My new article: “Ruling Elite and Pseudo-Liberalism—an Explosive Combination” in my column in Haaretz.
Beneath a guise of free speech, America has become a fascist country, where only one view is permitted.
During the weekend, President Trump held a campaign style rally in Melbourne, Florida, where he called the media “the enemy,” “fake news,” and stated, “They’re part of a corrupt system.” Judging by the relentless attempts of the Democrats to sabotage Trump’s efforts to man key positions, the media’s slew of warped or made up stories purporting to prove the president’s dishonesty, through the army of on-the-ground agitators that Obama’s Organizing for Action has dispatched in order to disrupt every town-hall meeting in the country and create the pretense that the nation is with the Democrats, it seems that the president is right: There is a war against him on multiple fronts.
In such a case, the logical thing for Trump to do is indeed to go directly to the people. Sadly, the American president cannot expect to receive fair coverage from the American media. Worse yet, because of the way that the media is built, the president cannot rely on the media to change its tone toward him.
It is not a question of policy; it is a question of identity. Donald Trump is not part of the ruling elite that has governed and exploited America for decades, and for whom Obama and Clinton were the executors. But because they must hide their intentions, they cover it with a bogus humanistic agenda such as caring for the immigrants and backing the Obamacare program.
The Necessity of Diversity
Liberalism in itself is a noble idea. Following World War II, numerous countries in the West adopted the Liberal agenda as a “vaccine” against fascism and Nazism. However, a society cannot be vital and vibrant unless many different views vie against one another and in the process become polished and refined. When all the parties understand that diversity of views creates vitality, they strengthen their society and increase its ability to cope with changes.
Our own Jewish tradition encourages diversity and debate as means to enhance social cohesion. The great Rav Kook wrote (Letters of the Raiah), “The great rule about the war of views, when each view comes to contradict another, is that we need not contradict it, but rather build above it, and thereby ascend.” Likewise, Martin Buber wrote in Nation and World: “It is not neutrality that we need, but rather cohesion, cohesion of mutual responsibility. We are not required to blur the boundaries among the factions, circles, and parties, but rather share a recognition of the common reality and to share the test of mutual responsibility.”
For generations, Jewish leaders indoctrinated their disciples into a mindset that promotes conflict of views as a means for both finding the ideal solution, and strengthening social cohesion. The Talmud writes that “A father and son who engage in Torah become each other’s enemies, yet they do not move from there until they return to loving one another” (Kidushin 30b). The Zohar, too, writes (Aharei Mot), “Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brothers to also sit together. These are the friends as they sit together, and are not separated from each other. At first, they seem like people at war, wishing to kill one another. Then they return to being in brotherly love. …And you, the friends who are here, as you were in fondness and love before, henceforth you will also not part … And by your merit there will be peace in the world.”
The Inevitable Evil
The problem with American society today is not that liberalism is wrong. The problem is that it has denied the legitimacy of “other parties,” as Buber put it. “Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely,” said British Liberal MP Sir John Dalberg-Acton. Liberalism has been the sole legitimate agenda for decades now, but instead of using it to create a vibrant arena of views that invigorate one another, it has become a stifling mechanism by which anyone who disagrees with what the media deems true is shamed and boycotted. When business people feel that they must apologize for stating their honest, very mildly conservative views for fear of putting their business at risk, this is no longer liberalism and certainly not pluralism. It is tyranny. Beneath a guise of free speech, America has become a fascist country, where only one view is permitted.
But if “absolute power corrupts absolutely,” then this was to be expected. “The inclination of man’s heart is evil from his youth” (Gen 8:21) is not merely a phrase in the Bible. It is really who we all are. This is why rulers need watchful media to monitor them, and why the media needs to be kept genuinely free and pluralistic.
This is not the situation in America. Neoliberalism, which has destroyed Europe through immigration, and nearly destroyed the US by eliminating its middle class, has been the sole ruling agenda in the US for decades. It serves the interests of the small elite group of magnates who control the American economy, the media, and thereby the government, all the way up to the White House. They determine what is reported and what is not, who is defamed and who is glorified. By controlling the media, they have dominated public discourse, public opinion, and have avoided criticism. This is ingenious, but deadly to society.
Their best interest is not what is in the best for the American people. Their interest is world dominance. Through proxies such as Obama, Clinton, and Bush before them, they “removed” Arab leaders such as Muammar Gaddafi, Saddam Hussein, and Bashar al-Assad, destroyed their countries, and created an influx of migrants into Europe. It is not that these Middle Eastern tyrants are or ever were anything to admire, but if you look at Iraq, Libya, and Syria today, would it not have been better for their people if their tyrants had remained in place, rather than the ruin, death, hunger, and terrorism that is their daily reality today?
If the people driving the “liberal” agenda in Europe maintain control over their governments, it will not be long before Europe accepts Sharia law. As this sad story of a forced child marriage shows, this is already happening, but it will spread much faster if they succeed.
And what they have done to Europe, they will continue to do to America: This same group will allow unchecked influx of migrants into the US, who will drain the already overstretched welfare system, create an impossible conflict of cultures and faiths, and will result in extremism on both sides, which will lead to bloodshed. And all this will be done in the name of liberal thinking, pluralism, humanism, and democracy.
On the Side of Correction
It may appear as though I am in complete support of President Trump and against the Democratic Party. In truth, I have no personal affinity for any particular person or agenda. I do have great affinity for diversity above which people can connect, since diversity keeps society cohesive, agile, and healthy, and keeps the country strong. At the moment, President Trump represents this view quite well, and the Democratic Party, with its undisputed monarch Barack Hussein Obama, absolutely does not.
I regard Trump’s victory as a sign that the American society is still alive and kicking. It gives me hope that it will also be able to go through the necessary sobering up without bloodshed and without dragging the world into another war. If Clinton had been elected, there is no doubt that war would have erupted. Russia, America, and Europe were already making preparations on the ground. Now, at least there is a chance for peace and the correction of society.
But to correct society, all parties will need to learn from the Jewish tradition—that “love covers all crimes” (Prov 10:12). Rav Yehuda Ashlag, author of the Sulam (Ladder) commentary on The Book of Zohar, wrote in his essay, “The Freedom”: “Just as people’s faces differ, so their views differ. Therefore, society is cautioned to preserve the freedom of expression of the individual. Each individual should maintain his integrity, and the contradiction and oppositeness between people should remain forever, to forever secure the progress of the free society.” Liberals would do well to listen to their own “coreligionist” Nicholas Kristof of The New York Times who wrote, “We progressives could take a brief break from attacking the other side and more broadly incorporate values that we supposedly cherish—like diversity—in our own dominions.”
At the moment, Trump cannot bury the hatchet and make peace with the media because he is not the one raising it. It is up to the media and the Democratic Party to decide that their country comes before the interests of their party, or even the interests of their financiers. If they do not stop their war on Trump, they will force him to fight back. If Trump wins, they will be severely restricted going forward and American democracy is likely to be hampered. But if Democrats succeed in taking Trump down, the likely scenario is that the next leader America’s political right sends forward will be one who will truly galvanize the conservatives in America, and all hell will break loose.
For America’s sake and for the sake of the world, I pray that this great nation wakes up and understands the value of diversity, the benefit of honing views through open debate, and the powerful cohesion attained when that debate yields solutions that contribute to the thriving of the whole of society.