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For Jews (And All Of Us), This Election Is A “Then They Came For Me” Moment

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Donald Trump Should Be Judged By The Anti-Semitic, And Otherwise Deplorable, Company He Keeps

There’s an old saying that a man is known by the company he keeps. Try as we might, we’re often defined by the people who surround us. We’ve all had moments growing up where we’ve chosen the wrong friends or found ourselves in the wrong crowd. For whatever reason, many of us are drawn to people who don’t help us to become our best selves. Some of us outgrow that need quickly while others take a bit more time. 

Donald Trump needs more time. 

A few months ago I wrote about the scary familiarity of Donald Trump’s rhetoric. His words and his policies sparked all kinds of comparisons to despotic world leaders of past days. At the time, we thought we were making hyperbolic statements to prove a point. In hindsight, that seems quaint.  

If you’ve been anywhere near Twitter these days, you’ve seen the anti-Semitic tweets that many Jewish reporters have gotten after covering the Trump campaign. They’re sending us email, they’re tracking us down, and they’re not letting go. 

Trump is incredibly popular with anti-Semitic people. He loves their attention. He even likes to make coded anti-Semitic statements himself and somehow wound up participating in some odd display of cultural appropriation while at a church.

It’s certainly not helping that Trump’s own son is helping bring most of these folks into the mainstream. (You’ll remember his gas chamber/Holocaust “joke” from the other week and of course his offensive Skittles analogy.)

It’s not hard to draw conclusions between these Trump supporters and Trump himself. It would be one thing if he were actively working to stop their influence and deny their legitimacy, but that’s exactly the opposite of what’s happening. Trump is playing right into their hands and he’s allowing their messages to move into the mainstream. 

This is the company he keeps.

I’m certainly not the only one to see it. Bend the Arc Jewish Action, a national Jewish organization aimed at “bringing together Jews from across the country to advocate for a more just and equal society,” has been working on a campaign called, “We’ve Seen This Before.”  

Among the centerpieces of the campaign is this video, “A Message from Grandma and Grandpa”:

In any other case, I’d agree with the many who say that a political candidate has no control over what his followers say and do. Yes, there are many folks who follow liberal politicians who are atrocious and disgusting. But here’s the difference: They’re usually the fringe. They’re the outsiders. They’re the folks who are so removed from the mainstream it’s beyond obvious they’re not worth noticing.

And it’s not like these folks are simply being acknowledged and disavowed — on the contrary, they’re being elevated by those in the innermost circle of the Trump campaign, like his chief advisor — who’s also his son. 

As long as Trump and his campaign continue to lift up these voices instead of working to tamp them down, a vote for Trump is a vote for anti-Semitism, in addition to many other bad things.

The news isn’t all bad, though. Longtime GOP-supporting Jews are backing (running?) away from Trump because of his distaste for religious liberty and his racism. FiveThirtyEight reports that the GOP’s Jewish donors are abandoning Trump.  

But it’s not enough for just the Jews to walk away — just like it’s not enough for any one group that’s being attacked to fight back. This is one of those times where what’s bad for some of us is bad for all of us. This is a “then they came for me — and there was no one left to speak for me” moment.

If a man is known by the company he keeps, then it’s not only true for Donald Trump, it’s true for all of us. Our vote is how we decide the company we keep. Donald Trump has shown us exactly who he is. It’s up to us to decide how we want to be known. 

Robbie Medwed is an Atlanta-based LGBT activist and educator. (He’s also one of them Jew-boys the people on Twitter like to harass so much.) You can harass him, too: @rjmedwed

 

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Chasten Buttigieg Slams Florida GOP’s ‘Don’t Say Gay’ Bill for ‘Pushing LGBTQ Families Back Into the Closet’

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Former school teacher Chasten Buttigieg is slamming Florida legislation dubbed the “Don’t Say Gay” bill, which would ban discussion of LGBTQ issues in public schools under the guise of “parental rights,” saying it will “kill kids.”

Appearing on CNN Buttigieg asked, “what kind of country we’re building, or in Florida, what kind of state are you building where you’re essentially pushing kids back into the closet, you’re saying we can’t talk about you? We can’t even talk about your families.”

“And you know, as a kid who grew up for 18 years, being told, ‘you don’t belong, something about you is wrong.’ Sometimes you take that trauma to heart and unfortunately there are a lot of kids in this country who do the worst because we tell them, ‘something about you is twisted and you don’t belong here.'”

