Ignorance & Anti-Semitism: Trump Tropes

It certainly seems like an odd way to campaign for votes.

Talking Points Memo recently reported on a speech Trump made to a mostly Jewish crowd, in which he accused Jews of being insufficiently loyal to Israel, and explained that he’d get the support of Jewish voters because Jews would vote to protect their wealth. (Paul Krugman has pointed out that only 17% of Jews voted Republican in the midterms, despite their relative affluence. But Trump wouldn’t know a fact if he fell over one.)

“We have to get the people of our country, of this country, to love Israel more, I have to tell you that. We have to do it,” he said. “We have to get them to love Israel more. Because you have people that are Jewish people, that are great people…they don’t love Israel enough.”

He also told the mostly Jewish audience that they wouldn’t vote for Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) for president because, according to him, they want to protect their money from her proposed wealth tax.

Evidently, in what passes for Trump’s mind,  American Jews are all rich people displaying insufficient “dual loyalty.” Got it.

This wasn’t a “one off.” Trump has a history of characterizing Jews (and blacks and women and Muslims and…) in highly offensive ways. But in this particular speech, he evidently outdid himself. The Independent also covered the event, quoting Trump’s description of Jews as “brutal killers.”

“A lot of you are in the real estate business because I know you very well; you’re brutal killers. You’re not nice people at all, but you have to vote for me. You have no choice,” Trump told the group, which is funded by Sheldon Adelson, a Las Vegas casino tycoon who’s a big supporter of the president….

The president also said he “doesn’t like” many Jewish people, but warned that the Democrats’ fiscal policies will mean they’ll vote for him.

“Even if you don’t like me — some of you don’t, [and] some of you I don’t like at all actually — you’re going to be my biggest supporters because you’ll be out of business in about 15 minutes if they [the Democrats] get in,” he added.

An organization of Jewish Democrats was among those who responded to the remarks, which it called “deeply offensive,” and identified Donald Trump as the biggest threat facing American Jews today.

“We strongly denounce these vile and bigoted remarks in which the president – once again – used anti-Semitic stereotypes to characterize Jews as driven by money and insufficiently loyal to Israel. He even had the audacity to suggest that Jews ‘have no choice’ but to support him.

“American Jews do have a choice, and they’re not choosing President Trump or the Republican Party, which has been complicit in enacting his hateful agenda. In fact, Jewish support for the GOP has been halved since Trump has been in office, from 33 percent in 2014 to 17 percent in 2018, because Trump’s policies and rhetoric are completely antithetical to Jewish values.

Actually, it can be argued that Trump’s policies, rhetoric and behavior are also antithetical to genuine Christian values, as well as humanist values, Muslim values…

Whatever this and similar diatribes display about Trump’s values or lack thereof, they clearly reveal his intellectual limitations. Trump is simply incapable of understanding complexity or seeing nuance–he is thus incapable of seeing members of “tribes” other than his own as differentiated individuals. All Jews are rich businessmen, all African-Americans are criminals, all Muslims terrorists. All women are meat.

And let’s be honest: those attitudes permeate his base. The Republicans who support him do so because they share his bigotries, not despite them.

Trump may be the least self-aware human on the planet. He clearly has no clue how cringeworthy his utterances are, how laughable his boasts and glaringly obvious his ignorance.  Who else would campaign for the votes of a minority group by announcing his belief in bigoted stereotypes that have endangered that group for centuries?

This pathetic, barely literate, emotionally-crippled man would be a proper object of pity if he wasn’t able to do so much damage.

When I was growing up, the recurring question in my extended family–about social change, about political candidates, about pretty much everything–was, “is it good for the Jews?”

If there is clarity about anything these days, it’s this: Trump and his governing cabal are not good for the Jews–or, for that matter, for anyone else.


  1. What is even more disturbing than Trump’s behavior and language, is the number of people who support him and his behavior. Just to say “the economy is good” is not a good defense to what I perceive as blatant bigotry.

  2. Support for the President seems to be more about a very selective identity of culture and society than anything to do with genuine patriotism much less the state of our union. The danger is that he simply does know what he doesn’t know.

  3. Donald Trump’s “Archie Bunker” description of Jews would be laughable if not such a bigoted viewpoint of even his own daughter and her family. Count me among the “Meatheads” in this country who recognize an anti-Semite when I see one.

    “Actually, it can be argued that Trump’s policies, rhetoric and behavior are also antithetical to genuine Christian values, as well as humanist values, Muslim values…”

    Trump, McConnell, Nunes, Graham, Jordan, Collins, Barr, et al, have panicked since the Formal Impeachment Inquiry began a few weeks ago, making them more dangerous. We know that none of the Republicans in his administration, the House or Senate will speak out regarding their lies and rhetoric; are there Jews of any denomination among his “chosen people” who will speak up?

