Monday, January 30, 2017

The President's Heart



In the confounding era of a Trump presidency I must wax clear my concerns as a Jewish woman where my sentiments about being a Jew lie, how strongly or not I support the Jewish state now, and my concerns about my Jewishness within a Trumpian administration that is unclear to me in its opaque verbosity against purposeful antiSemitic, anti-Muslim and other racist hate-filled acts that have become more plentiful as Trump's campaign and his assent to the presidency takes place.

I have been politically invariant through the decades. I have through my college years and beyond taken a decidedly left of center seat and remained in that chair ever since formed in part through an empathy with the "other." I was born three years after the most cerebrally indelible event that has been burned into the Jewish mind -- the Holocaust -- which erased from the face of the earth, through unspeakable horrors, 2/3rds of the Jews of Europe. At 10 years old I saw for the first time pictures of the liberation of Auschwitz shown in a Newsreel before the main show in theaters of that era. I became nauseated at the sight. I was thankful to be living in a nation where I thought that would not happen again and where the specter of antiSemitism was, I also thought, gone. My young eyes saw the vicious slings and arrows of Nazism but thought being a Jew in our nation meant I would not have to feel the fear of such a horrific thing happening to me.

In present time, however, and as a politically sophisticated adult the reality of ever present antiSemitism rings true and it is especially true now by the surprising Trump victory and its attendant racial overtones. We are seeing fires at mosques, desecration of Muslim graves as well as Nazi Swastikas painted on houses by thugs as the Trumpian fog of white nationalism hangs in the air of the White House.

Several things about Trump are worrisome. It is more than alarming to me that one of the main actors in the Trump administration is Steve Bannon who not only is in the president's administration with an office close to him but has been promoted to chief strategist and senior counselor. Bannon, the former head of Brietbart.com has been a trafficker in extremist right wing conspiracy theories, sexist beliefs and antiSemitic thought. According to Political Conundrum Forum Trump reorganized the National Security Council which now gives Bannon a regular seat on the principals committee — the meetings of the most senior national security officials, including the secretaries of defense and state.

What does this say about an administration that looks the other way as members of the so called Alt Right give the president a Nazi-like salute, where David Duke KKK arch racist and antiSemite praises the president while "understanding" why Trump cannot invite him in and when the president commemorates National Holocaust Remembrance Day by conspicuously omitting the word Jew or Jewish when mentioning it? It has been my experience that those who are less than sympathetic to the suffering of the Jew as the prime recipient of the Final Solution during the Holocaust often leave out that fact or tell us that there were more than simply Jews who were the recipients of Nazi madness.

It gives me no solace that Trump pays lip service to the support of the State of Israel while advocating for policies that would destroy the Jewish state not help it thrive. Those who think he is a friend
of the Jew because he has a Jewish son-in-law err in their naiveté. His friendship with Putin, no friend of the Jew, and his reliance on Bannon who according to his ex-wife did not want his children schooled with Jews speaks loud and clear as to what the president harbors in his heart if he, in fact, has a heart at all.