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VOLOKH CONSPIRACY

Mostly law professors, blogging on whatever we please since 2002 · Hosted by The Washington Post, 2014-2017 · Hosted by Reason 2017 · Sometimes contrarian · Often libertarian · Always independent

Life Imitates the Volokh Conspiracy

Donald Trump says exactly the wrong thing in response to a question about anti-Semitism, mainstream Jew-haters Jew-hate, and a new study shows that bigotry has declined under Trump.

On Monday I wrote, "It doesn't help that neither the mainstream American right or left exhibits much sensitivity to Jewish concerns about anti-Semitism. On the right, the common response is that "we're pro-Israel, what do you want from us?" Yesterday, an NBC reporter, citing the bogus "57 percent increase in anti-Semitic incidents" statistic, asked Trump about anti-Semtism in the U.S. Trump responded by talking about his pro-Israel policies.

In the same Monday post, I also noted that anti-Semites, while not necessarily more numerous, have become more active, more vocal, and, importantly, less subject to gatekeeping by the mainstream. Case in point: Women's March leader and leading progressive activist Linda Sarsour. After expressing faux concern over anti-Semitism after Pittsburgh, she proceeded to blame the Democrats somewhat disappointing results Tuesday on "people who will support refugees and criminal justice reform then support for example the state of Israel." Gee, I wonder which people she might be referring to? (And she's not too bright if she think that supporting Israel is the opposite of supporting refugees, given that Israel's population is primarly made of refugees and their descendants.)

Meanwhile, much to the consternation of many progressive readers, I keep insisting on empirical evidence before I conclude that there has been a significant increase in bigotry in general, or hostility to Jews in particular, since Trump became president. On Tuesday, Dan Hopkins from Blog 538 wrote that he is overseeing a study that finds that prejudice has actually decreased under Trump:

As I mentioned earlier, I just finished overseeing the thirteenth wave of a panel survey of American adults. And given President Trump's use of racially charged rhetoric, you might expect that white Americans' prejudice has risen since he won the presidency in late 2016. But in fact, the opposite is the case: self-reported prejudice is actually down among both white Democrats and white Republicans in the past two years.

The key to understanding the role of prejudice in contemporary politics is that Trump didn't amplify it, he instead activated it: Trump's rise led prejudice to be more integrated with voter choice. So prejudice has become more predictive of how white Americans vote, even if it's also been on the decline.

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  • Brett Bellmore||

    I'm not sure how that's "exactly" the wrong thing to say. Surely there are far more wrong things to say, and no lack of people who'd say them. You demonstrate that in the very next paragraph.

    In fact, it's only a "wrong" thing to say, in the sense that, once you've been accused of antisemitism, there's no "right" thing to say; Like racism, you're not allowed to refute the accusation.

  • JesseAz||

    It's their truth Brett. Who are you to deny them their truth.

  • bernard11||

    Yeah, Jesse. It's "our truth."

    I'm with Bernstein on this one.

  • James Pollock||

    Who will be the new spokesperson for people who don't like being called anti-semites, but whose dislike of being called an anti-Semite isn't QUITE enough to cause them to refrain from doing or saying anti-Semitic things?

  • David Bernstein||

    No one in this post/thread called Trump anti-Semitic. A reporter asked Trump about domestic anti-Semitism. Trump said it's awful, and then segued into a discussion of his Israel policy. His Israel policy is indeed a point against claiming Trump is anti-Semitic, but it doesn't address the question that was asked. As I noted in my original post, if someone expresses concern about anti-Semitism in the United States, and a Republican, as is often the case, starts talking about Israel, this is rightly seen as being insensitive to the concern.

  • DiegoF||

    This is in keeping with the fact that it's true that Trump basically will at the vaguest whiff of relevance segway into the topic of what he is doing for the black, what he is doing for the Jew, and so forth, in the most direct and undisguised sort of way, like some sort of caricature of an early-20th-century urban machine politician. It's definitely something he can work on! He's increased support among minorities a little bit, but not really enough to save the Republican party in the long term. Maybe a more adroit strategy could do the trick a bit better.

  • David Bernstein||

    He sees politics as purely transactional, and ignores the emotional stake people have in what their president says. If he could bring himself to give a sincere speech saying that racists, anti-Semites, white supremacists etc are not his people, they are not welcome in his party, and he doesn't want their support, it would go a long way to improving the GOP's standing. But I think he's so narcissistic that he actual thinks that anyone who supports him probably is worthwhile.

  • cja||

    Since Trump has spoken out many times against hatred and violence of all makes, and he's still declared a racist, pro-white supremacist and antisemitic etc. how many times do you suggest is needed for you to accept his answer?

  • jdgalt1||

    CJA has a good point here. The answer I'd give is that the writer of this article appears to be relying on sources such as the Anti-Defamation League, which has become so left-biased that it has lost all credibility, just like the Southern Poverty Law Center.

    From my own right-biased perspective, I see anti-semitism all the time. But then I'm on Gab and read (and agree with) Pamela Geller's blog.

  • James Pollock||

    "No one in this post/thread called Trump anti-Semitic."

    I didn't mention Trump, nor was I referring to him. Why did you?

  • David Bernstein||

    Because I was responding to Brett?

  • James Pollock||

    Quick followup:
    Why were you responding to Brett under MY comment?

  • Bob from Ohio||

    "I'm with Bernstein on this one."

    Shocking that you agree with a criticism [even a mild one] of Trump.

  • bernard11||

    Whereas you never do.

  • bernard11||

    It's the wrong thing to say, Brett, because it doesn't say anything about anti-Semitism. The "I'm pro-Israel" argument evades the issue.

    Indeed, what conservatives usually mean is that support Netanyahu. Whether that's "pro-Israel" in the long run is open to debate.

    And what some evangelicals apparently mean is that they want all Jews to go to Israel to either be converted or be sent to Hell. Yeah.Lots of philo-Semitism there.

  • Brett Bellmore||

    Yeah, right. Aside from a large portion of world-wide Jews living there, and the country being under constant attack for that exact reason, it's got nothing to do with antisemitism.

    Refuting a charge of antisemitism by pointing out that you have a pro-Israel policy is kind of like refuting a charge of racism by pointing out that you refused to join the Klan in burning a cross on somebody's lawn; It isn't proof positive, but it is relevant.

    Look, evangelicals want everybody to be converted, because, per church doctrine, the alternative is being sent to Hell. It's a common feature of almost all religions, it hasn't got anything to do with antisemitism.

  • larvatus||

    "That the Jews are participants in God's salvation is theologically unquestionable, but how that can be possible without confessing Christ explicitly, is and remains an unfathomable divine mystery."
    http://www.vatican.va/roman_cu.....te_en.html

    Translation: It took the Catholic Church two millennia to figure out that God is no welsher. In the fullness of time, other denominations will surely follow.

  • bernard11||

    It's a common feature of almost all religions, it hasn't got anything to do with antisemitism.

    Almost all? Cite please? It's certainly not a feature of Judaism. The Roman Catholic Church has abandoned the idea, as larvatus points out below. What about Buddhism or Hinduism?

  • bernard11||

    Well, Brett?

    I await your comment on what "almost all" religions believe. Still doing research?

  • Milhouse||

    Yes, it actually is a feature of Judaism. The confusing part is what one means by "conversion". What Judaism expects of others is almost exactly the same as what Christianity does; to accept the truth of its assertions about God's nature, revelation, and commands. Christians call this conversion, because Christianity is purely a religion; it's about what one believes and nothing else. Baptism is important, but one can be a Christian without it.

    Jews, on the other hand, are not a religion but a nation that has a religion. Accepting and believing everything that Judaism teaches does not make one a Jew; nor does denying every one of those things make one not a Jew. Jewish law demands of all people to accept the truth of Judaism's religious assertions, but does not consider those who do so to be Jews. What Jews call "conversion" is really naturalization into the Jewish nation; it's a legal process, not a religious one.

    part 2 to follow

  • Milhouse||

    part 2


    Like one being naturalized as an American or a Frenchman, one must commit to obeying Jewish law, including the laws governing belief, so someone who doesn't believe can't honestly make that commitment, just as someone who doesn't believe in the things the USA or France stands for can't honestly take the oath required of a candidate for naturalization; but it's not that belief that makes one a Jew, an American or a Frenchman, it's the legal process itself, when it is performed properly, by a person authorized to do so, and honestly. Lying on the oath invalidates the process, but being able to honestly take the oath is not what gives the process legal effect.

    And that is what Judaism doesn't demand of others. It does demand that others believe what it teaches, but it doesn't demand that they become Jews. The closest analogy I can think of in Christianity is that those churches with formal priesthoods expect everyone to believe in Jesus but not to become priests.

  • Milhouse||

    Put this another way: Judaism doesn't believe in Hell, but it does believe in Heaven and Purgatory, as well as what one might call a sort of Hell, which is not being accepted into Purgatory, and therefore not having a path to Heaven; call it Hades, if you like. And to get into Heaven, Judaism says, one must accept the truth of its assertions. "Whoever accepts these seven laws and is careful to keep them is among the Righteous Gentiles, and has a share in the Next World, so long as he accepts and keeps them because God commanded them in the Torah and notified us through our teacher Moses that Noah's children had long ago been so commanded. But if he keeps them because of the determinations of his intellect [i.e. he decided on his own that this is how a person ought to behave] then he is not a Ger Toshav and is not one of the Righteous Gentiles but merely one of the wise ones. [some mss have: ...nor of the wise ones]" (Maimonides, Laws of Kings, 8:14)

    And that is more than Christians say is necessary to get into Heaven.

  • James Pollock||

    "It's the wrong thing to say, Brett, because it doesn't say anything about anti-Semitism. The 'I'm pro-Israel' argument evades the issue."

    By Trump scoring rules, he was in the ballpark and thus dead-eye correct.

    "And what some evangelicals apparently mean is that they want all Jews to go to Israel to either be converted or be sent to Hell."

    The deal is, they think that Israel has to conquer the entire Holy Land, to trigger the prophecy that leads to the return of Jesus. They think they can make Jesus do what they want Him to do.