  4. Trump – the Drunken uncle who says crazy shit.
    This is the guy who is packing the federal courts with people JUST LIKE HIM.

  5. Just when we thought Trump couldn’t be more disgusting, he pulls this shit. Well, OF COURSE he pulls this shit. The fact that he became president tells the world more about the people who voted for him and, by extension, the country as a whole.

    No, the Trump-ites will never abandon their beloved leader because they are him and he is them. His anti-Jew bullshit rants are for the purpose of solidifying his base of the most base creatures this country has to offer. In 2016 there were 62 million of them, or about 1/6 of the overall population. Add to that those who feel the same but didn’t vote, and it gets really scary, disgusting and, for us older folks, very disheartening.

    These true believers have made a pact with the devil himself and are happily dancing into the flames of self-destruction. Pathetic.

  6. He thinks he’ll do right by giving them a deal. He’s hoping that he can talk them around to his way of thinking. The only problem is, there are so many other voices. He’s not used an Obama smooth talking voice. It’s going to be a much more difficult re-election than he thinks regardless of the non offense partisan impeachment and the release of the IG report that will not be correctly reported as being totally biased and driven financially by fusion gps.
    He may actually lose to Joe Biden as his talk can drive the narrow margins he needs away.

  7. I actually find it surprising that 17% of Jews still support the GOP. Maybe the 17% that support the GOP and 45 are actually the wealthy business people he spoke about and they may be choosing their wealth and power over what is good for the country and their fellow Jewish citizens that don’t have the benefits of wealth and power.

    I am not passing judgement about the 17%, but simply wondering what their reasons are for supporting 45 and the GOP.

  8. To defend this buffoon by saying “but the economy is good,” is to display one’s ignorance of what who the economy is good for. If the DOW Jones closes 50 points higher today, do you get a raise at work? If it closes 1000 points higher, do you get a raise? Stagnant salaries are not considered when people refer to a booming economy.

  9. Norris,

    It isn’t that he doesn’t know what he doesn’t know. It’s that he doesn’t care what he doesn’t know.

  10. What a lovely precedent this sets for declaring religions to be “nationalities”, and their adherents to be deportable on the basis of non-US nationality.

    Islam, anyone?

  11. After that speech, he may lose even more of the Jewish vote. He called them, “brutal killers.”

    My, my, my…

    And his followers are tired of me mocking him on social media. All I do is post his words (quote him) and his loyal subjects go ballistic…screaming “liberal propaganda.”

    I don’t like to use broad generalizations, but when quoting a man’s words is considered an attack against the man, we have touched on an issue of intelligence.

    In this case, Trump’s lack of intelligence is appealing to those who also suffer from a lack of intelligence. It’s his magic weapon!


  12. Pastor Martin Niemöller’s political sympathies came with a January 1934 meeting of Adolf Hitler,

    First they came for the socialists, and I did not speak out—because I was not a socialist.

    Then they came for the trade unionists, and I did not speak out— because I was not a trade unionist.

    Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out—because I was not a Jew.

    Then they came for me—and there was no one left to speak for me.

    Much controversy surrounds the content of the poem as it has been printed in varying forms, referring to diverse groups such as Catholics, Jehovah’s Witnesses, Jews, Trade Unionists, or Communists depending upon the version. Nonetheless his point was that Germans had been complicit through their silence in the Nazi imprisonment, persecution, and murder of millions of people. He felt this was true in particular of the leaders of the Protestant churches (of which the Lutheran church was one denomination).

    In his book Über die deutsche Schuld, Not und Hoffnung (published in English as Of Guilt and Hope)—which appeared in January 1946—Niemöller wrote:

    “Thus, whenever I chance to meet a Jew known to me before, then, as a Christian, I cannot but tell him: ‘Dear Friend, I stand in front of you, but we can not get together, for there is guilt between us. I have sinned and my people has sinned against thy people and against thyself.'”

    This is happening as we speak, history repeats itself because we have allowed, so-called freedom of speech, the hateful to deny history, history is destined to repeat itself.

    In Germany, the whole scenario progressed over more than a decade, in the United States, it’s been on fast-forward! It can’t happen here? Well, it already has!

  13. something to think of… whilst contemplating Sheila’s blog note…

  14. John Sorg – thanks for explaining the historical context of my words more fully for all. As a Jew, they are burned within me and ring out daily.

  15. Thoughts on the President’s new Executive Order. I heard that President Trump plans to sign an executive order today that would effectively define Judaism as a race or nationality, not just a religion, supposedly in an effort to compel colleges and universities to combat discrimination. Critics say such a policy could stifle free speech. It seems odd to me to redefine the identification of being Jewish by Presidential Order. This is essentially redefining race which is biological, and nationality which is geographical. To me, it changes the very essence of science and fact by Presidential proclamation. But then followers of the current Presidential Administration may believe the world is flat and there’s no such thing as climate change despite scientific evidence to the contrary. While I appreciate the protected class concept as it relates to discrimination, is this necessary?

