Trump and Heidegger

Donald Trump and Martin Heidegger

by

Howard Adelman

After a short bout of the news last evening, we took a break from my current obsession with the American election, the outcome of which I believe is so crucial to the future of the world. We first watched Tom Hanks in A Hologram for the King. Though we always enjoy the acting of Tom Hanks, this updated and light comedic version of Death of a Salesman (Alan Clay) in both a career and a life crisis that is set in Saudi Arabia, and that is also an updated version of a road movie with Yousef (Alexander Black), was a movie in which the delays and frustrations Alan Clay experiences as he tries to meet the king in a scheduled appointment matched our own frustrations as we waited for the movie to get on with the story. It turned out that Alan Clay had more patience than we did, and we finally turned the movie off to watch a documentary.

Being adrift in a strange place in an encounter with others outside your normal experience can be discombobulating, but imagine this experience taking place, not in a man entering a world which is a marriage of tradition and ultra-modernity that is really a modern version of a culturally arid desert, but by a tribe in the Amazon rain forest reserved for non-contact tribes as the tribe emerges to test contact with a perimeter of the civilized world with its cameras and its guns, its clothes and its medicines? This is the theme of the documentary, The Unconquered: In Search of the Amazon’s Last Uncontacted Tribes.

The exploration of the ideas and presumptions in protecting such tribes in their natural environment in the reserve area on the borders of Peru and Brazil as a tribe emerges to make contact with “civilized” society is explored with sensitivity, nuance and honesty in this film. If you think Tom Hanks trying to sell a 3-D hologram system for convention meetings to Saudi Arabia is an exploration of the interaction between one world and another, an exploration of interculturalism in a 3-D way, imagine what it is to live in a small isolated tribe in the Amazon jungle and make your first steps into “our” world. The most important lesson we learn from the gentle and sensitive work of the Brazilian medical doctor and anthropologist is how the Rousseauian fantasy of the noble savage untouched by civilization living in a Garden of Eden of moral innocence is such BS.

This is what it is like to live in a state of nature. They are often cold. They never sleep well. They often go days without food. They are deathly afraid of panthers. Yet they encounter the same discomforts of infidelity exacerbated by the continuing fear and experience of death of their children, their friends and their parents. Though pleasant, curious and often smiling, they are NOT happy campers. Except for the contact with germs to which they have no immunity and voracious businessmen who have aspirations to exploit the natural wealth of the reserve, escaping the isolation of the rainforest is not so much a seduction by modernity as an escape from a raft of insecurities and a very short life span.

The effects of the clash of cultures is apparent as the Trump world of unreason and resistance to reality, of incoherence and the conviction that personal opinion is superior to considered opinion, as it comes in contact with the uncertainties of a world of compromise and cooperation, of caring and compassion that has to be realized through very imperfect governmental and bureaucratic institutions. Monday evening’s presidential debate was, indeed, surreal. It had both a nightmarish, disorienting quality of a bad dream in which unreal fantasies clash with realities along with the exhilaration and delight, in spite of cynicism, in the tremendous benefits of an ameliorative society of civility.

The first unreality encountered is how the Trump forces tried to spin a clearly disastrous debate from the Trump side into a victory, citing unreliable online polls as contrasted with polls that make an effort at scientific objectivity. According to one example of the latter, two-thirds of Americans thought that Hilary won. Less than one-third, 27%, thought Trump won in a poll that seemed to confirm that one-third of the voting public is immune to counterfactual proofs and detest theories of evolution, conclusions by science of climate change and dislike the benefits of good governance. This is the core of the Trump support as it expresses the gradual deformation of the Republican Party as it increasingly compromised with the voices of unreason in an effort to retain a popular base. This was akin to the compromises the Democratic Party once made with the Dixiecrats that retained American institutions of repression for so many decades.

In a perverse world, doing one’s homework and being prepared are equated with acting that is rehearsed and scripted. This conclusion is not only drawn by Trump supporters, but by liberals who, like Trump supporters, prefer raw authenticity to studied argument. Trump was expressive – sometimes aloof and at other times stressed and irritated, sometimes smug and at other times condescending, but at all times increasingly irritated and somewhat out of control. As one strong but intelligent Trump supporter expressed it, Trump, in winging it, may have appeared more genuine, but his performance was more “tangle and rumble,” more jangle and less humble so that the “authentic” Trump was onstage without the energy of a mass following in a mass rally cheering him on and reinvigorating the performance artist that he had become. The format was truly rigged against him to help bring out who he is when placed in a very different context not under his sole control.

So how did Hillary perform. From the perspective of those who opt for authenticity, whether from the right or the left, she was intelligent and sharp, but also rigid and mechanical. But Trump failed because he had tried to marry his own bluster and indifference to truth presented as telling it “like it is,” with a weak and unconvincing effort to appear presidential, and I stress “appear,” for leaving the panther and going for the throat only left Trump stranded in the desert of Saudi Arabia with all its glitz of modernity but none of the underpinnings. The result – an inability to hit where it hurts as he was caught in the headlights of two clashing cultures and expectations.

Hillary Clinton said that she wanted “to invest in you’ [the middle class], “to invest in the future.” Clinton wanted to expand the welfare state. Trump was still stuck in the belief of living in the abundance of a rain forest and trickle-down economics, in relieving the rich from their onerous tax burdens so they could invest (and accumulate) even more as evidence by his own non-payment of any taxes through the use of tax loopholes that indicated, in his own words, that he was “being smart.” Trump saw the world from a one-dimensional perspective, fretting about the jobs lost in the industrial belt of America through trade agreements, NAFTA in particular, described with Trump’s usual sense of absolute hyperbole as the worst trade deal in the history of mankind, as if he had ever demonstrated any knowledge of or interest in that history. Trump ignored the huge job gains in other areas and the huge trade benefits to the U.S. which Clinton deftly ignored lest she alienate the workers abandoned in Michigan, Pennsylvania and Ohio even more.

So the debate started with two opposed views of the economic world. In one, jobs are “stolen,” ignoring the huge increase in jobs and employment over the last eight years. In the other view, jobs are “created,” ignoring those lost in the process. So Trump, immersed in a world of contradictions and representing a party opposed to more taxes and bureaucracy, proposed more taxes and bureaucracy on companies that import, all in the name of preventing the loss of jobs without calculating the cost of new jobs left uncreated. Trump was a spokesperson for the voices of anti-globalization and for building barriers to the connections of people and goods in an increasingly interconnected world. And this was the advocate who insisted that Hillary was regulating companies out of business with more taxes. But coherence has not exactly been Trump’s forte.

