A Slur That is Retracted is Still anti-Semitism
Gilbert N. Kahn is a professor of Political Science at Kean University.
This weekend Donald Trump put out an anti-Semitic slur in a Trump tweet that showed Clinton surrounded by $100 bills and Jewish stars. The implication was obvious. The image which was taken down after several hours underscores three distinct, incontrovertible issues about the candidate and his campaign. It is out of control; it cannot admit mistakes; and it has clear problems with Hispanics, Muslims, women, and Jews.
Trump’s entire campaign appears to run entirely out of his mouth and his say-so. While his highly lauded Jewish son-in-law, Jason Kushner, is probably the most politically sophisticated member of both his family and his staff, he has no experience in politics whatsoever. The entire campaign is merely a machine that follows whatever Trump wants, suggests, or says; just like his businesses. The campaign operates as a reaction machine. There is no high-level campaign operation. As a result the only management is a non-management system which has produced extraordinary results so far; except now it is beginning to get rather serious.
There probably never has been a political campaign where mistakes have not been made by the candidate or his/her staff; until now. It is truly remarkable the extent to which Trump and his messengers are unable to admit any errors. Trump himself in his former life as a businessman never erred and if you challenged him, he sued you. He can lie and fabricate all types of answers about why he has not disclosed his taxes or his real estate profits or his charitable contributions, but the bottom line is that they would totally repudiate the myths and stories he has instilled into the minds of his friends and followers.
It is just so easy to present your facts as the truth, and never admit you were wrong; so too with this weekend’s anti-Semitic tweet. Please do not insult the intelligence of the American people by telling them that the Star of David is a sheriff’s badge when the source of the tweet has been determined to be a White supremacist, racists rag.
If Trump were a genuine politician—let alone a civilized person—he would comprehend that with the amount of anti-Semitism in the air it would behoove a presidential candidate to avoid even the appearance of anti-Semitism in his public interaction. It appears that for Trump all that matters is his gut response at the moment, not the truth, not the consequences, and not the bigotry and hatred which he is energizing. How can Kushner stand-by and tolerate this anti-Semitism?