Trump and the Loyalty of American Jews

Commenting on the words and actions of Trump can seem like a full-time job. Just when you think he’d give the outrages and insults a rest, he comes back and digs deeper.

After just having written a blog about his Labor Department’s effort to undo decades of settled anti-discrimination law, I thought there is time and space to focus on other issues of concern----and there are many.

But this afternoon, Trump outdid himself. He commented in the Oval Office about Jews and their voting patterns and their intelligence and their loyalty. One of those subjects alone is treacherous territory---a president treads there at his own peril.

But Trump being Trump, he is oblivious to norms, moral constraints, historic tropes, and the dangers of stereotypes.

In response to a question about the four congresswomen whom he is attempting to make the face of the Democratic Party, he said:

 "And I think any Jewish people that vote for a Democrat, I think it shows either a total lack of knowledge or great disloyalty."

 The citing of “loyalty” issues when discussing any minority group, let alone Jews, is outrageous. Regarding Jews it is historically ignorant and potentially incendiary.

 To suggest that he knows how an entire religious group “should vote” is absurd, patronizing and insulting on its face. To intimate that failing to follow his suggestions as to political loyalty reflects a “total lack of knowledge” is to imply that the 70% + of American Jews who preferred Hillary over him are fools.

 Trump can no longer shock or surprise---his “lack of knowledge, his “disloyalty” to American values and his bigotry are on full display 24/7.