks&rh=p_27%3AMoshe-Mordechai%2FMaurits+van+Zuiden&s=relevancerank&text=Moshe-Mordechai%2FMaurits+van+Zuiden&ref=dp_byline_sr_book_1