Buttigieg railed against the bill over the weekend, posting a tweet pointing to a Trevor Project study that he says found “42% of LGBTQ youth seriously considered attempting suicide last year.”

The bill, sponsored by freshman Republican state Rep. Joe Harding, in part reads: “A school district may not encourage classroom discussion about sexual orientation or gender identity in primary grade levels or in a manner that is not age-appropriate or developmentally appropriate for students.”

Buttigieg, who is married to Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg, said, “if kids come into the classroom Monday morning, and they’re all talking about their weekends, and hypothetically a kid like mine says, ‘I had the best weekend with my dad. We went to the zoo, we went and got ice cream,’ is the teacher supposed to say, ‘hey, we don’t talk about things like that in this classroom’? You know, and not only what does that do to kids like mine, but also do to a kid in the classroom [who is] starting to realize that they’re different.”

Watch:

Image by Pete for America via Flickr

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Psaki Schools Doocy on Trump’s Infamous Twitter Tantrums After He Whines About ‘Hashtag’ Diplomacy

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White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki responded to a question from Fox News correspondent Peter Doocy on Tuesday by reminding him that former President Donald Trump had a history of conducting diplomacy through tantrums on Twitter.

At a White House press briefing, Doocy asked why Secretary of State Antony Blinken had expressed support for Ukraine on Twitter with the hashtag “#IStandWithUkraine.”

“Has that ever worked in stopping an authoritarian regime from doing anything, a hashtag?” Doocy wondered.

“I will have to say that, unlike the last administration, we don’t think Twitter is the only means of engaging or negotiating or discussing important topics,” Psaki replied. “But it is important for us to convey to the Ukrainian people who do view commentary through a range of forums.”

Watch the video below from Fox News.

 

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CORRUPTION

DeSantis Vows to Fight FDA After COVID Treatment His Top Donor Invested in Is Found to Not Fight Omicron

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Governor Ron DeSantis is promising to fight the U.S. Food and Drug Administration after it revoked its emergency authorization for a COVID treatment made by two drug manufacturers, including one which happens to be heavily invested in by the Florida Republican’s billionaire top donor.

That donor is Citadel hedge fund manager Ken Griffin, who as of last summer had donated over $10 million to a DeSantis political action committee, the AP reports, and over $100 million to Republicans nationwide, according to Florida Politics.

“Citadel, a Chicago-based hedge fund, has $15.9 million in shares of Regeneron Pharmaceutical Inc., according to filings with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission,” the August 2021 AP report reveals. “Citadel CEO Ken Griffin has donated $10.75 million to a political committee that supports DeSantis — $5.75 million in 2018 and $5 million last April.”

The omicron variant accounts for more than 99 percent of new COVID cases in the U.S., and the current monoclonal antibody treatment drugs have been proven to not be effective against omicron, the FDA and at least one of the drug’s manufacturers say.

DeSantis has been trying to turn the state into a free-for-all where it was illegal to mandate masks – until the courts stepped in. The governor and his Surgeon General – who has ties to an infamous alien DNA, demon sperm, and hydroxychloroquine-pushing doctor – have focused on promoting COVID therapies instead of COVID preventatives.

The Florida Department of Health on Tuesday was forced to close its monoclonal antibody treatment sites after the FDA’s move.

Desantis is outraged.

“Governor Ron DeSantis is demanding the Biden Administration reverse its sudden and reckless decision to revoke emergency use authorization (EUA) for Regeneron and Eli Lilly monoclonal antibody treatments. This abrupt and unilateral action by the Biden Administration will prevent access to lifesaving treatments for Floridians and Americans,” DeSantis said in a statement.

His Surgeon General echoed DeSantis’ remarks.

“The Federal Government has failed to adequately provide the United States with adequate outpatient treatment options for COVID-19. Now, they are scrambling to cover up a failure to deliver on a promise to ‘shut down the virus,’” said Dr. Joseph Ladapo.

On Tuesday during a briefing, White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki called the DeSantis move “crazy.”

The coronavirus pandemic continues to rage through the U.S. in large part because of pro-COVID policies like those DeSantis is promoting.

Late Monday night Health and Human Services spokesperson slammed a Florida Dept. of Health spokesperson:

 

 

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