The Trump Pinata Preserving the False Obama Messiah

Summary: Democrats have been pounding on Trump and his loss in the popular vote to defend the legacy of their anointed liberal messiah. Stating that Clinton Hillary lost just because of “racists and misogynists” as the New York Times declares, is to ignore the facts of the failed Obama policies.

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Democrats burning an effigy of Donald Trump on Easter

Barack Obama was hailed as the deliverer when he was elected president in 2008. Indeed, in the election of 2008, the Democrats swept all branches of government, including adding 8 seats in the Senate, 21 seats in the House of Representatives, plus a governorship. When Obama was sworn into office in January 2009, Democrats held 57% of the Senate, 59% of the House and 58% of the state governors. Quite a victory and mandate.

The Democrats chose to use their mandate to advance a liberal agenda.  Their primary focus was healthcare which had been increasing in costs at rates that far surpassed inflation. Rather than implement solutions that would cut to the core of the cost structure like major tort reform, they advanced a program for Americans to subsidize the millions of uninsured, creating a new, complicated entitlement program.

The American people balked at the Democrats’ actions.

In the 2010 election, the Democrats were trounced, losing 6 seats in the Senate, 63 seats in the House and 6 governorships. Did the population that had just elected Obama two years earlier suddenly become racist and xenophobic?

In the 2012 election, Obama won the presidency again, and brought along some Democratic victories in the Senate (+2) and House (+8), while it lost another state governor to the Republicans. But the net losses for the Democrats over Obama’s first term were still huge: -2 Senate seats; -56 House seats; and -10 governors, from 29 down to 19. All of these losses were realized before the rise of Donald Trump.

The 2014 election witnessed another thrashing of the Democrats. The Democrats lost 9 Senate seats, 13 House seats, and another 3 governorships.  And Donald Trump had still not declared that he was running for office.

By the time Barack Obama steps down from office in January 2009, he will have stood watch as his party was eviscerated over his eight years. The Democrats would have lost the majority of the Senate (from 57% to 48%), the majority in the House (from 59% to 45%) and state governors (from 58% to 30%).  The vast majority of all of the losses happened during Obama’s first term, post passing of Obamacare.

How has the Democratic party reacted? What did the liberal press claim was the reason for Democrats losing the White House?

Racism. Xenophobia. Misogyny. Anti-Semitism.

The Democrats could not reevaluate the party’s stances and actions. It could not fathom that the American people did not care for the failures in US foreign policy, doubling down on entitlements rather than entitlement reform, or a sloppy economy. The Democrats chose to look through a lens of hatred as it considered an America that turned on its messiah and his second coming, in Hillary.

What are the facts?

Men preferred Obama in 2008 by a small margin, but turned against him by a spread of 7 points in 2012. By 2016, men preferred Republican Donald Trump by an incremental 5 points (a total 12% spread). The liberals ignored the facts and trends. They declared that men are misogynists because they didn’t vote for Hillary. The reality that men turned away from Democratic policies – by an even wider margin – four years earlier is seemingly irrelevant to people who view things from a singular biased vantage point.

Hillary preached to her liberal base as she proudly called Republicans enemies.  She did not bat an eyelash as she labeled half of America “deplorables.” Only white racists and misogynists could possibly turn from Obama and Hillary in this world view. To fathom that America would reject this woman, or reverse course in undermining the legacy of the first black president, was too much for the liberal psyche.

So the liberals continue to paint their political opponents as the “alt-Right,” as they double-down on a more “progressive” approach against a stupid and racist populace. They have chosen to nominate a far left black Muslim to head the Democratic Party.

The Democratic approach seems to be: if you challenge us because of poor policies, we can accuse you of racism, homophobia, Islamophobia, or any slur that seems appropriate.

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Rep. Keith Ellison was a listed speaker at a pro-BDS, anti-Israel conference

And who is better to represent that liberal view of a biased America, than the new President-elect, who has made comments that offend Muslims, women and illegal immigrants?

Democrats will pound on the Trump piñata and burn the American flag as they try to protect the legacy of their liberal messiah. The divisive America will not abate until people focus on core issues, instead of name-calling.


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An Open Letter to Non-Anti-Semitic Sanders Supporters

Liberal presidential candidate Bernie Sanders may say that he is a proud Jew, but he is the only person among the five major candidates still running for president, that continues to attack Israel for defending itself against Palestinian Arabs that are sworn to the country’s destruction.