Trump defended “stop and frisk” even though the studies of criminologists and sociologists have overwhelmingly indicated that the practice is inefficient, ineffective and counter-productive, and an exercise in micro-management gone not only awry, but into unconstitutional terrain. But Trump as an exemplar of faith in “authenticity” as he creates modern monuments to the gaudy and contemporary versions of baroque suitable for visions that see the world from a decadent end-of-empire point of view.

So what does this all have to do with Martin Heidegger, reputed to be one of the greatest philosophers of the twentieth century? (If you want a brief but less antithetical version of Heidegger that is a more subtle version of separating Heidegger from his racist past, there is a relatively short and well-written article by Adam Kirsch called, “Heidegger Was Really a Nazi,” in the 26 September 2016 Tablet. http://www.tabletmag.com/jewish-arts-and-culture/books/214226/heidegger-was-really-a-real-nazi) A warning. Before I ever knew that Heidegger was a Nazi and a cultural, though not biological, anti-Semite, he was the one philosopher I read in graduate school that I viscerally despised. I belong to the small minority of philosophers who argue that Heidegger does not deserve his preeminence, not because he was a Nazi, but because, in the world of thought, he is as big a blowhard in the intellectual realm as Donald Trump is in the material realm. And that is quite aside from his being a Nazi, though there is a connection between being the kind of performer who advertises and presents himself as being better than anyone around.

Like Trump, Heidegger when he joined the Nazi Party exalted the effort to marry populism with a new national beginning. As Kirsch begins his essay, “In the spring of 1933, a few months after Hitler took power, Heidegger joined the Nazi Party and was elected rector of Freiburg University, where his expressed goal was Gleichschaltung—the ‘alignment’ of the academy with the new party-state. At his inaugural ceremony, the audience gave the Hitler salute and sang the Horst Wessel Song, the anthem of the Nazi party, before Heidegger spoke about “the glory and greatness of this new beginning.” Trump says the same thing in much simpler terms: “Make America Great Again.”

What does making America great again mean? Sacrificing the middle class for the wealthy in the name of collective greatness and the acquisition of wealth by the few. Ignoring the protection of human rights and the constitution in favour of what Mao Zedong called “masslining,” but which I call mass lying. It means never acknowledging and admitting, let alone apologizing for when you are wrong. If anyone thinks that high and lofty thought cannot be reconciled with crude populism, read Giovanni Gentile, the Italian neo-Hegelian [NOT Hegelian] philosophical apologist for Mussolini’s policies. Just as the sweetness and light of the pure Platonic life cannot be so easily separated from crude barbarism as butter can be separated from whole milk, so too the philosophy of bitterness and resentment cannot be so easily separated from the unworldly realm of authenticity and alienation.

For Heidegger as for Trump, the world is depicted as a horror show, a dark and dank place where everything has gone to hell. We do not understand this through science, through evidence, through intellectual analysis, but through our gut. The texture and make-up of the world is only grasped directly by our emotions. Though called a “state-of-mind” by Heidegger, it is really a mindless approach to existence, one in which the intellectual workings of the mind must be deliberately bracketed. Then existence reveals itself, as it did for Rousseau, as a state of submission and slavery, in Trump to the state and “liberals” and the media, in Heidegger, to the entrapment of modernity altogether.

The world is not of our own making but we have been cast adrift in this world – except for those who realize this and rise above it to take advantage of it in a distorted version of Friedrich Nietzsche’s “will to power”. Humans are just there. They are no longer, as in Kant, autonomous agents in making their own history. They are not, as in Hegel, participants in a collective effort of spirit to move beyond current absolutes into a new world. Subjective agency has been removed from humanity, and in Heidegger it has been removed absolutely. This justifies the need for the one great leader who can lead the masses out of the wilderness into a great new world, or, as in Heidegger, back to an authentic world, his version of a “state of nature” even as evidence clearly indicates that the reality of such a state is an illusion while the illusion of such a state deforms reality.

In the Heideggerian “hell,” we are imprisoned in the illusion of Sorge, of a version of care and compassion as the delusion that prevents us from examining how we have been used and thrown onto the dustbin of history. In the Heideggerian world, the only foundational reality we face is death, a world in which a supersalesman like Donald Trump can exhibit and exemplify the illusion of escape. Trump offers us his lived experience of triumph in contrast to the lived experience of betrayal, a triumph of his personal will to acquire and expand the possessive individualist that he is. Both Heidegger and Trump demand we face and challenge this world of despair into which we have been cast. Trump would, if he could, own the world rather than have it owned by the masses to whom he appeals who get caught up in his prescription for escape.

One cannot see this world from the inside, from the bureaucrats who dominate Washington, from the intellectuals who lead and manipulate it, but only from the outside, and best by one who is outside, but who has personally participated actively in its corruption and taken advantage of it. Trump is the smart one because he uses the rules of the system to escape his obligations, to pay no taxes; this is a badge of honour not a moral confession. The world is inherently corrupt and Trump at the peak of Trump Tower has the singular ability to both see it and take advantage of it and even to promise a way out for the masses as he creates a new political and economic delusion.

Heidegger and Trump, in an intellectual and a visceral way, both depict the world as inherently a place of alienation. The reality is that it is not the ones outside the establishment, but the ones who are outside society altogether who have been cast in the role of the “wandering Aramean,” those who live in the world of the cast-outs and refugees at one end of the spectrum of true outsiders, and those imprisoned in a sanctuary, a no-contact world,” who can actually see the wonder of modernity. That is why they pose the greatest danger for both Heidegger and Trump.

If Trump is the exemplar of superficiality and Heidegger is the exemplar of one who wants to return to a real authentic world, a cursory examination reveals them to be two sides of the same coin, head and tails respectively in an illusionary two-state world seen as authentic, or, in Trump’s words, as “beautiful.” That is why cooperation with others for mutual benefit, cooperation with allies to confront evil, why dialogue and diplomacy are perceived as shams. If the world is cast as one of violence and suspicion, of deep irredeemable divisions, then following the Führer might be the only way out.

