It feels like Donald Trump’s been president for almost three years, not three weeks, and even now that he’s committed so many executive orders — which are really decrees — it’s absurd to consider the effects of a Trump Presidency when they’re yet so unknown.
But there’s a biblical three-score and 10 to consider of the life he’s already lived. Never has there been a president whose live is so public and documented. There’s so many facets to consider of Trump, but in the JT, only one matters.
A commentator on Fox News’s website wrote that if Bill Clinton was the first black president, Donald Trump’s the first Jewish president. Queasy as you might feel, it’s hard not to see why people think that. Endless hard work? Check. Speaking his mind regardless of consequence? Check. New York real estate? Check. Winter house in Florida? Check. Children in his business? Check. Daughter gone frum? Check.
No president’s ever seemed 18 percent as Jewish as Trump. Yet his values are as goyish as early American furniture. But they’re not goyish in the way we good-naturedly rib our non-Jewish friends; they’re goyish in the term’s original meaning — a biblical epithet, a curse, hurled upon barbarous heathens who oppress the righteous without mercy.
The Trumps made their fortune not in Manhattan but in Queens. Long before racial resentment dominated the thinking of Iowans who’d barely met a black person, Donald Trump was found guilty in civil court of refusing to lease housing to African-Americans with “such frequency…” The history of refusing to pay contractors for services rendered to the Trump organization is voluminous and legendary — when contractors sue, they settle for cents on dollars promised. New York City auditors found his properties missing basic financial records.
Even in eighth grade Bible class at Schechter, Dr. Shualy would drill Talmudic passages about ethical business practice into our heads. As adults, why he did it is no mystery. If Jewish businessmen conducted business like our president, their names would be exemplars of everything loathsome about us. They would be disgraces to Jews everywhere, and the president’s association with us is exactly that.
I don’t need to tell you about Trump, you all lived through 2016, most of you lived through 30 years with this waste of space on your television. But I do think there is one point worth making.
I’m sure there are many JT readers who find the ubiqutous Trump-Hitler comparisons outrageous in the extreme. Any Jew should be sympathetic to you. Every progressive who ever told a Jew that invoking the Shoah automatically invalidates any defense of Israel now compares Trump to Hitler when the president’s policies barely yet killed a single person. Trump was compared to Hitler when he was just a primary candidate.
I agree, Hitler comparisons are outrageous, but Hitler’s the one name Trump’s called that doesn’t bother him. The candidate bothered by every insult never answers it. Louis CK called him Hitler, and Trump didn’t complain on Twitter, he asked a rally the next day “Who here likes me?” and told everybody to raise out their right arms to show they do. As of June, Trump retweeted white supremacists 75 times, then deleted it every time as though it were a mistake. At one point, Trump falsely claimed that he had the support of 88 generals — Farvertz noted that 88 is white supremacist code for Heil Hitler. Ivana Trump once said her ex-husband would sleep with a book of Hitler speeches by his bed. In his inaugural speech, Trump invoked the phrase “America First” at his inauguration, which every American History buff knows was the slogan of fascist fellow travelers. Perhaps the most famous quote from The Art of the Deal is “You tell people a lie three times, they will believe anything.” That’s almost a direct reference to Goebbels’s famous dictum: “A lie told once remains a lie, but a lie repeated a thousand times becomes truth.”
In terms of the oppression perpetrated, it’s absurd to call Donald Trump Hitler, and would be for a long time yet. It’s just as absurd to consider him a dictator, or compare him even to your average 19th century monarch. As of yet, he is no Hitler. Rather, he is an incarnation of Satan who’s taken it upon himself to bring the worst of trials upon the United States, which has until now known little but blessings from God just as Iyov did. And as Iyov did, whatever our trials, we will bear them in the hope that one day He will restore His favor to us. Naked came we out of our mothers’ wombs, and naked shall we return thither: Hashem gave to America, and Hashem took away from America. Blessed be His name forever and ever.