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Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders
(picture: Dan Tuohy, Union Leader)

On April 9, 2016, Sanders spoke to an audience in Harlem, New York that asked a series of anti-Semitic questions of him.  As Daniel Greenfield noted about Sanders’ response to this anti-Semite’s invective about “Zionist Jews” who “control the media”, the liberal candidate made no attempt to denounce the vile anti-Jewish comments. Instead, he protested his bona fides about being uniquely critical of Israel.

Just one month ago, Ryan Grim, the Washington bureau chief for the liberal media spot The Huffington Post, wrote an article called “An Open Letter to Non-Racist Donald Trump Supporters” asking Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump’s supporters to distance themselves from the kind of people that attend Trump rallies. He wrote:

You may not physically assault anti-Trump protesters, think Abraham Lincoln’s decision to free enslaved African-Americans was hasty or want immigrants immediately deported. But you know as well as we do that a portion of Trump’s fans do feel this way.

It may not be fair, but it has fallen to you to disavow these people. Your silence is condoning a violent environment. You’re serving as a welcoming committee of sorts to new racists hoping to enter the party. From a crass political perspective, it’s self-defeating: You will never win a national election on a ticket with the Klan. But it matters from a moral perspective, too. “

Liberals, it is time for you to take your own advice and “disavow” the anti-Semites and other liberals that seek the destruction of Israel at rallies for your liberal candidate.


Related First.One.Through articles:

The Democrats’ Slide on Israel

Liberals’ Biggest Enemies of 2015

The Invisible Anti-Semitism in Obama’s 2016 State of the Union

The Candidates Feed the Pro-Israel Community’s Fears and Aspirations

What’s “Left” for The New York Times?

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Republican Scrutiny and Democratic Empowerment of Muslims in Minnesota

Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump stated that America needs to be “very vigilant” in scrutinizing Muslims regarding matters of security, as it is difficult to separate Islam from radical Islam.  He told CNN that Americans “have to be very careful. And we can’t allow people coming into this country who have this hatred of the United States… There’s a sickness going on and you have to get to the bottom of it.

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Donald Trump on CNN March 2016

For her part, Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton said that America must “empower our Muslim-American communities, who are on the front-lines of the fight against radicalization.”

Are the two positions as far apart as they seem?

Republican Scrutiny

Trump has been accused of being an “Islamaphobe” for his position about Muslims and Islam. His call to place a temporary ban on all Muslims applying to enter the United States was roundly criticized by all of the other presidential candidates.  Trump argued that America needed more information and better background checks on people that might pose a threat to the country because “Islam hates us.“.

Before Trump made his comments, in September 2015, the US House Committee on Homeland Security released a report about jihadist operations in the U.S. Among the major takeaways of the report were:

  • “The jihadist threat in the U.S. homeland is high and has escalated dramatically this year
  • ISIS is fueling the Islamist terror wildfire across the globe at unprecedented speed
  • Islamist terrorists are intent on killing American law enforcement and military personnel, in addition to innocent civilians”

The report went on to highlight that the state with the highest number of potential jihadists – by a far margin – was Minnesota, at 26% of the total sample set. The report included a sample story about the growing threat of jihadists: “Abdi Nur, only 20-years old when he left Minnesota for Syria last year, is a prime example. Once in the conflict zone, he spent months persuading his friends in Minneapolis to join him.  His peer-to-peer recruiting nearly worked, as six of his friends attempted to leave the United States for Syria; they were arrested by the FBI this April.

The newspaper Star Tribune wrote about a Republican reaction to the report: “Republican Rep. John Kline, a member of the House Armed Services Committee and long a hawkish critic of the Obama administration, said the report proves “homegrown terrorism remains a serious issue in Minnesota.” Kline said it also demonstrates the Obama administration “does not have a comprehensive strategy to defeat ISIS and Islamist terrorists.”

Ami Horowitz, a freelance reporter who often produces stories for Fox News, conducted several interviews in May 2015 with Somali Muslim Americans in Minnesota. In his interviews, seen here, Muslim Americans said they were happy and felt welcomed in America.  Yet despite those feelings, the Muslims would prefer to live in Somalia, not America. They further believed, that elements of sharia law, such as using the death penalty for anyone that insulted their prophet, should be practiced in the US.