  • David Bernstein||

    Liberal and leftist Jews are always hung up on evangelicals, despite the survey evidence showing that evangelicals have average levels of anti-Semitism. They are not hung up on Hispanic immigrants, African Americans, or Muslims, even though each of those groups have much higher rates than average of anti-Semitism. I suspect that most liberal Jews are unaware of these statistics, but those who we might call "professional liberal Jews," those who work, e.g., for the ADL, are fully aware of these statistics, but they still wind up hung up on evangelicals. Which suggests that it's political differences, not anti-Semitism, that's motivating the concern.

  • bernard11||

    No political influence on your attitudes, right?

    As to the evangelicals, I do believe that they don't consider themselves anti-Semitic. That doesn't mean their beliefs are not troubling. You know as well as I do that the whole "Accept Christ or go to Hell" business can have some unpleasant outcomes.

  • David Bernstein||

    It's not a question of whether they seem themselves as anti-Semitic. It's that when they are asked a series of questions designed to reveal anti-Semitic attitudes, they don't express such attitudes any more than other Americans, on average. Of course my political views color how I see the world (or vice versa). But if I'm running an organization devoted to combatting antiSemitism, my priority would be to be clear-eyed about the sources of antiSemitism, not to appeal to the prejudices of my donor base.

  • DiegoF||

    Important to distinguish the Foxman ADL, whatever its shortcomings, from the current clown corps. I don't imagine it's universal that even the proggiest Jews have followed the nameplate into the present age like the pied piper.

  • Bob from Ohio||

    "No political influence on your attitudes, right?"

    So says the one speaking from his political attitude.

    Jews dislike evangelicals because they are on the other political side.

  • James Pollock||

    "Jews dislike evangelicals because they are on the other political side."

    There are evangelicals on both political sides, so this is not the shocking reveal you imagine.

  • Bob from Ohio||

    True but the numbers are pretty high on one side.

    Evangelicals/fundamentalist have been considered a GOP group since the Moral Majority days.

  • Lester224||

    Evangelicals: I love the Jewish people. However they are all going to hell.

  • bernard11||

    Another thing to remember, David, is that it is evangelicals who are aggressive about making their religion a part of public life, who advocate for a "Christian Nation," public, often explicitly Christian, prayer, in schools and elsewhere.

    In short, it is evangelicals, regardless of whether they think they are anti-Semitic or not, which is all a survey measures, who are seen as a threat to religious liberty. Now, maybe if there were a huge number of Muslims in the country, and there were a fundamentalist Muslim sect that had control of a major political party, that would be as big a problem, or bigger. But that's not the way it is.

  • David Bernstein||

    This is also a Jewish idiosyncracy, they worry about "Christian nation" rhetoric as a threat to religious liberty, but not, e.g., about the Obama administration arguing to the Supreme Court that the government can make rules about what rabbis, priests, and ministers religious congregations may hire, or about the Obama AG suggesting that religious institutions might be denied their tax exemptions if they refuse to recognize same-sex marriages.

  • bernard11||

    the Obama administration arguing to the Supreme Court that the government can make rules about what rabbis, priests, and ministers religious congregations may hire, or about the Obama AG suggesting that religious institutions might be denied their tax exemptions if they refuse to recognize same-sex marriages.

    I'd be better placed to respond if you told me what you are talking about.

  • David Bernstein||

    During oral argument in the Hosanna Tabor case, the Obama admin attorney (I can't recall if it was Verrelli) argued that the so-called ministerial exemption, recognized by every single court that had ever considered it, should be abolished. It's the ministerial exemption thatis the constitutional barrier to the Catholic church being punished for refusing to make women priests, or that an Orthodox synagogue can't be held liable for firing a rabbi who it discovers is not halachically Jewish, or that, more prosaically, an evangelical church can fire the church organist if it discovers that she is living "in sin."

  • bernard11||

    It was Leondra Kruger. She didn't do a great job, IMO.

    I think you are exaggerating the claims made. As you know, the case was about not rehiring a teacher, not actually a minister, who would have had a claim against a secular employer under ADA. The argument is a bit confusing as it wanders off into issues of retaliation and other matters. But here is one part:

    MS. KRUGER: Here is where I think what the
    8 core of the insight of the ministerial exception as it
    9 was originally conceived is, which is that there are
    certain relationships within a religious community that
    11 are so fundamental, so private and ecclesiastical in
    12 nature, that it will take an extraordinarily compelling
    13 governmental interest to justify interference. Concerns
    14 with health or safety, for example. But the
    government's general interest in eradicating
    16 discrimination in the workplace will not be sufficient
    17 to justify the burden.

    But even if you interpret the argument as you do, it is one oral argument weighed against a concerted campaign and repeated efforts to effectively make Christianity the public religion. Think of "creation science" and "intelligent design" requirements in school curricula, to take just one example.

  • David Bernstein||

    I'd personally prefer to have Christianity be the official religion of the U.S. than to have the government have the power to dictate what clergy and other religious officials religious organizations may hire. But the fact is, there is no way the former is going to happen, while the latter actually had support from the last Democratic administration. In fairness, the government noted that Dale's expressive association right would still protect churches etc. OTOH, very few elite Democratic lawyers think Dale was correctly decided.

  • bernard11||

    The Obama administration did not claim that the government had that power. It was a discussion during one oral argument, and you clearly ignored the quote I provided.

    So you weigh a microgram against tons and find the microgram heavier. OK David.

  • David Bernstein||

    She consciously took this position in litigation after consulting with her Justice Department colleagues. It wasn't an error or anomaly. The only mitigating rationale I've heard about it is that Obama Justice Dept. attorney Marty Lederman claims that the administration decided to take this position because they determined it was the only way they could win the case. That, of course, begs the question of why the Obama administration thought that abolishing the ministerial exemption was a price worth paying for winning the case.

  • James Pollock||

    "about the Obama AG suggesting that religious institutions might be denied their tax exemptions if they refuse to recognize same-sex marriages."

    As a threat to "religious liberty", not being subsidized by the government is pretty low on the list. It's ESPECIALLY galling coming from Christians, considering Jesus told his followers to pay their taxes.

    " the Obama administration arguing to the Supreme Court that the government can make rules about what rabbis, priests, and ministers religious congregations may hire"

    Republicans would argue the same thing, but about different rules. What if that caravan of terrorist freeloader invaders is just on the way to take jobs leading churches, synagogues, and mosques?

  • David Bernstein||

    The subsidy isn't the issue, it's that you grant some the subsidy and deny it to others, based on the latter's religious beliefs, in effect punishing them for having those beliefs.

  • Krayt||

    Letting you keep your own money is not subsidizing you. Declining to punch you in the gut is not supporting your gut healing.

    Secondly, people continue operating under the idea government could tax religion if it wanted to, in spite of taxes being laws and thus forbidden by the First Amendment. In the one ruling that tangentially touched on this, they considered a thought experiment where a church had its land seized for not paying property taxes. This would infringe on the practice of religion.

    In other words, while exemption of religion was entangling, not exempting it was even more entangling. A nasty shot across the bow of those who fancy being able to tax religion.

    And given much of the "tax religion" motivation is hurting religion and not revenue raising, the issue should be dead in the water permanently as the SC is very good at rejecting unconstitutional laws that attack the early amendments based on surface rationalizations with the real, admitted reasons lying right there.

  • James Pollock||

    "Letting you keep your own money is not subsidizing you."

    Extending services to you, but exempting you from taxes, sure is.

    "taxes being laws and thus forbidden by the First Amendment"

    You skipped a step, and didn't go all the way to the end. Work backwards from the end. Does having to pay taxes to the government infringe your right to practice your religion? (I'll assume, for the moment, you aren't subject to a vow of poverty) The answer is, no, the first amendment does not mean you don't have to pay taxes. So, if it doesn't protect the members of the church from paying taxes, why does it protect the church itself from paying taxes?

    I offer another thought experiment. Suppose I launch my new religion on the premise that I am allowed to use the Grand Canyond for base-jumping, because it brings us (the Brotherhood of the Chute) closer to God. When they tell me I can't get into the park without paying, are my free-practice rights being denied? If not, why are the loyal flock in my thought experiment treated differently than the flock in yours?

  • Brett Bellmore||

    But when the government is exempting a large list of institutions from taxes, removing that exemption from a particular one is functionally indistinguishable from levying a targeted tax on that institution.

  • bernard11||

    Here you go, David.

    No theocratic impulses at all.

  • James Pollock||

    "But when the government is exempting a large list of institutions from taxes, removing that exemption from a particular one is functionally indistinguishable from levying a targeted tax on that institution."

    Then NOT removing the exemption is functionally indistinguishable from levying a targeted tax on all the institutions that are still paying.

    So we're BOTH arguing against having exemptions from taxation. If the tax is righteous, then all should pay, and if it is not righteous, then nobody should.

  • rsteinmetz||

    In my view "evangelical" is a leftist "dog whistle" for the rubes who regularly go to church.

    But then I don't hear "dog whistle" so well.

  • James Pollock||

    That happens when you get older. You lose the higher ranges.

  • Bob from Ohio||

    "some evangelicals"

    You can find "some" of any group who believe something.

    Its a minority view among fundamentalists in any event, some of whom may be evangelicals.

    Fundamentalists and evangelicals are not the same thing. One can be a fundamentalist and not an evangelical, and vice versa. Most evangelicals are not fundamentalists.

    Before you speak with so much confidence about the religious views of others, maybe learn something first.

  • James Pollock||

    "Its a minority view among fundamentalists in any event, some of whom may be evangelicals.
    Fundamentalists and evangelicals are not the same thing."

    Fundamentalists believe what they believe. Some of it is wacky (some of every religion is wacky) but it affects only themselves. Evangelicals, however, can't be happy if anyone else doesn't SHARE their wacky beliefs and practices.

    Let's suppose that some person reads about Jesus and loaves and fishes, and from that comes away with the idea that fishing is Holy activity. Some other people think that sounds good. Now, maybe the state humors them by granting them year-round fishing permits, or maybe they have to build big fishtanks to fish in, but every Sunday, they're fishing. Let's call them Fishimentalists. What Fishimentalists do... fishing every Sunday, the wearing of the Holy Waders... all these things affect only people who choose to participate. But wait! Suppose they suddenly demand the closing of the public swimming pools, because only fish should swim. Or they want the city's aquarium closed, as an abomination to the Holy Fish. Now, all of a sudden, they're affecting other people, who don't share their beliefs. That's objectionable, and not a violation of religious freedom.

