Trump Is Fighting the Battles No One Was Willing to Fight

President Trump is broadening the effect of the presidency by taking on issues no previous leader was willing to address. First, he alerted us to a media no longer impartial but zealously preoccupied in manufacturing fake news on behalf of a radical-left wing agenda.

He then exposed us to the dangerous reality of a vast government bureaucracy, akin to a shadow government, operating on behalf of its own interests and concerns and not those of the American people. The deep state, operating confidently and without checks and balances, ignores representatives elected by the people while pursuing a globalist and self-serving agenda.

Now Trump is challenging the unofficial rule that people dare not criticize those whom the liberal community considers icons, personalities who may never be questioned or probed due to their liberal credentials. 

Well, it’s about time! 

It started when the president tweeted about the deplorable conditions in some of our major urban areas. He began pin-pointing what we have all seen, namely, how Democrats have run these cities for decades, contributing to their degradation and decay, and causing severe harm to their inhabitants. The liberal “icons” that have controlled these municipalities for decades have allowed urban centers, through their enforced and sanctimonious liberalism, to devolve from once-great cities to districts akin to war zones and rubble. It’s not about the race of the leaders, but their left-liberal policies, as may be seen in parts of New York City under Bill de Blasio and in Chicago until recently under Rahm Emanuel.  

Once-untouchable liberal icons, such as U.S. Representative Elijah Cummings (D-Md.), are a major part of the problem. Trump points this out. Grandstanding about conditions along the U.S. southern border, Cummings has stood idly by as his own West Baltimore district has fallen apart. His only purpose seems to be to demand more money for the district’s power brokers. 

People belittle Trump’s tweets as unpresidential and unbecoming of his office. In reality, he is using the platform to deny and challenge the assertions of the people—media manipulators and rabble-rousing liberal politicians—who would disdain and debase this great country. 

Similarly, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez continually shrieks about the southern border. She might pay more attention to the inferior conditions in large swaths of her Bronx and Queens district. President Trump is spotlighting these conditions as well as the actors involved.

No person is above criticism. Not Cummings, not Al Sharpton, nor “squad” members Ocasio-Cortez, Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.), Rashida Tlaib (D-Mich.), or Ayanna Pressley (D-Mass.). If they can dish it out—as they do daily, often by tarring their opponents as racists and white supremacists—they should be able to take it. 

The assertion that racism is an exercise of power and that “people of color” do not hold power is an absurd dodge here. Cummings, Sharpton, and the “squad” hold immense power in the public sphere. To claim the privilege, as they do, of being beyond legitimate criticism based on their status as a member of a minority group is disingenuous. They ascribe to themselves a certain supremacy, which is itself a species of racism. Political correctness is eating away at the fabric of the body politic. Exploiting one’s victim status to deny others their rights, such as freedom of speech, stifles political debate, fosters corruption, and threatens essential public accountability.   

This new, (il)liberal lack of accountability manifests itself in different ways. In recent years, for example, many liberals have embraced a raw hatred of Israel, the demonization of decent white people, and a virulent anti-Semitism. Such views had long festered in the outlying provinces of the far-Left and have bubbled up on college and university campuses from time to time over the past two decades. 

But now the hatred has moved into the mainstream of the Democratic Party, under the banner of “social justice” and “progressive” civil rights politics. Long-standing identity politics grievances have given Democratic activists license to hate political conservatives, Jews, and really anyone (white, suburban female Trump voters; black conservatives) who departs from the party line

Thankfully, President Trump is fighting back, calling them out, and not letting them get away with it. He is doing so not merely to defend himself, but to fight for us, something his predecessors and most Republican Senators are unwilling to do in our behalf.

The president showed how it’s done Tuesday, when tweeted that he doesn’t “buy” Rashida Tlaib’s tears over being denied entry into Israel because of her anti-Semitic views: “I have watched her violence, craziness and, most importantly, WORDS, for far too long. Now tears?” The president refused to mince words with the freshman legislator: “She hates Israel and all Jewish people. She is an anti-Semite.” 

What a difference from a few short years ago, when Barack Obama used his presidential perch to criticize and malign the United States, chide America as a racist society, weaken us around the world, diminish the importance of Christian religious freedom, and extol racialists like Al Sharpton and traitors like Bowe Bergdhal. 

In contrast, President Trump, proud of being an American, is standing up for the dignity of the country. He, like so many others, is saying: It’s time to stop the baloney and farce of lionizing self-serving agitators simply because they call themselves civil rights leaders. He will not let phony charges of “racism” cow him into accepting the unacceptable and bowing to left-wing demagogues and liberal hypocrites. Neither should we. 

People mischaracterize and belittle Trump’s tweets as unpresidential and unbecoming of his office. He can be crude, to be sure. In reality, the president is using the platform to deny and challenge the assertions of the people—media manipulators and rabble-rousing liberal politicians—who would disdain and debase this great country. 

President Trump is trying, heroically, to put a halt to all this, to stop the slide. He does not want America to fall into socialism, moral relativism, anti-Americanism, and bogus propaganda designed to eat away at society and our historic moorings. He understands how cultural and social attitudes impact politics and the future of a country.

Unlike the NeverTrumpers and too many in the Republican establishment, including previous candidates Mitt Romney and the late John McCain, President Trump is willing to put his finger in the dike to stop the onslaught against the country. For truly, when Trump’s opponents smear him over his position on immigration, borders, nationalism, patriotism, or they call him a racist, they don’t mean just him. They are talking about you and me and anyone who holds similar positions. New York Governor Andrew Cuomo revealed precisely this sentiment when he told conservatives a couple of years ago: Leave this state, you have no place here.

We once were a country of straight-talking, commonsense, rugged individuals. One hopes we can become so again. It has not been in our American make-up to quiver and shake in our boots simply because someone will call us a name or label us a racist or Islamophobic. Part of the Trump presidency—maybe the most vital part—is meant to free us finally from the liberal tyranny and speech police, with their politically correct absurdities, and show us a courageous path so that we might return to sanity and regrow some spine.

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About Rabbi Aryeh Spero

Rabbi Aryeh Spero is president of Caucus For America and spokesman for the Conference of Jewish Affairs. He has authored Push Back: Reclaiming our American Judeo-Christian Spirit (Evergreen) and Why Israel Matters to You (Evergreen). He has published op-eds in the Wall Street Journal, Washington Times, National Review, and The Federalist, and was a columnist for Human Events. A number of years ago he headed up a think tank of Black and Jewish conservatives. He currently hosts a radio show, is a popular public speaker, and is a frequent guest on Fox News and Newsmax.

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