What about the followers of Heidegger that exalted freedom and individual expression while putting Stalin on a pedestal like Jean Paul Sartre? This libertarian-communist version of Trump’s capitalist delusions is but the Janus face of the core identical philosophical assumptions. The good, the right, truth and falsification, all can be sacrificed on the altar of authentic existence. Is that authentic existence depicted in a material sense of abounding wealth and health, or is it to be depicted as a return to nature, or Heidegger’s updated version of that naturalist thesis? In either world, the slaughter of Tutsis in Rwanda, of Azeris and Syrians in the Middle East, of Jews in the Holocaust, can all but be ignored in the greater task of saving America or Germany from the despondency and desperation of the pictures they paint either in plain and simple English or in convoluted and esoteric German to camouflage the world in the name of revelation and unveiling.

Heidegger and Trump are just both false prophets.

Deplorables IIIa – Birtherism

Deplorables IIIa – Birtherism

by

Howard Adelman

This blog will say more on the birther issue than you will ever want to know.

The bottom line is that Donald Trump and his surrogates are distorters, deflectors, dissemblers and, most of all, outright liars. Trump Two-Two in an interview with his shill, Sean Hannity, on Fox News on 14 April 2011, when the Donald was being questioned about whether he would run against Barack Obama in the 2012 election, noted, “if I run, I will have to disclose my…finances.” He never fulfilled that forecast. Yesterday, I wrote about his insistence that he was not and never has been a racist. Yet he engaged in some racist practices and, more importantly, took initiatives to support structural racism. The birther issue discussed in this blog is related to the issue of race because Barack Obama is a Black president whose place of birth and legitimacy to hold high office was repeatedly questioned by Trump Two-Two. On Friday, he broke his vow to no longer discuss the issue. He caved this past Friday, But far too little and far too late.

“President Barack Obama was born in the United States. Period.”

What is the birther issue and what does it have to do with racism? Birtherism is the claim that a political candidate was not born in the United States. It went beyond a mere political tool used by a rival to a widespread movement with the widespread belief that Barack Obama was not, or may not have been, born in the United States; if he wasn’t born in the US, he would be ineligible to be president of the United States.

Birtherism did not start with Barack Obama. The issue was raised with respect to Mitt Romney. Mitt Romney’s father was born in Mexico, yet served as Governor of Michigan and was himself once a Republican presidential candidate running against Richard Nixon in the 1968 contest when the birther controversy first arose.

Note the American constitution does not require that a presidential candidate be born on American soil, only that the person be a “natural born citizen.” That in itself needs deciphering since one readily asks what an unnatural born citizen could be. But “nature” is not being used in the ordinary sense of the natural world, but in the sense of “regular” and consistent with past practices. Regular means in accordance with American citizenship norms. In an article in The New York Law Journal at the time of George Romney’s bid to be the Republican presidential candidate, the author examining the issue concluded that anyone born to a U.S. parent was a natural American and did not need to be naturalized. And, therefore, was eligible to be president. The authoritative Congressional Research Service concurred. The legal meaning of “natural born citizen” refers not only to anyone born on U.S. soil, but anyone born overseas of at least one parent who was a U.S. citizen. End of story. As George Romney wrote years ago, “I am a natural born citizen. My parents were American citizens. I was a citizen at birth.”

This became clear because John McCain was born in the Panama Canal Zone and, more pointedly, Ted Cruz was not even born on American controlled territory but in Calgary, Canada on 22 December 1970. His father was not even an American citizen at the time; his mother was. Which would have put him in the same position as Barack Obama even if he had been born in Kenya, which he was not. Obama’s mother was born in Kansas. Ted Cruz was deemed to be a natural born American because his mother too was born in America. Nevertheless, in January in the primary season when Trump Two-Two had already become the frontrunner, he “attacked Ted Cruz over his birth in Canada, saying it raises questions about his presidential eligibility.” Trump was an equal opportunity swinger. But the question of Ted Cruz’s place of birth never became a movement. Further, though questioned on the law, there was no challenge on factual grounds.

So how did the birth certificate ever become an issue for Barack Obama? Not because it was relevant to his eligibility to run. Not because there was no birth certificate – there was. Why did it continue after President Barack Obama even produced his long form birth certificate and the Republican official in Hawaii authenticated that the certificate was real and that Barack Obama was born in Hawaii on 4 August 1961? And it did continue. It did not end because Trump Two-Two claimed he had forced Obama to produce the birth certificate. Trump did not end the issue in 2011. Trump continued to raise the issue and question the authenticity of the birth certificate. “I heard from a very reliable source that the birth certificate was a fraud.”

Did Hillary Clinton or senior personnel in the Clinton campaign initiate the issue in the 2008 run for the presidency against Barack Obama as Trump Two-Two continued to claim? Hillary never raised it, never endorsed it and explicitly condemned even the effort to question Obama as a presidential candidate on the grounds that he did not have American experience in growing up. One connection to the Clinton campaign took place when, in December 2007, a volunteer coordinator in Iowa forwarded another email which was not even about Obama’s place of birth, but about his heritage.
Did Mark Penn, a Democratic pollster and Clinton 2008 strategist, question the President’s birth in a March 2007 memo as Kellyanne Conway tried to argue in defence of the claim that the Clinton campaign in the 2007-08 election first raised the birther issue? Kellyanne insisted that Mark Penn “put President Obama’s citizenship in question when he wrote a famous memo in March of 2007 questioning Obama’s “American roots.” (http://www.politico.com/story/2016/09/trump-campaign-manager-birther-clinton-228331) The memo was stupid enough, but it did not mention the legitimacy of Obama’s citizenship. It was not about Obama’s place of birth and eligibility to be president.

Penn offered Clinton bad advice in suggesting the possibility that Hillary raise the issue of Obama’s American experience. Clinton did not take that advice. She not only rejected it, but went on to apologize to Barack for anyone in her campaign raising the issue in the first place. And the issue, to repeat, was not the legitimacy of his place of birth and Obama’s eligibility to run, but whether he had sufficient sense of American having grown up abroad. Clinton told Obama she did not accept the advice and it nowhere made any appearance in the campaign. It was a terrible idea and irrelevant, but it had nothing to do with where Obama was born.
So there is not one iota of evidence that Obama’s birthplace was part of the Clinton campaign when she ran against him. What is the evidence that Trump took the lead in the birther campaign? He was by far the most prominent person to continually raise the issue. But Donald Trump did so, and did so repeatedly:
March 23, 2011

“Why doesn’t he show his birth certificate. And you know, I wish he would.

April 7, 2011. Meredith Viera One-on-One with Donald Trump on the To-day Show

“I’ve had very smart people say stay on the China issue, stay on the Saudi Arabia issue, stay on the India issue taking our jobs, stay on the Mexico issue. Get off the birth certificate issue.”

Why don’t you?