    Evangelism INHERENTLY involves people who aren't part of the religion being evangelized. Evangelicals trying to use the government in their evangelism is INHERENTLY objectionable.

  • Bob from Ohio||

    Not sure of your point.

    Bernard is complaining about a particular view about Jews by what he calls "evangelicals" but is really a view of some [but not a majority] fundamentalist protestants.

    There are evangelical Catholics.

  • James Pollock||

    "Not sure of your point."

    It was this part:
    Evangelism INHERENTLY involves people who aren't part of the religion being evangelized. Evangelicals trying to use the government in their evangelism is INHERENTLY objectionable.

    "There are evangelical Catholics."
    And?

  • NToJ||

    You're missing the point. It's the wrong thing to say because it changes the subject. If support for Israel is some evidence of not being anti-semitic, than opposition to Israeli is some evidence of anti-semitism, and we're right back to the too broad a brush of anti-semitic accusations. If support (or opposition) to Israel has nothing to do with anti-semitism, than the President is refusing to answer the question. More importantly, the President's support for Israel has nothing to do with the amount of domestic anti-semitism, or whether it is increasing or decreasing, etc.

  • bernard11||

    Good points, NTOJ.

  • David Bernstein||

    No, there is virtually no one who sincerely supports Israel and who is also an anti-Semite. That's why supporting Israel is evidence of lack of anti-Semitism. And if you really are an anti-Semite, it would in fact be extraordinary if you liked Israel, given that it's populated mainly with Jews. It's like being an anti-black racist but thinking really highly of Angola or Zaire.

    OTOH, people may oppose Israel for a variety of reasons that aren't anti-Semitic. I wrote a post giving examples once, if you care to look it up. Right now, though, many on the left are arguing that essentially no criticism of Israel beyond perhaps what a Nazi would say is anti-Semitic, and that's of course ridiculous.

  • James Pollock||

    "No, there is virtually no one who sincerely supports Israel and who is also an anti-Semite. "

    No true Scotsman supports Israel?

  • NToJ||

    "No, there is virtually no one who sincerely supports Israel and who is also an anti-Semite."

    That's not true. There are white supremacists who support Israel and want all the domestic Jews to move there. There might be people who are anti-semitic but who are also anti-Muslim, and so support Israel in so far as Israel is at the front lines of their religious/culture war. There are christians who hold anti-semitic beliefs (like that the Jews killed Jesus) but support Israel because of their belief about end-of-times. Anti-semitic war profiteers might support conflict in Israel (and therefore nominally side with Israel). Or nativists who hate Jews but love walls, and support Israeli walls. Or self-hating "ethnic" Jews like ARWP.

    "Right now, though, many on the left are arguing that essentially no criticism of Israel beyond perhaps what a Nazi would say is anti-Semitic, and that's of course ridiculous."

    There are three layers of vague bullshit here. "many on the left" doesn't help me. "no criticism of Israel beyond perhaps what a Nazi would say" doesn't help me. I'm happy to engage with you in examples, but I don't see the same world you see. I'm prepared to be convinced otherwise. In the spirit of discussion, I'll offer an example. Do you think Mearsheimer and Walt's paper was anti-Semitism?

  • David Bernstein||

    People who want all the Jews to move (or be forced to move) to Israel don't "support" Israel, they want Israel to be a dumping ground for the Jews they expel. Using particular Israeli policies as an exemplar, like a wall (or national health care) doesn't mean you support Israel. The end-of-times Christians are a close case, but the ones who are actually anti-Semitic, rather than holding a particular anti-Semitic theological belief, tend toward the white-supremacists Europeans are the true tribes of Israel nonsense.

    Mearsheimer and Walt's book was one long anti-Semitic conspiracy theory, suggesting that in the modern American administration with the fewest Jews, the Jews somehow persuaded all the high-level Gentile officials, including the president himself, to go to war to help Israel. The book also contains an explicitly anti-Semitic attack on Elliott Abrams,which I addressed in a blog post in detail, if you care to look it up.

  • NToJ||

    I couldn't find it. Is it the dual loyalties thing?

  • James Pollock||

    "People who want all the Jews to move (or be forced to move) to Israel don't 'support' Israel, they want Israel to be a dumping ground for the Jews they expel"

    This is just a slightly different "No True Scotsman" from the one above.

    Can you compare/contrast to the Americans who apparently didn't "support" Liberia?

  • Brett Bellmore||

    There ought to be an "Everyone is a Scotsman!" fallacy. It's usually what's going on when somebody cries "No true Scotsman!"

  • James Pollock||

    "There ought to be an 'Everyone is a Scotsman!' fallacy. It's usually what's going on when somebody cries 'No true Scotsman!'"

    You don't often see people actively arguing that their own argument is fallacious.

    Congrats on the honesty. Yes, I'll give you credit for honesty rather than just assuming you didn't know what you were arguing. Sometimes the Internet surprises you.

  • OtisAH||

    "No, there is virtually no one who sincerely supports Israel and who is also an anti-Semite. That's why supporting Israel is evidence of lack of anti-Semitism."

    As an attorney and a professor you should be extremely embarrassed to have made such an argument. As a professor, anyway.

  • bernard11||

    No, there is virtually no one who sincerely supports Israel and who is also an anti-Semite.

    I think you need to define your terms here. What do you mean by "sincerely supports Israel?"

    It is easy to imagine someone who would favor, say, lots of arms sales to Israel, and intelligence cooperation against Islamic terrorists, who also didn't like Jews. I find it hard to believe there is "virtually no one" who believes Israel can be a valuable ally and yet dislikes Jews.

    And of course, you may have a biased view of what exactly supporting Israel means. Is supporting the current government a necessary condition? Is criticizing it automatically anti-Israel?

    Then, let's define "anti-Semite." I think it would help lots of these discussions. Let's assume someone does or says whatever you think is supporting Israel. What would cause you to categorize that individual as an anti-Semite? Anything, or is the support an inoculation?

  • Bubba Jones||

    He's supposed to say "I love Jews! Jews are the Greatest! Great business people! My daughter is a Jew!"

  • James Pollock||

    "He's supposed to say 'I love Jews! Jews are the Greatest! Great business people! My daughter is a Jew!'"

    Are we 100% sure anyone bothered to tell him that last part?

  • JesseAz||

    Liberals, see sarcastro, are insane on this anti semetism bent. They completely dismiss the bdso ement, ignore Hamas paying for the stabbings of random Israeli citizens, and handwaive actual anti semetism from the left (hi Farrakhan!). Sarsour was already mentioned, but the other ldear of the women's March literally called Farrakhan the greatest of all time. Minnesota just election a known and public anti semites who is now hailed as a win for Muslims and American relations.

    More often then not the right attacks ideas and policies. They hate steyer as much as Soros because of the shared ideas. But because liberals refuse to make actual arguments, they filter their opponents arguments to hatred and racism. Leftists just terrorized Tucker Carlson's wife and kids last night based on the idea Carlson is racist sans any evidence at all. For all the talk about hating Nazis, the left sure takes up the SS mob like tactics readily.

  • Sarcastr0||

    I love how much I of all the commenters have become the apple of your eye, but I'm not sure you're reading my quite as carefully as I might like. Once again, allow me to clarify my position to disabuse you of whatever strawman you have conjured for me.

  • Sarcastr0||

    1) I don't like BDS. I think it's a tumor arising from the left's general favoritism towards underdogs, and a growing one. I also think it's nothing compared to the general bigotry of all sorts growing on the right, and Antisemitism is never left out once targeting subgroups starts.

    2) Sarsour is mentioned a lot. So is Sharpton. And Farrakhan (despite his current support for Trump). These straws are a bad look, but they do not prove anything about the Democratic party as a whole. Just as David Duke or Steve King don't prove anything about the GOP as a whole. What does, however, is the GOP base and their messaging.
    From GOP-condoned ads, to 'renegade Jews' to 'good people on both sides' to the tropes used to attack Soros, to this issue in the OP, the GOP has a problem.

    3) You believe your side is the side of ideas, and the other side is the idea that refuses to have them. Ho-hum, that's the usual partisan confirmation-biased BS. Hey - did you notice how your post here isn't attacking ideas, it's attacking me? Are you a sekret liberal, then?
    More proof: I thought spurious Nazi comparisons are the liberals' lazy tactic!

  • Sarcastr0||

    4) I think it's pretty counterproductive and just bad morally to attack politicians in their daily lives. And I lament that this will probably get worse on the left than better. But you're comparing bothering Tucker Carlson with violence that costs lives. Oh, and hey, you compared it to Nazis as well. Way to become a leftist trope That you have to resort to that double-standard shows how little actual 'ideas and policies' you have behind you.

  • Bob from Ohio||

    "bothering Tucker Carlson with violence that costs lives"

    They broke his front door with only a woman home.

    If the police had not arrived, then maybe Jesse could have had a clearer example for you to still hand wave away.

  • James Pollock||

    "They broke his front door with only a woman home."

    Door lives matter!

  • Sarcastr0||

    If the police had not arrived

    Speculate your heart out!

    I think this is a real stupid move by whomever on the left with more self-indulgence than sense, and would be interested in a VC thread on it.

  • Bob from Ohio||

    Breaking and entering is a crime of violence in most jurisdictions.

    What might happen if they continue to try to break the door and actually get entry? Tea with Mrs Carlson?

    "would be interested in a VC thread on it."

    What is the argument in support of the terrorizing the wife of a TV commentator, Arthur?

  • James Pollock||

    "Breaking and entering is a crime of violence in most jurisdictions."

    citation?

    "What might happen if they continue to try to break the door and actually get entry?"

    They might enter a zone... a zone of light, and shadow. A zone of endless possibility. They might enter... the Twilight Zone.

