Moshe-Mordechai van Zuiden
Moshe-Mordechai van Zuiden
Psychology, Medicine, Science, Politics, Oppression, Integrity, Philosophy, Jews -- For those who like their news and truths frank and sharp

Understanding Trump and G-d Anew

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
  1. Profession: Master-negotiator and sales person.
  2. Attitude: He’s in it for the fun of it. Money, power and status are (his) fun.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.)
  5. 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
  1. 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!
  2. 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
  1. 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.)
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
About the Author
MM is a prolific and creative writer and thinker, previously a daily blog contributor to the TOI. He often makes his readers laugh, mad, or assume he's nuts—close to perfect blogging. 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 what (lack of) backgrounds, experiences, and educations contribute to his visions. * This year, he will prioritize getting his unpublished books published rather than just blog posts. Next year, he hopes to focus on activism against human extinction. To find less-recent posts on a subject XXX among his over 1400 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/ or by clicking on the globe icon next to his picture on top. * Like most of his readers, he believes in being friendly, respectful, and loyal. However, 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 when don't deserve that. (Yet, we all make honest mistakes, which is just fine and does not justify losing support.) 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 - more than leftwing or rightwing, he hopes to highlight reality), 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. * Chronologically, his most influential teachers 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. This short list doesn't mean to disrespect others who taught him a lot or a little. * 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. When he can, 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, for Zionism, Intersectionality, 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. Read his blog on how he attempts to bridge any tensions between those ideas or fields. * He is a fetal survivor of the pharmaceutical industry (https://diethylstilbestrol.co.uk/studies/des-and-psychological-health/), born in 1953 to his 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, and decades more to admit to being a genius. But his humility was his to keep. And so was his honesty. Bullies and con artists almost instantaneously envy and hate him. He hopes to bring new things and not just preach to the choir. * 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, powerful therapist. He became a social activist, became religious, made Aliyah, and raised three wonderful kids. Previously, for decades, he was known to the Jerusalem Post readers as a frequent letter writer. 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 a strict vegan since 2008. He's an Orthodox Jew but not a rabbi. * 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. 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.
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