Tough love rarely feels like the gift it is.
It's often, however, necessary for growth and maturation. President Trump has been giving the gift of tough love to a contemporary American culture that is mired in adolescence.
It’s sad but predictable that so many of our leading adolescents resent it.
This week, America’s Jewish community — to which I proudly belong — has been the recipient. Far too much of our leadership has responded with all the petulance one would expect from a teen confronted with what is now known as "adulting."
Prior to President Trump, adulting had become so rare among American politicians that many had forgotten what it means.
The essence of adulting is choice. Without choice, neither clarity nor growth are possible—for an individual, a community, or a nation. Choice forces us to focus on our priorities and make an honest appraisal of our options.
With every choice, we foreclose possibilities, let go of something we'd prefer to keep, and assume ownership of the consequences of the option we’ve chosen. Every real choice in life entails loss and promotes personal responsibility.
Contemporary American society hates choice out of a sense of false compassion. It seems so mean to "force" people to lose anything! And even meaner to suggest that they take some responsibility! Far kinder to tell people they can have their cake and eat someone else’s, too.
Except that, in the long run, it’s not kind at all. It breeds egotistical, self-indulgent, thin-skinned, entitled, incompetent, needy brats. President Trump has become the adult who spoils their party with a reminder that as painful as choice may be, it’s critical to growth, maturation, intellectual development, and emotional health.
President Trump took his tough love to the Arab/Islamic world in Riyadh, in 2017.
He confronted its leaders with the gut-wrenching choice they face. He called upon them to identify, isolate, and "drive out" the radical, violent, hateful Islamists plaguing their community from the inside.
It was a harsh message, but a loving one.
If modern Islam chooses to ignore Islamism, Islamism will become the future of Islam. Trump urged them to choose survival and prosperity.
He has taken his tough love to America’s immigrant communities throughout his Presidency. Yes, he’s conceded, the unrestricted flows of illegal immigrants may ease the arrival of friends and relatives.
But it also floods our immigrant communities with gangs, crime, and poverty.
It impedes the integration of those who arrived here legally seeking the American dream.
Trump has urged them to choose Americanization — the very process they undertook when they chose to emigrate from their countries of origin.
He took his tough love to America’s abandoned inner cities when he called out Baltimore’s U.S. Rep. Elijah Cummings, D-Md.
Yes, the black community takes understandable pride in the elevation of its own members to positions of national leadership.But anyone taking a quick look at our inner cities can tell that they suffer from decades of failed governance. Trump has urged these forgotten minority voters to choose leaders who focus on their welfare, rather than those who exploit them in the name of ethnic pride.
Which brings us back to this week’s tough love for America’s Jews.
We Jews harbor a special fear of choice. What if people choose antisemitism?
Far better to let them be our friends Mondays and Thursdays than to push them into being our enemies all week.
We’ve even institutionalized and internalized our aversion to choice, most famously in AIPAC's rallying cry that when it comes to Israel, there’s no difference between the parties. If, in an era in which anti-Zionism has emerged as the epicenter of Jew hatred, there’s no difference between Democrats and Republicans, no American Jew need ever make a tough choice.
We can simply ignore our own safety and security as Jews to consider the full range of economic, social, and domestic issues at play.
Enter President Trump with his signature tough love message: Wake up and pay attention! Every time a member of the progressive "Squad" speaks or acts against Jews, Jewish memory, or the Jewish State, the entire Democratic Party rallies to support them.
For a Jew to stand with a party that prides itself on the protection and promotion of antisemites is suicidal. It does indeed demonstrate either ignorance of the danger or disloyalty to the cause of Jewish survival.
For America’s many Jewish Democrats, this perilous reality forces an uncomfortable choice. Will they prioritize Jewish survival and vote for the GOP (or, at a minimum, sit on the sidelines) until the Democrats purge their antisemites and right themselves?
Or will they sacrifice Jewish survival, prioritize their views on climate change and abortion, and stick with the antisemites now driving Democratic opinion?
It’s no wonder so many Jews resent the messenger. President Trump’s tough love for the Jews is tough indeed. I only wish more of us would recognize the love.
Bruce Abramson is the President of Informationism, Inc., a Senior Fellow at the London Center for Policy Research, and the founder of the American Restoration Institute. To read more of his reports — Click Here Now.
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