I write this as a Jewish man, not as a voter. As a voter I have absolutely no intention of casting my vote for Donald Trump. There are many qualities he displays, all qualities discussed in the media ad-nauseum that makes me not only not want to vote for him, but fearful at the prospect of his presidency. Trump is many things that are abhorrent to many American voters. I will not only not dispute many of those criticisms, I will very likely agree with many of them. But the one thing I will dispute is the notion that Donald Trump has displayed anything resembling anti-Semitism.
I personally do not believe Donald Trump is a racist or bigot of any kind. I believe he says some very irresponsible and thoughtless things that are not only insulting but potentially very damaging as well. I also believe his incendiary comments resonate strongly in a very racist element of American society making them potentially very dangerous. As president these comments would carry even more force and would subsequently have an even more damaging impact. That being said, even as someone very sensitive to attacks of any kind on my religion, I did not find the tweet with the star calling Hillary the “most corrupt candidate ever” to be a racial slur or an indication that Trump has a problem with the Jewish people.
There are many factors that point to why this is not the case. The most obvious would be the fact that Trump’s daughter Ivanka converted to Judaism before marrying her husband, Jared Kushner, who has a strong and positive relationship with his father-in-law. The next fact is that as much business as people have done with Trump, as many companies as he has owned and as many people as he as employed, if Trump was a racist of any kind, including an anti-Semite, we would have known this long before he ran for president. And that is not because his activities have gone under the radar. There has certainly been plenty of buzz showing him to be a heartless and self-serving business man. And finally, and this is just simple logic, with an ad designed to bring attention to the Trump campaign’s stance that Hillary is too corrupt to be president, why would they deflect attention from that message by going after Jews. The answer is that they would not. The truth is that what the star represents, and I refer to it as the star rather than the Star of David because I do not believe it was meant to represent a Star of David, is more stupidity and carelessness than bigotry and racism, and as a proud Jew I can forgive that, at least from a personal and ethnic standpoint.
Unfortunately the tweet does represent much of what is wrong with the Trump candidacy. Just because it is not anti-Semitic, that does not mean it is acceptable. The lack of understanding and preparedness that this represents is very much part of the reason I am a Never Trump guy, but as a Jewish man I don’t hate him, I merely hate him as a voter.
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