  16. Pascal; people seem to forget that the economy and the stock market had been rising under President Obama and joblessness dropping. Now the economy and stock market are only benefiting corporations and the wealthy and people are working 2 and 3 underpaid jobs and still struggling day to day as prices soar weekly. Funny Trump’s supporters don’t seem to notice that or don’t make the connection.

  17. Sheila rightly notes that Trump’s views are antithetical to Jewish and perhaps others’ values. She is right; I am a gentile and his views are certainly at odds with mine, and as for his mindless observation that Warren would tax their wealth (and that they must therefore vote for him) fails to recognize that there is more than money involved in voting decisions, like, for instance, voting for the dictatorship he and Barr represent. Warren’s proposal in any event does not kick in until the taxpayer has fifty million dollars in assets, and my Jewish friends during my college and law school days were hardly Adelsons. We were .all struggling, both Jewish and gentile.

    I don’t know who writes Trump’s speeches (since he is functionally illiterate), but it could be one of his few advisers who has survived the in and out experiences of others in the White House, one Stephen Miller, himself Jewish, who may have a gig job writing for Netanyahu, the now-
    indicted leader of Israel who cannot form a government, though he (Miller) has done a good job for Trump in destroying our government, aided by Barr’s Goebbels-like view of the Second Article of our Constitution, which he has determined gives absolute power to the executive – which is hardly consonant with the history of Madisonian democracy.

    So where are we with Trump’s divisive tribal tactics? Just where we were. Our task is to call him out on each and every attempt to divide us based on race, religion, gender, or any other such artificial distinction, so let’s get on with it – and persevere.

  18. Rev. Manuel Colunga-Hernandez,

    I find that disturbing, people who practiced the Jewish faith are not monolithic, just as people who call themselves Christian are not monolithic. People who practice Judaism are in most countries on this planet. So how can you claim they are a specific nationality? Not only do you have those who are born into Judaism, but also those who are proselytes of the Jewish faith, (converts). Everyone better beware of what the Rev. brought to light, there is another motive here, but who can get into the mind of an evil insane person, even if you are evil and insane it would be a monumental task if it could be done at all.

    This is like saying, all Christians must be Catholic, and all Catholics must be Roman (Italian) because the Catholic Church started in Rome, and there lies the Vatican.

    Conservative Judaism, Orthodox Judaism, modern Orthodox, Haredi Orthodox (the ultra-Orthodox), Hasidic, Yeshivish, Open Orthodox, Reconstructionist Judaism, Jewish Renewal and Humanistic Judaism, it seems like someone is trying to divide and conquer, or to create divisiveness within the Jewish block, all to give Trump a better chance in the election! And I’m sure is other nefarious angles to this plan. Supposedly Jared Kushner is the author, but, there were influential Jewish conspirators that worked with Hitler, until they died in the concentration camps.

  19. Lester,

    That was a terrible time, I have read almost every article I could find on the Holocaust, my uncles witnessed it firsthand, they are all dead now, but they talked about how they brought in the local populations around those camps, and they all claimed (feigned) ignorance. How can anyone deny the level of evil perpetrated against the innocent. In this country, I’ve had family members that were lynched, splayed open, tied up and thrown in the lake to drown, all because of their race.

    For there to be denial that this is not happening now, look at the what is happening now as alluded to by the Rev. it’s disgusting! It seems to me he’s trying to split Judaism into many pieces, and those who don’t play ball, are going to be ruled persona non grata by Executive Order, this is not good!

    And Lester, I do give you the credit, I just picked up on your thought, everyone should be free to worship as they please. The First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution says that everyone in the United States has the right to practice his or her own religion, or no religion at all. The Free Exercise Clause of the First Amendment gives you the right to worship or not as you choose. The government can’t penalize you because of your religious beliefs.

    So as it stands now the government cannot interfere in your religious beliefs. And, your religious beliefs can be upheld if they are being trampled on in the workplace or educationally, or civilly.

    There is something afoot, everyone needs to beware, the gas is not being turned up slowly anymore, that frog is going to be boiled if it doesn’t wake up.

  20. President Agent Orange and Pastor Pence have two big fans: Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Sheldon Adelson. Netanyahu now seems to be having his own corruption issues – I suppose for President Agent Orange Netanyahu may be a bird of the same feather.

    The Pastor Pence wing of Bible Thumping Evangelicals were delighted with the American Embassy moving to Jerusalem and sanctions on Iran – One Step closer to the Apocalypse and Rapture.

