Misogyny Was Enough To Tarnish Donald Trump — but Neo-Nazism Wasn’t?

From The Forward:  http://forward.com/opinion/353570/misogyny-was-enough-to-tarnish-donald-trump-but-neo-nazism-wasnt/

On November 9, 1938, the Nazi paramilitary force known as the SA led a pogrom against German Jews that is now known as Kristallnacht, or the Night of the Broken Glass. They torched synagogues, smashed Jewish businesses and ransacked Jewish homes, sending an estimated 30,000 of their occupants to concentration camps. The two-day orgy of anti-Semitic violence was a decisive turning point in the Nazi war against the Jews, which morphed into genocide.

This year, one night before we commemorate that event, millions of Americans will cast their ballot for Donald Trump, whose candidacy for President of the United States is supported by neo-Nazis. There is a cynical aphorism about history — that its most consistent lesson teaches that humans consistently fail to learn from history. Seven decades after thousands of American soldiers died fighting Hitler’s army in Europe, the current election campaign illustrates this frightening truth.

For Jews in America, this election has revealed an additional truth that has not really been sufficiently acknowledged — perhaps because it is too sickening and frightening to think about. And that is that for the American media, which caters to the American people, it was the “Access Hollywood” video showcasing Trump’s misogyny that caused the biggest wave of outrage — and not his flirtations with fascism. Americans’ reaction to the video proved that they find insults to beautiful white women unforgivable; neo-Nazi affiliations are, on the other hand, discomfiting, but ultimately tolerable.

And yet, just as a minority of Italian Jews once joined Mussolini’s fascist party, there are Trump-supporting Jews who choose to overlook, minimize or dismiss the GOP candidate’s neo-Nazi affiliations. Jewish voters are overwhelmingly aligned with the Democratic Party, but about 19% of them support Trump — including casino magnate Sheldon Adelson, who has given millions to the Trump campaign.

For months, Trump played a delicate game of downplaying his neo-Nazi support by burnishing his Jew-loving credentials. He spoke at the annual American Israel Public Affairs Committee conference to a standing ovation. On other occasions he promised Jewish audiences he’d be the greatest supporter of Israel we’d ever seen. His daughter Ivanka, a convert to Judaism, has become the elegant face of her father’s campaign; and her husband Jared Kushner, a powerful New York businessman from an Orthodox family, is a senior adviser to his father-in-law’s campaign. Trump often trots out his Jewish daughter as evidence that he could not possibly be an anti-Semite; and while one Orthodox Jewish blogger slays that argument rather succinctly, so far the GOP candidate has managed to convince even many of his opponents that, while he is not a sympathetic figure, he is no Jew hater.

Despite the mountain of evidence that he is a real, old-fashioned, strutting and sieg-heiling type of Jew hater, Trump has for the most part managed to avoid being labeled an anti-Semite.

Even the Anti-Defamation League, which just issued a report documenting a sharp rise in anti-Semitic attacks on Jewish journalists during the presidential campaign, has pulled its punches. Responding to Trump’s last campaign ad, which mainstream American media labeled an overt rip-off of classic anti-Semitic tropes, Jonathan Greenblatt, the CEO of the ADL, said, “Whether intentional or not, the images and rhetoric in this ad touch on subjects that anti-Semites have used for ages.”

It takes a special type of denial, swallowed with a heavy dose of Kool-Aid, to convince an intelligent person that Trump’s embrace of language and images overtly taken from the “Protocols of the Elders of Zion,” white supremacist sites, the Ku Klux Klan, the “alt-right” and European neo-Nazi parties could possibly be unintentional. Especially given that the “alt-right” regards Trump as a near-messianic voice.

Continue reading at:  http://forward.com/opinion/353570/misogyny-was-enough-to-tarnish-donald-trump-but-neo-nazism-wasnt/

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End this misogynistic horror show. Put Hillary Clinton in the White House

From The Guardian UK:  https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2016/nov/06/hillary-clinton-white-house-donald-trump-bullying-barbara-kingsolver

While Clinton holds her head high, why are we not exploding with anger at Donald Trump’s bullying?

Sunday 6 November 2016

When I was a girl of 11 I had an argument with my father that left my psyche maimed. It was about whether a woman could be the president of the US.

How did it even start? I was no feminist prodigy, just a shy kid who preferred reading to talking; politics weren’t my destiny. Probably, I was trying to work out what was possible for my category of person – legally, logistically – as one might ask which kinds of terrain are navigable for a newly purchased bicycle. Up until then, gender hadn’t darkened my mental doorway as I followed my older brother into our daily adventures wearing hand-me-down jeans.

