Sanders Will Not Attend AIPAC, Offers to Share Remarks
Naomi Klein: 'I Don't Trust' Hillary Clinton, Bernie Sanders 'Is a Significantly Better Candidate'
I was a little surprised to see Bill Moyers and Co. address the American Weimar path.
I shouldn't have been.
The lessons to be learned from Weimar Germany are not the ones we hear and read about today. Weimar Germany did not collapse under the weight of its various crises. It was actively destroyed by a conservative elite – noble landowners, high-level state officials, businessmen, army officers – that chose to ally with the Nazi Party. As we watch the Republican establishment’s ineffectual flailings to stop Donald Trump, it’s worth remembering that Weimar Germany’s old-style conservatives never really liked Hitler and the Nazis either. To them, the Nazis were too loud, uncouth, low class. But they admired Hitler’s nationalism, his promise to revive Germany’s great power status, his opposition to democracy, and his anti-communism. And they were either indifferent to or actively supported the Nazis’ anti-Semitism.
The conservative elite got much more than they had bargained for with their willingness to turn political power over to the Nazis. Some would live to regret their choice, many not until American and British bombs rained down on Hamburg, Berlin and other cities and the Red Army approached the gates.
But the conservatives had made Hitler and the Nazis salonfähig, as one says in German. Colloquially in English, that means “acceptable in polite society.” That is the real lesson from Weimar Germany and the real danger – when traditional or moderate conservatives throw in their lot with radical conservatives. The moderates may not like the radicals, may not embrace them, but when other alternatives have failed, they bring the radicals into the fold, claim that power will inevitably moderate their more wild side, reassure the population that the radicals are really not that bad after all.
That is where we are today with Donald Trump. Trump is not a fascist or a neo-Nazi, as some have claimed, though he has certainly made countless racist and misogynist comments. He has also proclaimed a blatant disregard for laws, treaties and constitutional provisions in an America that is supposed to be governed by the rule of law. While some Republicans are back pedaling and trying to block a Trump nomination, we are still being treated to the spectacle of many Republican candidates and office holders asserting that they will support him if he is chosen by the party. These are the people who are making Trump salonfähig.
The real issue is not whether Trump is a modern-day Hitler or Mussolini. The problem lies deeper: with the social and political mores that have made possible his crude nativism and contempt for social progress. Democrats and Republicans alike have been marveling at his success as if it were a bolt out of the blue. Yet for years now Republicans have been bowing before the idol of radical conservatism. They have cowered before the Tea Party and have stashed the party coffers with immense contributions from the Koch brothers’ operation. The people who are now struggling to stop Trump are the same ones who made his views salonfähig.
In America today, the major threats do not come from abroad. They lie within, from those who claim to believe in democracy yet undermine its substance by deploying great wealth in the political process and devaluing the diversity of American society. And the danger comes especially from those who perhaps should know better, but make anti-democratic, radical conservatives salonfähig. That is the real lesson to be taken from Weimar Germany.
Dave Dayen has a slightly different opinion.
After reading the budget hell these Rethuglimorons have planned for our future, I cannot believe, once again, that we are not organized against this out to Jupiter.
By David Dayen
The seminal event in the crackup of the Republican Party is not the rise of Donald Trump as their presidential nominee, contrary to popular opinion. It was the overthrow of John Boehner as Speaker of the House. That showed the power of the forty-odd members of the House Freedom Caucus, and their incompatibility with the GOP establishment and the compromises required by divided government (or for that matter, math).
The change in leadership at the top has not bridged this divide. Despite months of happy talk, the Freedom Caucus rejected Paul Ryan’s budget resolution, likely leaving the Republicans with no budget this year, after they made returning to regular order a campaign promise in 2014. The lack of a budget is just a sidelight to the continuing irreconcilable differences between conservative factions. Trump will not be able to fix this either; only a purge of one side of the party or the other would.
