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At What Point Will Republicans Abandon Trump?

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Cartoon by Jinle Zhu

Cartoon by Jinle Zhu

Cartoon by Jinle Zhu

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First off, I’d like to say one thing: Nazis are bad. Really bad. And guess what? I don’t like them.

See how easy that was? For some reason, it wasn’t nearly as easy for President Trump to say the same thing.

This is the very same President who has not hesitated to call out Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, Senator Richard Blumenthal, “sleazy” Congressman Adam Schiff and even Saturday Night Live after they hurt his feelings.

But when confronting actual evil, he has failed to respond appropriately.

White supremacists marched on Charlottesville, Virginia beginning on Friday, Aug. 11. They were protesting the planned removal of a statue honoring Confederate General Robert E. Lee.

The next day, a neo-Nazi from Ohio drove his car into a crowd of counter-protesters, killing 32-year-old Heather Heyer.

On the day of the incident, rather than condemning Neo-Nazis and the Klu Klux Klan, Trump condemned violence and bigotry “on many sides,” suggesting that counter-protesters are just as responsible as the hate groups.

Two days later, he finally issued a statement specifically condemning racist groups as “repugnant to everything we hold dear as Americans.” The day after that, however, he returned to his original position that “there is blame on both sides.”

Obviously, this is bad, and was obviously caused by the Nazi sympathizer, right? Well, President Trump went on to blame people on “both sides” for this. Those damn liberals, standing in front of a speeding car, am I right? This response was really, for lack of better words, lame. Really lame.

You’d think that saying Nazis are bad is one of the easiest things a president ever has to do, but apparently not. You’d think denying former grand wizard of the KKK David Duke’s claims that they were marching for him would be easy to dismiss, right? Nope.

I can understand why many people supported Trump in the first place. He appealed to a massive group who felt the government was doing wrong and that Hillary Clinton was unfit to be president, but I think his response to Charlottesville shows his true character.

People who literally have parties on Hitler’s birthday and believe Jews are inferior helped put the President into the White House, and he won’t say he disagrees with their beliefs. By not objecting to their actions, he encourages them to continue.”

Nazis, members of the KKK and other white supremacists were a large group of his core voters, and he didn’t want to insult them. Let’s put that into perspective. People who literally have parties on Hitler’s birthday and believe Jews are inferior helped put the President into the White House, and he won’t say he disagrees with their beliefs. By not objecting to their actions, he encourages them to continue.

The Anti-Defamation League, a Jewish civil rights organization, issued a statement on Trump’s response to Charlottesville, which read:

“The President must clearly denounce white supremacy in all forms,” and “White supremacists feel emboldened by the current political climate.”

I emailed local rabbis to find out their thoughts.

Rabbi Steven Denker Temple Emanu El commented on the tragic direction our political climate has taken:

We have always known that an undertone of racism and anti-Semitism persists in American society. Unfortunately, we are at a moment in our political history when, for a variety of complex reasons, that undertone has been given permission to surface into the public discourse. There is going to be a great deal of real and perceived damage done to the fabric of our society in the next few years. Yet, I believe in the fundamental goodness of our country and I continue to advise proceeding with vigilant optimism.”

Rabbi Joshua Caruso of Fairmount Temple is also concerned:

“Today these hate groups feel like they have been given consent to broadcast their views and recruit others. As one civic community, Jews, Christians, Muslims and people of all other faiths and walks of life must not be silent.”

And yet, somehow, Trump still has Jewish supporters. He has Jewish supporters here in Beachwood. Ohio Treasurer and Senate Candidate Josh Mandel, a BHS alum, denounced the hate on display in Charlottesville, but he has failed to distance himself from Trump.

I attempted to contact Mandel and his campaign, but he did not respond to requests for comment.

At the Charlottesville rally, a bunch of white people carried Tiki torches and shouted catchphrases such as “Blood and Soil,” translated from the German phrase “Blut und Boden,” a central tenant of Nazi ideology. They also repeated the phrases “white lives matter” and “Jews will not replace us.”

First of all, on behalf of all other Jews, we definitely don’t want to replace whatever the hell you’re doing. Also, I know the phrase “white lives matter” is supposed to be a sarcastic response to the phrase “black lives matter” but really, people?

Calling attention to one group of people who have suffered systematic discrimination doesn’t mean the other groups are irrelevant or not important, it just means that group probably doesn’t need the immediate attention. It’s like when children complain on Mother’s or Father’s day that there isn’t a children’s day. The only difference is that children learn and grow out of it. These white supremacists, on the other hand, certainly haven’t.

Tolerating intolerance only leads to more intolerance, which is something I really don’t think we should be tolerating.”

Yes, they have their right to believe and speak out for what they believe in, as protected by the first amendment.

You know what else the first amendment gives the right to do? It gives me the right to call these people imbeciles. Tolerating intolerance only leads to more intolerance, which is something I really don’t think we should be tolerating.

White supremacists have always been proponents of terror, but the intimidation has gotten worse recently since they are walking around openly carrying guns.

Recent outrage from Nazis, the KKK and other groups reacted to efforts to remove Confederate monuments displayed in public places… monuments that honor slaveholders and terrorize those whose family members were enslaved.

These monuments shouldn’t stand to honor an armed rebellion against the United States of America. They shouldn’t be destroyed permanently, either. Instead, they should be placed in museums as haunting reminders of America’s troubled past.

In the end, if you’re a supporter of Donald Trump, especially a Jewish supporter, you should be concerned, to say the least. We should all be concerned about who the President is.

 

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At What Point Will Republicans Abandon Trump?