    "What is the argument in support of the terrorizing the wife of a TV commentator"

    I imagine it is not dissimilar from the arguments in favor of terrorizing anyone, really. I would bet on some variation of "it made sense at the time".

  • Brett Bellmore||

    They mobbed the house, shouted threatening slogans, tried busting down the door, and you're seriously suggesting that violence wouldn't have followed if the door had given way?

  • James Pollock||

    "They mobbed the house, shouted threatening slogans, tried busting down the door"

    Hold on. One at a time.

    "They mobbed the house"

    Trespassing.

    "shouted threatening slogans"

    Darn first amendment. Shouting slogans is legal.

    "tried busting down the door"

    Vandalism.

    Now, I don't want to minimize trespassing and vandalism, which can be both annoying and expensive to deal with. Then again, Halloween just passed, giving many Americans a fresh view of trespassing and vandalism, and... they're still not in the same category as crimes of violence against people.

  • Milhouse||

    "Breaking and entering is a crime of violence in most jurisdictions."

    citation?

    Name a jurisdiction where it isn't.

  • Sarcastr0||

    In Virginia it's Burglary 3, which is nonviolent absent some other factor.

  • James Pollock||

    "Name a jurisdiction where it isn't."

    I don't think Oregon even has "breaking and entering" in its criminal code. I don't think there's an intermediate step between criminal trespass and burglary.

    The criminal trespass statute defines "unlawful entering" but doesn't require a "breaking" element, and the burglary statutes require intent to commit a felony, which breaking and entering does not.

  • NToJ||

    If BDS is necessarily anti-semitic, aren't you the one who is "insane on this anti semetism bent"? If we're tired of overstated allegations of anti semitism, isn't the solution to divorce criticisms of Israel from anti-semitism?

  • OtisAH||

    What, and come up with a whole new argument with which criticisms of Israeli policies can be deflected? Don't fix it if it ain't broke!

  • Brett Bellmore||

    BDS, if it is not part of a larger boycott drive with many targets, IS necessarily anti-semitic, because there are so many equally or more worthy targets of boycott, that to only focus on Israel must indeed be a consequence of anti-semitism.

  • NToJ||

    The argument goes to far. It means that if we find targets who are "equally or more worthy targets of boycotts" all boycotts of the lesser evidence bias or racism. So if you criticize Farrakhan but not Kim Jong Un, you are necessarily racist against blacks ore prejudiced against Muslims? That's not how it works.

    Some people might choose to target Israel because they feel partly responsible for Israel's bad acts, due to their national association with a parent state (like the United States). Although I don't participate in BDS, I'm certainly more vocal about the sins of Israel than I am, for instance, the sins of say, Boko Haram, because I'm not in any way responsible for Boko Haram.

    Or, from a more realpolitik standpoint, forcing Israel to modify its behavior is more important because of the broader destabilizing effect that Israel has on global politics.

  • bernard11||

    The key to understanding the role of prejudice in contemporary politics is that Trump didn't amplify it, he instead activated it:

    Oh. He just made it legitimate. Well, I guess that's just fine, then.

  • JesseAz||

    Anti semetic left, under the guise of pro Palestine, has been activated for.years. The media merely reports it more in hopes of proving trump os anti-Semitic.

    The new York times just last week an article where they clearly stated they don't report anti semetic crimes on NYC often because they can't tie it to a right wing group. Media also fails to report on the anti semetic left like the leaders of the women's March and liberal connections to Farrakhan.

    The media only reports it now because it is a way they believe they can attack the president.

    Basiy Bernard... Youre merely a tool of the media narrative.

  • bernard11||

    Whereas you are just a tool.

  • David Bernstein||

    If he made it 'legitimate,' it would be going up, not down. What Obama plus Trump has done has moved the racist (anti-Obama) and nativist (anti-immigrant) vote, which used to be pretty evenly split between the parties, over to being primarily Republicans. But it's still only a fraction of the Republican vote, and w/r/t anti-Semitism in particular, I have yet to see evidence that anti-Semitism is more prevalent among Republicans, though I would expect it to go up at least a bit in the GOP under Trump b/c anti-Semitism is correlated with lower education, and Trump has driven well-educated suburanites out in favor of less-educated rural voters.

  • James Pollock||

    "If he made it 'legitimate,' it would be going up, not down"

    Not necessarily. He made it legit among a crowd... but that crowd is itself in decline.

    I will suggest that anti-Semitism has a couple of different flavors. There's one that comes from just not knowing any, and there's one that comes from being in a different religion. Then there's people who have a reason to be anti-Israel, and the common misunderstanding that you refer to (that being anti-Israel and anti-Semite are the same thing) is occasionally true.

  • Rev. Arthur L. Kirkland||

    Trump has driven well-educated suburanites out in favor of less-educated rural voters

    This is the important practical point.

    The important political point is that making support for Israel's Netanyahu-style right-wing belligerence a left-right divider in American politics is likely to cost Israel the financial, military, and political support it seems to like. I can understand why many American conservatives are willing to arrange that for short-term political gain in the United States, but fail to understand why supporters of Israel would choose such a counterproductive path. The self-preservation instinct alone seemingly would disincline those who like Israel to alienate the Americans positioned to benefit from demographic trends.

  • David Bernstein||

    The Begin and Shamir governments of the 80s were much more right-wing and belligerent than Netanyahu, and yet Democrats in those days were still overall more supportive of Israel than were Republicans. The obvious conclusion is that it's the Democrats that are the problem, not Israel.

  • bernard11||

    The obvious conclusion is that it's the Democrats that are the problem, not Israel.

    Not obvious to me. Are you seriously claiming that Israel is largely unchanged from thirty years ago?

    Maybe the situation just deteriorated to the point that people changed their minds. If I see things differently than I did 30 years ago does that make me a problem?

    Maybe the consequences of right-wing Israeli policies are becoming clearer. I consider myself pro-Israel in many respects, but I am honestly mystified by what the right there thinks the end-game wrt the Palestinians is. I also dislike the continuing ascent of the ultra-orthodox.

  • David Bernstein||

    Israel is very much changed. It's a much more liberal, cosmopolitan society, and has a much smaller contingent of "Greater Israel" advocates. The "right" is Israel is far more motivated by the pragmatic view that there is no viable Palestinian partner than by ideological concerns, which were much more prevalent in the 1980s. Israeli public opinion and public policy is also significantly more sympathetic to the domestic Arab minority. What has also changed is that the left has shrunked from close to 50% of the Jewish electorate to something like 10%, with the center, center-right, and right now dominating. And this is why both the Israeli left and the American Jewish left prattle on and on about how "right-wing" Israel has been. It's much more of a centrist country than it used to be, but center-right, with the left flank basically almost extinct. This isn't because Israelis suddenly became more "right-wing," but because the left sold them a bill of goods with Oslo, which proved to be a disaster.

  • James Pollock||

    "Maybe the situation just deteriorated to the point that people changed their minds. If I see things differently than I did 30 years ago does that make me a problem?"

    The problem comes from this fundamental assumption: If one side does really bad things, that makes the other guys the good guys. That assumption is often useful in the short term, but it just isn't true in the long term.

    The conflict in the Middle East involves BOTH SIDES doing things that are awful. BOTH SIDES have legitimate grievances with the other, and with various other powers that have attempted to intervene on one side.

    NEITHER side's objections are related to religion. The two sides ARE (largely) separated by religion, but (mostly) it is not religious difference that fuels the conflict.

    Being opposed to some of the choices of the Israeli government is not anti-Semitism.

    Heck, in the conflict over the Middle East, both sides are technically Semites.

  • David Bernstein||

    AntiSemitism doesn't mean "hostiltiy to Semites," it means "hostility to Jews."

  • James Pollock||

    "AntiSemitism doesn't mean 'hostiltiy to Semites,' it means 'hostility to Jews.'"

    There's so much to unpack there, but instead, I'll stick with the obvious answer, which is "duh".

    Since you chose to respond, but not to literally anything of substance I said, I choose to infer complete agreement on your part. Thank you.

  • Rev. Arthur L. Kirkland||

    The obvious conclusion is that it's the Democrats that are the problem, not Israel.

    Democrats generally don't like American right-wing belligerence; why would anyone expect them to subsidize, at great and varied cost, foreign right-wing belligerence. Democrats generally don't like people who disparage and cause problems for Democrats and cozy up to Republicans, especially Donald Trump; why would anyone expect them to do anything other than oppose foreigners who aggressively take such sides?

    'Democrats are the problem' is an argument Israel can't win even if it is right and wins the argument. If support for Netanyahu-style and fundamentalist conduct and policies becomes a left-right divider in American politics, Israel will lose, unless it is prepared and able to continue its course without American support. Israel is not entitled to Democrats' support and, in current conditions, largely doesn't deserve it. The overarching point is whether Israel needs American support. Unless conservatives change course, that point may be illuminated in practice relatively soon.

  • bernard11||

    "If he made it 'legitimate,' it would be going up, not down. "

    Not necessarily. He may simply have made people feel freer to act on it.

    Look, if you don't think Trump has stoked bigotry you have blinded yourself. Demonizing Hispanics, "Fine people on both sides," etc.

    And if you think bigots much care who they hate you are wrong.

  • David Bernstein||

    It wouldn't surprise me to find out that Trump stoked bigotry against Hispanics. Yet, there is no empirical evidence that it's true.

  • bernard11||

    You've blinded yourself.

    The attacks on the caravan, "Mexican rapists," the "Mexican judge," general attacks on immigrants - mostly Hispanics - as criminals and whatnot.

    Give me an effing break, David. For someone who claims to dislike Trump you sure do kowtow.

  • David Bernstein||

    I see I was unclear. I wasn't trying to say that Trump hasn't make bigoted remarks about Hispanics. I was trying to say that I haven't seen any evidence that this has led to an increase in anti-Hispanic sentiment in the U.S. Like I said, I wouldn't be surprised if it were true, but I haven't seen any study showing it to be true.

  • James Pollock||

    "I was trying to say that I haven't seen any evidence that this has led to an increase in anti-Hispanic sentiment in the U.S."