Republicans like Kline and Trump directly pointed to “homegrown terrorism” stemming from the Muslim community.  They called for greater scrutiny of those communities to better protect Americans.

The Democrats semmingly suggested a different tactic.

Democratic Empowerment

The liberal senator from Minnesota had a very different reaction to the September House report of jihadists in his state.  The Star Tribune wrote: “In Washington, U.S. Sen. Al Franken, D-Minn, said the report “only underscores the urgent need for adequate resources to fight terrorist recruitment.” He noted the need to build stronger community outreach programs while refraining from stereotyping. “It’s important that we don’t indiscriminately target members of one community,” he said.”

Just months later, in December 2015, Hillary Clinton addressed a crowd in Minnesota about how to defeat ISIS.  One of her points addressed Muslims in America, where her “strategy is empowering Muslim-American communities who are on the front-lines of the fight against radicalization.  There are millions of peace-loving Muslims living, working, raising families, and paying taxes in our country.  These Americans may be our first, last, and best defense against home grown radicalization and terrorism.  They are the most likely to recognize the insidious effects of radicalization before it’s too late, intervene to help set a young person straight.  They are the best positioned to block anything going forward.

That’s why law enforcement has worked so hard since 9/11 to build up trust and strong relationships within Muslim-American communities.  Here in the Twin Cities, you have an innovative partnership that brings together parents, teachers, imams, and others in the Somali-American community with law enforcement, non-profits, local businesses, mental health professionals and others to intervene with young people who are at risk.

It’s called the Building Community Resilience Pilot Program, and it deserves increased support.  It has not gotten the financial resources that it needs to do everything the people involved in it know they can do.  And we’ve got to do a better job of supporting it.

Democrats like Clinton and Franken suggested the solution to dealing with homegrown jihadists is to “empower” that same community that Republicans sought to scutinize.  Their approaches were seemingly polar opposites.

Ignorance and Analysis

In reality, the concerns of jihadist terrorism for Republicans and Democrats are much the same.  Republicans feel that the entire Muslim community should be scrutinized as they are not confident in being able to distnguish between the “good” and “bad.”  The Democrats want to embrace the good, and get them to both reform and squeal on the “bad.”

Both the Republicans and Democrats advocate intelligence gathering.  Clinton wants to use people from within the Muslim community to do the work, while Trump lacks confidence in relying on the community for America’s safety.

Where Trump and Clinton divide is in their basic thoughts about Islam.  Trump seemingly believes that Islam is inherently intolerant of western values, so the peaceful Muslims are doing so in spite of their religion.  Clinton believes that there is nothing inherently anti-American about Islam, and there are just a small percentage of violent jihadists in the community.

In the end, both Trump and Clinton want to root out homegrown Islamic radicals.  Trump just wants to use law enforcement to handle the task and believes that Clinton’s approach allows the fox to guard the henhouse.


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The Candidates Feed the Pro-Israel Community’s Fears and Aspirations

The red carpet was out for presidential hopefuls in Washington, D.C. in March 2016. Four of the five remaining presidential candidates spoke to the American Israel Political Action Committee (AIPAC) about their thoughts about the US-Israel relationship. Bernie Sanders, the only Jewish presidential candidate, opted to not address the committee advocating for the Jewish State.

Their approaches were quite different.

When it came to calling out Israel’s enemies or counter-parties, the Republican leaders led with the greatest number of mentions of: Iran; Palestinians; Terror; and Hamas. However, Republican candidate John Kasich was much more like Democrat Hillary Clinton than fellow Republicans.

Number of Mentions in Their Speechs

 Item Hillary Kasich Cruz Trump
Iran 11 11 11 16
Palestinian 10 7 5 11
Terror/ism/ist 6 7 10 11
Hamas 2 2 7 2
Islam/Muslim 0 0 3 4
TOTAL 30 27 36 44

Kasich was the only candidate to mention Libya, which he did three times.  The failing country which is becoming a haven for terrorists would have been an easy mark for Republicans to mention, as the overthrow of the Libyan government was spearheaded by Hillary Clinton. Neither the other Republicans nor Hillary herself chose to bring it up.

Ted Cruz highlighted that Trump mentioned “Palestine” three times, even though no such entity currently exists.

