“The great enemy of the truth is very often not the lie – deliberate, contrived and dishonest, but the myth, persistent, persuasive, and unrealistic. Belief in myths allows the comfort of opinion without the discomfort of thought.”
The Mr. Donald J. Trump of the United States of America and the Prime Minister of Israel, Mr. Benjamin Netanyahu, have come together and agreed to bar two U.S. members of congress – both of whom are women of color and Democrats, from entering Israel. There has been talk about why Democratic Representatives Ilhan Omar and Rashida Tlaib were denied entry that ranged from them not following customary protocol to an Israeli law that bars anyone from entering Israel who promotes a boycott of Israel. They ultimately settled on the Israeli law that prohibits anyone who promotes boycott legislation against Israel from entering the country.
Mr. Trump and Prime Minister Netanyahu certainly could not go with the talking point that Representatives Omar and Tlaib did not follow customary protocol because that would have immediately exposed Prime Minister Netanyahu as a complete hypocrite: do you remember when he came to the United States and spoke on the floor of the United States Congress without informing the White House when President Obama was in office? I do! And I also remember that he went there with the specific purpose to undermine President Obama’s efforts to make a deal with Iran regarding nuclear weapons. He was lobbing our congressmen to vote against their own president!
Prime Minister Netanyahu is well aware that the majority of Americans believe that the Mr. Donald J. Trump of the United States of America is a racist and that many of us believe that he is also a white supremacist. Mr. Trump has publicly stated that “I am a nationalist…but not a white nationalist.” It is very unlikely that Prime Minister Netanyahu believes that Mr. Trump is a “Nationalist but not a white nationalist!” Prime Minister Netanyahu is also aware of how Mr. Trump has treated and continues to treat people of color in America yet-and-still he willingly works with him hand-in-glove while he implements his xenophobic agenda against the poor, women and anyone who is not white. Prime Minister Netanyahu knows that this is not the right thing to do but he still does it in order to achieve his personal political goals.
American Republican politicians are just as bad as Prime Minister Netanyahu when it comes to their fear of Mr. Trump. This fear fuels their willingness to continue to enable him and wink at his antics no matter how much they degrade the Office or how disgusting they are. Furthermore, virtually all congressional politicians whether they are Democrats or Republicans are afraid to say anything negative about Israel even when chastisement is well deserved and despite what Prime Minister Netanyahu does in the way of kowtowing to Mr. Trump. Although they know that Prime Minister Netanyahu is indulging Mr. Trump for political purposes while he accuses the two previously mentioned congresswomen of hating Israel, these American politicians remain virtually silent for their own political purposes. They have also remained quiet for the same reason when Mr. Trump has accused his other political enemies – including American voters who didn’t vote for him, of hating Israel.
Prime Minister Netanyahu and all of these congressmen know that those people that Mr. Trump is accusing of hating Israel don’t hate Israel. They know that this is just a political ploy that Mr. Trump is using to keep his base excited in order to enhance his chances of getting reelected in 2020. These congressmen should not stand by silently while Mr. Trump blatantly keeps his foot on the collective neck of people of color, women, and the poor. Mr. Trump has proven time-and-again that he is incapable of being shamed. But these politicians who are enabling him should be ashamed of themselves. And if they have even a grain of dignity left, a desire to live up to the oath that they took when they were sworn into office, and any empathy whatsoever for those whom they were elected to serve and humanity in general then they should speak up.
They should speak truth to power to both the Mr. Donald J. Trump of the United States of America and to Prime Minister Netanyahu! After all, Israel, which is headed by Prime Minister Netanyahu, receives billions of dollars in aid from the United States so he should be held to account also! All of those tax dollars that provide that aid to Israel come from American tax payers and that means that a part of that is my money too! Prime Minister Netanyahu should not be baring U.S. congresswomen from entering Israel at the urging of Mr. Trump simply to please him.
Whether or not these American congressmen will have the courage to stand up to Mr. Trump and Prime Minister Netanyahu remains to be seen. But I have no doubt that there are plenty of other people of color and white people who believe in truth and fairness who feel the same way that I do. Even if politicians do not meet the challenge and speak up I am confident that those people of color and white people that were just mentioned will. That notwithstanding, the fact is that it is incumbent upon our elected politicians to stand up to Mr. Trump and anyone else who challenges our democracy no matter how major or minor that challenge might be.
These politicians should be constantly working to pull all people – no matter the color of their skin, to the side of the ledger that our founders envisioned for America and not abandon them without leadership and guidance on Mr. Trump’s side of it. They should not allow Mr. Trump to infect and corrupt everything that America stands for and has ever stood for in order to line the pockets of himself and his family. We are Americans and, just like these elected politicians, all of us have a responsibility to America and our fellow Americans as well.
Therefore, we need to fulfill our responsibility, which includes the responsibility to vote, to insure that our democracy will remain strong by doing the right thing even when it is hard. And with the ball of confusion that Mr. Trump has wrapped all Americans up in and with his helter-skelter leadership (if one can call it that) style, it is hard. Too many of us have retreated to our comfortable corners where all of the people look and think like us, circled the wagons and are prepared for what we perceive to be the battle to come. We don’t trust anyone outside of our circled wagons.
This is not the way that things should be. Too many of us have allowed Mr. Trump to instill fear in us and either pull us over to his side of the ledger or so badly divide us that we find ourselves unable to function as normal, reasonable human beings. Mr. Trump is used to all of this confusion and divisiveness because this is how he has lived his entire life and now he is trying to get the rest of America to normalize this madness. Let’s not allow this to happen. Instead, let’s use our power, which is our vote, to place someone in the Oval Office who is worthy of it and who as president will honor the Office and its long-held honorable traditions.
So always remember, whether you are a Democrat, Republican or Independent, your vote is the most important one of all…unless you don’t use it!
Eulus Dennis – author, Operation Rubik’s Cube and Living Between The Line