The Freedom Caucus essentially wants to control government from a base of 40 members of the House, with only a few allies in the Senate and no president willing to agree to their demands. They want to defund Planned Parenthood, balance the budget through massive spending cuts, dismantle government healthcare programs, and overturn every executive order of the past eight years, regardless of not having the two-thirds support in Congress that would be required currently to override Obama vetoes and make that happen.
Conservatives had to beg Ryan to take the Speaker’s job. His prescient leeriness stemmed from seeing Boehner put in the impossible spot of rounding up votes for routine government functions. And absolutely nothing changed when he received the gavel.
For months, Ryan has attempted to broker a deal on a budget resolution, which sets top line numbers for the appropriations committees to use to fund government operations. A bipartisan deal at the end of last year set those numbers in stone, at $1.07 trillion for the next fiscal year. But the Freedom Caucus wants to cut that by $30 billion, back to the level mandated by sequestration, the automatic spending cuts implemented in 2011.
Ryan and his colleagues tried to offer the Freedom Caucus incentives to come aboard. He promised $100 billion in future cuts over the next 10 years, if they’d just sign onto the topline $1.07 trillion number. He offered votes on cuts to the Children’s Health Insurance Program and taking away tax credits for undocumented immigrants with U.S. citizens as children. And he threatened to cancel the appropriations process without a budget resolution, meaning no opportunity for the kinds of ideological policy riders the Freedom Caucus cherishes as a way to get their priorities into law.
Nevertheless, the caucus formally announced its opposition, unable to stomach the nominal $30 billion spending increase (all of which was offset by cuts elsewhere). Members dismissed the additional votes as meaningless, because the Senate was unlikely to take them up.
Consider that Ryan is the architect of perhaps the most sweeping conservative budget in history, one that would balance the budget in a decade, mostly by pulling the safety net out from low-income Americans. In the past, he has proposed ending Medicare as we know it, cutting Social Security benefits and simultaneously cutting taxes on the wealthy, necessitating even more budget trims. And now this guy is a big-spending liberal!
Because Democrats don’t typically agree to budget resolutions from the other side, losing a 40-member bloc is enough to ensure that the Republican budget won’t have enough votes. That means it’s likely the government will be funded with a continuing resolution at current levels for the near future. And Democrats will have to supply most of the votes for it.
Democrats, indeed, have largely been in charge of budgeting for the past year because of this dysfunction. Freedom Caucus members have tried to claim that they are listening to the public will as expressed by Trump’s primary successes — “the establishment has been rejected in every one of our states,” Rep. Raul Labrador said recently — but this has been going on since before Trump ever announced his candidacy.
Indeed, this implacability is more reminiscent of how Ted Cruz has operated in the Senate, with his demands to shut down the government over Obamacare in 2013. Cruz actually sees that event as his defining moment, even though it accomplished nothing. And his acolytes in the House are following this script. We’re seeing the Cruz-ification of the Republican Party, not the Trump-ification.
It’s worth noting that senators despise Cruz for what they consider doomed, self-serving gambits. But the institutional structure of the modern GOP values such tactics over conciliation. That’s a recipe for disaster, and heralds this split within the party more than anything else.
The kicker to all this came this Tuesday, in deposed Speaker John Boehner’s backyard. His replacement in that congressional seat will be Warren Davidson, a businessman who was actively supported by the Freedom Caucus. It’s part of a strategy of theirs to win open-seat races in conservative districts across the country, slowly building their membership. “We’re doing everything we can to win,” said Freedom Caucus chair Jim Jordan. And they did.
It’s hard to see how this will stop. If Paul Ryan cannot mediate this intra-party dispute, who can? If they can’t agree on something as simple as a top line budget number, what can they agree on? And if Freedom Caucus-aligned candidates have a leg up in head-to-head races, what stops a much more deeply conservative Republican Party from growing, and a backlash — even a fissure — from its establishment wing?
Trump’s cult of personality may come and go. But the Freedom Caucus phenomenon seems much more consequential. And it’s hard to figure out how Republicans will manage the fallout.
Are the Millennials really angry about their stolen lives?
