I’m A Jew Who Voted For Trump — And I Still Have No Regrets.

I’m a 47 year old Jewish guy who was born in South Africa and moved to the US when I was 6. I grew up in a Democratic home. I voted for Bill Clinton twice and interned for liberal icon Senator Harkin before I attended law school back in the early/mid 1990’s. I don’t own a gun, I don’t hate gays (I have family and friends who I care deeply for who are gay and lesbian), I am not particularly religious (but am affiliated with a shul) and I consider myself a moderate on social issues (pro choice and believe in a safety net for disabled and elderly).

Yet I was relieved that Trump won. While President Trump can be obnoxious, self-obsessed, and at times unrealistic (and I am concerned that he may backtrack on some important issues that I care about), he was clearly the superior choice (and yes I admit it was cathartic to jab back at people who have insulted, degraded and ignored the concerns of myself and centrists like me for so long).

The left has done everything they can to show contempt towards Americans whose views differ in any way from their own liberal orthodoxy. That has only served to exacerbate the divisiveness of our citizenry; it has certainly not brought us together. Of course we want to respect diversity and embrace our differences. But respecting diversity means more than just showing tolerance to people of different skin color and gender identity. It means demonstrating tolerance to those who have well-reasoned viewpoints that may differ from their own. God forbid you disagree with a liberal, or you will incur the knee-jerk wrath of being shamed, belittled and labeled as a racist xenophobe. That’s why the pollsters got the election so wrong. Those who are politically in the center or center-right were shamed into silence and submission, as they have been for the last eight years.

A week before the election I was talking to a liberal man here in Atlanta. He brought up Secretary Hillary Clinton and told me she was fantastic. I asked politely what has Clinton accomplished in her professional life. I was told she cared about children and civil liberties. I then asked, what are her deliverables? The response became personal — What have you ever done? I shared with him what I had done in my professional life and informed him I wasn’t a candidate for President. Needless to say, he didn’t answer my final question: are you concerned that five foreign governments read Clinton’s emails? Another fruitful conversation. But this is probably one of the least hostile or degrading exchanges most of us “deplorables” have had over the past eight years.

Unfortunately there are voices in both parties who have exasperated tensions and passions. I do think that the Obama administration, the Soros/Moveon organizations, and the media have contributed significantly to the toxic climate we find ourselves in. Neither campaign was particularly elevated (Clinton’s was almost exclusively negative), and Trump used needlessly inflammatory language.

Political correctness has also alienated moderates from the democrat party. Even serious issues make people laugh in disgust. Absurd statements by Clinton about the Islamic State having nothing to do with Islam, and another classic from the the Obama administration that the massacre at Fort Hood was “work place violence,” make many Americans think the left has frankly lost their minds.

I know this might come as a shock to some, but many people acknowledge that there are millions of good, kind and productive Muslims in the world. Some are our neighbors and friends, and we wish them well. But we also understand that there is a problem with Islamic fundamentalism which the left seems unable to grabble with. Any criticism or concern with radical islam is quickly turned into Islamophobia. Moderate people no longer take the left seriously due to code words and insults meant to intimidate them, label them and take away their willingness to engage in speech. Is it unreasonable for a Jew (or any thoughtful person) in the U.S. to show concern when the Democratic candidate for President supports an increase of over 500 percent for Muslim “refugees” into the US? Do people not see what has happened in Europe due to Islamic migration? When we see European Jewish life in shambles, in part due to radical Islamists, are we not at least given the right to be concerned that when we drop our kids at Sunday school, its not under armed guard like in Paris? Even if immigrants are not violent, do we really want to let Sharia-complaint people into our country who don’t share our values about living in a liberal democracy?

The left seems to have a speech problem. The so called safe spaces/zones are another manifestation of intimidating speech they don’t like. While some universities hold out safe zones as places for all people to be able to feel comfortable and not be harassed or intimidated, the obvious result is to stop speech that the left doesn’t approve of. Mayor Bloomberg’s strong opposition to safe spaces and micro-aggressions at a university commencement resulted in intense booing. There was a time not long ago that the liberals would be the leaders of a protest against safe spaces, that is obviously no longer the case. The center and right are far more protective of our first Amendment rights then the left.

The left has damaged how Americans view the mainstream media and our government (excluding the military) and then complain when people look elsewhere. If the New York Times or other progressive institutions want people like me to consider reading their product (beyond polls and crosswords) then significant changes need to happen. Wikileaks showed the disgusting collusion between the media and Clinton’s campaign. From CNN’s high-level employee sharing debate questions with her candidates team, to Politico’s top reporter framing articles and questions (with Sec Clinton’s campaign) to advance her candidacy, the media is no longer a respected American institution. Almost every person on MSNBC and CNN should have made it clear that they where acting in an advocacy position not that of an anchor or journalist. At least Fox’s Sean Hannity in unequivocal in holding himself out as a talk show host with an agenda.