“Because, three weeks ago when I started this issue (my italics and bold), I really thought he was born in this country and now I have a much bigger doubt than I ever had before.”

“His grandmother in Kenya said he was born in Kenya and she was there and witnessed the birth.”

[Meredith arguably lost her job and her $11 million dollar contract because she never challenged Trump for perpetuating this fraudulent conspiracy theory for which Trump then accepted leadership.]
April 28 2011

“I don’t make up anything. Let me tell you something. I have done a great service to the American people.

[CNN has broadcast a series of clips showing Donald Trump questioning Obama’s citizenship in the years Obama released his long-form birth certificate in 2011.
(http://www.politico.com/story/2016/09/trump-obama-birther-race-bruce-levell-228293#ixzz4KlmrHb60)%5D

Dec. 16 2015

I don’t answer because if I do answer, that’s all people want to talk about. Once I answer the question, they don’t want to talk about the economy…

May 4, 2016

Wolf Blitzer

“The whole birther thing. Where do you stand?

I don’t talk about it anymore because every time I talk about it, it becomes a story, so I don’t want to waste my time. Hillary Clinton and her campaign of 2008 started the birther issue. I ended it by forcing Barack Obama to produce his birth certificate.

The birther issue is irrelevant except as an insight into Donald Trump as a fabulist and about his attraction to material produced by conspiracy theorists. The birther issue is a fabrication alleging Hillary Clinton or her associates initiated the issue. The birther issue became a problem for Trump, because of the reality that Donald Trump promoted it. The birther issue remained alive because Trump did not end the issue after Obama produced his long form birth certificate. The issue continued long after because Trump kept raising it. And even when he finally acknowledged it was a lie, he never took responsibility for his role, never apologized, blamed Democrats and took credit himself for its demise when he kept it alive. The performance was disgusting and insulting to Barack Obama and to Black Americans sensitive to efforts over American history to deprive Blacks of their citizenship rights.

Next: A Black Trump surrogate on the issue

Jews for Donald Trump

Jews for Donald Trump

by

Howard Adelman

Arutz Sheva, identified with the National Religious Party in Israel, with the Israeli settlement movement, and with a history of consistent opposition to negotiations with the Palestinian Authority (PA), is an Israeli media outlet which includes Channel 7 and B’Sheva, an Israeli weekend newspaper with the third largest circulation in the country. Following its reports on the presidential campaign in the United States provides a number of insights. Begin with the coverage of the standard prayer invocations at the Republican Party Convention held in Cleveland from 18-21 July.

Prayers came from all faiths. Msgr. Kieran Harrington on behalf of the Roman Catholic Church reminded Republicans in a clearly political speech that “all human life is important.” As another example, a Sikh prayer was delivered on the second night in Punjabi, subsequently translated into English, by Harmeet Dhillon, a lifelong Republican and the daughter of a Sikh-American orthopedic surgeon. She called for unity among Republicans, asking them to have the “courage to make the right choices, to make common cause with those with whom we disagree, for the greater good of our nation.” However, when she was editor-in-chief of the conservative student newspaper, The Dartmouth Review, in October 1988, she was very divisive. She published a satirical column by James Garrett likening the president of Dartmouth College (a Jew, James O. Freedman) to Adolf Hitler and calling the results of university policies a Holocaust. Allan Gold in an op-ed in The New York Times (5 November 1988) noted that the headline read, “Ein Reich, Ein Volk, Ein Freedmann,” echoing the Nazi slogan, ”One Empire, One People, One Leader (Fuhrer).” Dhillon denied the charges thrown at her of anti-Semitism, but, at the very least, like her contemporary leader, Donald Trump, both of their remarks and the strong defence of them instead of an apology may have smacked more of gross insensitivity.

“The Jewish prayer became controversial when a very well known and highly respected rabbi, Haskel Lookstein, rabbi of the modern Orthodox Congregation Kehilath Jeshurun in New York City for almost sixty years and principal of the Ramaz School for fifty years – now emeritus of both – was originally designated to offer the Jewish prayer at the Republican Convention. He withdrew. Lookstein was the rabbi who converted Donald Trump’s daughter, Ivanka, to Judaism and officiated at her wedding to Jared Kushner. Both were his congregants and Ivanka had invited him to deliver the prayer.

At the same time, the conversion of another American married to an Israeli, whose certificate Rabbi Lookstein signed, was rejected by the local rabbinate court in her husband’s hometown, Petach Tikva in Israel, setting off the controversy within Jewish orthodox circles between the bona fide orthodoxy of American versus Israeli rabbis and the issue of whether orthodox Jewish conversions in America were kosher. The issue was not over Ivanka Trump’s conversion because her conversion was sanctioned by a “networked” beis or beit din, a Jewish rabbinical court, while the controversial case was not sanctified by the GPS Rabbinic Court in Manhattan.

However, the bona fide of Lookstein’s orthodoxy was not offered as the explanation for his withdrawal, but rather the pressure he had come under by his former students of Ramaz. “To embrace Trump and Trumpism goes against all we’ve been taught. As graduates of Ramaz, and as current or former members of the Modern Orthodox community; this is a shanda [shame] beyond the pale,” wrote Jacob Savage responding to Donald Trump’s pledge to build a wall on the Mexican border and temporarily ban Muslims from entry into the U.S. His petition urging withdrawal, or, alternatively, an explanation rooted in Jewish values, had 800 signatures urging that withdrawal. Lookstein did withdraw, professing his political innocence and non-involvement. Rabbi Ari Wolf, a relatively unknown orthodox Ohio police “chaplain,” was named as his replacement.

In spite of that initial reversal, Donald Trump received relatively favourable treatment in the orthodox Jewish press, particularly through the media outlets controlled by Arutz Sheva. The convention itself marked an important turning point in the American presidential race because, according to many pollsters as reported by Arutz Sheva, Donald Trump, benefiting from the Convention “bounce,’ pulled even with his Democratic rival, Hillary Clinton.

This celebration of Donald Trump’s improvement in the polls was recently reiterated when Arutz Sheva reported that Hillary Clinton’s lead over Donald Trump had shrunk to 3% (6 August 2016) according to a Reuters/Ipsos poll, though when one read the full article, the headline was undermined when the piece mentioned that CBS poll reported a 7% lead and a CNN/ORC poll reported the lead as 9%. Careful reading indicated the polls more favourable to Clinton were conducted with “registered” voters as distinct for “likely voters” polled by Reuters. The precipitous drop in Trump’s support was attributed largely to his denigration of the gold star parents of a fallen American Muslim war hero who had appeared at the Democratic Convention and criticized Trump’s attack on Muslims. As well, Trump’s squabbles with the Republican Party establishment had also not helped. Making up to the Republican Party and endorsing House Speaker, Paul Ryan, and others, and dropping his feud with the Khans, were given credit for the bounce back, though not much of a bounce according to most polls.

