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Defying the Odds

Defying the Odds
New book about the 2016 election.

Thursday, August 22, 2019

Trump and Jewish Voters

In Defying the Odds, we discuss Trump's character and record of dishonestyThe update  -- recently published --includes a chapter on the 2018 midterms. Earlier this month, he told several Democratic congresswomen to "go back" to their countries.  This week, he said that Jews who back Democrats are stupid or disloyal.

Lloyd Green at The Guardian:
So once again, Jew-baiting will be part of the Trump playbook, just as it was in 2016 and 2018, even if Trump’s allies now proclaim that Jexodus is just around the corner. Old campaign habits die hard, and sometimes not at all.
Three years ago, thinly veiled antisemitic messages from Team Trump were features, not bugs. Pepe the Frog was a constant campaign meme. In July 2016, Trump tweeted out an image of the star of David, Hillary Clinton and piles of money. After the initial stir, the six-pointed star was replaced by Trump with a circle. Still, folks “got it”, on both sides, just like in Charlottesville.
Then just days before the election, George Soros, Janet Yellen and Lloyd Blankfein took center stage in Trump’s closing ad. Back then Rashida Tlaib and Ilhan Omar were not on the stage – someone else would have to make do.
Said differently, religion and ethnicity were fair game for Trump from start to finish, and Jews were not off-limits. As one of Trump’s lawyers told me, it was about expedience, that’s all; nothing personal, just look at Jared Kushner. Or as Steve Bannon confided to Michael Wolff, he couldn’t vouch that Trump wasn’t a racist, but Bannon could say that Trump “probably wasn’t an antisemite”.

Philip Rucker at WP:
Trump’s use of the word “disloyalty” drew immediate criticism from Jewish groups, whose leaders said it echoed anti-Semitic tropes about where American Jews’ loyalty lies. The president insisted his comments were not anti-Semitic.
Regardless, this turn in the president’s rhetoric about Jews magnifies his transactional approach to politics and his miscalculation that his support for Israel should automatically translate into electoral support from Jewish Americans.
It also reveals a fundamental misunderstanding of the motivations of many Jews, who are not a monolithic voting bloc and but rather prioritize a wide range of issues — not only Israel, but also education, the economy and the environment, as well as civility and morality.
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