Who Should Jews Fear Most During an ‘Uprising’?
Jonathan S. Tobin
JNS, Sept. 2, 2020It was a summer of discontent as the coronavirus pandemic raged on. The death of George Floyd, which set off a season of protests about police brutality and racial discrimination, further added to the nation’s woes as many of the demonstrations turned into riots along with acts of intimidation, violence and looting. If that wasn’t enough, now we also have to worry about armed vigilantes who have, in a few cases, sought to intervene in settings of urban unrest with predictably dismal results as the fatal shootings illustrated last week in Kenosha, Wis.The specter of armed extremists facing off against violent mobs is a prescription for not just bloodshed, but chaos with unknowable consequences. Predictably, the Anti-Defamation League is chiming in about this to hype fears that the presence of militias in this combustible mix will add anti-Semitism to the mix. The question is, are they telling us something we need to know about the situation or, as appears to be the case, is the ADL just riding their favorite hobby horse in order to promote their preferred political agenda and distract us from the real threat to both Jews and the nation in this situation.As it happens, and as one ADL researcher acknowledged, the groups of vigilantes that have arisen in cities where rioting took place don’t seem to have expressed any anti-Semitism when they showed up ostensibly to defend property threatened with destruction by the “mostly peaceful” demonstrators.Yet the mere mention of militias—whether the vigilantes are connected to known groups or not—has been enough to push the usual buttons for Jews. This has predictably led some people to believe that the real problems at play here are not the riots, or what it is the Black Lives Matter movement’s leaders and apologists are after, but the familiar fear factor associated with white nationalists and anti-Semitism.
Let’s specify that the presence of vigilantes is almost always a bad thing. Such persons are no substitute for law enforcement and invariably make bad situations worse.Yet after three months of riots that some on the left have been candid enough to describe as a general “insurrection,” there is only one word to accurately describe efforts to put the focus on vigilantes, rather than on those who have openly embraced radical positions aimed at thwarting democratic rule as an anti-Semitic threat: gaslighting.
We should never be complacent about anti-Semitism from the far right. But to pretend that the carnage in America’s cities is the work of anyone but the far left, associated anarchists and some elements of the Black Lives Matter movement is not merely false but a transparently politically motivated sleight of hand maneuver.… [To read the full article, click the following LINK – Ed.]
The ‘Resistance’ Sows Distrust in the Electoral Process
WSJ, Sept. 7, 2020
We live in an age of hyperactivist journalism and supercompressed news cycles, one in which eager leakers inside the Trump administration are primed to run to the nearest reporter every time they hear something they don’t like. So the cynical reader can be forgiven a little skepticism when a story about an event that is said to have happened nearly two years ago surfaces two months before a presidential election.
We have no way of knowing if President Trump said those cruel things on his trip to France in 2018 about military veterans who died at war, as four anonymous sources told the Atlantic. Given some of the cruel things the president has uttered before, it’s surely possible, though reporting did once require a slightly higher evidentiary standard than “it’s the kind of thing he would say, so it must be true.”
But the timing is certainly interesting, The revelation came the day before the first ballots were sent to voters, at a moment when Democrats, including Joe Biden, have been putting it about that the military might be needed to forcibly eject Mr. Trump from the White House were he to refuse to accept the result of the election.
Chances are this rhetorical extremism is just that. The specter of tanks on the White House lawn is for now just another of the devices Democrats are using to scare people into voting in large numbers for Mr. Biden.
But the level of distrust in the political process is higher than ever. With mail-in voting expected at record levels, and practiced mostly by supporters of the Democrats, the chances are good that Mr. Trump will lead after votes submitted in person are counted the night of Nov. 3, only to have the win seized from him as the postal votes are counted over the next few days. It’s a slim hope that this gets resolved in a rerun of the meticulously litigated Bush v. Gore (2000).