Interestingly, Trump was the only person to mention the United Nations, which he did three times, including this quote: “The United Nations is not a friend of democracy. It’s not a friend to freedom. It’s not a friend even to the United States of America, where as all know, it has its home. And it surely isn’t a friend to Israel.”

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Donald Trump at AIPAC
March 2016 (photo: Associated Press)

When it came to positive terminology, including words such as: democracy; values; Israel and Jerusalem, Hillary Clinton stood out compared to the other candidates.

Number of Mentions in Their Speeches

 Item Hillary Kasich Cruz Trump
Security 17 10 5 3
Israel 65 46 31 31
Jerusalem 0 3 1 1
Democracy 4 2 1 3
Values 5 4 1 1
TOTAL 91 65 39 39

Both Hillary Clinton and Ted Cruz came out against the BDS (Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions against Israel) movement, Cruz, doing so very forcefully.  But the candidates were otherwise silent on the Israeli economy and America’s trading relationship. Hillary Clinton, uniquely, went out to describe improving the Palestinian economy.

Yet, interestingly, despite the positive tone of Clinton, she was the only candidate that did not mention Jerusalem. While Kasich mentioned Jerusalem as the eternal capital of Israel, he did not say that he would move the US embassy there, as both Trump and Cruz said they would.

Hillary was also the only candidate to mention Jewish “settlements,” which she condemned saying that they were “damaging” to peace.  She did not mention “settlements” in her 2008 address to AIPAC.  Of course, that was an address that was made after seven years of George W. Bush’s administration, not Barack Obama’s who has repeatedly called Jewish homes east of the Green Line (EGL) as “illegitimate.”

Democratic U.S. presidential candidate Hillary Clinton addresses the American-Israeli Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) Conference's morning general session at the Verizon Center in Washington March 21, 2016. REUTERS/Joshua Roberts

Democratic U.S. presidential candidate Hillary Clinton addresses AIPAC in Washington March 21, 2016. REUTERS/Joshua Roberts

All four candidates threw out lots of red meat for the pro-Israel crowd of over 18,000 during an election season. However, Hillary Clinton opted to continue the Obama administration approach of underscoring Israel’s security, while minimizing labelling radical Islamic terrorism, and undermining fundamental Jewish rights and history in the holy land.

The comments made at AIPAC represent the most extreme pro-Israel actions that any of the presidential candidates may ever pursue, if elected.  The American pro-Israel community still has a few months to watch and listen to the candidates and decide who will proudly stand by Israel.


Related First.One.Through articles:

A Simple Question for Hillary Clinton on Israel

Magnifying the Margins, and the Rise of the Independents

Political Pinatas: Populist Greed Meets Populist Anger

Trump Fails to Understand that Jews Want Peace, not a Deal

While Joe Biden Passionately Defends Israel, He Ignores Jewish Rights and the History of the Jewish State

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Political Pinatas: Populist Greed Meets Populist Anger

Politicians have always been great at promising people things for free. However, over the past decade, there has been an added element of not simply granting goodies to constituents, but to blame select parties for problems and seizing their money to pay for the free stuff for the masses. It is a dangerous path of divisiveness being waged by both the far-left and right.

Free, Without Guilt

Americans began to believe that things can be totally free over the past decade.  They downloaded digital music and movies for free over the internet.  They got games for free based on “freemium” business plans.  Now, they want to abrogate the bargain they quietly struck with media companies to watch their advertising, as they install ad-blocking software on their devices.

People are demanding – and getting – more and more stuff for free.

Not surprisingly, politicians have ratcheted up their promises too.

Individuals seeking office would declare that once in office, they would fix whatever was broken, whether infrastructure, the economy or the military. The funds to pay for such repair would be easy to come by, mainly through removing government “waste” and “inefficiencies.” These solutions were wonderfully popular. The country could be great again without hurting anyone or sacrificing anything. The money was already present, but simply wasted in bureaucracy.

How great! A nation got stuff, and it didn’t cost a dime!

Occasionally politicians would be a bit more specific and attack an institution that no one liked, like the IRS. Some people would lose jobs – those that collect your taxes – but otherwise, America would be fixed and Americans would be wealthier without any effort or sacrifice.

Someone Took Your Cheese

The model changed in 2008 when Senator Barack Obama ran for president. Obama spoke about the “top 1%” obtaining too much wealth. As president in 2009, he described the “fat cat” investment bankers who put the country at risk in the financial meltdown of 2008.

