Opinion: How American Jews Are Training Heartland Americans to be Anti-Semitic
If anti-Semitism has ever flourished in America, it was among the coastal elites. Places like Harvard and Yale had Jewish student quotas and almost no Jewish faculty until the late 1950, and amazingly it was Donald Trump who was the first to allow Jews to buy memberships in his Mar a Lago golf club in Palm Beach. Heartland Americans were not anti-Semitic, perhaps because there weren’t many Jews around, perhaps because they were more intellectually detached from the poisoned soil of Europe.
This is now changing and changing rapidly. The reason for this change is not the deplorable nature of heartland Americans, regardless of what Hillary and her crowd think. Rather it is something very tangible and empirically undeniable: the deep disdain felt by the coastal elites towards the American heartland coincided with the intellectual and physical takeover of these elites by third and fourth generation American Diaspora Jews.
Prior to the civil rights movement of the 1960’s there was no ideological gap between the heartland and the coast; whatever differences there were could be simply explained by wealth disparity, which was nowhere near what it is today. Two generations after the civil rights movement, the coast and the heartland might as well be two different planets orbiting two different stars. Not coincidentally, the civil rights movement was also the coming out party for second and third generation American Jews onto the large stage of American political, judiciary, and media power. Prior to the 1960’s Jews were prominent mostly in Hollywood, where they religiously avoided any political or social justice agendas, focusing entirely on entertainment. The 60’s saw the rise of the Anti-Defamation League and the Southern Poverty Law Center as Jewish or Jewish-majority organizations devoted to social justice, even when Jews or Jewish interests were not involved.
The entrepreneurial phase of Jewish life in America in the first half of the 20th century gave birth to the professional phase. The sons and daughters of sweatshop, jewelry shop, and delicatessen owners went on to study medicine, accounting, and law. While most quietly practiced (and are practicing) their professions, many embarked on public opinion shaping carreers such as journalism and social justice law. In journalism, Jews punched way above their weight, reaching over-representations of over ten times that of their share in the general population.
Diaspora Jews, to put it in the framework of robotics, have two conflicting primary directives; one is “tikun olam”, or “fixing the world”. This is a Kabbalistic concept deriving from a view of the world at creation as a set of prefect vessels that were subsequently shattered into an infinite number of pieces. Collecting the pieces and attempting to restore the wholesomeness of the vessels is a primary directive of all Jews, especially in the Diaspora. The second directive is simply survival. For most of the Jewish existence in the diaspora their physical survival was acutely threatened. That meant keeping one’s head down at all times. Tikun olam could wait. Survival came first.
Emerging from survival mode in the late 19th century, Jews entered the tikun olam mode with results that completely transformed the modern world. Their first action was to provide the administrative, intellectual, and even military underpinnings to the Bolshevik Revolution in Russia and the creation of the USSR from the ashes of the Russian Empire. Almost contemporaneously, in a Gargantuan effort without historical precedent they established the Zionist movement, resulting in the establishment of the State of Israel in 1948.
Of course, most European Jews were not ideological; they participated in neither the Zionist nor the Bolshevik movements. A significant part of them, however, left the old country to find a better life in America. These people through their prescience and enterprise avoided the Holocaust and were welcomed into the most economically dynamic, politically stable, and least anti-Semitic country in the world. As is always the case with new immigrants, the first two generations were all about survival. However, the unprecedented post-war economic boom and the near lack of institutional anti-Semitism resulted in the generation of American Jews that came into adulthood in the 1960’s being arguably the most affluent and best educated Jewish generation that has ever existed in the diaspora.
Coinciding with the civil rights movement, the lessons learned from the Holocaust, the foundation of the State of Israel and its miraculous victory in the 1967 Six Day War, the newly affluent Jewish generation armed with law, business, and journalism degrees went into full tikun olam mode. They quickly began occupying leadership roles in all the centers of power that shape public opinion from printed to broadcast journalism, through organizations like the SPLC and ADL, and even local, state, and federal politics. Unfortunately, this put the American Jewry on collision course with the American Constitution and hence with the American Heartland.
It is difficult to imagine a less Jewish document than the American Constitution. This is entirely by design, as the Framers were intimately familiar with both the pagan traditions of the Greco-Roman city- states, the Anglo-Saxon townships, and the social justice warrior Biblical prophets of the Old Testament in whose image Jesus Christ himself was made. Being versed in both traditions, the Framers of the Constitution specifically chose the pagan tradition as their model. A bottom-up approach which rests on the foundation of well-informed citizen-warriors who go about their business of being in business and taking care of their families. A limited government elected by and from the very same citizens who serve for limited periods and whose main purpose is the protection of private property from enemies internal (slaves, non-citizens, non-owners) and external.
Consider the nearly contemporaneous “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness” from the American founding documents with “Egalite, Liberte, Fraternite” of the French Revolution. In the former, the State is obliged to protect its citizens’ lives, freedom, and the right to engage in the “pursuit of happiness”, which many would interpret as the acquisition and cross-generational holding of material goods. The latter obligates the State to enforce equality and brotherhood among its citizens – far reaching Biblically-derived social justice goals.
The American Founding Fathers had no illusions that the world was perfect, but neither did they believe that it ever used to be or that it needed “fixing”. They were pragmatists and transcendental experts in human nature, which they considered both imperfect and capable of greatness, but most importantly divine and therefore unchanging and incapable of change. In stark contrast, the Kabbalistically inspired social justice warriors had (and still have) the firm belief, in fact the faith, that human nature can and must be perfected as the necessary condition for the perfection of the world.