Though the reporting tended to be balanced once the bias of the headlines and the lead to the story were discounted, most op-eds in Arutz Sheva appeared to be highly critical of Hillary Clinton and generally favourable to Donald Trump. David M. Friedman, a bankruptcy lawyer with the Kasowitz law firm and a close confidante of Donald Trump as well as his adviser on Israeli affairs, publicly declared that Donald Trump would, upon winning the presidency, withdraw American support for the two-state solution, move the American embassy to Jerusalem, put more pressure on the Palestinian Authority and end U.S. economic “coddling” of the PA (seemingly in contradiction to Trump’s early statements in his primary campaign that he would remain neutral in dealing with Palestinians and Israelis), and withdraw the designation of Israeli settlement activity as “unhelpful” in fostering peace and certainly not endorse any characterization of the settlements as illegal. Friedman went further and declared in Trump style, without proffering any evidence, that Hillary would be “terrible” for Israel, and had no love for the Jewish state.

Barak Obama (as well as Hillary Clinton) has been harshly critical of continuing Israeli settlement activity in the West Bank. “The United States does not accept the legitimacy of continued Israeli settlements. This construction violates previous agreements and undermines efforts to achieve peace. It is time for these settlements to stop.” Obama, however, has not strayed from the continuing American established policy that settlement activity was not defined as a violation of the 1993 Oslo Accords or their subsequent implementation agreements, and is neither illegal nor in violation of the letter of the Oslo Accords and its supplements. Eliot Abrams, President Bush’ national security advisor, wrote on 8 April 2009 that the specific guidelines negotiated between the Palestinian Authority and Israel merely stated that any settlement activity would not diminish the territory the Palestinian Authority would get in any peace agreement. In any case, the settlements, even with their expansion as a result of national growth, consist of less than 2% of the territory of the West Bank. However, most international observers go further than Obama and Clinton and regard the expansion of the settlements as not only illegitimate in violating the spirit of Oslo because they undercut the prospect of peace, but also regard them as illegal according to international law.

But what a radical shift Donald Trump would make on Israeli policy, assuming that Friedman has articulated Trump policy correctly. “Trump policy first and foremost is to trust Israel that they know what they are doing. They are not a client state of the United States. They are a partner with the United States in a global war on terrorism. We trust our partner and we want our partner to be secure and safe. We trust them to do the right thing.” Reflexive support of a two-state solution would no longer be a premise in American foreign policy since it has proven to be a failure if Trump were to be elected.

On 22 July 2016, Ben Ariel published an article in Arutz Sheva headlined, “Trump: Clinton’s legacy doesn’t have to be America’s legacy.” He repeated Trump’s condemnations of Clinton’s polices while she was Secretary of State in Libya, and with Iran., Egypt and Syria. “In 2009, pre-Hillary, ISIS wasn’t on the map. Egypt was stable. Iran was being choked by sanctions. Syria was somewhat under control. After four years of Hillary Clinton, what do we have? ISIS has spread across the region and around the world. Libya is in ruins. Egypt was turned over to the radical Muslim Brotherhood, forcing the military to take control. Iran is on a path to nuclear war. Syria is engulfed in war.” Trump ran as the candidate of law and order, of America first, of making America great again. The report captured and summarized Trump’s speech, but there was no fat check of his assertions – such as, “America is one of the highest-taxed nations in the world.” (In a report by KPMG in 2013, in a comparison of 114 states, the U.S. ranked 55 in comparing personal tax rates around the world.)

Yet an article by David Rosenberg on 24 July 2016 reinforced Trump’s message when it was headlined, “Could Clinton’s VP pick hurt her chances with Israel supporters,” as if all supporters of Israel opposed the nuclear deal. At the same time, an op-ed by Jack Engelhard appeared entitled, “Trump’s speech was huge.” This paragraph in the article is typical of his vociferous cheerleading for Trump. Fact-checking was labelled merely “nitpicking.” “Trump delivered the goods for nearly every segment of American society, and true Zionists who wanted a good word about Israel got it when he named Israel as ‘our greatest ally in the region.’ This drew sustained applause from the packed house. Among Democrats, meaning Liberals, such talk usually gets jeers.”

In another op-ed piece in the same issue, Rabbi Dov Fischer, who gives himself the tile of Prof. Dov Fischer even though he is only an adjunct professor of law at Loyola Law School, in an op-ed article entitled, “I think I understand Trump,” explained Trump’s delivery of the longest nomination acceptance speech at any convention as a means to undercut all his naysayers on the three main commercial networks who might otherwise devote the time to dissecting and criticizing the speech if it were shorter. There were no criticisms of the speech in Arutz Sheva. Other than these two pro-Trump op-eds for Trump, there were no critiques let alone analyses of Trump’s speech, only one reasonably objective report, but under a distorting headline, and one anti-Kaine diatribe under the guise of reporting.

Just when one would expect objective reporting on the Democratic Convention, all one could read was one attack after another on the Democratic presidential team. The attack on Kaine continued in the next issue (25 July 2016) headlined, “Clinton VP tapped pro-terror Muslim leader (Esam Omeish) for immigration seat,” with an on-line video clip of a pro-jihadi speech that Omeish gave. In 2007 (my italics), Governor Kaine of Virginia had appointed Omeish to Virginia’s Immigration Commission, though, after learning more about him, he pressured Omeish to resign, which Omeish did. The story was a denunciation of Omeish and, by extension and association, Kaine, even though it was really about an inadequate vetting process. Omeish had been vice-president of the Dar Al Hirjah mosque and responsible for hiring the radical imam, Anwar al-Awlaki, killed by a U.S drone in 2011 in Yemen. Two of the 9/11 terrorists attended that mosque. Another op-ed piece by Stanley Zir was a vitriolic attack against Obama for allowing the theft under his watch of America’s identity as a Great Nation.

