By Earle I. Mack
The repeated accusations of racism from members of the Democratic Party have taken away from the impact and meaning of what it truly means to be racist. As a Jewish American and a proud moderate Republican, it is abhorrent for me to watch terms like “Gestapo” and “Nazi” thrown around as easily as “you’re wrong” or “I disagree.”
It is illogical, unnecessary, and in its most dangerous form, it encourages political and cultural unrest. The people lobbing out these terms either don’t know history or, worse, they know exactly what they are doing in order to make political gains.
It is most heartbreaking to hear this kind of rhetoric from Democratic Rep. Steve Cohen of Tennessee, that state’s first Jewish member of Congress. Leading the way in this reprehensible behavior, he has compared Republicans to Joseph Goebbels, Adolf Hitler’s propaganda henchman during World War II.
It’s not just him, though. Incredibly, on International Holocaust Remembrance Day, Rep. Yvette Clarke (D-N.Y.) stood in front of the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) office in Manhattan and boldly stated, “We are standing in front of a building that has become the headquarters for the Gestapo of the United States of America.”
The Gestapo? Really? Unequivocally, Clarke compared American men and women who help enforce immigration law to the most vicious, ruthless group of Nazis, who targeted and helped ship out millions of innocent Jewish men, women and children to concentration camps to be murdered in cold blood. That seems to me like the theatre of the absurd.
As some Democrats and leftist pundits continue to call President Trump mentally unfit for office, I ask, how is there any semblance of a connection between ICE and the Gestapo? There isn’t! Clark’s parallel is outrageous and utterly disgusting. Simply put, it is un-American and not fit for office.
In the most shocking and utterly disingenuous move, some Democrats did far worse than ignorantly throw out disgraceful epithets. They took action. Reps. Keith Ellison (D-Minn.) and Gregory Meeks (D-N.Y.) went to an event to meet and have dialogue with two of the most notorious anti-Semites in the world, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani and the U.S.-based extremist Louis Farrakhan. It was hosted by Rouhani, again of Iran, a country that has called for Israel to be “wiped off the map,” while leading the world in state-sponsored terrorism.
Farrakhan, a racist and an anti-Semite who has been labeled as such by the Southern Poverty Law Center, has accused Israel of being behind the 9/11 terror attacks. Let me repeat that: The man who Democrats are cozying up to over dinner has accused Jews of conspiring in the largest mass murder and terror attack ever on U.S. soil. This isn’t just silly or ignorant. This is appalling. It defies common sense and intelligence.
Could you imagine the outrage if top Republican leaders met with white supremacist David Duke? The outrage would be never-ending. It’s not without irony in this piece that I note Duke himself has repeatedly denied the Holocaust and strongly purported his anti-Semitic views. This sad fact highlights the hatred for the Jewish state and diaspora that exists today from both the far left and right.
As some Democrats fly under the radar with these types of cohorts and statements, largely free of any kind of critical media, you can bet tomorrow or the next day, a Republican will once again be targeted as a white supremacist Nazi. More than likely, that could be President Trump.
I grew up with and personally know the generations of Trumps, including his father, Fred, his mother, Mary, his sister, Maryanne, and his brother, Robert. I have known Donald since he was three years old, and say what you will about the president, I can tell you for sure he is not a racist. He’s a good man, who doesn’t have a racist bone in his body.
In fact, it has been fascinating to watch Democrats and liberal thought leaders adore the man for so many years, proudly take pictures with him, take his money, and take him for everything he could offer in terms of political connections. Yet, as soon as Trump officially became a candidate for president, with an “R” next to his name, they started calling him Hitler.
However, I also want to note that I’m no cheerleader for President Trump. I am a proud moderate Republican who has supported Democrats in the past and present, including Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.), Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.) and Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-N.Y.), to mention a few. As someone who typically gets directly involved in fundraising and networking, I did not get involved in the Trump campaign at all.
When everyone is a racist, no one is a racist. To Congressman Cohen, and to some Democrats across the country, for the sake of history and politics today, please drop the World War II German references. It is disrespectful to the Holocaust, its victims and survivors. It is a disservice to the integrity and the principles of who we are and what we stand for. To quote Robert Perry, chairman of the National Trust for the Humanities, “America is a dream. A dream that allows for freedom, hard work, safety, opportunity, fairness and equality.” Let’s not contradict that reality with opportunism.
Earle I. Mack is a former U.S. ambassador to Finland and chairman emeritus of the Benjamin Cardozo School of Law in New York City.
Read the full post from Earle I Mack on The Hill: http://thehill.com/opinion/civil-rights/375693-With-cries-of-racist-and-Nazi-Democrats-betray-our-history