Max and Stacy elucidate these issues (especially the Insectualization of the Human Experience, the Casino Gulag and Trickle-Down Rentiers).
Do people finally understand the evisceration of their personal economy that fracking has birthed?
One guy may have. Right before he hit the wall.
Did the Vikings not fear death?
We know banksters do. No Vikings (also called "berserkers") to be found there.
And with good reason. Low interest rates leading to the scalping of savers by the central banks has looted with ease $160 Billion from the populace who worked all their lives to save that money for their retirement. The money instead has been confiscated and used for property speculation/housing bubbles as well as enriching the marauders.
"Global trade has not been this bad since the Viking Age!" - Max Keiser
Also, see how Botswana got its own BitCoin node. Do you have yours?
Some regions of the earth are preparing for the future.
One of the World’s Largest Advertising Agencies Has Been Accused of Helping Saudi Arabia “Whitewash” its Record on Human Rights Following the Kingdom’s Largest Mass Execution for More Than 30 years
A US subsidiary of Publicis Groupe, the French media conglomerate that owns UK brands such as Saatchi & Saatchi, distributed an article in which the kingdom’s foreign minister Adel bin Ahmed Al-Jubeir implicitly attempted to justify the execution of 47 people.
Startling new information from Open Secrets is available below - and, come to think of it, why not set up your own PR organization to spread disinformation around the country for a price? Sounds like the American capitalist dream just being entrepreneurized right ahead of the law all around the country:
by Will Tucker on March 18, 2016
Donald Trump, the prohibitive favorite for the Republican presidential nomination, just added a fistful of primaries to his string of victories and knocked the GOP establishment’s favorite son, Sen. Marco Rubio (Fla.), out of the race. To beat Trump now, it seems, someone thinks it’s time to get evil.
Dr. Evil, to be exact. Washington consultant Rick Berman, whom CBS News christened with that title in 2007, runs a public relations consulting company in Washington known for deploying surreptitious tactics on behalf of major industry clients. Berman’s firm has now contracted with a group Berman runs, the Enterprise Freedom Action Committee, in connection with a $315,000 (so far) campaign against Trump waged via Google and Facebook ads.
Berman earned the Austin Powers moniker in part by deploying tactics like “shooting the messenger.” As he told CBS: “Shooting the messenger means getting people to understand that this messenger is not as credible as their name would suggest.”
In practice, that means Berman starts his own nonprofit groups with their own credible-sounding names and their donors kept secret to discredit reports about everything from the health dangers of mercury in fish to trans-fats. The strategy has the effect of distorting debates in Washington with nameless corporate money, encouraging hyperbolic misinformation that confuses voters and muddles policy debates.
Enter Donald Trump. A veritable monarch of misinformation, Trump as recently as last weekend claimed that a would-be attacker at one of his rallies had ties to Islamic State and, when pressed on the statement’s inaccuracy, replied: “All I know is what’s on the Internet.”
Berman may have met his messenger match.
A spokeswoman for Berman and Company declined to answer questions sent via email on Thursday, including this centeral one: Who, exactly, has called on the consultant’s expertise this time? Because the organization attacking Trump, Enterprise Freedom Action, is a dark money nonprofit, it never has to publicly identify the sources of its funding.
The group has several past incarnations: Since 2007, it’s been anti-union, anti-Senate Democrats and anti-Barack Obama.
In 2008, the organization hit its spending peak. With nearly $17 million in receipts that year, it laid out close to $16 million, per its tax forms. None of that, the group maintained in a filing with the IRS, was political spending. At that time, Enterprise Freedom Action primarily was buying advertisements advocating for “democratic union elections.”
It’s a hallmark of Berman’s operations for money to go from one of his organizations to another, keeping as much of it as possible in the family. Berman’s firm made $892,931 in 2008 from its work for Enterprise Freedom Action, of which Berman himself served as president and director.