    What, specifically, would constitute evidence that statements by that guy over there led to an increase in these fellows over here's anti-Hispanic sentiment? I mean, I don't think I'd trust if someone who got caught doing something wrong saying "but the President told me I could do it", if if we're not talking criminal justice system, who's even trying to extract the "why" of stupid people saying stupid things with scientific accuracy?

  • bernard11||

    I wasn't trying to say that Trump hasn't make bigoted remarks about Hispanics. I was trying to say that I haven't seen any evidence that this has led to an increase in anti-Hispanic sentiment in the U.S.

    Anti-immigrant sentiment, perhaps? Have you seen evidence that it hasn't? If you are agnostic on the issue, fine, but say so.

    And "stoking," whether successful or not, especially by the President, deserves serious condemnation, don't you think?

  • Remember to keep it all polit||

    Does your omission of Democrats mean you think Democrats have not stoked bigotry?

    Politicians raise whatever alarums they think will get them votes.

  • NToJ||

    But why? David Bernstein is arguing that it is ineffective.

  • Remember to keep it all polit||

    Is this what you are referring to?

    On Tuesday, Dan Hopkins from Blog 538 wrote that he is overseeing a study that finds that prejudice has actually decreased under Trump

    Not what you say DB is arguing, if I read you correctly.

  • NToJ||

    No I was referring to this:

    Meanwhile, much to the consternation of many progressive readers, I keep insisting on empirical evidence before I conclude that there has been a significant increase in bigotry in general, or hostility to Jews in particular...

  • DiegoF||

    The Democrats have been moving, over the course of many many decades, from a demographic strategy with the working class at its core to one with identity politics--those of the "oppressed groups" directly benefited by allegedly reparative preferences; and those of the upper middle class who has become increasingly attached to (rather superficial) progressive politics, including sympathy for the plight of said "oppressed groups," as a signal of social sophistication--at its core.

    As they have done this, they have become increasingly confident and aggressive in pushing anyone not on board out of the tent of respectability. While the core of this group are those stubbornly determined to cling to traditional liberalism or even lunchpail leftism, naturally among them will be actual racists themselves. How we deal with this group is going to be interesting...

  • DiegoF||

    ...How the Jews in particular deal with them is going to be doubly interesting. Because the Jews, both with their attachment to traditional liberalism and leftism and their allergy to things like racial preferences, and their association with Israel, are being shown the door by the Democrats as hard as anyone. And because, while the old H.W. Bush/ Jim Baker style "country club" tendencies continue to fade to zero in Republican respectability, the rapid fading of evangelical Christianity within cultural conservatism is surely not the greatest development; and the plummeting respectability of racism in any crowd decreases the overall number of racists but pushes those remaining into ever more marginal and ideologicalized social spaces, which means what might have been a casual racist in the past (perhaps against blacks or Mexicans) is either (majority) socialized out of it today or (minority) socialized into a hardline systemic white-identarian ideology. And this is, of course, bad for the Jews.

  • bernard11||

    The key to understanding the role of prejudice in contemporary politics is that Trump didn't amplify it, he instead activated it:

    Oh. He just made it legitimate. Well, I guess that's just fine, then.

  • Martinned||

    Yes, Israel (as in: today's Israel) is well known for having an outstanding track-record on refugees. [/sarcasm]

    Saying that "Israel's population is primarly [sic] made of refugees and their descendants" to rebut that is kind of like saying the Republican Party is less racist than the Democrats because of Lincoln and the Progressives. It's wildly dumb, people on the internet still do it, but you wouldn't expect to see it on the Volokh Conspiracy.

  • James Pollock||

    "you wouldn't expect to see it on the Volokh Conspiracy."

    VC is largely law professors. They teach people how to build arguments. Lawyers in the wild build the best possible argument that suits their clients' needs. Sometimes the law and the facts are on your side, and sometimes they aren't, and lawyers need to learn to build an argument either way.
    You shouldn't be persuaded by an argument that lacks logical or factual support, but you also shouldn't be surprised by it.
    And if it should cause you to start wondering about who the client is and what interests are being furthered by the argument, that's a free bonus.

  • David Bernstein||

    Israel is still taking in refugees--France (from anti-Semitism), Venezuela (economic chaos and anti-Semitism), Brazil (general chaos), Ethiopia (poverty and anti-Semitism), Ukraine (war), etc. As for Israel's record w/r/t Palestinian refugees, every attempt Israel has made to resolve the situation has been rebuffed, starting with Ben-Gurion's offer to immediately repatriate 100K refugees if the Arabs states would simply agree to negotiate a peace agreement.

  • James Pollock||

    "starting with Ben-Gurion's offer to immediately repatriate 100K refugees if the Arabs states would simply agree to negotiate a peace agreement."

    So, he held 100K refugees hostage to try to obtain favorable terms?

  • David Bernstein||

    Besides five Arab armies invading Israel in 1948, local Arab militias, with the support of those armies, waged a civil war. You are not going to let those who populated and supported such militias back into the country without any prospect for a peace agreement, unless you are suicidal. Ben-Gurion, fortunately, was not suicidal.

  • David Bernstein||

    Meanwhile, the Arab countries the refugees fled to literally held them hostage, refusing to resettle them, refusing to negotiate with Israel on their behalf, and refusing to even provide decent living conditions for them where they fled to.

  • mad_kalak||

    James P., Hamas and the like, they want the womb of the Mohammedan woman to conquer Israel, if their armies can't.

  • James Pollock||

    Plenty of good people on both sides.

  • mad_kalak||

    James, that is out of context, and wrong, in that both you and I know he was referring to those protesting JUST the removal of the statue (and not the neo-nazis) and JUST the protesters who wanted the statue removed (and not Antifa).

    I could find a ton of stupid Obama-isms and take them out of context as well, and slinging them about they would be meaningless.

  • James Pollock||

    "James, that is out of context, and wrong"

    I've been corrected.

    No good people, on any sides.

  • mad_kalak||

    I gotta say, I like that nihilism, it looks good on you.

  • James Pollock||

    You can have it back.

  • mad_kalak||

    lol!

  • bernard11||

    he was referring to those protesting JUST the removal of the statue

    Sure, m_k.

    Just the non-bigots who wanted to continue glorifying slavers and traitors, and who couldn't be bothered to get out of there when their allies turned out to be Nazis as well as racists.

    Fine people.

  • mad_kalak||

    The tiki torch parade was at a different time, and oh, you mean get out right into the crowds of Antifa ready to beat the hell out of them? Yea, fine fine people those Antifa.

    And if you can't understand why someone would want to respect their culture, even if they were on the losing side, and we all came together as brothers afterwards, then you're to full of hate to have a rational discussion.

    ...and we are ALL venerating traitors....to England that is...with the money in your wallet.

  • James Pollock||

    "And if you can't understand why someone would want to respect their culture, even if they were on the losing side, and we all came together as brothers afterwards, then you're to full of hate to have a rational discussion."

    I think the fundamental problem is that you have a group of people who want to say "these were people I respect, mumble mumble except for the slavery". The other side says "yeah, but the slavery part was unforgivable evil". From there you get to "nuh-uh!" and "yeah-huh!" pretty quick.

    The people who want to hold up the venerable past and skooch past the unforgivable evil part as if it never happened are wrong for doing so. The people who want to focus on the unforgivable evil as if it were only characteristic of the Confederate states are wrong for doing so. Both of these trivial, if intractable to each other, wrongs.

    The thing is, a lot of the monuments that exist and are in controversy today were put up LONG after the Civil War, and were done so to remind certain segments of current-day America that they are not equal and will never be respected. That shit doesn't have any "good people" behind it.

  • Ghost of Patrick Henry||

    Please list all anti-Semitic statements and actions by President Trump. Unless you do this, you are engaging in nothing but a smear.

    On the other hand, the President's daughter, son in law and grandchildren are Jewish, as his daughter married a Jewish man and converted. He supports Israel (to Professor Berstein, this is a negative, I guess???????), his comments and actions after Pittsburgh were exemplary and he has numerous Jewish people in his administration.

    I suspect that Professor Bernstein worships leftist politics more than any faith, as we see in NY politics every election. It is the left's embrace of radical Islam that threatens Jews, not President Trump.

  • James Pollock||

    "Please list all anti-Semitic statements and actions by President Trump. Unless you do this, you are engaging in nothing but a smear."

    Wait. If I list all the anti-Semitic statements and actions made by President Trump, but while I'm making the list he says or does a new one and doesn't get on my list, then I'm engaging in nothing but a smear?
    I don't think so.

    Here's the President's deal. The guy will say whatever it is that the people he's with at the time wants to see and hear. So when you put him in a Republican rally, he says the caravan of refugees is full of scary illegals and might be full of Muslim terrorists, admires the "b eautiful" barbed wire, and suggests we might use the military to repel the invasion, and when they start chanting "build the wall" he just stands there and smiles. You can directly observe him, and see that whatever the crowd likes, he wants to give them.

    So if the crowd wants anti-Semitism, he's going to give it to them. The thing is, he's going to give it them whether he realizes what he's giving them or not.

    Donnie very likely isn't anti-Semite. What he is mostly is ego. If Jews, as a group, started forming huge pro-Trump crowds, he'd be a YUGE fan of Semites. You never met a bigger Semite-fan! (and so on, for another 5 minutes or so.) It would only last as long as he was in front of that crowd, but while he was in front of that crowd, it would be absolutely true.

  • BaronGouldianFinch||

    I personally have come to believe Trump isn't anti-Semitic, partly because I think he believes Jews are "white" - so while he may well be racist, I think he's not actually hearing some of the anti-Semitic dog-whistle remarks he's being given.

    I do think people in his inner circle ARE anti-Semitic.

  • James Pollock||

    "I personally have come to believe Trump isn't anti-Semitic"

    I think there are two kinds of people in Donald's worldview... there DJT himself, of course, and there are other, lesser, humans. I'm not sure he scorns any subgroup more than any other subgroup, but the only thing he respects is money, because he was raised with it, but doesn't have the ability to earn it in the quantities he imagines he is due.

    But he found out he could get positive feedback by telling people the lies they want to hear, and by doing things to infuriate people who care about things. This isn't an indictment of the Donald... he didn't create that (or much of anything) so much as stumble upon it. That there is a substantial portion of the population who is happy when people who care about law, or government, or whatever are mad at someone.

