Insulting Jews won’t work any better than insulting African Americans has.
For some time now, a favorite tactic among Republicans for trying to attract more African American voters has been the amazingly idiotic idea of telling them they need to “get off of the Democratic plantation.”
Poor Republicans can never seem to figure out why this doesn’t work. Being good “conservatives,” they live in a closed loop, adverse to letting in any new information or ideas. One result is that they can’t fathom the idea of actually taking black people seriously and listening to them. “Get off the Democratic plantation” is fantastically patronizing because it implicitly says to black people that they are too stupid to recognize their own self interest, which voting for Democrats allegedly does not serve, but voting for Republicans allegedly would.
As one (black) writer put the point, “The perceptions that the Republican Party is racially biased aren’t due to political rhetoric or brainwashing, it is because black and Latino voters see what Republicans do.”
It ain’t gonna get any better for Republicans. The reason they let Donald Trump take over their Party so easily was that anything they did to stop him would have alienated their base, who had no problem with attacks on Mexicans and Muslims. African Americans know too well that attacks on Mexicans and Muslims can become attacks on them very easily, which is why only eight percent of them voted for Trump, one supposes.
Now, as if to prove that he really is that stupid, instead of moving away from this logic, Trump is trying to apply it to a new group.
After two Democratic members of Congress had Israel deny them permission to travel there, a decision many, perhaps most, Jews in the United States condemned as a bad idea both on principle and as a matter of practical politics, Trump has delivered himself of the opinion that any Jew who votes for Democrats is either “ignorant or disloyal.”
It’s really kind of hard to wrap one’s mind around this level of stupidity. Jews are not quite as overwhelmingly Democratic in their voting as African Americans, but they are mostly a loyal Democratic constituency.
The stereotype about African Americans has always been that they’re not too smart, so the insult implicit in the “Democratic plantation” line is not a huge surprise.
The stereotype about Jews has always been that they’re too smart for their own good, crafty, good with numbers. Saying they are ignorant as a class is a good way to get press, but the president gets press easily anyway, so insulting an entire group by way of an ostensible strategy to win their votes is really not a great idea.
Disloyal? To what? To Israel? I really do not think many Jews are going to look to Donald Trump for advice on what they should think about Israel.
That Trump thinks a good way to get votes is to insult entire groups of people speaks volumes about his intelligence.
Telling people they’re dumb to vote for the other Party just does not look like a winning approach. Let’s hope Trump keeps it up.