The 27 July issue included anther op-ed by Jack Engelhard with the headline, “Hillary flees to sanctuary city, Philadelphia. He pronounced that Hillary had won over her audience, not by her brilliance but “wore them down through exhaustion” as he repeated the usual Trump litany of accusations against Hillary. “It’s how the Clintons do it – they beat you into submission. They’ve spent (ill-gotten) millions crowding out anyone who might be more qualified. As for Hillary, throughout her shady past, has she ever met a payroll? Yes, but mostly for herself, her foundation and her cronies.” While Ben Sales gave a reasonable, if very brief, report of Bernie Sanders’ endorsement of Hillary Clinton, Ben Sales wrote that, “Sanders’ delegates not listening,” a statement that proved to be totally false in subsequent polls.

In the next issue, Rabbi Yoel Schonfeld wrote a rebuke of the petitioners who “forced” Rabbi Haskel Lookstein to withdraw offering a benediction at the Republican convention, which he insisted was always politically neutral, though anyone with the least knowledge knows that it is not. He asked rhetorically in a rebuke, “how about the Chillul Hashem [desecrating the name of God] of publicly humiliating a rabbi – your rabbi – in the media? What about the Chillul Hashem of a massive rebuke to someone who could be the next President of the United States? What about the mitzvah of ‘v’ahavtem es hage. You must love the convert’? Don’t you think your actions were a public humiliation of Ivanka, the Jewish daughter of the ‘anti-Semite’ Donald Trump?” What is worse, comparing the criticism of a rabbi and of the Republican presidential candidate to profaning God’s name, or comparing university policy to a Holocaust? I personally find it hard to choose which is the worst, but they are both of the same order.

The overt bias against Obama and Clinton and the overt favouritism towards Donald Trump continued in issue after issue. The same 28 July issue included a repetition of an accusation by Republican Senator Lindsey Graham that, “Obama increased aid to Arabs, but not to Israel.” The 29 July issue by Shai Landesman reported Trump’s charge in some detail that, “Hillary’s refusal to mention radical Islam proof that she is unfit.” Finally, a seeming reproof of Trump came from Jack Engelhard commenting on his horrible handling of the Khan affair, but the so-called critical comment came as a backhanded excuse and plea for support. “We need him and we need him to stop making such blunders.”

So the question arises not simply about completely skewed journalistic bias, but about why a leading voice for Jewish orthodoxy is providing such strong support for Donald Trump. I suggest that it could not be based on the conclusion that his temperament (which this media outlet ignores), lack of experience (which this media outlet ignores) or his blatant and outright lies repeatedly exposed by other media outlets (which this media outlet ignores) are not relevant. The possibility of Donald Trump favouring their radical right-wing agenda of increased settlement in the West Bank and refusal to contemplate a Palestinian state living in peace beside Israel is the prime motivation.

Eric Metaxas, the biographer of Dietrich Bonhoeffer, pronounced that Donald Trump is culturally Jewish and his bigotry is just “shtick.” Other Jewish supporters offer other reasons than his bias towards an expansionist Israel. Like many non-Jewish supporters, they see him as saying it “as it is” instead of being politically correct (when he most often says it as it isn’t), applaud him for being refreshingly honest when he tells lie after lie without explanation or apology, regard him as a great business success in spite of Michael Bloomberg’s scathing attack on his business credentials followed by that of Warren Buffett. They generally give Donald Trump the benefit of the doubt when he is attacked for his bigotry and for being a demagogue, for his loose generalization in place of worked-out policy provisions. It is not clear, but it may also be the case, that Donald Trump’s attitude to Muslims articulated what they themselves were too timid to utter.

But, as with many non-Jewish Republicans, many Jewish Republicans are reconsidering their support for the GOP candidate for the presidency while the vast majority of Jews continue to back the Democratic ticket and continue their long pattern of voting against their personal self interest in favour of a larger vision of justice and tikkun olam, mending the world. I do not have any idea of the degree, but the stand of Arutz Sheva has even helped push at least some orthodox Jews away from Orthodoxy itself. “Peace through strength, unwavering [and uncritical] support for Israel, and robust American leadership at home and abroad” are slogans viewed as the voice of Balaam, blessings that end up being disastrous. But they were the blessings that the Republican Jewish Coalition conferred on Donald Trump.

“The Republican Jewish Coalition congratulates Donald Trump on being the presumptive Presidential nominee of the Republican Party. Throughout the course of this long campaign among Republicans there has been unity in the belief that Hillary Clinton is the worst possible choice for a commander in chief. Secretary Clinton has proven time and again through her record and her policies that her candidacy will compromise our national security, weaken our economy and further strain our relationship with our greatest ally, Israel. Along with the Presidential race, the RJC will be working hard to hold on to our majorities in the Senate and the House. It is critical that these majorities be preserved. To do this we must remember our core principles: peace through strength, unwavering support for Israel, and robust American leadership at home and abroad.”

With the help of Alex Zisman

Bernie Sanders Postscript

Bernie Sanders Postscript

by

Howard Adelman

Who wouldda thunk it! Stated in proper English, this has been the reaction of the vast majority of commentators and observers that I have read or spoken to over the primary season. At the beginning, I viewed both Bernie Sanders and Donald Trump as candidates that had virtually no chance of becoming the nominee of their respective parties. The question was whether they could make a credible showing and why each entered in the first place. For Trump, it appeared to be his insatiable desire for publicity. For Sanders, it appeared to be a chance to forward his agenda, especially when the competition against the expected presumptive Democratic candidate, Hillary Clinton, left a significant opening.

Obama had proven that a candidate could win without major financial support or a reliance on major donors. Crowd funding offered an alternative method for raising considerable funds. Further, Obama had also shown that “star” quality counts – as Justin Trudeau also showed in Canada. The star quality can be varied, but its presence could enormously boost one’s campaign. And it could be constructed. Hillary never succeeded in doing so. Both Bernie and Donald did.

Who would have known that when Bernie debuted as a presidential candidate for the Democratic Party in 2015 that he would develop star quality? He announced his candidacy on 30 April. During his fifteen months of campaigning, he grew from a stumbling and somewhat awkward candidate to one that at his peak employed 1,000 paid staff and tens of thousands of volunteers as he attracted larger and larger crowds with enormous energy and conviction that allowed him to break fundraising records. Bernie’s star quality compared to Donald Trump’s was the more unusual.

Like Donald, Bernie appealed to nostalgia. A different imagined past that Donald’s, but a constructed past nevertheless. No portraits of anti-war protesters. No pictures of Southern governors setting dogs on black human rights workers. By the time Bernie’s ads began to appear for the Iowa caucus on 1 February when he was nine months into his campaign, the message had become clear and unequivocal. As he denounced the big banks, as he railed against the 1% in boring repetition, as he called for a Canadian-style universal health care plan and free university education, the core emotional appeal was not socialism but the small town innocence of an earlier and more rural America.

