Why Jews should not support Trump

Here are some key reasons that Jews should support Democratic nominee Joe Biden.

US PRESIDENT Donald Trump and Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden debate in Cleveland, Ohio, on Tuesday. (photo credit: BRIAN SNYDER / REUTERS)
US PRESIDENT Donald Trump and Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden debate in Cleveland, Ohio, on Tuesday.
(photo credit: BRIAN SNYDER / REUTERS)
The upcoming US elections will be critical for the future of Jews, of Israel and, indeed, of the entire world. Here are some key reasons that Jews should support Democratic nominee Joe Biden rather than US President Donald Trump.
1. Trump’s bungled response to the coronavirus outbreak, initially downplaying it and lying about it to the American people, made the situation far worse than it needed to be. Despite repeated warnings from medical experts, Trump continues to hold rallies indoors, with thousands of his supporters attending without social distancing and with very few wearing masks. The result is that tens of thousands of Americans have died unnecessarily, and the US, with only four percent of the world’s people, has 20% of the worlds COVID-19 infections. Basically, Trump failed to protect the American people.
2. Despite the overwhelming consensus of climate experts that the world will soon experience catastrophic climate events unless major changes soon occur, and many recent severe climate events, Trump is not only in denial about climate change, but, along with other Republican politicians, has been doing all he can to roll back or weaken legislation designed to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
Israelis should be especially concerned about climate change. The much hotter and drier Middle East that climate experts are projecting increases the likelihood of violence, terrorism and war, according to military experts. Also, if the rapid melting of polar icecaps, glaciers, and permafrost continues, the coastal plain that contains most of Israel’s population and infrastructure will be inundated by a rising Mediterranean Sea.
3. Trump’s policies are contrary to basic Jewish values of concern for the disadvantaged, the stranger, the hungry and the poor. Rather than working to improve Obamacare, Trump supported legislation that would have resulted in millions of Americans losing their medical insurance, and many others paying higher premiums. Also, rather than support efforts to rebuild the US’s crumbling infrastructure – which was graded D+ by the American Society of Civil Engineers – Trump and Republican legislators pushed through a tax bill that overwhelmingly benefited the wealthiest Americans and corporations. This greatly increased the US national deficit, giving the Republicans an excuse to carry out their long-time desires to try to cut Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, environmental protection and healthcare.
4. A Trump victory will insure a very lopsidedly conservative Supreme Court for at least a generation. Judaism mandates that an abortion is necessary in cases where a women’s life is in danger, but that right would be taken away by a very conservative Supreme Court. Also, such a court would enable Trump and Republican legislators eliminate Obamacare, without a plan to replace it, and to turn back the many positive social programs that Democrats pushed through for many decades.
5. According to The Washington Post fact checker, Trump made 20,000 false or misleading claims, some of which he repeated even after the errors were pointed out, during his first three and a half years. This includes 1,200 false claims about the coronavirus pandemic, a factor that contributed to the high rate of US infections discussed above. Other fact checkers also discuss the huge number to Trump lies and misrepresentations.
6. Trump’s character is hardly commendable. As New York Times conservative columnist Bret Stephens, a former editor of The Jerusalem Post, wrote, Trump’s character involves “lying, narcissism, bullying, bigotry, crassness, name-calling, ignorance, paranoia, incompetence and pettiness.”
7. A tremendous number of prominent Republicans are supporting Biden because they believe that Trump is unfit to be president. Twenty former Republican congressional members, and at least two former Republican governors, have declared they are supporting Biden. More than 70 former national security officials, including many Republicans, announced their endorsement for Biden in a letter saying Trump has “gravely damaged America’s role as a world leader,” “shown he is unfit to lead during a national crisis” and “solicited foreign influence and undermined confidence in our presidential elections.” Also, former Trump security adviser John Bolton and former secretary of defense James Mattis have been sharply critical of Trump and will not support him.
8. Rather than being a unifier, as Biden would be, Trump’s actions and statements have greatly increased divisions in the US. There has been a recent sharp increase in antisemitism and violence by white supremacist groups.
9. Both Biden and Democratic vice-presidential candidate Kamala Harris have strong records in support of Israel and against antisemitism. They have stated that they would not make support for Israel conditional on Israel’s actions. While the Republicans did not bother to draft a platform in 2020, the Democratic platform is very supportive of Israel. 
The writer is professor emeritus at the College of Staten Island, and president of the Society of Ethical and Religious Vegetarians