By Ron Jager
The juvenile “Mod Squad” of four freshman congresswomen accuses anyone critical of their clearly anti-American, antisemitic, and anti-Western rantings of being racists and fundamentally opposed to people of color. Ehud Barak and Benny Gantz, both vocal opponents of Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and the Likud party, dishonestly accuse the current leader of Israel of being a danger to Israel’s democratic system, demonizing the legitimacy of his reelection over the years. What’s common to both the anti-Trump and anti-Netanyahu media-supported campaigns orchestrated by the leftist-progressive political parties in the United States and in Israel is the goal of making the coming elections in both countries a binary choice, an either-us-or-them choice, an issue of black or white, vote for reality or vote for the illusion.
Netanyahu’s supporters credit him with keeping Israel relatively safe and prosperous, maintaining its Jewish character as the nation-state of the Jewish People, and boosting Israel’s standing internationally. In contrast to many of his political predecessors, Netanyahu hasn’t left his mark by “winning” a war or signing a “peace agreement” such as the Oslo Accords. His major achievements have been a booming economy, with prosperity trickling down to benefit all sectors of the population; combating Iran’s nuclear program, which is considered an existential threat on Israel, and responding by covertly striking weapons shipments to Israel’s enemies; and building a massive border fence to stop the flow of illegal African migrants. Netanyahu is perceived as being a politician who speaks the language of the people, is on their side, and they watch his back. His imperfections are the people’s imperfections.
Trump’s supporters credit him with singlehandedly bringing American pride back into the mainstream. Trump’s political message of “Make America Great Again” has been wholly adopted by a majority of Americans as their message, too. Since the Trump election, America has experienced an economic boom unseen for decades; unemployment has reached low levels unseen for half a century, including the lowest level of unemployment among black Americans. The opioid epidemic has seen, for the first time in 30 years, a 5% drop in overdose deaths. Executive directives and demanding accountability by the pharmaceutical industry have resulted in lower prices of medication. The “Wall” and Trump’s efforts to restrict the chaos of unrestricted flow of illegal immigrants on the Southern border have proven effective in serving the interests of the American public. Trump is perceived as a blunt leader who cuts through to the people, who speaks their language, and the public listen to him. Trump is not associated with the liberal elite that tells the American public what to say and what to think and how to vote.
Both President Trump and Prime Minister Netanyahu support sustainable equality. Both promote economic policies that reinvigorate the key elements of a healthy public–private partnership, empowering the private sector to create more real jobs, supporting a more responsible capitalism that is necessary for growth.
Both leaders build excitement and passion in their respective general public, dominating the public arena and the public discourse. The broadcast and printed media in the United States and in Israel have hyped up their reporting of both Trump and Netanyahu to levels of a hysterical frenzy, creating a loss of credibility and causing the general public to tune them. The people deem the hyped-up media as an extension of the liberal progressive left that has always patronized and treated the general public as unable to decide for themselves, lacking any true intellectual depth. Both use the nonstop ridicule of the media in collusion with opposing political opponents to expose the hypocrisy of the left/progressive agenda that has nothing real to offer the voting public except a childish and unconvincing vision of what America or Israel should be in the future. Both President Trump and Prime Minister Netanyahu focus on national unity and the betterment of the people.
The media and the liberal progressive left will warn the public, as we approach the election period, of what philosopher Max Weber has claimed: that the West—meaning the “uninformed” general public—has always been vulnerable to demagoguery, that charisma and celebrity have often mattered more than ideas. They will claim that the liberty-loving public, intrinsically fearful of an unrestrained radical, socialistic system has always been liable to exploitation by charismatic conservative leaders. They will remind us of Machiavelli’s The Prince and the amoral charlatans desirous only for power. They will bring up Cicero’s warning that eloquence divorced from wisdom can destroy a country. They will warn us that we should be wary of George Orwell’s warning of totalitarianism. They will quote Hanna Arendt, who has said that between anarchic arbitrariness and the “fantastically fictitious consistency of an ideology,” people will often choose the latter. That’s “not because they are stupid or wicked,” but because it gives the holder of an ideology intellectual security and sometimes escape, providing an illusion of meaning and a sense of self.
Both in the United States and in Israel, the silent majority, the middle class, and all those who reject the condescending attitude of the liberal progressive elite will dismiss their political message of why only they can prevent the destruction of “our country” as we know it. The politicians of the liberal progressive left will find themselves — whether in the upcoming Israeli elections or in the 2020 elections in the United States — overwhelmingly rejected by the public and sent back to their respective constituencies as false political prophets, having nothing to show for their efforts and losing any semblance of credibility in the eyes of those who believed their deceitful promises to bring about change.
Ron Jager is a 25-year veteran of the Israel Defense Forces, where he served as a field mental-health officer and as commander of the central psychiatric military clinic for reserve soldiers at Tel-Hashomer. Since retiring from active duty, he has been providing consultancy services to communities in Israel. To contact him, email email@example.com.