Historical analysis does not leave much doubt which approach has been empirically proven right. All attempts at the creation of utopias based on the betterment of human nature failed taking with them countless millions of innocent lives and destroying whole civilizations. Starting with the bloody and failed French revolution, via the unprecedentedly bloody National Socialism and Communism experiments of the 1940’s, Mao’s Cultural Revolution of the 1960’s, and finally the killing fields of the Cambodian crackpot dictator Pol Pot, the horrors of tikun olam cannot be overstated. The American Constitution, in contrast, gave the world its most prosperous and stable large-scale political entity since Republican Rome.
Unfortunately, faith is not affected by empirical evidence and neither was the new American Jewish elite. This small group of highly influential and accomplished individuals quickly split into two equally unconstitutional groups; a larger group led by the New York Times that set out to radically amend the Constitution by morphing it into a as President Obama might have said a “charter of positive rights and privileges” and a smaller group represented by the neoconservative movement that held the constitution in such exalted reverence that it viewed the denizens of the rest of the world as utterly disadvantaged by not having it imposed on them by force of American arms.
Both groups have had disastrous effects on most Americans and primarily those living in the heartland. The social justice agenda led to unprecedented dictates of social and religious values from the coastal elites to the heartland. The result was a loss of many constitutionally guaranteed rights, primarily the right to free speech. The examples of this are many; restriction of political speech from the pulpit and the harsh enforcement of politically correct speech are but two of many examples. The concept of protected minorities, which is entirely unconstitutional, and the introduction of environmental hysteria (climate change being only the latest phase) led to almost complete erosion of state rights and the near demise of the US as a federal constitutional republic.
The “constitution as an empire building tool” neocon group has had similarly deleterious and arguably even more morally corrupt and potentially dangerous (for American Jews) outcomes. Tremendous and even transformational treasure has been expended on never-ending wars in the Middle East with no results except a tremendous loss of innocent lives and the destabilization of the entire region.
It is impossible to overstate the degree in which this neocon movement has exposed the tremendous overweight of Jews in the American decision making circles to the American heartland. There is simply no getting over the fact that Jews are over represented in decision-making circles by orders of magnitude, while at the same time playing a completely negligible role in the American armed forces. Heartland Americans could not fail to notice that they were the exact mirror image; vastly underrepresented in the Washington elites, it was their sons and daughters who were sent to fight and die in the sands of the Middle East.
And now we must tackle the thorny issue of Israel and the role it plays in the emergence of American heartland anti-Semitism. Israel has a foundational principle (or so the story goes) of never asking foreign power or allies to fight on its behalf. Israelis send their sons and daughters to fight, knowing that the sons and daughters of their political and financial elites will be right there alongside them. However, Israel did and still does solicit political and diplomatic assistance from the US and it could be argued that at least until very recently this help was essential to its survival. It is thus only a short distance from here to the belief that the neocon wars in the Middle East were driven by their Jewish house intellectuals and financial backers with the goal of helping Israeli rather than American interests. Simply put, rich American Jews, from the comfort of their Boston, NYC, or DC brownstones sent the sons and daughters of heartland America to fight and die for Israel. The reality of this statement is less important than its perception, and not without reason, as being true by many in the newly emerging heartland American right.
With the political and economic decline of heartland America came the inevitable searching by its inhabitants of what went wrong. The Republicans, traditional defenders of their religious and moral liberties have betrayed them, as have the traditional champions of their economic stability – the Democrats. It became clear that Washington simply stopped caring about them, without as much as lip service. This turn of events prompted the creation of the so call alternative right (Alt-Right) movement, which Hillary mentioned by name and maligned in one of her anti-Trump speeches.
Perhaps the most interesting thing about this movement is that unlike most resistance movements it didn’t grab pitchforks or guns. Instead it flipped open its laptops and started analyzing the Washington elites trying to figure out why it has been abandoned by them. To their surprise, they found that there was in fact one thing in common to both the Republican and the Democratic Washington establishments and their various so called “mainstream” media outlets; they were comprised of about one third Jews and that third was not the bottom one. Since Alt-Right is a modern-day leaderless movement of loosely affiliated users of social networks, they began educating themselves about Jews by first compiling a library of sorts of Ashkenazi Jewish surnames and applying triple brackets to them in their social media correspondence. The cat was out of the bag; Jews, comprising a scant 2% of the total American population and close to 0% of the American heartland population, comprise between 20 and 30% of the American financial, media, and legal elites. This Jewish influence has been equally driving both the Democratic and the Republican parties to ignore the interests of the heartland, perhaps without malice, and yet…
I believe that the nascent Alt-Right movement is still in its data gathering rather than conclusion drawing phase. These are not people who are quick to anger. They are also strangers to bigotry (no matter what Hillary’s supporters think) and want to preserve the constitutional promise of live and let live. Trump’s election, with his oh so clearly gentile Scottish-German roots combined with his deep familiarity with the Jewish New York establishment and his Jewish and influential son in law Jared Kushner gives much promise that the American heartland will be magnanimous in its reassertion of power. However, much depends on how far the revolutionary tikun olam impulse of the Jewish American elites will take them. If they plan to go much further with it, I would recommend hedging their bets with some Israeli real estate and an open flight ticket to Tel-Aviv.