There’s a larger crisis of legitimacy that haunts this election and beyond. Democracy rests on the fragile foundation of consent—primarily the consent of the losers to the outcome of an election. If the losers feel that they have been cheated, that the winners have played by a set of rules that have redefined politics in their own narrow interest, the losers may withhold their consent. The fragile foundations are eroded further.
It’s this, rather than specific concerns about mail-in ballots or voter suppression, that is the largest threat to postelection America. To a large number of the president’s supporters, Mr. Trump’s defeat in November would represent the political validation of a yearslong extraconstitutional effort to discredit, delegitimize and ultimately destroy him.
Many of those voters may come to think that the long campaign of protest accompanied often by street violence and intimidation succeeded in persuading enough voters to heed the warning by Mr. Biden that the unrest will continue unless Mr Trump is defeated. … [To read the full article, click the following LINK – Ed.]
The Inevitable Implosion of Biden’s Campaign
The American Spectator, Sept. 4, 2020
It’s tempting to attribute Joe Biden’s plummeting poll numbers in key battleground states to his dilatory denunciation of the riots that still ravage their Democrat-run cities. However, the campaign’s fatal flaw is more subtle than Biden’s tacit approval of mob violence. It is rooted in the classism that resulted in his nomination to be the Democratic standard bearer. Among the progressives who control the party it’s an article of faith that President Trump’s base consists of undereducated working-class whites. Thus, they reluctantly supported Biden’s nomination in the hope that “working class Joe” could peel off enough of Trump’s benighted blue collar support to capture the White House.
The problem with this strategy is that it is based on a myth. White voters without college degrees do indeed constitute an important part of Trump’s coalition. But the belief that these Americans are working class clods dumb enough to support a Potemkin candidate nominated by a radicalized party is a progressive fantasy. This is why Biden’s poll numbers remained relatively stable during the ten weeks of riots that preceded the amateurish Democratic National Convention and only began to go south after that cringe worthy event ended on August 20. By the end of August his purported lead over President Trump in the major battleground states had clearly begun evaporating. It has now been cut in half.
In Michigan, for example, RealClearPolitics showed Biden ahead of Trump by a comfortable 8.4 percent margin as recently as July 28. A month later, that lead had decreased by two-thirds and remains at 2.6 percent as of this writing. Likewise, on July 24, the former Vice President led Trump in Pennsylvania by 8.5 percent. That lead has since been cut in half and now stands at 4.2 percent as of Thursday. The story is much the same in North Carolina, where Biden was ahead of Trump by 4.7 percent on July 31. That lead has now dropped to less than 1 percent. Overall, according to RealClearPolitics, Biden’s average lead in the all-important battleground states has shrunken from 6.3 percent on July 28 to 3.3 percent.
The source of this downward spiral in Biden’s numbers is the progressive myth that all voters without college degrees are by definition working class and not very bright. Ironically, this nonsense was debunked as early as 2017. Nicholas Carnes of Duke University noticed that the “working class voter” narrative had become a staple of media commentary concerning Trump’s 2016 victory over Clinton and responded with a Washington Post column titled, “It’s time to bust the myth: Most Trump voters were not working class.” Carnes was ill-mannered enough to point out that journalists writing about Trump’s blue collar base had failed to produce any data supporting what had by then become conventional wisdom:
When journalists wrote that Trump was appealing to working-class voters, they didn’t really know whether Trump voters were construction workers or CEOs.… In short, the narrative that attributes Trump’s victory to a “coalition of mostly blue-collar white and working-class voters” just doesn’t square with the 2016 election data. According to the [American National Election Study], white non-Hispanic voters without college degrees making below the median household income made up only 25 percent of Trump voters. That’s a far cry from the working-class-fueled victory many journalists have imagined. … [To read the full article, click the following LINK – Ed.]