He pointed fingers. He ascribed blame to people who abused a profession.

Economists argue how much the economic collapse was the fault of investment banks as opposed to the government that pushed banks to lend to the poor to purchase homes that they could not afford, in an effort to close the wealth gap. Whether right or wrong, Obama openly segmented the United States into the rich that caused the financial crisis, and other 99% that bore the brunt of the meltdown due to no fault of their own.

These fat cats would help pay for Obama’s promise for free stuff for America.  Americans would get free healthcare, and the rich would pay “their fair share.”

Beginning the Class Civil War

The liberal wing actively forgot the roles of Democratic favorites Bill Clinton, Andrew Cuomo, Frank Raines and Barney Frank had in the housing crisis and the financial meltdown. Selective memory authenticated the manifest superiority of their world view.

Their arrogance begat outright outrage when the Supreme Court ruled against Hillary Clinton in Citizens United in 2010. That ruling stated that corporations were entitled to free speech, similar to citizens. The “progressive” politicians, led by Obama, decried that with such ruling, the rich could now effectively buy any election. The wealth gap would translate into a voting gap whereby the wealthiest people and corporations could taint the airwaves with capitalistic propaganda. The masses would never be able to withstand the onslaught of big corporate advertising, and would relegate liberals to a permanent minority party.

For the liberal elites, the wealthy were no longer simply “fat cats” that didn’t pay their “fair share.” They were an oversized enemy that threatened to forever quash their aspirations.

Vilification from the Far-Left

The liberal arrogance and anger produced hostility.  Republicans met those feelings with a wealthy businessman.

Mitt Romney, the Republican presidential candidate in 2012, was attacked for being rich and his investment firm for being predatory.  His policies for the country were not attacked; his wealth was attacked.

By the next presidential election cycle in 2015, liberals dug in even deeper.  Self-described “Democratic Socialist” Senator Bernie Sanders went beyond pointing fingers at bankers.  Instead, he described the entire financial industry as a “fraud.” Sanders’ claim surpassed Obama’s statement that there were some bankers that abused the system that avoided paying their fair share – Sanders said “fraud is the business model on Wall Street.”  The very essence of banks was a corrupt system that cheated Americans.

Sanders announced that the pathway to free goodies such as free college, would be to reclaim from the rich the money that those criminals never deserved in the first place. It’s not only that the wealthy didn’t pay enough taxes; they made too much money in a corrupt system. He proposed that the banking system should be completely revamped to both limit how much income bankers could make, and to double their tax rates.  Free college would be paid “by imposing a tax on Wall Street transactions by investment houses, hedge funds and other speculators.”  Note that these institutions were no longer investing to build America’s economy according to Sanders – they were all “speculators.”

In just a decade, liberal politicians moved from handing out free stuff without any blame, to vilifying a group of people, to demonizing an entire industry and capitalism itself.

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Democratic Presidential Candidate Senator Bernie Sanders

The far-left is not alone in demonizing whole groups of people, then reaching into those pockets to fund projects, all while claiming the righteousness of the cause.

Vilification from the Right

A Republican candidate for president, businessman Donald Trump, also wants to “make America great again.” Part of how he’ll do it is by giving Americans things for free – like a secure border.

Trump declared that he was going to protect America from foreign rapists and terrorists by building a “great great wall” between the USA and Mexico. And guess what? It’ll be for free. The Mexican government will pay for it.

Yay! More free stuff!

He rallied people to his cause by degrading both his Republican and Democratic opponents.  Like Sanders, he bellowed about Americans’ fears, and pointed fingers at people and institutions that were corrupt and inept that needed to be overhauled and overthrown.

Greed and Anger

Americans are fond of getting things for free.  If the amount of government waste is not enough for free handouts, they will be happy to take a baton to a piñata to get their due.  And they will beat that piñata senseless if they are both angry and feel threatened.

Trump and Sanders are handing their angry and scared followers large batons, and pointing to opponents as political piñatas.

Healthcare and education have been the only two items that have escalated in cost more than inflation every year.  These important components of life were rapidly becoming prohibitively expensive for many.  The fear of becoming ill and then destitute is real for many Americans.  The burden of college loans frightens many to abandon the dream of a degree.