    The smartest thing the Democratic Party could do over the next two years is to pretty much ignore him and anything he tries to do. This is so because he does the stuff fhe does to make them angry, and he does that because his fanclub likes to see him make them angry. Take that away from him.

    Yes, there will be some amazingly stupid choices. Yes, there will be some amazingly massive mistakes. Wait him out, apologize to Canada, and President Whoever will fix it in 2021. President Obama won a Nobel Peace Prize in 2009 for the simple act of not being George W Bush. President Fortysix should win ALL the awards.

  • Rev. Arthur L. Kirkland||

    his [Trump's] comments and actions after Pittsburgh were exemplary
    I suspect that Professor Bernstein worships leftist politics more than any faith

    Am I the only reader craving more insight from this guy?

  • David Bernstein||

    Once again, there is nothing in my post that alleges any anti-Semitic statement by Trump. What I said is that he was asked a question about American anti-Semitism, and gave an answer about Israel, which was not responsive to the question and was a typically insensitive response by Republicans when asked about domestic anti-Semitism. Giving an insensitive response to a question is evidence of insensitivity, not of anti-Semitism.

  • James Pollock||

    It may simply be evidence that the person in question categorically cannot answer questions of any sort while being simultaneously A) honest B) accurate, and C) complete. Reagan got away with it (even with a substantial portion of Democrats) by being charming and folksy. Trump is... not Reagan.

  • ||

    I don't know why liberal Jews (and other liberal whites) think they're going to come out smelling rosy in an America filled with third-world Hispanics and Muslims.

  • mad_kalak||

    The key to understanding anti-semitism in America, is knowing that they (the alt-right and their progenitors) think that Jews actively seek to undermine things. They don't, they are just liberal, and all liberals actively seek to undermine America as founded. Where the charge sticks, though is that Isreal and Jews overall are hypocritical, in that they want diversity for thee, but not for me. Judaism is a very inclusive religion and culture, which, if those cultural mores and attitudes were adopted by the rest of the America, it mean that we took in very few refugees in, and that they would be the same religion/culture; however, America would also be way more inward facing, albeit much nicer to everyone.

  • ||

    I agree with that. As I've said before, recognizing that Jews in America are overwhelmingly liberal and as such, advance liberal causes, is legitimate. Ascribing some bizarre conspiracy to that is not. Liberal Jews are no more nefarious than liberal Catholics or liberal Protestants.

    As for the hypocrisy, I don't agree. Most American leftist Jews actively want Israel destroyed too. The Israeli nationalists tend to be conservative, whether there or here.

  • mad_kalak||

    American leftist Jews tepidly support Israel, and don't want it destroyed. I don't know where you're getting that. The hypocrisy comes in that they, in their Judaism, are inclusive and like to be around like minded people. One can never really be Jewish unless born into it (how the Japanese view being Japanese), but simultaneously support "diversity is our strength" though never living through the consequences themselves.

  • ||

    They support Israel the same way they support America. They don't actually want it destroyed in a literal sense, but they support policies that are guaranteed to lead to that. I still don't see the hypocrisy in the becoming Jewish part. They also would agree that non-blacks cannot become black. Liberals believe in disparate groups and think they can all get along. They can't.

  • mad_kalak||

    You say they support policies that will lead to the destruction of Israel and America, and I agree with you, qualified in a way, because on another lever you're wrong. Liberals don't see those policies as leading to the destruction of those two countries. Further, even if America is turned into a shithole, it is highly unlikely in the near future that it will be conquered. The lines on the map will stay in place even if the whole country is Detroit. Maybe, maybe, if you let enough hispanics in, Mexico would take back Cali or something, but again, highly, highly unlikely. Same with Israel, they don't see their policies of not supporting the only functioning democracy in the Middle East as leading to it's downfall. It's a real cognitive dissonance.

  • ||

    I agree with all of that. I'm not really sure where we disagree actually.

  • mad_kalak||

    If you look back at your original comment, where you said that you can't understand why Jews and liberal whites think they are going to come out smelling rosy by filling up America with 3rd worlders and Mohammedans who want sharia. I was trying to answer, which is, in short, that they don't personally have to deal with it. Particularly for Jews, they will come out fine personally because they don't behave themselves they way they want others to behave, such as living in "diverse" areas. As dealing with bombings/shootings/truck maulings from the "religion of peace" , they blame themselves for not being welcoming or inclusive enough, or blame conservatives.

  • ||

    Right, but that's true of all white liberals, not Jews specifically. I thought you were saying that liberal Jews in America advocate for different policies in Israel. They don't.

  • David Bernstein||

    This is foolish. Jewish groups are among the leading advocates of giving more Muslims refugee status. They are aware that this will lead to an increase in anti-Semitism, but they do it anyway. So whatever you might say about these organizations, the idea that they support increased diversity but are insulated from its consequences is untrue. If anything, Jewish conservatives are making the opposite argument--how can you support these policies when it might turn the U.S. gradually into France for Jews?

  • Bob from Ohio||

    "They are aware that this will lead to an increase in anti-Semitism, but they do it anyway."

    Fools.

  • mad_kalak||

    I suppose we are disagreeing, then, on the degree that liberal American Jews feel that they are insulated from anti-Semitism. I think that they feel that they are very insulated, or more likely think "it won't happen to me" while conservative Jews say, "not so much."

  • ||

    Right, but my point is that that is true of ALL white liberals. They think that the consequences of their diversity will only affect Queens and the Bronx, and that Scarsdale will be insulated.

  • mad_kalak||

    But your typical white liberal is not as clannish as Jews are, who are much more clannish due to close religious affiliation. That clannishness is why the charge of hypocrisy sorta sticks.
    Anyway, I am not sure it matters.

  • David Bernstein||

    The intermarriage rate among Reform and unaffiliated jews is 80%. 43% among Conservative Jews, less than 10% among the orthodox. In other words, that's stupid. Jews who don't care that much about their religion show no signs of "clannishness" even w/r/t marriage. The more they care about their religion, the more they care to marry those of the same persuasion, of course.

  • mad_kalak||

    I stand corrected. Thank you, seriously. In all of my voluminous consuming of various books/(v)blogs/news over many years, that was the first that data point was thrown at me.

    At that rate, Judaism might die out as a religion (small as it is already) outside of Israel, except for it's most stringent adherents, because it doesn't seek converts. I'm not sure how I feel about that, but it just is part of the larger secularization of the West I suppose.

  • James Pollock||

    People have been waiting for the Jews to die out for a VERY long time.

    It's almost like someone's watching out for them.

  • mad_kalak||

    My Jewish brother-in-law likes to repeat the joke about Jewish holidays; "They tried to kill us, they failed, now let's eat." The difference, this time, is that it appears that the Jews are doing it to themselves, rather than others trying to kill them off.

  • Sarcastr0||

    it appears that the Jews are doing it to themselves

    Kinda a fraught statement, to tell a people they're killing themselves. A bit like telling a people they're enslaving themselves.

  • ||

    What do you call giving aid and comfort to your enemies and worshiping a false god (liberalism)?

  • James Pollock||

    "What do you call giving aid and comfort to your enemies"

    Compassion.

    "and worshiping a false god (liberalism)?"

    Your fevered imagination.

  • mad_kalak||

    No, they are not killing themselves, but disassociating themselves as a people through intermarriage not engaging in cultural transmission such that they will "die out" as a sub-culture and a people (except for the Orthodox it appears, and Israel). Please be careful in what you impute to my words, when my words don't say what you think they are saying.

  • Per Son||

    Or could it be that Jews are not that inclusive as a group and push out those who dare to fall in love with a non-Jew?

  • Milhouse||

    At that rate, Judaism might die out as a religion (small as it is already) outside of Israel, except for it's most stringent adherents, because it doesn't seek converts.

    Orthodox Judaism doesn't actively seek out converts, but it gets plenty of them anyway. Those who are drawn to it seek it out. And there are many who first find it through a relationship someone Jewish, but then discover that it speaks to them.

    Also, it does evangelize heavily to those who are Jews by birth, including the children of those liberal Jewish women who marry out.

  • NToJ||

    "They don't, they are just liberal, and all liberals actively seek to undermine America as founded."

    I think most Republicans actively seek to undermine America as founded (excepting ARWP). They did things very differently, back then.

  • ||

    Complete lie.

  • mad_kalak||

    How so? How to Republicans seek to undermine America as founded? I am not baiting here, I'm asking in all seriousness. When I think of America as founded, slavery aside, I'm talking individual rights, pro-gun, limited government, self-reliance, Western culture (Athens in Jerusalem as it were).

  • NToJ||

    I think you've glossed over the "slavery aside" issue. It's difficult to understand how "individual rights" squares with slavery. But I'll set that aside too.

    Individual rights were not important to the founders. None of the individual rights pressed in the Bill of Rights applied to the states at all. Rather, they just placed limits on federal interference with individual rights. The Alien and Sedition Acts suggest that the founders weren't even that interested in those limits, either. The state governments at the time of founding were not "limited". They were even more absolute than they are today, there being no 14A. The only real limitation on state power was the contracts clause. Enrollment in state-regulated militias was common. The states monitored gun ownership. They reserved the right, and exercised their right, to recall guns from private owners (for maintenance). The founders themselves disabled gun owners who wouldn't take loyalty oaths, which would be preposterous today. The founders tried extreme self-reliance with the Articles of Confederation and quickly abandoned it.

    I'm surprised it is controversial that people in the 18th century governed very differently than we do today. Being a woman would have been radically different, as they had very little by way of individual rights. The Married Women's Property Law wasn't passed until most of the founders were dead.

  • NToJ||

    On the other end, I think pro-life Republicans would not agree with the founders re: legality of abortion.

  • mad_kalak||

    I think that you're using modern definitions for 18th century terms and understanding of things like individual rights (as am I...but to a much lesser extent) and that you're also making the mistake of whig history, which is typical of liberals. Seriously though, thanks for answering!

    As to your last point, I have never heard, nor seen, anything to say that abortion was normal, culturally acceptable, or legal, at the time of the Founding, and I would like to see a link to a source.