For the mainstream media to attract more readers and viewers they need to have different views heard, and not just to ridicule. Voices, who think that rioting in response to an election result they don’t like is wrong; that holding Israel to a singular standard is wrong; that identifying Trump voters as the Klan when the vast majority (probably over 99 percent) are not, is wrong; that a person who is living in our country illegally is not a citizen or entitled to vote (they might be a fine person, a hard working person and perhaps one can argue deserving of a chance to stay or get citizenship, but they are still illegally in the country and that should matter); that there is a problem with radical islam; that good people might not approve of an abortion after the eighth month; that while we should respect the transgender community, reasonable people can legitimately be more concerned with the fact that 95 million people are out of the work force, or that Iran is getting paid by us to export terror and probably produce a nuke.

I believe the recent U.N. resolution on Israeli “settlements” supported by President Obama and many democrats is blatant anti-semitism and for me is a bridge to far to come back from. People of good faith can argue if the Arab conflict with Israel is resolvable and if so, what if any arrangement can be achieved. But to support the notion that the Western Wall, Hebrew University, Haddassah Hospital are illegally occupied Arab lands lends no context to the conflict or any incentive for either party to move toward peace. It was a destructive, hateful and worse…stupid.

When liberals attack the alt-right (and I have no problem attacking white supremacists or racists as did a speaker at the recent CPAC meeting), they should also look at the alt left and even mainstream leftists. Lets not forget the language of the Obama Administration regarding those opposed to the Iran deal. The administration demonized deal opponents as wanting a war. I believe anti-Semites reveled at the lefts vicious attacks against those that opposed the deal. As the editors of Tablet magazine explained…. President Obama’s language and mention of foreign money and lobbying was “a direct attempt to play the dual-loyalty card.”

“It’s the kind of dark, nasty stuff we might expect to hear at a white power rally, not from the President of the United States — and it’s gotten so blatant that even many of us who are generally sympathetic to the administration, and even this deal, have been shaken by it.”
A rare but courageous analysis. Just look at Senator Schumer’s treatment by the left . He was made out to be a Senator of Israel because he opposed a deal many Americans think is terrible. Senator Menendez recently voiced his concern that Mr Friedman (Trumps pick for Ambassador to Israel) might have dual loyalty issues - sickening. And now the democratic party has a Vice Chair (almost elected Chair) who was a “former” Nation of Islam member with has clear bias toward jews and Israel - are they purposely doing these things to make certain people like me never support them?

When I talk to my neighbors who represent many different racial and ethnic backgrounds - almost without exception, they view the core institutions in our society with tremendous suspicion. These people are not Ted Kaczynski living in a cabin in the woods. They are doctors, lawyers, business people, moms and dads. They are people that cried when they witnessed people falling out of the Towers on 911. They are people who even if they didn’t agree with his policies,felt pride that the US would elect an African American as President. They believe in diversity, but also diversity of thought. They believe in meritocracy. They all voted for Trump.

Many Americans have been battered around for so long its hard to drop the cynicism. You have to understand that us deplorables don’t have much hope that things will change in the media and academia. After all - even if the labeling of racism, sexism, and xenophobia are begrudgingly slowed down as a result of the election (and they are now increasing), and even if the left concedes that perhaps some of us are not irredeemable, they will likely conclude that better “messaging” will change our minds. Don’t count on it.

This story "I’m A Jew Who Voted For Trump — And I Still Have No Regrets." was written by Et Gentin.

The views and opinions expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect those of the Forward.

Your Comments

The Forward welcomes reader comments in order to promote thoughtful discussion on issues of importance to the Jewish community. All readers can browse the comments, and all Forward subscribers can add to the conversation. In the interest of maintaining a civil forum, The Forward requires that all commenters be appropriately respectful toward our writers, other commenters and the subjects of the articles. Vigorous debate and reasoned critique are welcome; name-calling and personal invective are not and will be deleted. Egregious commenters or repeat offenders will be banned from commenting. While we generally do not seek to edit or actively moderate comments, our spam filter prevents most links and certain key words from being posted and the Forward reserves the right to remove comments for any reason.

Recommend this article

I’m A Jew Who Voted For Trump — And I Still Have No Regrets.

Thank you!

This article has been sent!

Close
Close