This time, the firm has, so far, received only $4,800 from the nonprofit in connection with the anti-Trump campaign, and it’s unclear whether more money will follow. Political spending against Donald Trump can seem like a fool’s errand:
Before Tuesday’s contest, outside groups spent about $8.7 million on TV ads attacking him in Florida, while Trump himself spent only $2.4 million in the state, according to the "International Business Times" — and Marco Rubio knows what happened there.
Notes from the Underground surfacing?
Take care in interpreting.
by Steven D
Sat Mar 19th, 2016
The above title speaks for itself. It does not contain my interpretation of Sanders nor that of any Bernie Bro, or Berner or Millenial or Hobbit, either.
The title refers to a quote from a high profile Clinton supporter, Simon Rosenberg, the President and Founder of the NDN, a center-left think tank based in Washington, D.C. It’s mission is to understand and interpret a “new politics” - driven by enormous changes in demography, media and technology, economics and geopolitics” and “explain ... and offer innovative solutions to help policy makers and elected officials meet the new challenges presented by these new times.” They are big into studying “globalization and macro-economic policy, clean energy, immigration and border issues, Latin America, US demographic change, and the impact of new mobile technology on civil society.”_ _ _ _ _ _ _
Here is what Rosenberg’s bio at NDN has to say about him:
Simon Rosenberg is President and founder of NDN, a leading, center-left think tank in Washington, DC. Rosenberg, a veteran of two presidential campaigns, including the 1992 Clinton War Room, got his start as a writer and producer in network television. He is a leading political thinker and commentator with a unique ability to identify important trends and decipher changes transforming American politics well before others. ... Together with Dr. Rob Shapiro, President Clinton’s Under Secretary of Commerce for Economic Affairs and Chair of NDN’s Globalization Initiative, he has fashioned a unique set of messages and policies around focusing on the economic well-being of everyday people based on Shapiro’s early analysis that even as GDP and productivity rose during the Bush years, wages stagnated and incomes declined.Rosenberg is a member of the Aspen Institute’s 2001 Class of Henry Crown Fellows, and the Advisory Board of the Jonathan M. Tisch College of Citizenship and Public Service at Tufts University. He won the national election prediction contest held by the Hill Newspaper in both 2012 and 2008. In 2007, he was named one of the 50 most powerful people in DC by "GQ Magazine."
Rosenberg and his wife, Caitlin Durkovich, an Assistant Secretary at the Department of Homeland Security, live in Washington, DC with their three children and Tug, a spirited bulldog.
So Mr. Rosenberg has been with the “Clinton team” since 1992. He been named one of the most powerful people in DC. He’s a member of the gosh darn Aspen Institute whose members include Republican billionaires, multinational corporate managers in the finance, real estate, defense and high tech industries, as well as Walter Isaacson, CNN’s CEO and Bill Clinton’s Secretary of State, Madeleine Albright, among others. His wife, Caitlin Durkovich, is President Obama’s Assistant Secretary for Infrastructure Protection at the Department of Homeland Security.
Clinton supporters, he is “one of your own,” and to be honest I’m using that term loosely, since I suspect 99.999% of you do not run in the same political and social circles Simon does. So when he talked to the New Yorker about Bernie Sanders, I paid close attention. Maybe you should, as well.
Lifted gently and with great reverence from AvedonCarol, the maestro of lists:
"Bernie wins Democrats abroad primary 70% to 30% (bigger margin than Obama in '08): Democrats abroad are 'FeelingTheBern' strongly (nearly) everywhere: Bernie Sanders has won an overwhelming victory in the Democrats abroad primaries conducted in the week from March 1 to March 8. While it will take another week (March 21st) until official results will be released, it seems that Bernie has won an astonishing 70 percent of Democrats' abroad votes, winning the primaries in every country (with the lone exception of Singapore), exceeding Obama's 2008 - then big - margin of victory by another 8 points. Therefore It seems highly likely that Bernie Sanders will win 9 out of 13 pledged delegates, ensuring a 9 to 4 delegate split over Mrs. Clinton, thereby closing the overall delegate gap by 5 delegates."