  • James Pollock||

    Generally speaking, there was no way for an "outsider" to know a woman was pregnant unless and until she told, or started showing. The general rule was that abortion prior to "quickening" was legal, in large part because unless she turned herself in, there was no way for someone else to know., anyway. It was less like a law that said "this is legal", and more like a "don't ask, don't tell" policy.

    I'm interested in this "Whig history" you refer to. What is it, and how did liberals come to have custody of it?

  • mad_kalak||

    To your first paragraph, that makes sense, in that context. I jokingly propose an originalist compromise, self abortion kits are available over the internet and are delivered in unmarked boxes, and they only work for the first month (if such a thing is scientifically possible) but providing abortion services is outlawed.

    You've never heard the term Whig history? Anyway, it's a particular failing of liberals and socialists, in that they think that the human nature, political systems, institutions, and ultimately the condition of man, is, if not perfectible, one that can be made right and just given enough time, effort, and the right incentives. Also, that the arc of history is one inevitably towards progress. Whereas classical Burkean conservatives distrust human nature, but that attempts to change it are worse than the disease. And that institutions must be designed to constrain the worst impulses of man, and change should be limited in scope, to avoid the problems of unintended consequences. Anyway, that's the short version.

  • James Pollock||

    "You've never heard the term Whig history? Anyway, it's a particular failing of liberals and socialists..."

    You didn't answer the question. The Whigs were conservatives. How did the liberals and socialists wind up with custody of it?

  • NToJ||

    "As to your last point, I have never heard, nor seen, anything to say that abortion was normal, culturally acceptable, or legal..."

    I'm not sure about "normal" or "culturally acceptable". I'm sure there were a lot of people who thought it was normal and others who thought it was not. But re: legality, abortions were by and large legal, at least until quickening. In Virginia, for instance, inducing abortion post-quickening by poisoning or punching a woman was "no murder" but just a misdemeanor. There's plenty online to google. If you want a specific reference (secondary, not original statute) see here. Page 291, paragraph starting with "Also,...".

  • mad_kalak||

    News to me. Interesting that that was the way things were in an era before premature babies and 3D ultrasounds, but when the average person knew how to kill and butcher a deer/chicken/hog and had a more complete understanding of fetal biology from that point of view. It makes that "fetal human life" line of attack (basically it is double murder to kill a pregnant woman) a bit weaker.

  • OtisAH||

    Total aside here, but do you actually believe there were no premature births prior to a certain time in history, or did that thought just get away from you?

  • James Pollock||

    "do you actually believe there were no premature births prior to a certain time in history"

    Butting in, admittedly, but from the context, it seems rather clear that he meant VIABLE premature birth.

    A baby born 3 or 4 months premature has a chance of survival today. That is a recent development, historically.

    Imagine two separate and independent divisions in a human pregnancy. The first one divides two timeframes: Before the dividing line, the mother may know she's pregnant, but nobody else does unless mom tells them. After the dividing line, she's visibly pregnant.

    The second line is the viability line: After the line, a fetus can be separated from the mother and expect to survive. (This line used to be at birth, but has moved forward due to medical technology.) A newborn infant is still dependent on others, but not necessarily and inherently on the mother, the way a fetus is.

    Now, use those two dividing lines to assign legal rights, and you get RvW. Before that first line, the mother's right are paramount. After that second line, the fetus' rights are paramount. In between, you have a mixed bag where both need to be weighted against the other.

  • James Pollock||

    " When I think of America as founded, slavery aside, I'm talking individual rights, pro-gun, limited government, self-reliance, Western culture (Athens in Jerusalem as it were)."

    You've already been called on "slavery aside", but note that "individual rights" were... not available to all individuals. You want to vote, ma'am? ha, ha... no.

    Pro-gun but nobody could own a semi-automatic weapon.

    Anti-military (well, anti-Army, anyway... having a Navy was OK.)

    Immigration open to anyone who wanted to come here.

  • mad_kalak||

    If it's even possible, you're using more whiggish thinking than NToJ. That blacks were slaves does not undermine that the constitution was a freedom document geared towards individual rights. Does the failure of the Founders to give women the right to vote undercut the constitution as well?

    Immigration open to all...okay, why do you think that and on what grounds?

    The Founders were not just pro-gun, but pro-cannon, as they were often in private hands, as well as significant amounts of gunpowder (though it was often stored, for safety sake, communally). And semi-automatic weapons had yet to be invented. You might as well say that the Founders were pro-printing press and but not pro-telephone, because they only mentioned freedom of the press. They were pro-free speech, again, in context of the time.

  • James Pollock||

    "That blacks were slaves does not undermine that the constitution was a freedom document geared towards individual rights. Does the failure of the Founders to give women the right to vote undercut the constitution as well?"

    Yes (duh), it does. Thanks to the fact that I got to grow up in the modern times, it's obvious to me that women are people, and a government that gives freedom to "the people" but neglects to do so for half the people is... flawed. 20/20 hindsight also lets me see that slavery is evil. It doesn't tell me how to re-order the economies of the slave states to remove slavery without extensive economic and social upheaval.

    "The Founders were not just pro-gun, but pro-cannon, as they were often in private hands"

    Because the Founders were actively AGAINST having an army.

    " And semi-automatic weapons had yet to be invented."

    Which may (or may not) have affected the Founders' opinion(s) on gun freedom. It's impossible to know. Claiming that they were "gun freedom" is only true with respect to the guns they had at the time. Did the Founders (or the 1st Congress, who wrote the 2A) intend to allow AK-47's and 165mm artillery to the citizenry? Maybe they did... but maybe they would have put different words in the 2A, if they'd had functional crystal balls. Maybe there wouldn't BE a 2A, if they'd had functional crystal balls.

  • mad_kalak||

    The Founders, who were against a standing army, and who wrote and ratified the 2nd Amendment, were very comfortable with firepower equivalent to a standing army being in the hands of the people because they wanted the people to be able to both repel a foreign army, and/or overthrow a corrupt American government. They most certainly would want an average Joe to have a semi-automatic gun, because they were fine with them having barrels of gunpowder.

    As to your first point, it shows that if one can't see the Constitution for what it is, a freedom document (warts and all) and a magnificent achievement for its time (even by modern comparison for that matter if you look at tyrannical foreign governments) just because the Founders didn't share your modern conceptions of freedom, then that's why liberals have almost no hesitation in ignoring, changing (via amendment or activist court) the Constitution.

  • James Pollock||

    "The Founders, who were against a standing army, and who wrote and ratified the 2nd Amendment, were very comfortable with firepower equivalent to a standing army being in the hands of the people because they wanted the people to be able to both repel a foreign army, and/or overthrow a corrupt American government."

    You started off fine, then started making things up, and finally ran off the rails entirely.

    The notion that the Founders wanted people to be able to effectively rebel against the government is utterly non-supported by history. You can tell because when people tried to rebel against the U.S. government, they were given bullets, not rifles.

    Since you lost me at THAT point, I didn't bother with the rest.

  • mad_kalak||

    So, I will take that as you are saying you're not willing to engage due to laziness, but I think it's cover because the facts are not on your side.

    There is quite a bit in the Federalist about how the Hamilton and others regarded the militia as able to provide a check against government tyranny. For starters, this quote from #46:

    To these would be opposed a militia amounting to near half a million of citizens with arms in their hands, officered by men chosen from among themselves, fighting for their common liberties, and united and conducted by governments possessing their affections and confidence. It may well be doubted, whether a militia thus circumstanced could ever be conquered by such a proportion of regular troops. Those who are best acquainted with the last successful resistance of this country against the British arms, will be most inclined to deny the possibility of it.

    Prof. Volokh has a nice site on it, btw: http://www2.law.ucla.edu/volok.....DERALI.HTM

  • James Pollock||

    "So, I will take that as you are saying you're not willing to engage due to laziness,"

    So stop with the lazy arguments.

  • Social Justice is neither||

    so the American revolution didn't happen in your history books?

  • Bob from Ohio||

    "165mm artillery"

    Cannons of the era were owned by private parties, often mounted om merchant ships, a common naval 12 pounder is 120.7 mm per wikipedia

  • James Pollock||

    165mm artillery is not owned by private parties, is not mounted on merchant ships, and is 165mm per definition.

    There some reason you felt a need to quote random wikipedia at me?

  • NToJ||

    "Does the failure of the Founders to give women the right to vote undercut the constitution as well?"

    It "undercut[s]" the Constitution in so far as it is being held up as a bible of individual liberty. Is that not a fair way to judge the Constitution or the founders?

  • mad_kalak||

    You're using your modern definitions of individual liberty to judge the past. That is Whiggish history.

    Let me try another line of reasoning, imagine if North Korea suddenly started using the American Constitution as their form of government. Would they be less free, or more free, than they are now.

  • mad_kalak||

    Let me clarify, imagine if N. Korea started using the Founding era constitution, maybe with just the first 12 amendments. Would they be a more free country, and less tyrannical, than they are now? How about Russia, or maybe Saudi Arabia?

    By even modern standards, the founding era constitution is a freedom document is my contention. Add it the amendment process, and I think it deserves more respect than you're giving it.

  • NToJ||

    "Let me clarify, imagine if N. Korea started using the Founding era constitution..."

    If you're talking about just the words, I'm not sure it's a simple case given the express recognition of slavery in the Constitution. If the end goal is to have N. Korea adopt the text of a Constitution that is freedom and liberty loving, Chapter X of the Soviet Constitution is probably better than the poorly written Constitution/Bill of Rights. I mean, Article 67 of the DPRK Constitution is even broader (and much more clearly pro free speech) than the 1st Amendment.

    But I'm an originalist, so I'm going off original intent. Given that, as fucked up and horrible as North Korea is today, I'm not certain it's as fucked up and horrible as the US was in 1791. We're measuring the horrible of North Korean autocracy against the horrible of constitutionally protected and state-enforced chattel slavery.

  • NToJ||

    "You're using your modern definitions of individual liberty to judge the past."

    That's because this entire discussion is about how Republicans today would feel about the founders yesterday. You responded that they'd love the individual liberty the founders espoused. I can't rebut that without referencing the individual liberties espoused by Republicans today.