But in adolescence it dawned on me I’d be spending my future as a woman, and when I looked around, alarm bells rang. My mother was a capable, intelligent, deeply unhappy woman who aspired to fulfilment as a housewife but clearly disliked the job. I saw most of my friends’ mothers packed into that same dreary boat. My father was a country physician, admired and rewarded for work he loved. In my primordial search for a life coach, he was the natural choice.

I probably started by asking him if girls could go to college, have jobs, be doctors, tentatively working my way up the ladder. His answers grew more equivocal until finally we faced off, Dad saying, “No” and me saying, “But why not?” A female president would be dangerous. His reasons vaguely referenced menstruation and emotional instability, innate female attraction to maternity and aversion to power, and a general implied ickyness that was beneath polite conversation.

I ended that evening curled in bed with my fingernails digging into my palms and a silent howl tearing through me that lasted hours and left me numb. The next day I saw life at a remove, as if my skull had been jarred. What changed for me was not a dashing of specific hopes, but an understanding of what my father – the person whose respect I craved – really saw when he looked at me. I was tainted. I would grow up to be a lesser person, confined to an obliquely shameful life.

But I didn’t stop asking what a woman gets to do, and so began a lifelong confrontation with that internal howl. The slap-downs were often unexpected. Play drums in the band? No. Sign up for the science team? Go camping with the guys? Go jogging in shorts and a tank top without fear of being assaulted? Experiment boldly, have a career, command a moral authority of my own? Walk home safely after dark? No, no, no.

Eventually, I wrestled my way to yes on most of these things, except of course the last one. And the same dread that stalks me in dark parking lots – the helpless fury of knowing I don’t get to be just a person here, going about my business – has haunted all the other pursuits, from science team to career. It’s a matter of getting up each day and pushing myself again into a place some people think I have no right to occupy.

My father is very old now. Lately, I brought up our ancient argument about who may occupy the White House, but he didn’t remember it. The world has changed and so has he, urged forward by working daughters and granddaughters. He’s ready and eager to vote for a woman president. But it’s knocked the breath out of me to learn that most of his peers are not.

Hillary Clinton has honoured the rules of civic duty and met the prerequisites for a candidate, bringing a lifetime of pertinent experience, an inquiring mind, a record of compassionate service and a sound grasp of our nation’s every challenge, from international relations to climate change; her stated desire is to work hard for our country and its future.

Complete article at:  https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2016/nov/06/hillary-clinton-white-house-donald-trump-bullying-barbara-kingsolver

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For trans Americans, there’s a lot riding on this election

From The Washington Blade:  http://www.washingtonblade.com/2016/11/07/trans-americans-theres-lot-riding-election/

by Allison Van Kuiken
November 7, 2016

With 17 measures on the California ballot, control of Congress up for grabs, a host of local races and a critical choice for president – it’d be easy to say there’s a lot at stake for this election. For me, there’s even more.

I am a new mother. I have a beautiful 11-week-old daughter and a wife I adore. And I am a transgender woman.

As Nov. 8 approaches, I think every day about the freedoms riding on this upcoming election. For the transgender community, our lives and identities have literally become a wedge issue designed to polarize Americans for or against us, so much so that I believe my family’s future and safety are at risk.

I have always voted, but this year my vote takes on added significance as I think about the daughter that I am raising, and the family I provide for. It’s terrifying to think we have a major party candidate who’s been advocating violence and encouraging fear of the unknown and the misunderstood.

This election holds the potential for two very different futures for my family and my community. One where our voices will be heard, our victories sustained and where we will be at liberty to take steps toward true equality. The other holds fear and persecution, and the potential to backpedal on issues critical to LGBT social justice and equality.

In California, a state with the strongest LGBT civil rights protections in the world, my gender identity is still not understood by many people and most certainly carries a stigma. Not a day passes that I don’t hear a story about a member of my community being denied housing, employment or even fired for living their truth. Even with the LGBT civil rights protections in California, the truth is that we are not afforded the same rights and protections as other Californians. So I am voting so that everyone can work and provide for our families.

States like North Carolina have shown us that the fight to end discrimination against the LGBT community is far from over, and that every victory we have won over the past decade is not yet secure. The repeal of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,” the legalization of gay marriage and the recent transgender case to reach the Supreme Court are important milestones for our community. And to potentially have a president who does not see us as equals, or even as human beings, could mean the unraveling of every one of these accomplishments.

In raising a family, my wife and I want to live in a community that supports us and our daughter. Across the country and even here in California, transgender people are still being murdered and targeted for being who they are and that affects our loved ones. In this election, we have a choice to make regarding the kind of communities we all want to live in. Do we let the forces of hate take control of our neighborhoods and cities or do we stand on the side of love and acceptance and work toward building a better world for our children and future generations.

Continue reading at:  http://www.washingtonblade.com/2016/11/07/trans-americans-theres-lot-riding-election/

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