The solution offered by Obama was to focus on adding fees onto various people and the healthcare industry, to give subsidized medicine to the poor.  But he made virtually no attempt to lower the escalation of healthcare costs through items like major tort reform.

For his part, Sanders is looking to provide free college to people.  He makes no attempt to lower the escalating costs of education through reforms to professor tenure and sabbaticals (no other industry in America has such institutionalized largess and abuse).  Instead, he seeks new taxes to pay for the new perks.

Sanders’ proposal does not follow Obama’s lead that taxed the institutions from the same industry (healthcare) to pay for education.  Sanders wants to tax a group that has nothing to do with college (Wall Street), simply because he views the industry as corrupt and too wealthy.

Such action moves past Obama’s coupling of fear and entitlements. That is a marriage of greed and anger.

Trump’s call to build a great big wall is a modification of those two efforts: a pairing of fear and anger.

Trump is addressing Americans fear about terrorism. Not everyday killings on the street by gangs, but foreigners coming into the country and causing havoc.

Americans see the carnage all over Facebook and news in Europe about foreign murderers and rapists. That situation can come to the USA. Like Obama, he will provide Americans with something they want, to address something they fear that will not cost them anything.  Like Sanders, he loudly points a finger at the party that he intends to charge with the solution.

Reality

Getting free stuff is fun. Addressing a fear is important.  Vetting anger feels good.  But those feelings have nothing to do with truth.

Only addressing the method of paying for free healthcare and education does nothing to address the painful sacrifices that must be made to address the COSTS of healthcare and education.  It remains unsustainable and the quality of both will plummet.

Exclusively blaming Wall Street without blaming the government that pushed banks to lend to the poor, is not just half-a-story. It is cherry-picking so much that it tells a lie that will lead to more bad governmental policies.

Blaming the border with Mexico for Islamic terrorism that grips the world is a gross misrepresenting of the people from Latin America that are seeking a better quality of life.  They seek to join America, not a path to destroy America.

The fears of Americans regarding security and the economy are real.  But the politicians from the right and left are feeding Americans a diet of half-truths with their free give-aways. They have stoked public anger in an environment of free entitlements.

The movement to blame people for systemic problems is called scapegoating.  Vilifying them with falsehoods put dangerous emotions in play.  Today’s candidates are coupling fear, anger and greed to a dangerous level.

Almost 600 years ago, on March 12, 1421, the people of Vienna, Austria accused the Jews of abusing Christianity.  They burned families at the stake and took all of their possessions.  A false claim turned into an inferno.  The coupling of fear and anger led to free goodies for the masses.

Let’s not simply hope that calmer heads prevail.  We must all call out the lies and hatred that are emanating from the Democratic and Republican contenders.


Related First.One.Through articles:

Liberals’ Biggest Enemies of 2015

Trump Fails to Understand that Jews Want Peace, not a Deal

The Invisible Anti-Semitism in Obama’s 2016 State of the Union

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Trump Fails to Understand that Jews Want Peace, not a Deal

On December 3, 2015, the fourteen Republican presidential candidates lined up to speak to the Republican Jewish Coalition in Washington, DC.  Almost all of them offered “red meat” to the crowd, denouncing the terrible foreign policies of current President Barack Obama with the assistance of his Secretaries of State, Hillary Clinton and John Kerry.

One of the foreign policy points that they discussed was the status of Jerusalem.

IMG_3657
Program line-up of speakers at the RJC 2016 Republican Presidential Candidates Forum in Washington, D.C. December 3, 2015
(photo: FirstOneThrough)

Jerusalem is often mentioned during campaign season by both Democrats and Republicans. The two main talking points are:

  1. Jerusalem is the united capital of Israel (no recognition of a divided city)
  2. As president, the candidate will move the US embassy to Jerusalem

As a presidential candidate, Senator Obama made these same comments in front of a crowd at an AIPAC conference in 2008, only to reverse his comments the next day.  By the time he ran for re-election in 2012, he gutted the entire pro-Israel agenda from the Democratic platform.  In seven years in office, his two comments proved meaningless.

At the 2015 RJC event, almost all of the Republican candidates mentioned Jerusalem in prepared remarks, while some repeated the two policy points above when responding to questions from RJC Executive Director Matt Brooks.  Except for Donald Trump.