  • James Pollock||

    "Let me try another line of reasoning, imagine if North Korea suddenly started using the American Constitution as their form of government. Would they be less free, or more free, than they are now."

    I hate to tell you this, but it isn't the Constitution that makes anyone free. We can't free the poor people, of, say, just to pick a nation at random, say "Iraq" (totally random choice) by driving up, saying "this is your Constitution now" and driving off. We can't fly over in a B-29, drop a copy of the Constitution, and sit back and wait to be greeted as liberators, even if we drop a second one just to prove that we can.

    Hamilton did a pretty good job, but if you're only going to go up to, say, amendment 12 (your choice) you don't have everything you need. The thing wasn't stable until amendment 14.

    The Articles of Confederation failed, and had to be replaced. The Constitution of 1789 failed. The Constitution of 1868 is still clinging to life, though there's an argument that the Constitution of 1920 is bare minimum.

  • mad_kalak||

    *whoosh*

    Did you hear that sound, that's the whole point going over your head.

    I hate to tell you this, but it's well known that rights are a myth, and that they are culturally supported. I've mad the case before, many times, on this blog in comments. But I suppose you wanted to sound smart, so there you go.

    The point that eludes you, is that the tearing down the constitution for being not up to your 21st century standards of "freedom" is a fallacious argument, when even by contemporary standards if that 18th century document were used to govern modern dictatorships, we would judge those countries much freer by comparison.

  • James Pollock||

    "*whoosh*
    Did you hear that sound, that's the whole point going over your head."

    You have failed the first rule of condescension.
    In future, if you choose to be condescending, first make sure you are the more correct of people in the discussion. Somewhere in your process, you'll want to be sure you understood what the other fellow was saying.

    "The point that eludes you, is that the tearing down the constitution for being not up to your 21st century standards of "freedom" is a fallacious argument, when even by contemporary standards if that 18th century document were used to govern modern dictatorships, we would judge those countries much freer by comparison."

    The point that eluded you is that we would not.

  • ravenshrike||

    There were several semi-auto and full auto weapons in existence in 1791. Indeed, one of them was later sent on the Lewis and Clark expedition. They were not common, but they were most certainly known of.

  • Stormy Dragon||

    self-reported prejudice is actually down among both white Democrats and white Republicans in the past two years

    The most racist people I know are also the people constantly telling me how non-racist they are.

  • James Pollock||

    I believe the claim is that "people are reporting fewer people are expressing prejudice to them", rather than "people are claiming to be less prejudiced".

    This MAY indicate a reduction in actual incidents of expression of prejudice, or it may indicate that actual incidents of expression of prejudice are being masked by some other factor.

  • Angammus||

    That's not what the claim is. Google "self-reported prejudice" and check out how it is used in political science and psychology research. It is one's own prejudice that is at issue.

    Or from the Encyclopedia of Research Survey Measures: "Self-reported measures are measures in which respondents are asked to report directly on their own behaviors, beliefs, attitudes, or intentions."

    That Bernstein thinks that fewer people are admitting to be prejudiced means fewer people are prejudiced is, well... I don't even know.

  • M.L.||

    If I recall correctly, these surveys are more subtle in their detection of supposed prejudice than merely asking "So, when did you stop being a racist?"

  • Stormy Dragon||

    self-reported prejudice is actually down among both white Democrats and white Republicans in the past two years

    The most racist people I know are also the people constantly telling me how non-racist they are.

  • bernard11||

    The most racist people I know are also the people constantly telling me how non-racist they are.

    Like this?.

  • Bremen||

    Is there a link for the Hopkins piece?

  • James Pollock||

  • M.L.||

    The key to understanding the role of prejudice in contemporary politics is that Trump didn't amplify it, he instead activated it: Trump's rise led prejudice to be more integrated with voter choice. So prejudice has become more predictive of how white Americans vote, even if it's also been on the decline.

    This is a key insight, because the illogic we have seen goes something like this:

    "A white racist would support X government action or policy. Therefore, X must be a bad policy, and if you support X, you must be a deplorable racist."

    You can fill in the blank with the issues:

    - Affirmative action / racial discrimination by the government

    - Border security / wall

    - Proof of citizenship to vote / integrity of democratic elections

    - Reduced welfare state in favor of jobs emphasis

    - Merit-based immigration reform

    - Enforcement of immigration law / deportations / criminal law generally

    - Anything that amounts to less than a de facto open borders policy

    - Trade policy that prioritizes domestic jobs over enriching developing nations

    That's obviously an illogical argument, and it is broadly used dishonestly as a political cudgel.

  • David Bernstein||

    Here's the thing. While here are non-racist policies for supporting all these things, they are also things that racists would support. So it doesn't matter whether Trump is trying to appeal to the racist vote, the racists will vote for him.

  • M.L.||

    Thanks for the response. That makes sense and I agree. I do think it's important that Trump has expressly denounced racist and supremacist ideologies of all sorts. But granted he obviously baits the media into smearing him for policies such as this, in order to weaken the effectiveness of this attack, and that can be divisive. But that's politics, which is war by other means.

  • James Pollock||

    "I do think it's important that Trump has expressly denounced racist and supremacist ideologies of all sorts."

    Have we not yet reached a point where we assume every word out of Donnie's mouth is whatever the crowd in front of him wants to hear?

    Let's imagine a scenario. Let's picture Donnie, all done up in a flight suit, riding in a helicopter gunship to "inspect" the migrant caravan. Oops, some kind of minor mechanical problem forces the helicopter to land just in front of the caravan's position, and we don't have another helicopter ready to go get him until tomorrow morning. The caravan comes upon him.

    What do you think he sounds like, talking to the migrants? Is he talking about terrorists hiding among them? The "beautiful" barbed wire strung up to greet them, if they ever manage to make it to the border? Or, within minutes, will he be talking about how great DJT has made America for immigrants?

    I'd give better than even odds he'd claim his administration has been better for immigration to America than all previous Presidents.

  • M.L.||

    "whatever the crowd in front of him wants to hear" So he always just says what the journalists at press conferences want to hear? Well that's obviously false. But it is better for immigrants who have come to America to stop illegal immigration and reform immigration.

  • James Pollock||

    What press conferences?

  • M.L.||

    That's not to say there aren't logical arguments on either side of these issues. For example, some may prioritize "sticking it to the white racists" above all else, even if a policy is otherwise counterproductive or shooting yourself in the foot. That's logical, at least superficially, even if the values might seem out of whack. Of course, there is also the ideological globalist, open borders, "imagine there's no countries" crowd, the Marxist crowd, and so on.

  • DWB||

    As the only "proof" of non-racism, sexism, etc... that leftist believe is mouthing the platitudes de jour or holding the "correct" beliefs (the party line of the moment) or support for the current call for government programs -- it does not matter what Trump or anyone else says.

    Stoking fear and tribal hate is the most effective means to power and to control populations -- it is the weapon of choice for the Democrat party and always has been -- and ever will be.

    It's "where the money is."

  • ScottK||

    "But in fact, the opposite is the case: self-reported prejudice is actually down among both white Democrats and white Republicans in the past two years."

    I'm guessing that self reported erectile dysfunction is also down.

  • Angammus||

    Self-reports of erectile function are up.

    HI.

  • James Pollock||

    But reports of electile dysfunction are WAY up.

  • Smooth Like a Rhapsody||

    Lucky for us, that only happens in China.

  • James Pollock||

    If only that were true. Still, reported cases should drop substantially for, oh, say about 23 months or so.

  • Sarcastr0||

    There is virtually no one who sincerely supports Israel and who is also an anti-Semite. That's why supporting Israel is evidence of lack of anti-Semitism.

    -Prof David Bernstein

    Nothing is ever this easy, especially bigotry which is a nuanced and shaded monster. 'One of the good ones' is a trope for a reason.

    Ann Coulter seems a good counterexample, both enthusiastically supporting Israel and enjoying some Globalist Banker tropes while she's at it. Oh, and she's into the 'perfect the Jews' thing a bit as well.

  • David Bernstein||

    Without commenting on Coulter, whose views on Israel and for that matter Jews I haven't followed closely, there are some right-wingers in Europe who are likely anti-Semitic but defend Israel because they hate Muslims. You can quibble here, but I'd wager that in their minds this is a "lesser of two evils" calculation, rather than "sincere" support for Israel.

  • Sarcastr0||

    I take your distinction, but it's hard to speculate about what people's thoughts might be. Selection bias becomes an issue.

    Heck, I'll bet it's mixed up for lots of them whether they like Israel because of what it is, or because of what it does to the Muslims, as those are pretty intertwined in reality.

  • ScottK||

    Or maybe people hate the Israeli government (regardless of its members' religious orientation) because it continues to impose its decades-long collective punishment of the population of Gaza (regardless of that population's religious orientation).

    Just relaying the speculation of a friend. Acquaintance, really.

  • Sarcastr0||

    Don't worry, I don't like Netanyahu's government any more than you do.

    That does not mean I don't like Israel, however.

  • mad_kalak||

    The alt-right wants Americans to keep America Aglo-Saxon in the same manner as Israel fights to keep itself (un-apologetically btw) a Jewish state. From that perspective, Coulter, who is alt-righty, sees no contradiction in both supporting Isreal, and being leery of American and European Jewish liberals who want to increase immigration.

  • Sarcastr0||

    She's not just skeptical, she's straight-up calling Jews globalist, which is not leery so much as it is an anti-Semitic slur.
    She criticized the GOP debate in 2015 for talking about Israel too much, tweeting: 'How many f---ing Jews do these people think there are in the United States?'

  • mad_kalak||

    You hunt where the ducks are, and going on an on about Israel ain't gonna increase turnout.

  • Sarcastr0||

    Other people than Jews care a great deal about Israel.

  • mad_kalak||

    The GOP's Israel policy is important to only a small subset of the Republican primary voters, and an even smaller subset of the general electorate. Don't force me to defend Coulter, but she has a point, in that it was better to talk about a different topic.

  • Rev. Arthur L. Kirkland||

    Today, I became a Zionist.

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