President Trump was not wrong when he said that he seems to care more about Israel than many American Jews.
I’m a vocal, unashamed supporter of Donald Trump, and this has caused serious friction with some of my oldest friends. In fact, my closest pal (best buds for nearly 60 years) posted something on Facebook this week where he compared Trump supporters to the Germans who stood by quietly when Hitler rose to power and when he initiated the Holocaust.
I really didn’t want to get into a debate with my friend on Facebook, but I did respond by saying that such comparisons contribute to an uncivil political environment and are an insult both to the victims of the Holocaust as well as to those millions of people who are Trump fans because of his economic and foreign policy accomplishments.
My friend did not take my comments well. He replied by saying that Donald Trump is the vilest of creatures, a racist, an anti-Semite and that anyone who thought positively of President Trump had to be drinking Fox News’s Kool-Aid. He also called me “patronizing” because I dared to suggest that he might want to seek out information from sources other than the hard-left folks at MSNBC et al.
I know my experience is not unusual. Many Trump fans have told me that they are berated and ostracized by their ‘liberal’ (now isn’t that a misnomer) friends, and many have resorted to avoidance of political discussions as a form of self-defense.
Well, I’ve always believed in being forthright and direct, so I’ve drafted a letter to my friend that readers are welcome to re-send to people in their circles who are similarly infected with the Trump Derangement Psychosis (it’s gone way beyond a ‘syndrome’):
To my best friend:
I get it. You hate Donald Trump. You think he’s a boor, a womanizer, a cretin, a simple-minded reality television creation. You are certainly entitled to your opinion, but that’s precisely what it is: an opinion, a personal viewpoint that others may not share. You also accuse him of being a racist and an anti-Semite even though there is nothing in his personal history or presidential record to suggest that such inflammatory claims have any element of truth.
Please understand that I am fully aware of his personal failings and so are the millions of people who voted for him. But when you cast your vote in a presidential election, you aren’t normally selecting the most virtuous person; you’re choosing the candidate who you feel will best serve your interests and those of the country. Given that Trump’s opponent was Hillary Clinton, with her track record of indisputable corruption and incompetence, voting for Trump was an entirely reasonable and defensible position.
So now let’s take a look at what Donald Trump has done in his first three years in office and see if any of his accomplishments or pronouncements deserve the opprobrium you and his other detractors keep hurling at him and his supporters.
What I see is near-unprecedented economic growth, soaring consumer and corporate confidence, an easing of the tax burden on the economically disadvantaged, rising wages, fewer Americans dependent on government hand-outs, record employment figures for non-white Americans, energy independence, strengthening of the military, confronting the foes of the U.S. (read : Russia, China, Iran, North Korea) rather than leaving it to future generations to handle, holding allies to account for not properly funding their own self-defence, renegotiating trade deals that were not beneficial to the U.S., appointing federal and Supreme Court justices who actually apply the law rather than use the courts to effect social engineering, dramatically reducing the paperwork burden for businesses, treating international forums such as the U.N. with the disdain they so richly deserve, and finally, being a true friend to Israel in stark contrast to his immediate predecessor.
Now, I really don’t know where Israel ranks on your list of concerns. I used to think that like most Diaspora Jews (especially those who were born in Israel, like the two of us), you were intensely concerned about Israel’s welfare and were prepared to leave other issues to the hundreds of millions of non-Jewish Americans to fight over. Frankly, if we Jews don’t prioritize Israel’s needs, who will? And given America’s indispensable role in the protection of Israel, we should be heartened having an American president who places Israel at the top of his to-do list. In fact, Donald Trump was not wrong when he said that he seems to care more about Israel than many American Jews.
A lengthy list of significant achievements and unequivocal support for Israel. For me and for other fans of ‘The Donald’, it is a praiseworthy record and one that would normally lead to a landslide re-election.
You don’t have to restrict your news-viewing to Fox News or Breitbart to arrive at these conclusions. You just have to look at the numbers and be open to interpretations of events that differ from the perspectives of MSNBC and CNN. You also have to be able to differentiate between what a person says and what he/she does. Maybe Donald Trump does harbor some biases and prejudices (something he has in common with 330 million of his fellow Americans), but he has a better record than any president in the past 40 years in terms of raising real incomes and helping the most disadvantaged members of society. If it were Barak Obama who was overseeing an era of rising employment, higher standards of living and fewer Americans dependent on the government, you and the rest of your liberal cohort would be singing his praises.
Then there’s the shameful matter of invoking Nazi comparisons when discussing Trump supporters. Trump is not putting anyone in concentration camps (and if you want to cite the immigrant holding areas on the southern border, you might want to take a look at what Obama was doing with illegal immigrants during his tenure), nobody is dying for being a member of the wrong religion, no one is attacking neighboring countries, and Trump has done nothing to suggest he has designs on discarding American republicanism in favour of dictatorship (take a look at Obama’s lengthy list of invocations of executive privilege if you want a real example of stretching presidential powers).
Let’s Agree to Disagree – Civilly
Using Hitler analogies is not the way to promote a healthy debate, and it is demeaning to the true victims of Nazism.
You’re a very smart person but not a very open-minded one. I think it’s sad that you can’t accept the fact that just because some people don’t agree with you, it doesn’t mean they are ignorant, mean-spirited or despicable human beings. You do not have a monopoly on the truth, you do not have a monopoly on empathy for the disadvantaged, you do not have knowledge of facts that the rest of us are too obtuse to recognize, and you most certainly do not have a gift for political insightfulness that the rest of us lack. You’re just a guy with a point of view, same as the rest of us.
So can we go back to sharing the occasional pizza and beer and simply agree to disagree? Civilly?
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