"Ben Carson: I Didn't Want To Endorse Trump, But He Promised Me A Position." Leaving aside that this is the saddest endorsement ever and pretty embarrassing to have anyone guess at let alone admit in public, it's also kind of illegal: "Federal law expressly prohibits candidates from directly or indirectly promising 'the appointment of any person to any public or private position or employment, for the purpose of procuring support in his candidacy.' The penalty for violations could include fines or a year in jail - two years if the violation was willful. "
"Inside the Protest That Stopped the Trump Rally: The plan worked better than they'd ever imagined. Then the trouble began."
Clinton reached too far when trying to find something nice to say about Nancy Reagan. (Or did she? DLC types have been instrumental in rehabilitating Republicans since the 1980s, and sometimes I think they just can't say enough about how much more wonderful Republicans are than those pesky liberals.) So she said something "so profoundly untrue that it's hard not to laugh when you hear it" - and yet, to Amanda Marcotte, this is just evidence that Clinton needs to get better at shading the truth.
* David Atkins: "How Clinton's Reagan-AIDS Gaffe Helps Explain Why Populism Is Rising"
"Dear Hillary, Please Fire Robby Mook and John Podesta [...] And if she keeps up this tactic of trying to smear Sanders' voting record to portray him as a friend of conservative causes, it may have serious consequences for the general election."
* "The shameful Bernie race smear: Hillary supporters have played a dirty, dangerous game: The toxicity -- and falseness -- of the "Bernie so white" narrative is a real stain on Democrats and the left. [...] Relentlessly painting Sanders as only having white supporters will continue a dangerous practice of misinformation and cavalier smearing. It would make it seem that no minority voters like him, or don't believe or accept the actual substance of Sanders' plans, or believe in his policies galvanizing the masses to either make Republicans and 'Republican acting' Democrats vote for those policies or vote them out of office. And it would make it appear as if all minorities are chastising or eagerly humiliating Sanders and his supporters every chance they get, for legitimate or illegitimate reasons."
Audio: Bernie Sanders and Latino voters
"Hillary Clinton's backseat driver: The running commentary from one of the stewards of the Obama legacy gets deep under the campaign's skin." It seems lately David Axelrod feels that, as a journalist, he has to call it like he sees it.
* "Hillary will never survive the Trump onslaught: It's not fair, but it makes her a weak nominee [...] And yet: What did Clinton actually do in his eight years on Pennsylvania Avenue? While writing this book, I would periodically ask my liberal friends if they could recall the progressive laws he got passed, the high-minded policies he fought for - you know, the good things Bill Clinton got done while he was president. Why was it, I wondered, that we were supposed to think so highly of him - apart from his obvious personal charm, I mean? It proved difficult for my libs.
[...] One of the strangest dramas of the Clinton literature, in retrospect, was the supposed mystery of Bill's developing political identity. Like a searching teenager in a coming-of-age movie, boy president Bill roams hither and yon, trying out this policy and that, until he finally learns to be true to himself and to worship at the shrine of consensus orthodoxy. He campaigned as a populist, he tried to lift the ban on gays in the military, then all of a sudden he's pushing free trade and deregulating telecom. Who was this guy, really? [...] Clinton's wandering political identity absorbed both his admirers and biographers, many of whom chose to explain it as a quest: Bill Clinton had to prove, to himself and the nation, that he was a genuine New Democrat. He had to grow into presidential maturity. And the way he had to do it was by damaging or somehow insulting traditional Democratic groups that represented the party's tradition of egalitarianism. Then we would know that the New Deal was truly dead. Then we could be sure."
Bell hooks on why she no longer supports Hillary Clinton
* "Dick Cheney heaps praise on Hillary Clinton: Former US vice president Dick Cheney has praised Hillary Clinton as one of the more competent members of President Barack Obama's administration, saying it would be "interesting to speculate" on how she would perform as president."
"Hillary Questioned Bernie's Record on Health Care and The Internet Made an Epic Correction."
