Opinion – Thoughts on the 2020 Election: The Politics of Loshan Hara

Opinion – Thoughts on the 2020 Election: The Politics of Loshan Hara 1
FILE – This combination of Sept. 29, 2020, file photos shows President Donald Trump, left, and former Vice President Joe Biden during the first presidential debate at Case Western University and Cleveland Clinic, in Cleveland, Ohio. Amid the tumult of the 2020 presidential campaign, one dynamic has remained constant: The Nov. 3 election offers voters a choice between substantially different policy paths. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky, File)

CHICAGO —The following was sent by a VINnews loyal reader:  

Derogatory speech and falsehoods disguised as political rhetoric were hurled back and forth during President Trump’s tenure as president and during the campaign. Accusations by the mainstream media, government officials and Hollywood elites culminated in Donald Trump being compared to Hitler and a Nazi!

Many were outraged but few refuted the accusation and the left doubled down.  This outrageous claim was repeated by CNN anchor Christiane Amanpour who apologized for taking a potshot at Donald Trump by juxtaposing him with the Nazis. “Google News” The comparison drew angry rebukes and complaints to the network from Israeli officials. What about American officials?

The absurdity of the allegation is hate speech and anti-Semitism rolled into one. A very few stepped up to condemn the claim. Mark Levin manifested his outrage at Joe Biden using that same rhetoric on August 25th when he said biden was thin on substance but very nasty to other people and trivialized the holocaust.

In other words the demonization of Donald Trump in 21st century America is dangerous to our people, to our country, to our democracy and to the world  It is  reminiscent of Hitler’s demonization of the Jewish people. We all know where that led! Donald Trump will go down in history as the best friend the Jewish people and Israel had in the white house. It is mind boggling that a man with a Jewish daughter son in law and grandchildren could be branded as an Anti Semite! Politics has reached the pinnacle of the danger of Lashon Hara and we should all be aware.

We learn as observant Jewish People that Loshan Hara is a perilous habit, a vicious weapon, a serious sin, having grave consequences for 3 people, the speaker, the listener and the victim.. In the observant Jewish world we try to be so careful not to offend, harm, distort, criticize, demean or relate false information that could lead to a person’s emotional and or psychological injury  Family, friends and business associates are all potential victims of unrestrained speech . To embarrass someone is to kill him.

So we learn how to control our tongue, we study the nuances of speech and communication and learn to love our fellow neighbor and treat each other with dignity and respect. We teach our children at a young age the rules of proper speech and our children are sensitive to their words, questioning at times “Was this Loshan Hara?

In the political world, it is just the opposite. Words are weapons, missiles of libel and vilification, uttered to inflict as much damage as possible and leveraged to destroy one’s reputation and character. The ultimate goal is I win and you lose. There seems to be little compassion for the victim and little awareness of the fact it is unlawful behavior of the tongue a paradox of the legal profession. This of course is not a new phenomenon but goes back hundreds and thousands of years. The Psalms of King David lament “Falsehoood they speak one man with his neighbor, with a smooth lip and a double heart….With our tongue we will prevail, our lips are with us. Who is master over us? Tehillim 12 3-5.

Does our current political climate demonstrate Democracy at work or is our politics a symptom of our society sliding into the abyss of unrestrained lips that ultimately can bring down civilization. It won’t be the first time. These angry words are arrows shot to create maximum damage. Our government representatives and so called journalists have descended to an chasm of moral and ethical deterioration without even noticing their descent. The politicians words can be an arsenal of bullets aimed at their opposition. The political climate has escalated to a dangerous level that can and has initiated violence and harm.

It has been particularly cruel leading up to and during the Trump administration. The First Lady and President Trumps children have all been targets of venomous words hurled at them.

I must admit that President Trump is not innocent of these rhetorical battles. He began his campaign with biting words, yet I have seen progress in his speech through the years as he defends himself from the onslaught of nastiness cast on him.

He is a example of Personality vs Performance.

“He has accomplished an incredible amount of good in his not quite 4 years and has been rewarded with a lack of appreciation and recognition for his accomplishments. Now that possible corruption and voter fraud has emerged as a result of the 2020 election the vitriol and disrespect for him has swelled to a fever pitch.

It was his opponents who promoted the Russian collusion, the Mueller investigation and the impeachment scam while the FBI destroyed civil liberties and the Deep State, undermined the trump administration for the better part of four years. It is Trump who is standing for the the rule of law, and his opponents who once again stand for exactly the opposite. The worst damage is being done by our pundit class who keep telling the public that the president is attempting a coup by going through the legal process” Joel Pollak of Breitbart news

“Trumps policies have led to no less than three of Israel’s Arab neighbors signing normalization agreements, many more including Saudi Arabia. He has been nominated for three nobel peace prizes.Thankfully Trump’s policies ignored 2334 and his peace plan included recognition of Jewish settlements in Judea and Samarie  Trumps monumental pro Israel measures from moving our embassy to Jerusalem which the U S now recognizes as the capital of Israel, to recognizing Israeli sovereignty over the Golan Heights can all be reversed in a Biden Harris administration.

Trump cut of PA funding, because it was used to support terrorism. Trump also closed the PLO mission in Washington that was opened under the Obama /Biden administration as a step toward recognizing a Palestinian state.

He signed into law the Taylor Force Act designed to end the Palestinian practice of paying off families of terrorists.

These laws he enacted were critical in the security and existence of the Jewish state. Many more are his accomplishments benefitting our country and our people not to be able to list them in the scope of this article. He worked hard for our country and now 73 million people who voted for him and understood the good that he did are in despair of what is to come.

To conclude, Hashem created the world with words. King David was tormented by “evil doers” words can heal or words can harm. We need to be cautious of words, and seek the truth! It looks like President Trump greatest achievements were undermined and forgotten in the battle of corrupted language. We have little control of the world around us but we do have control of our thoughts and words and may they turn into good deeds, so we can mend this broken world!

(Written by Naamah Field – Chicago)

Opinion – Thoughts on the 2020 Election: The Politics of Loshan Hara 2

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