On Thomas Jefferson
National Review, July 9, 2020
Nobody embodies the paradox at the heart of the American founding more vividly than Thomas Jefferson, the slave owner who penned the American creed of liberty in the Declaration of Independence and who, with a slave as his concubine, would “dream of freedom in his bondsmaid’s arms,” as Irish poet Tom Moore jeered during Jefferson’s second presidential term. As young vandals torch our national heritage, in an infectious delusion that America was conceived in slavery, not in liberty, take a good look at our third president, warts and all. You’ll find, despite his undeniable flaws, one of history’s great men who helped build history’s greatest nation. He is especially relevant now, when the qualities he placed at the center of our culture are at once so beleaguered and so essential.
By his order, Jefferson’s gravestone identifies him only as the father of the University of Virginia and the author of both the Declaration of Independence and the Virginia statute of religious freedom — intellectual accomplishments all. Of his presidency and other government offices there’s not a word. He was a true child of the Enlightenment, most at home in the world of ideas and convinced that reason would lead to truth, material improvement, and moral progress. Hence his emphasis on religious freedom in a Virginia that, even after the Declaration of Independence, had an established Anglican church, exacting taxes from all citizens and forbidding the promulgation of unorthodox religious beliefs.
No one can make you profess or support dogmas you don’t believe, Jefferson countered. The first freedom is the freedom to think whatever thoughts you like and say whatever your reason tells you is true. No one can deny, his statute declared, echoing Milton’s sublime Areopagitica, “that truth is great and will prevail if left to herself; that she is the proper and sufficient antagonist to error, and has nothing to fear from the conflict unless by human interposition disarmed of her natural weapons, free argument and debate; errors ceasing to be dangerous when it is permitted freely to contradict them.”
So simple and so obvious: but can one find a college administrator or newspaper editor with the courage to say this to politically correct mobs howling down unorthodox speakers or writers today? Would any one of them declare, with Jefferson, “I have sworn upon the altar of God, eternal hostility to every form of tyranny over the mind of man?”
Then there is America’s foundational idea, proclaimed in the Declaration of Independence, summing up Locke’s political theory with diamond-like compression and clarity, and adding to it a uniquely American flourish that makes it something new in political thought. Men are born equal in their rights to life and liberty, and they form governments only to protect those rights. Public officials thus work for the citizens; even “kings are the servants, not the proprietors of the people,” as of course are the administrative state’s meddlesome “swarms of officers [who] harass our people and eat out their substance.” All can be fired for abuse or neglect of their trust, including failure to keep citizens safe in their homes and streets. … [To read the full article, click the following LINK – Ed.]
For Further Reference:
China Unquarantined: Dan Blumenthal and Nicholas Eberstadt, National Review, June 4, 2020 — The COVID-19 pandemic is the single greatest global peacetime catastrophe that humanity has suffered since the end of the Second World War. Barely months into what promises to be a multiyear disaster, the pandemic has already cost America alone over 100,000 lives, tens of millions of jobs, and trillions of dollars in lost output, income, and wealth.
‘Broken Values’: US-Israel Expert Documents How the Democrat Party Abandoned Basic American Truths: David Isaac, World Israel News, Sept. 10, 2020 — It’s not a simple matter to quantify changes in values over time in a political party. Yet Gideon Israel has done just that in his excellent new book, Broken Values: How the Democratic Party Betrays its Followers and America.
The Normalcy of Trump’s Republican Party: Michael Barone, WSJ, Aug. 21, 2020 — As the Republicans assemble—at least virtually—in their 42nd quadrennial national convention, in an unbroken chain that goes back to 1856, observers will ask ominous questions about their party’s future.
The Left’s Love Affair with Riots:Michael Brendan Dougherty, National Review, June 18, 2020 — Acting collectively across their company’s Slack channel, New York Times employees were recently able to get their paper’s opinion editor, James Bennet, ousted for running an op-ed by Senator Tom Cotton (R., Ark.). Employees claimed it made them “unsafe,” which is HR-speak for “I’ll sue if you don’t fire him.”
New Tell-All Book Says Trump is Actually a Lovable Guy: Lawrence Martin, The Globe and Mail, Sept. 7, 2020 — Madeleine Westerhout takes part in an event at the White House in July, 2019, a month before she was fired as Donald Trump’s personal assistant