NOVEMBER 3, 2020: THE MOST DECISIVE ELECTION—FOR THE U.S. AND FOR ISRAEL—SINCE 1860

 

Frederick Krantz

Donald Trump and Joe Biden, official portraits
(Source:wikipedia, Andrea Widburg)

As we approach the most decisive American election since 1860, the news blackout of the Biden family influence-peddling scandal is an instructive, if deplorable, expression of the fundamental issues at stake. The political-corporate Left, which now dominates the Democratic Party, would if victorious impose a radical “progressive”-socialist authoritarian regime, backed by Pravda-like control of media, on America.

While leaving the tripartite structure of American government formally in place, it would undermine the “checks and balances” system by moving to create a kind of functional “soft” authoritarian one-party regime and State.

Twitter’s boldfaced impudence and disregard for public opinion was expressed in the headline of its reply to criticism. It made an “offer” to publish the whistleblower’s news about the Biden family scandal, which it had initially suppressed, but there was a catch: “ NY Post Can Tweet Again If It Deletes Biden Exposé Post’, Twitter CEO Says”. 

In other words, they will run the story if is key content is omitted.

Such blatant and brazen manipulation expresses a contempt for both American First Amendment rights and the American voter. It is of a piece with the media’s high-handed misrepresentation of plain fact and language across this campaign. Half a year of rioting and looting are (when covered at all) termed “mostly peaceful protests”, and the lying “Trump’s white racism” meme is endlessly repeated, notwithstanding the plain evidence to the contrary, including the President’s own clear present and past denunciations.

Media and the Democrats, struck dumb now about the real and well-documented Biden scandal, squawked hysterically for three years about wholly unsupported “Russian collusion” assertions. And they never apologized, despite the collapse of the Mueller inquiry, the proven Democratic payment for and FBI use of the false Steele dossier, and the phony Ukraine [!] phone-call-based impeachment campaign.

A Democratic win in the coming November 3rd election could not only threaten American democracy, but would also have serious implications for Israel, as well as for the world generally. But despite the heavily Democratic media’s predictions of a massive Biden victory (10-12 points up nationally, 17 [!] in one poll in swing-state Wisconsin, and claims of impending victory in Florida, Texas, and Pennsylvania, with only days remaining all bets are in fact off.

The “national” polls administered by the anti-Trump media are wildly unreliable. Several other more reliable “battle-ground” state polls, done by researchers who correctly predicted the 2016 outcome, indicate that opinion is  trending towards Trump.

If Trump wins another term, it will either be a “squeaker”, or a much broader late-breaking victory. (The win would in any case be prompted by a combination of the following factors: public economic apprehension over Biden’s “I will lock things down” and anti-fracking pledges; fear of radical progressive-“socialist” influence on his Administration [or of his replacement by Kamala Harris should he falter]; or because the Biden China-influence news scandal blackout  suddenly  explodes  in the last few days of the campaign.)

The danger to Israel of a Biden-Harris Administration is many-fold.  First, Biden has refused to dissociate himself from the anti-Zionist left of his Party (Sanders, AOC, the “Squad”), people who–along with the extreme-left Kamala Harris–oppose President Trump’s remarkable peace–process successes, refuse to attend  AIPAC meetings, hob-knob with the antisemitic likes of Louis Farrakhan and “Rev.” Al Sharpton, and so on.

Secondly, if victorious, the Democrats are pledged immediately to move to rewind Trump’s unraveling of the disastrous Iran nuclear deal. His recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capitol, and of the Golan Heights and West Bank as parts of Israel, as well as his demonstration of the bankruptcy of the “two-state” solution to the Israel-Palestine issue, may be on the chopping block.

One could also expect the Third World-ist Democrats to play to anti-Israel forces in the U.N., as in the last days of the Obama-Biden Administration. They might well place the U.S. recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capitol (let alone of the Golan and West Bank as parts of Israel) in question. Trump’s support for Jewish community issues in the U.S., including pressure against BDS activism on campuses, and his adoption in federal jurisdictions of the broad IHRA definition of antisemitism  (which defines “anti-Zionism” as a prime example of  “the longest hatred”) might also be weakened.

This election also demonstrates once again the contradictory nature of what is still termed “the Jewish vote”. Current polls (again, to the extent that they are reliable) indicate Biden getting around 75%, and Trump 25% (in 2016 Hillary Clinton received 71%; in 2008, Obama 78%, in 2000, Al Gore had 79%).

Yet (ignoring the President’s Jewish daughter, son-in-law,  and grand-children), given his remarkable pro-Israel policies, including the key domestic steps already noted,  one might well ask why a large majority of Jews is not supporting Republican Trump.

But the American Jewish community is no longer unified, either in its pro-Israel stance or in political terms internally. An old tradition of “Jewish unity”, especially in relation to Israel, was long ago shattered. The bulk of American Jewry is today highly assimilated, frequently inter-married, traditionally liberal, and internally divided.

Indeed, for many, secular liberalism seems to have displaced Judaism as a personal “religion”.  The reality is that Israel, and Trump, can count only on a minority of conservative Jews and the “modern” Orthodox, bound by their common commitment to Israel and Zionism.  Whether the rising tide of largely left-linked domestic “anti-Zionism” (a.k.a. antisemitism), might yet awaken the majority from its torpor and enlarge this small but vigorous Republican contingent, remains to be seen.