His video on 1 February 2016 told the story. An American flag on the side of a shed in snow-covered presumably Vermont. A pale yellow general store in small town America. A port with red painted fishing vessels. A daughter hugging her mother in a park and smiling – no generation gap here. A woman feeding her cows from a pail and then a shot of a male farmer inspecting his cows in old-fashioned barns – no large scale industrial farming here. But though rural and small town, the appeal is not restricted to there even if founded on such images.

The video includes a picture of a large city, of two young people at work on computers, then a girl with a wool cap, long brown hair and a scarf at what looks like a modern coffee shop with an “authentic” older feel and look. A couple at a work station and another with a child of about one and a half – woman with scruffy hair and man with scruffy beard – sitting at a dining room table that could date back to the fifties. A bearded grandfather walking in the snow with a ten-year-old girl in gloves and an open blue jacket against a backdrop of what could be 1960s suburbia – she is presumably his granddaughter.

Then back to the farm – haying in this case – then a small two outdoor dancing event with a sign “Bernie for President” in background and a man with a beard and old fashion white summer hat and his partner with a peak cap in the foreground. Again, wherever the video was taken, the feeling is for small town America. And thus far, the images have all been of whites. One would not know that a significant very large minority of Americans were black and Hispanic. Then young teenagers with very serious looks foreground with two girls, with long brown straight hair, no make-up, one with her arm around her companion and the other holding her hand, both looking very serious and almost worried.

Then Bernie finally with his smile and white hair as an impersonation of Larry Davis before Larry Davis impersonated him, greeting voters – again all white – on a field of grass. Then worried workers and a crowd of youth holding up Bernie Sander’s signs – “WE LOVE BERNIE.” Then a row of girls, led by one that could be of possible Filipino descent the first non-white after over half the video had passed. The girls were high fiving a row of older folk going the other way – this is a movement in which young and old have joined hands even as they travel in different directions towards the future – or, at the very least, clapped hands.

Then another video of a farmer in a field gathering up left over hay by hand as a very young boy in a blue parka carrying a little black lamb strides in the foreground and the scene is followed by three generations of farmers. One might be led to believe we were living in 1960 before there was an enormous growth in productivity on farms and there were still fears that we would run out of arable land, before the tremendous growth in national let alone international markets for farm produce, and before the rising influence of consumers on agricultural production. Bernie’s economic policies are more nostalgic American than socialist, harking back to a time before the structure of farms and farms households had so radically changed, harking back to a time when the institutions farmers hated most were banks as they secretly cheered as Bonnie and Clyde robbed those banks. Bernie may have verbally been calling for “revolution,” but it was a revolution in the classical rather than the modern sense, a revolving back to what once was rather than a brand new utopian future.

At the beginning of the twentieth century, more than half of Americans lived on farms and farms employed about half the work force. Fifty years later, mechanization had come to farming as had large scale specialization. But you would never know that by watching a Bernie video. The leisure is there but not the industrialization and specialization. There is no mention of the radical increase in productivity in the latter half of the century that made the improvements in the first half look like tinkering. Farming counts for a very small percent of the GDP of America and fewer and fewer Americans live on farms as urbanites create farms in the cities, esteem local foods, and crowd organic food markets on weekends.

In Israel, Bernie worked on a kibbutz. He has no love for Israel as a start-up nation that files even more patents per year than America with thirty times the population, and, next to Israel, America is the leader in innovation. At the end of the sixties, only 4% of Americans were employed in agriculture compared to 41% in 1900. At the end of the sixties, agriculture only constituted 2.3% of America’s GDP. But you would have no clue that this was the case watching a Bernie video. Nor the fact that the vast majority of the very small number of farmers have jobs off the farm.

In the video, you then see Bernie again glad handing a very large crowd of young people. Then the slogan two-thirds of the way through the video – “They’ve all come to look for America.” The message is clear. America, the America we knew, has been lost. America is at heart rural and small town. America is clean cut. American youth and older people are united. And they all love “the Bern.” Most significantly, America is at heart white. But it is the song that accompanies the video that is most telling, the Simon and Garfunkel 1968 hit, “America”. “And we walked off to look for America.” What could be more nostalgic than a time when young lovers could hitchhike from Saginaw, Michigan to Pittsburgh, a song which echoes an earlier great Simon and Garfunkel hit, “Homeward Bound.”

That in a nutshell was Bernie’s message. Not, “We want to make America strong again,” but we want to take America back to the sixties when there was purity, hope and love in the air and America smelled of hay and goat’s milk as young lovers travel across a newly-paved America supposedly headed into a future, but which has taken them into the present. The message is clear. America went astray when it became involved in the Vietnam War, when it left its roots, when it travelled towards a globalized and a multicultural village.

This does not mean that Bernie is a bigot and racist like the Donald. Not at all. But he is clearly nostalgic for an earlier, a simpler, a purer, a cleaner, America. For he was a Jewish boy who left Brooklyn for Vermont. Most of all, the song resonates with clear harmony even as the boy sings as his lover, Kathy, sleeps beside him on the grass, “I’m empty and I’m aching and I don’t know why.” In the sixties, in Bernie’s version, life was full of angst, foreboding as one counts cars on the New Jersey turnpike. In Bernie’s world, there is no rejoicing that the New Left led and won the campaign against the testing of nuclear weapons, only a sense of impending loss and a desire to recover what America once had, before America had started to decay and its broken spirit robbed youth of their hopes and their faith in humanity.

We had a visitor arrive at our house yesterday evening. He had come from LA to become the director of photography on my youngest son’s first feature which goes into production this weekend. I asked him about the primary in California the day before. He said he was still a Canadian and could not vote, but that he and all his friends were Bernie supporters. Would they vote for Hillary? None of them were diehards, he replied. They loved Bernie, but all of them would vote for Hillary. They may be nostalgic, but they are far from stupid.

Wall Street does not just stand for big money and corruption. It is now an icon for when and how America went wrong, when it sold its soul to the big financiers and money manipulators as inequality increased and the infrastructure of America that had been built crumbled. A month after the Iowa caucus, Bernie charged back to his birthplace, New York, but not Brooklyn, but Manhattan, and not Harlem but Wall Street. He went directly into the home of the hedge funds and called for jailing bankers and breaking up the large financial institutions. This was a Wall Street created by Hollywood. Bernie insisted that “financial fraud became not only the norm but in many ways the new business model.” This was as big a lie as Donald Trump ever told.

