Trump had at least two chances recently to condemn threats against Jewish Community Centers across the country, including the JCC here in my neck of the woods. Instead of actually doing that, though, he talked about himself. As in, "I don't have an anti-Semitic bone in my body" and "I'm the least racist person I know" and "hey, my daughter's Jewish now", all of which had everything to do with the Trump world view: that we are constantly as interested in Donald Trump as he is interested in himself.
Except that what people were really interested in was Trump using his bully pulpit (lord, the irony in that phrase now!) to call for universal condemnation of the bomb threats, and now the destruction in the cemetery outside St. Louis, and he finally did that Tuesday. Some organizations are not appeased, holding out hope that the next time (and there will be a next time), Trump will answer forcefully and without prodding.
Speaking of prodding, I wonder whether Ivanka tweeted her message about religious tolerance Monday night in order to prod her father into finally saying something about the threats?
I also wonder what would have happened if Trump had quickly tweeted his dislike of people attacking his daughter's adopted faith, just as he did his dislike of companies who no longer wanted to carry her under-performing products?
People are also wondering why the official White House statement about Trump's comments doesn't mention Jews or Judaism, just as the official White House statement on Holocaust Remembrance Day last month also didn't mention Jews.
This administration doesn't have a problem making sure everyone knows that Christians are under attack, and that Muslims are on the attack, but for some reason can't seem to mention Jews unless the words Ivanka, Jared, or grandchildren are also used. Why is that, I wonder?
And speaking of Jared, who along with Ivanka does not partake of many activities on the Sabbath, he might indeed have a calming influence on his bombastic father-in-law. Someone at Slate examined Trump tweets to see if there was a difference when Jared was around during the week and when he was not. It seems that the 'crazy' score of Sabbath tweets was a 4.49 out of 5, whereas the non-Sabbath tweets scored only a 3.92 on the same scale. If anyone was wondering, Kushner might just be necessary to the survival of the nation.
And one final thought on this - I wonder what people close to Trump think about these comments, from his press conference earlier this month. According again to an article in Slate, Jared Rizzi, a reporter for SiriusXM followed up on one of those questions I mentioned at the start of this post.
First is the question and then Trump's answer follow. The NY Times video and transcript confirm the reporting in Slate:
Rizzi: I'll follow up on my colleague's question about anti-Semitism It's not about your personality or your beliefs. We're talking about a rise in anti-Semitism around the country. Some of it by supporters in your name. What can you do to deter that?
Trump: And some of it - can I be honest with you? And this has to do with racism and horrible things that are put up. Some of it written by our opponents. You do know that. Do you understand that? You don't think anybody would do a thing like that. Some of the signs you'll see are not put up by the people that love or like Donald Trump, they're put up by the other side and you think it's like playing it straight?
No. But you have some of those signs and some of that anger is caused by the other side. They'll do signs and they'll do drawings that are inappropriate. It won't be my people. It will be the people on the other side to anger people like you. OK.And I end up wondering, as I do just about any time Trump is asked a question, why he seems incapable of just answering the darn thing.