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Senator Marco Rubio addressing foreign policy issues to the RJC
(photo: FirstOneThrough)

Trump, seemingly ever-desirous of inflaming passions, refused to give the crowd the same responses that all of the other candidates proffered. For that he was booed by the crowd, which, not surprisingly (based on his campaign to-date), did not seem to bother the candidate that much.

IMG_3655
Donald Trump addressing his deal bona fides to the RJC
(photo: FirstOneThrough)

Campaign Promises versus Delivery of Actions

Presidential candidates always throw out promises to potential voters and donors.  The fact that candidates from both parties state positions popular with an audience is as natural to the political process as lying is to politicians.

So reporters take note of the arrogant presidential front-runner who prides himself in “telling it like it is.”

As no president ever moved the US embassy to Jerusalem despite promises to pro-Israel groups during campaign season, is Trump just “telling it like it is?”  Or is it simply his abrasive personality that cannot help upsetting audiences, whether they be black, Hispanic or Jewish?

There is more than that to extract from Trump’s comments.  At the RJC, he quipped to the Jewish crowd “I’m a negotiator like you folks…Is there anyone in this room who doesn’t negotiate deals? Probably more than any room I’ve ever spoken.”

Putting aside Trump’s anti-Semitic stereotypes in a room that included many doctors and people outside of the business world, it underscored the entire Trump campaign: vote for me, since I’m a successful negotiator.  Being the president of the United States is really just about negotiating deals – whether with Iran or Congress.  As such, I like to leave my options open, and be unpredictable. That’s what makes me a great negotiator.  Don’t pin me down in advance about what I will do, as it hurts the ultimate outcome.

Trump has approached every campaign opportunity with a simple tagline: Trust Me. I’m a Billionaire. I do Great Deals.

However, Trump failed to internalize in his address to “fellow negotiators,” that Israel just doesn’t want a peace deal, it wants actual long-term peace.

A Peace Deal versus Long-Term Peace

A deal comes about when two sides agree on terms.  Typically, each side gives a little to arrive at a compromise.  In a situation where the two parties do not have the same power or requirement to consummate a deal, the exchange will not be a 50-50 compromise.  The party with greater leverage typically uses that leverage to extract better terms.  The party that is more desperate for a deal, usually caves on key items.

In Trump’s world of deals, he sees a more powerful Israel and a more desperate Palestinian population.  As such, he is confident that he can deliver a “good deal” to the Israelis, even while he won’t promise any particular move in advance regarding Jerusalem.

The crowd at the RJC does know some things about negotiating deals.  One of the key requirements is having a real negotiating partner.  Not just a counter-party, who, as Senator Rubio stated, “acknowledges Israel’s right to exist,” but can actually deliver a deal.  Part of the crowd’s disappointment with the Obama administration is its continued hypocrisy of forcing Israel to negotiate with a straw man with no authority or power in acting PA President Mahmoud Abbas.

Further, as analyzed in detail, in The Arguments for Jerusalem, there is virtually no argument to support Palestinians’ claim for part of Jerusalem, other than sheer desire.  Part of securing long-term peace means securing Jerusalem.

Lastly, Israel feels alone and vulnerable.  The various anti-Israel United Nations resolutions and BDS (boycott, divestment and sanctions) proposals around the world feed the feeling of Israel’s isolation.  The Iranian deal produced by the Obama administration instilled tremendous fear of an existential threat to both the Jewish state and the Jewish people.  The terror attacks by Palestinian Arabs and anti-Semitic vitriol from the Palestinian leadership make Israel feel that there will never be peace.

Trump understood that the RJC reflects a powerful group that is strongly supportive an increasingly powerful Jewish State.  But he failed to understand that the Jews in that room included Holocaust survivors and people who walked away from the Twin Towers on 9/11.  Those people are not just looking for a “good deal.”  They want support and true long-term peace.

It was not only Trump’s refusal to mention the Jerusalem points above that got him booed.  Trump’s focus on the “Art of the Deal” instead of understanding that a peace deal is not the same things as true long-term peace will make him an increasingly difficult choice for Israel supporters.


Related First.One.Through articles:

The Israeli Peace Process versus the Palestinian Divorce Proceedings

Seeing Security through a Screen

Palestinians are “Desperate” for…

Israel was never a British Colony; Judea and Samaria are not Israeli Colonies

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