Though I am not intimidated by banks as Stephen Leacock was, and though I do not love them as Hillary is portrayed as doing, they are not the devil incarnate. I studied the situation of the 2008 financial crisis and published on it. Bill Clinton, in surrendering to the right and reducing the regulatory controls on banks – an initiative that Canada did not follow – opened up the path to small boiler operations and other financial schemers. They used even a few of the larger bank’s greed for larger and larger profits regardless of risk. This activity brought on the crisis, even if the opening for the fraud could be traced back to an algorithm created by a graduate student from Canada’s Waterloo University in 1999.

Bernie was not after the New York vote. He was after the votes of youth who face insecurity, who enter life burdened with debt from their education, who face urban life when the price of homes has gone into the stratosphere relative to earnings. He was after the votes of small-towners who have always suspected the city, but especially New York. He was not after the votes of one out of every nine New Yorkers employed by the financial sector or anyone else related to the industry that pays $12.5 billion in state taxes to New York State.

Bernie was not after the voters who trace their intellectual descent to Alexander Hamilton, a father of the American constitution and grandfather of the American Federal Reserve. In the 1931 film, Alexander Hamilton, George Arliss, who wrote the drama on which the film was based, plays this illegitimate child who would become one of America’s greatest political leaders. Hamilton grew up in the West Indies among Blacks and attended a Jewish school because he was a bastard denied entry to the Protestant school on that account. It was he who undermined his enemies, including his blackmailer, Mr. Reynolds, who tried to exploit his sexual peccadilloes with Mrs. Reynolds; Hamilton confessed. By confessing and telling all to an American public, he set a precedent for an American public that has fed off public confessions by public figures ever since. But most of all, Hamilton loved cities and despised the hypocrisy of rural romanticism, particularly that of Thomas Jefferson (a sleazebag in the film). He loved the marriage of capital, innovation and industry that was responsible for America’s greatness.

Hamilton is buried only a block away from the New York Stock exchange and Bernie came to New York to bury his prodigy. Bernie was not looking for support from an electorate that chose Michael Bloomberg as its mayor, an entrepreneur who became a billionaire by developing monopoly control on information, particularly financial information without which the security industry would collapse. Bernie, like Aaron Burr in 1804, came to New York to challenge the heirs of Hamilton to a duel and to slay the financier dragon.

He fought like a lion but he failed. In California’s primary on Tuesday, Hillary Clinton won 55.8% of the vote and 260 delegates compared to Bernie’s 43.2% and 206 delegates. When I went to bed at 3:00 a.m., Hillary had been leading 60:40 with about 40% of the vote counted. Bernie in his speech predicted that the difference would narrow and he was correct. But not enough that Hillary would not end up with enough delegates to crown her as the presumptive Democratic candidate compared to Bernie’s without counting superdelegates. Nate Cohn and Toni Monkovic’s dialogue (“Superdelegates Sink Bernie Sanders, Will He Sink Them?”) in Monday’s New York Times was just nonsense. Yet the rumours continue that the system was rigged because the superdelegates had declared early, were not selected by the people and overwhelmingly supported Hillary. California’s primary smacked Bernie down hard.

It is true that Hillary did not earn enough elected delegates to put her over the top. She won 2,203 to Bernie’s 1,826 and she needed 2,383 delegates. Can anyone argue that in an open election she would not also have won a majority of superdelegates since she only needed 180 of the 622 superdelegates to win. She won 574 to Bernie’s 48. The significance – experienced Democrats have much more faith in Hillary than in Bernie, both to win the election for the Democrats and to be a better president. Further, the reality is that she has won 55% of the elected delegates. The rumours matching Donald Trump’s of an election system designed to beat outsiders like Bernie and Donald is just a load of crock and part of the paranoia of modern politics where widespread acceptance of conspiracies abound.

The popular vote tells the real story. Bernie won only 42% of the Democratic voters but he received a higher percentage of delegates because he won in small caucus states, based on much lower voting, where there were caucuses rather than votes cast by the Democratic members or, in open states, by Democrats and independents. His romantic nostalgia worked with them. Hillary was the choice of the people and of the party.

But the reality is that Bernie did far better than expected. Further, he shifted Hillary’s campaign significantly to the left where she too now espouses a minimum wage of $15, lower costs for higher education, universal health care, the reinvigoration of the American economy, more safeguards against the excesses of Wall Street without demonizing that famous artery in New York City. Hillary has, however, never gone against expanded free trade as both Donald and Bernie have, and has never renounced humanitarian intervention abroad even as Obama proved to be more cautious about that prospect than she has been. Bernie, like Donald Trump, regards all foreign involvement as a misuse of American resources and firepower.

When Bernie made his speech late in the evening on California time, everyone waited eagerly to see if he would concede defeat and rally behind Hillary Clinton. Hillary had earlier held out a hand of reconciliation to him and certainly in her policy statements has swung in his direction. But Bernie insisted not only that he would continue as a candidate not only through the Washington, D.C. primary but to the convention in Philadelphia in July since, theoretically, the superdelegates were not committed until they voted. More importantly, he was the leader of a movement and wanted his people to have a significant role on the committees defining policy. Any hopes that he would concede before Philadelphia were misplaced. Bernie and his supporters will continue raging against “the dying of the light” even though most are young millennials.

However, the public imagery is bad, worse for Bernie than for Hillary. He comes across as an old grouch or as driven even more by the politics of resentment than was suspected heretofore. Like Donald, Bernie, though he certainly did not disparage, he virtually ignored Black and Hispanic voters as targeted groups, appealing to them only as common members of a class. When Hillary really targeted identity politics herself in her post-California victory speech, it was as a feminist as she used Bernie’s appeal to nostalgia by referring to the beginning of the women’s movement in America in the nineteenth century, the fact that her mother was born when the constitution was amended to give women the vote, and to her personal wish that her mother had been here at the pinnacle of her achievements thus far when the most important glass ceiling in America had been broken. But it was ultimately a tale of progress using nostalgia as a literary device.

Most of the talk by Clinton supporters has been about giving Bernie time to adjust to his loss, believing, I think erroneously, that he will fold right after the Washington, D.C. primary. But he won’t. He does not need to regain his bearings. He never lost them. And he should not. For he leads a movement of which the quest as the presidential standard bearer was just the leading edge to a campaign rooted in nostalgia that was much more substantial. Further, now 18-33 year olds believe they can influence Washington policy. That is his primary objective and he believes there is plenty of time for Democrats to beat Trump.

With the help of Alex Zisman