Whom Will Trump Attack Next?

Whom Will Trump Attack Next?

Gilbert N. Kahn is a professor of Political Science at Kean University.

American Jews ought to be concerned that they well could be the next victim of President Trump’s spontaneous outbursts. If anyone thinks that the fact that Ivanka converted to Judaism and is married to a Jew will prevent Trump from attacking Jews with one of his next racist tweets or off-handed comments, they are grossly mistaken.

His vile attacks last Thursday against immigrants from Haiti as well as against African countries should give all Americans great pause to consider who is next. There is little doubt—unrelated to his attack on Kim Jong-un—that he would not hesitate to launch an attack on Asian Americans were he so moved. Just as the President used what he called “locker room” talk in his abhorrent Access Hollywood tape, so too could Trump be moved to attack other ethnic minorities or religious groups with his inexcusable insinuations.

This is clear for several reasons all of which are part of the President’s modus operandi.

  1. It has become totally evident after a year in the White House that Trump has no ability nor desire to control what he tweets or what he says.
  2. President Trump has no compunctions or second thoughts about who he insults or challenges.
  3. The President is driven by a need constantly to feed his political base regardless of how appalling might be his allegations.
  4. President Trump lives in his own private bubble which requires even his own family to accept and tolerate is behavior.
  5. At the end of the day regardless of how much evidence there is to the contrary, the President will deny what he said and blame the listener and media for misinterpreting the facts and reality.

The situation for Jews and indirectly for Israel, is that Jews historically have been among the most vulnerable groups. They have a long history of being blamed for Christ killing for the Black Plague for Russian Revolution to even 9/11.  They have been scapegoated for over 2000 years.

Rather than lifting the public conversation away from discrimination which President Obama in many ways sought to accomplish, President Trump has brought it back down into the gutter. For many of the approximately 35% supporters, Trump can do no wrong nor say anything inappropriate.  For many of his minions, Trump speaks the language that many of the have espoused at their own dinner tables for years.

Ironically even in his most outrageous outbursts, Archie Bunker never dropped to the level of some of Trump attacks. In addition, Carroll O’Connor always had his “Meathead” son-in-law, Rob Reiner, to call him to the table, something President Trump does not hear from his Jewish son-in-law Jared Kushner. 

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