Somewhat paradoxically, some pundits speculate that precisely the growing Jewish vote in a key traditionally Republican battleground state like retirement-mecca Florida, could tip the scales towards Democratic Biden.  Alternately, Trump may be able to hold on to power because of growing backing in some southern swing-states, from “fundamentalist” Christians encouraged by his now-solid record of support for religion, opposition to abortion, and appointment of conservative Supreme Court Justices.

If Trump wins, we know what to expect: continuing to open the economy while protecting exposed sectors of the population (the aged, nursing-home residents, those with pre-existing conditions) from Covid. He will reform health care, maintain private options, lower prescription drug costs, support First and Second Amendment rights, address the anti-liberal attitudes of our “cancel-culture” schools and universities; and continue the military build-up.

He will also pursue his “America First” foreign policy, which has gained some noticeable successes. He defeated ISIS in Syria and Iraq with minimal military losses; eliminated the Iranian militant General Soleimani, and (hitting Syria with missiles when it used poison gas against civilians) kept some troops in Syria while not getting over-extended there. Peace negotiations with the Taliban in Afghanistan, after 19 years of war, have (though currently stalled) at least begun, and the Iraq troop commitment too is winding down.   

Trump pressured the NATO allies into carrying more of their fair fiscal share, sanctioned Russia after its Crimea aggression, supported Ukraine with aid and anti-tank missiles, negotiated directly with North Korea’s dictator, and expanded the U.S.’s alliance with democratic India.

In Asia, he has supported the human-rights dissidents in Hong Kong, and strengthened ties to democratic Taiwan. Above all, he has reversed Obama-Biden policy by responding strongly both to China’s economic aggressiveness, and its increasing military intransigence, while condemning its responsibility for the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic, which originated in Wuhan.

(That the current Biden family scandal and cover-up involves illicit influence-peddling payments from a Chinese state-connected corporation, may provide some indication of the direction of Biden’s foreign policy, should he win election.)

The consequences of a radical Biden-Harris victory are deeply concerning. Their election would mean a strengthening of the “progressive’-socialist and anti-Israel influences already dominating he Party.  BLM and Antifa would be strengthened, despite the widespread “anti-racism” riots, looting, and monument-iconoclasm—from Minneapolis to Portland, Seattle to Kenosha, New York to Baltimore and Chicago and, latterly, Philadelphia–they have sponsored. Biden’s own evident physical debilities (which dictated his “basement” strategy), mean that Kamala Harris—rated in 2019 the most radical member of the U.S. Senate—may quickly become the real power behind the throne, if not its actual occupant.

The Biden-Harris ticket’s platform is uniformly radical.  The “Green New Deal” estimated to cost at least $2 trillion (including a $775 billion initial “recovery” plan) informs their platform’s commitment to  elimination of all oil and gas production by 2035, transport electrification and zero-emissions climate legislation, universal health care (socialized medicine) free K-12 and college-university education, and a minimum-income scheme.

(Incredibly, while Trump promises increased general tax cuts should he be re-elected, Biden claims he will finance this immense program—rivalling overall U.S. GDP in scope–only through increased levies on those making over $400,000.  annually….)

Politically, Biden, Harris, House Majority Chairwoman Nancy Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer have outlined a clear program of “structural reforms” designed to guarantee continuous and unopposed Democratic rule. They advocate free immigration, admission of Puerto Rico and the District of Columbia as states (potentially, four new Democratic Senators), lowering of the voting age to 16, widespread extension of racial quotas (in employment, corporate governance,  and college and university admissions), elimination of the filibuster in Congress, and the packing of the Supreme Court, perhaps to 12 or more (liberal) Justices.

Above all, a Democratic victory would maximize and reinforce–within and through government agencies and the Court system–the whole suite of radical and exclusionary ideological positions already informing the university and corporate elites backing them. These include    enforced “diversity” quotas and LGBTQ+ set-asides, quantitative admissions and outcomes “equality”, full-term abortion rights,  “cancel-culture” attacks on academic freedom and individual rights, historical revisionism and promotion of ”racism” as America’s inerasable stain (“1619” versus “1776”), opposition to white “Western” values, and so on.

The net result of a Democratic victory, especially if it includes control of the Senate, will be the reign of Jacobin virtue through imposition of a de facto one-party left-authoritarian State.  And while it could leave the tripartite institutional structure of the Republic, the separate legislative, executive and judicial realms, formally in place, it would contrive to empty that structure of its Constitutional content–defense of individual rights (including property rights), and of the Founders’ system of “checks and balances” as an alive and indispensable bulwark against the diminution of individual freedoms.

With any luck, those who believe in the ultimate good sense of the American democratic majority will be vindicated. Trump will win a victory, narrow or broad, disaster will be averted, and the Democratic radical left, clearly responsible for the defeat, will wither away. If at least Republican control of the Senate can be maintained, the two-party system can endure and the Republicans, after licking their wounds, can reorganize and live to fight another day.   

But if neither of these possibilities obtains, and Democrats win both the Presidency and the Senate, all bets are off.  Whatever the post-election situation, American democracy—Israel’s only reliable support in its unstable and often threatening region—will embark on an unclear, and potentially unstable, future.

 

(Prof. Krantz is Director of the Canadian Institute for Jewish Research, in Montreal and Toronto)