Tuesday, October 23, 2018

Why, as a Jew, I'm voting against Donald Trump Republicans ... by Alan Farago

Auschwitz-Birkenau: the shoes of murdered Jews

I am just returning from a visit to the Auschwitz-Birkenau death camp in Poland where my paternal grandparents were murdered by Nazis in 1944. It was my first trip and overdue. The debts I owe my grandparents and father, who survived slave labor and immigrated to the United States in 1948, are personal. Here I want to write about the explicitly political as a form of redemption: Jews and the upcoming election in the United States.

The deal Donald Trump made to Jews to move the US Embassy to Jerusalem was intended to appease Jewish voters in the United States; particularly Sheldon Adelson whose casino fortune supplied over $100 million to Republican candidates and causes.

I am not appeased. I do not agree. I believe Trump is an illegitimate president who would not have been elected but for collusion with a foreign enemy, Russia, whose anti-semitism is less carefully concealed than among today's AltR message machinery. But rather than focus on the symbolism of the embassy move or Trump collusion, I would like Jews to focus on this reality: the extreme rightward drift -- the "nationalism" -- endorsed by Trump and his Republican party.

This is like touching an electrified fence. It is in my genetic makeup: I view any political effort to isolate minorities -- whether immigrants from Central America, or from the Mideast, whether they are African Americans or Native Americans, whether they are homosexuals in the United States or transgendered -- as a threat from the same strain of virus that infected Germans in the pre-war era that led, inexorably, to the Holocaust that claimed six million Jews including my two grandparents and members of my extended family.

I write these words from Berlin, a peaceful, cosmopolitan, first-world capitol filled with young people determinedly pursuing better, more prosperous lives. Aside from museums and monuments, there is no hint of the mass psychosis that gripped Berlin seventy-five years ago when ending Jews -- the "final solution" -- motivated an entire nation to pursue the extermination practices of the nationalists, the Nazis's death camps, with ruthless efficiency even as the war was a lost cause to the German people. Don't say it could never happen here.

I will vote against Republicans and against Trump because they have done the inexcusable both in domestic and international foreign policies: they are unleashing the furies that we experienced, as Jews, for centuries. The American Republic and liberal democracies around the world were designed by wise men and women to bar hatred to the maximum extent possible from infecting the normal conduct of human relations. We express those as the pursuit of liberty and freedom.

It is reprehensible to use poor impoverished people in a "caravan" to the United States for political purposes. That is what Trump and his Republican allies are doing. They are using the caravan to attack Democrats and freely lying to the public about Democrats' support for illegal immigration. In my life as a voter, although I am registered Democrat, I have voted for the candidate not the party. This election I am voting straight line Democrat.

I can't stand what Trump Republicans have done to conservative causes and principles. Moreover, I believe that any Jew who believes that the tables are not set to be turned with vengeance against minorities is living a dream. The caravan I join is a stream of voters to the polls in November to reject the GOP: a party willingly stoking fear, anxiety and hatreds for political gain.


Anonymous said...

No more excuses: GOP is pure evil

Anonymous said...

An outstanding post! Thanks