Senior Rabbi accuses Trump of 'sledgehammering democratic norms'

The rabbi said that he worries about the threat of violence in the coming weeks following the election, regardless of the outcome.

US President Donald Trump speaks during a campaign rally at Phoenix Goodyear Airport in Goodyear, Arizona, US, October 28, 2020 (photo credit: REUTERS/JONATHAN ERNST)
US President Donald Trump speaks during a campaign rally at Phoenix Goodyear Airport in Goodyear, Arizona, US, October 28, 2020
(photo credit: REUTERS/JONATHAN ERNST)
Stephen Wise Free Synagogue Senior Rabbi Ammiel Hirsch on Friday accused US President Donald Trump of "sledgehammering democratic norms" ahead of the 2020 US general elections.
The rabbi said that he worries about the threat of violence in the coming weeks following the election, regardless of the outcome.
“I am deeply worried about our country,” says Hirsch. “President Trump has sledgehammered democratic norms — the protecting walls of American democracy. It turns out that these barriers were not as strong as we presumed. It turns out that all the lying, the insults, the race-baiting, the cheating, the attacks on the media — and on the independence of the justice and law enforcement establishments — the ridiculing of expertise, evidence, science and reason, the promotion of conspiracy theories, the subtle dog whistles to extremists and supremacists, the overall meanness, crudeness and rudeness have impacted on this country in a devastating way.”
Trump has declined to commit to a peaceful transfer of power if he believes the Nov. 3 presidential election results to be fraudulent, and has proposed mobilizing troops under the 200-year-old Insurrection Act to put down unrest if he won.
"Look, it’s called insurrection. We just send them in and we do it very easy," Trump told Fox News in September.
“The American experiment rests on two central propositions that are under withering assault: The right to vote, and the peaceful transfer of power. Even in the darkest days of the Civil War, when the future of the Republic was weighed in the balance, the peaceful transfer of power was sacrosanct,” Hirsch added. “We've never had a president, or a presidential candidate, who was unwilling to commit to election results."
“There is a real threat — even an expectation in the law enforcement community — that the streets will explode in rage and violence. No matter who wins, the other side will consider the results illegitimate," he said.
Hirsch's call came right before Hirsch entered the final shabbat before the elections take place, this upcoming Tuesday.
“On this last Shabbat before our fateful choice, we pray for the peace of our nation. Since the days of the Babylonian exile, when Jeremiah urged the Jewish refugees to pray for the welfare of their new country, Jews have recited a variation of this ancient prayer: May the one who granted authority to rulers bless and protect, help and exalt all who hold positions of leadership and responsibility in our national life," he concluded.


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