Pierce: "Rahm Emanuel's Disastrous Stint as Chicago Mayor Is Officially a Campaign Issue" -_ _ _ _ _ _ _
Strangely, Charlie left out the part where Rahm seems to played politics with a murder investigation.
This is actually in "The New York Times:" "Via Legislative Side Doors, Bernie Sanders Won Modest Victories [...] Over one 12-year stretch in the House, he passed more amendments by roll call vote than any other member of Congress. In the Senate, he secured money for dairy farmers and community health centers, blocked banks from hiring foreign workers and reined in the Federal Reserve, all through measures attached to larger bills.""
* Oh, but wait, Matt Taibbi says the NYT piece changed in the course of the day: "How the "New York Times" Sandbagged Bernie Sanders [...] Not so fast! As noted first in this piece on Medium ("Proof That the "New York Times" Isn't Feeling the Bern"), the paper swiftly made a series of significant corrections online. A new version of the piece came out later the same day, and in my mind, the corrections changed the overall message of the article."
Dave Johnson, "What's The Problem With 'Free Trade'?: "Our country's 'free trade' agreements have followed a framework of trading away our democracy and middle-class prosperity in exchange for letting the biggest corporations dominate. There are those who say any increase in trade is good. But if you close a factory here and lay off the workers, open the factory 'there' to make the same things the factory here used to make, bring those things into the country to sell in the same outlets, you have just 'increased trade' because now those goods cross a border. Supporters of free trade are having a harder and harder time convincing American workers this is good for them." One thing Dave leaves out is that our higher standards also helped push other countries' standards up because we refused to do business with some countries that didn't share those standards. "Free trade" pushed them down again - in our country.
* Ted Rall, "Forget Free Trade"
It seems that Thomas Frank is letting it all hang out in his new book, Listen Liberals, judging from this excerpt in Salon. "Bill Clinton's odious presidency: Thomas Frank on the real history of the '90s [...]
Someday we will understand that the punitive hysteria of the mid-1990s was not an accident; it was essential to Clintonism. Taken as a whole with NAFTA, with welfare reform, with his plan for privatizing Social Security and, of course, with Clinton's celebrated lifting of the rules governing banks and telecoms, it all fits perfectly within the new, class-based framework of liberalism. Clinton simply treated different groups of Americans in radically different ways - crushing some in the iron fist of the state, exposing others to ruinous corporate power, while showering the favored stratum with bailouts, deregulation, and a frolicking celebration of Think Different business innovation. Some got bailouts, others got 'zero tolerance.' There was really no contradiction between these things.
Lenience and forgiveness and joyous creativity for Wall Street bankers while another group gets a biblical-style beatdown - these things actually fit together quite nicely. Indeed, the ascendance of the first group requires that the second be lowered gradually into hell. When you take Clintonism all together, it makes sense, and the sense it makes has to do with social class. What the poor get is discipline; what the professionals get is endless indulgence."
David Neiwert on waving the bloody shirt and Trump rally violence.
David Dayen, "The Most Important 2016 Issue You Don't Know About: Antitrust regulation may sound dull. It's also the root of our economic evils. We've seen plenty of economic issues discussed in this presidential election: the proper level of financial regulation, the high cost of prescription drugs, the clustering of wealth at the very top. But all of these things, and many more, boil down to one problem: Practically every major American industry has become extremely concentrated, and this creeping monopolization has increased inequality, created economic hazards where they previously didn't exist, and heightened public anxiety. [...]
Amazingly, Wednesday's hearing showed that antitrust policy is not a partisan issue. It's even become a point on the campaign trail: Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders have stressed greater antitrust enforcement and breaking up monopolies, and while not specifically talking antitrust, Donald Trump wants to inject competition into the drug industry. But the pressure from Congress is even more encouraging, because it could be all it takes to spur the agencies to do their job. And aggressively enforcing the antitrust laws would be one of the best ways to reinvigorate our economy."
