He is, as he has been described, and as he behaves, as he has proved and as he bloviates, as a "pathological liar." And so he is. His messages are filled with hate -- for those who are "different," poor, needy -- those he describes as "losers" and worse. He has offended our allies and articulated no support for Israel. His "policies," such as they are, seem to be found in internet rumor and urban myth. Every true "conservative," every knowledgeable Jewish conservative, who has reviewed his ever-changing positions on matters of substance, has found him indifferent, even opposed to "conservative principles." Yet, he is by every measure, about to represent the Republican Party as its candidate for President. He is Donald Trump.
I have watched so many old newsreels of the United States in the '30s. One set of images that has haunted me is of massive Nazi rallies in our country...in the United States...where Jewish protesters were dragged out by those in brownshirts, beaten, and our ancestors were silent. Now, I watch as non-violent protesters at Trump "rallies" are pushed out, dragged out, struck, and demeaned by the crowd, led by a candidate who demeans anyone who opposes him in any way. 1930s Nazi thugs, 2016 Trump thuggery.
I have received e-mails from Jewish friends that have asserted (or suggested) that these protesters deserve whatever ("whatever") they get because they are the progeny of Saul Alinsky and Tom Ayers. These are self-characterized Jewish Republicans whose "anyone but Obama" mantra is now playing out as "anyone but Hillary" -- apparently even Trump. Really? Trump? Because we hate Hillary and her policies so much that we would support this guy. These are the same ones who alerted us to the probability that President Obama would be no friend of Israel. They forget that Obama at best attested in his campaign in 2008 that he would be a friend of Israel; Trump has made no pretense that he would the office with a goal in the Middle East of something he calls "balance" between Israel and the Palestinians. He refers to the American Jewish polity as "you Jews" and he rejects in style and rhetoric (because there is no substance) Jewish values as embodied in tikkun olam.
It's time, past time, for us as a Jewish polity to join hands with women, with Latins, with African Americans, and, with Muslims, with any and all Americans who share the things we value in our democracy in opposition to this Trump candidacy grounded in hatred for the "other' and the explicit rejection of our values.
If not now, when?
P.S. As I posted I received a broadside that announced the Reform Movement's condemnation of Trump's "hate speech."