    The World of President Agent Orange revolves around greed as a motivator. President Agent Orange proudly proclaims himself as the protector of Greed.

    The Dow or S&P 500 may up 200 points, but this paper wealth is not shared among the 99%. However, if the Dow or S&P 500 goes down the 99% will feel the knife edge of Capitalism.

  21. Certainly, we can agree that the economy has improved…compared to how the G.W. Bush administration left it.

    Is it the greatest economy ever? I doubt it.

    Seems to me that regardless of how we rate this economy, the price we pay in health, clean air, clean water, and natural resources is far too high. An economy bought with our health, our air, our water, and our natural resources can never be acknowledged as “great”. Neither will making such a loser deal ever be an art.

  22. Trump is a liar and a thief exactly like his father and his.

    Trump’s base are so because they, like him, think that it’s OK to be a thief and a liar as long as you do them at the expense of groups who used to be individual minorities and are now the collective majority that threatens the entitlements of the outgoing declining white male Protestant gun carrying heterosexual authoritarians.

    17% of Jews at the polls sacrificed to recruit more ex-majority folks whose only interest is what’s in it for me?

    The big unknown left about next year is Russia’s role. Should/will/can Putin stick his oar in our water again or is the risk of getting caught too high considered the benefit of having corruption and incompetence running Russia’s biggest competitor?

    This is the bottom line impeachment question.

  23. Once again, Donald Trump projects his own mindset onto others. HE is the one who puts money above principle and patriotism. Unfortunately Putin and the rest of the world know it.

  24. Trump apologists point to Ivanka’s conversion to Judaism (because Jared Kushner wouldn’t marry her unless she did), and moving the embassy to Jerusalem as proof positive that he and everything he does is pro-Jewish. They ignore the reality of the offensive and stereotypical things he says about Jews. They argue that no one with a “Jewish family” could be anti-Semitic. They overlook the fact that he praised White Supremacists (who carry flags with swasticas) as “fine people” after they murdered Heather Heyer in Charlottesville. They buy the Kellyanne Conway “alternative facts” narrative that the “fine people” Trump was referring to were people who opposed removal of a Confederate statute in Charlottesville, which, of course, requires completely ignoring truth and reality. Charlottesville was a White Supremacist rally, complete with torches and flags.

    My only worry is what little tricks Russia has up its sleeve for 2020 to help the Donald cheat again. We know they’re working on it, because our intelligence community has warned us. Why won’t Moscow Mitch McConnell sign the elections security bill passed by the House? At this point, there might not be enough time to implement the provisions to prevent hacking and altering of votes, especially in states where there are no back up paper ballots where voters vote via computer.

  25. The question is not if Putin will stick his oar in the election waters. He never has taken it out. Leon Panetta warned of the cyber security risks facing the nation years ago. The Congress has done almost nothing to change that. Instead we spend billions of obsolete weaponry while keeping military personnel so underpaid that they are on food stamps, living in unsafe housing and suffering from untreated mental disorders when they come back to civilian life.

    The states, including Indiana, have done almost nothing to protect our votes. There is no paper ballot to recount if necessary. Gerrymandered districts have successfully insured that reforms necessary to protect our votes are firmly in the hands of those who would suppress the vote with ID requirements and access to the places where ID can be obtained impact minorities.
    See Alabama for an egregious example. Indiana is not far behind.

    Vote by Mail would solve a lot of these problems. It is cost effect, gives voters plenty of time and opportunity to research and select their choices with almost no chance for fraud but does not satisfy the media and our own artificial expectations for instant results. Of course, it would threaten the existing power brokers in all areas. So what if Russia is interfering? We know the winners before the polls close.

    As for the increasing threats to our Jewish communities, they are now out in the open. Imagine if any previous Presidential candidate had spoken to any Jewish audience this way expecting to win their support. The fact that the audience did not rise from their seats in protest and leave the venue en masse is in itself astonishing. It seems the water is already boiling as the frog wonders at the heat.

  26. Felix and AJ – despite what some might say, and it is very political and a topic for another time, Judaism is both a nationality and a religion – that is the reason why the Dalai Lama spent a lot of time with Jewish leaders and scholars a while back – he wanted to know how he could help his people could survive after the Chinese swallowed Tibet – he had his country, Tibet and his religion, Tibetan Buddhism – Shortly after, he renounced title as leader of the country, but is still the spiritual leader of his people – I, personally, suspect a connection

    Nancy – being descended from priests and prophets, I will pass judgement on the 17% – they are an abomination against god and man – Steve Miller may be at the top, but Sheldon Adelson ranks up there – throw in Bibi too – they should all repent and dedicate the rest of their lives to acts of loving kindness — once they learn what that is

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