"Campaign Donations Could Keep 'Carried Interest' Tax Loophole Open: New York legislators announced Monday they're introducing a bill to end a perk that lets financial executives pay a significantly lower tax rate than most Americans. Eliminating the so-called 'carried interest' loophole could generate $3.7 billion a year in revenue for the state of New York - but if the financial industry has its say, the movement there and similar measures in other states will face as tough a battle as it has in the nation's capital."
Dean Baker: "Raising Wages: What's Wrong With Ending Protection for Those on Top?
"Cashing in on Kids: 172 ALEC Education Bills Push Privatization in 2015: Despite widespread public opposition to the corporate-driven education privatization agenda, at least 172 measures reflecting American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) model bills were introduced in 42 states in 2015, according to an analysis by the Center for Media and Democracy, publishers of ALECexposed.org and PRWatch.org."
Here in Israel it's the middle of the night. The television's on. I'm watching Jews in Florida talk about why they're supporting Donald Trump. And I'm thinking about the German Jews who voted for Adolf Hitler. I've never felt comfortable about equating present-day political figures to Hitler. I always felt that it represented a form of Holocaust denial. My discomfort has only grown over the years, as the epithet Nazi has been thrown around so often and so loosely, by so many sides to so many conflicts.
But this time is different. Because this time, the echoes are getting much too close.
Now Trump has an hour to himself on Fox News, with sympathetic anchor Sean Hannity and a wildly admiring studio audience. He is talking about other Republican presidential candidates. But his tone suggests that he may be talking about something broader in scope. From the Fox News transcript:
"Everybody that's attacked me is gone. Do you ever notice that? Wouldn't that be nice for our country? Everybody..."
"(CHEERS AND APPLAUSE)"
When I was small, my favorite aunt, who was a concentration camp survivor, told me that there had been Jews in Germany who, when Hitler was just starting his rise to power, supported him.
But now we all know better, other relatives were quick to add. Something like that won't happen again. We wouldn't let it.
I figured they were right. Until this week.
Until I began to hear reminders of the observations of the Jews who'd once placed hopes in Hitler. How a leader like that could bring stability, restore a broken country to greatness. How you shouldn't pay too much heed to what he says – it's just what politicians need to do to get elected.
Trump is only speaking the way he is in order to win office, but once in power he will dial back, Trump supporter Chaim Bitterman said at Trump's mass campaign rally Sunday in Boca Raton, Florida.
“There’s a difference between a presidential race and actually being president," Bitterman observed.
Another rally participant, Marie Gosser, who moved to Florida from Israel decades ago, said of Trump, “He’s not racist, he says the truth."
Back when I was very small, my grandmother, who got out of the old country before the Holocaust, would tell me stories about what it was like to live through the pogroms she left behind. Her graying eyes far away, haunted, she would then tell me about when they came to America, to the Midwest, where they stayed inside and locked the doors when there were Ku Klux Klan rallies and burning crosses. The Klan, she told me, hated black people and Jewish people and anyone who didn't look like them or believe what they did.
My parents would then tell me that things like this would never happen again. Not in America. They could never happen again. Not after we've seen what we've seen, heard what we've heard. Not when we know what we know.
This is what I know: Any Jew who votes for Donald Trump is voting for an anti-Semite.
This is a man who three years ago, sent his Twitter followers this message about comedian-commentator Jon Stewart and his birth name:
"I promise you that I'm much smarter than Jonathan Leibowitz – I mean Jon Stewart @TheDailyShow. Who, by the way, is totally overrated."
This is a man who in 1991 was quoted by former Trump Plaza Hotel and Casino president John R. O'Donnell as declaring "Black guys counting my money! I hate it. The only people I want counting my money are little short guys that wear yarmulkes every day."
This is a man who just this month was pressed to disavow the support of white supremacists, only to defend his refusal to do so by comparing the Klan and other groups to Jewish charities.
“I don’t like to disavow groups if I don’t know who they are,” Trump told MSNBC. I mean, you could have Federation of Jewish Philanthropies in groups.”
Anti-Defamation League head Jonathan Greenblatt condemned Trump's statement as "obscene."
Will Trump be exposed in time for his fans to understand their loss of personal integrity?