I Won’t Get In Line

I Won't Get In Line ©2016 Ethan Bearman

I Won’t Get In Line

“Hey, just give him a chance — he’s our President-elect.” True, Donald J. Trump will be the 45th President of the United States on January 20, 2017. No, I won’t just get in line behind him.

Sorry, President-elect Trump supporters and those on the other side so quick move on, when you’ve been attacked the way I have in the vilest terms, with threats of violence and even death, when told that all my family should have died in the Nazi concentration camps, I hesitate to just “give him a chance.” Instead, I’ll warily watch his words and actions, because what I’ve seen of president-elect Trump thus far calls on my better judgement to do so.

At no other time in my public life have I received this kind of disgusting, degenerate, and hateful language for (calmly and civilly) opposing a candidate. All fanned by the flames from Stephen Bannon, under whose tutelage Breitbart became home to the alt-right and white nationalists while singing the praises of then candidate Trump.

What makes this so despicable is that I’ve heard these stories before.

I grew up in the suburbs of Minneapolis. A pleasant metro area consistently ranked as a great place to live.

However, there are deep, dark shadows of a horrible, not-too-distant past. The most virulent Jew hating group of its time, the Silver Shirts, arose from hatred of the isolationist-era, late 1920s there. Jews were barred from parts of town, Jews were blocked from being on bank boards, Jews couldn’t join the automobile association or the country clubs. I heard these stories from my parents and grandparents and then read about it as I got older. Frighteningly, some of those restrictions lived into the 1970s.

It wasn’t until people like my great-grandfather helped support a man who wanted to right past wrongs.  A great leader out of the white, Scandinavian-worked fields of Minnesota, was elected Mayor of Minneapolis in 1944. His name was Hubert Humphrey. He knew abusing the Jews out of xenophobia and hatred was wrong. And he lead the way forward out of that dark period.

This is why I’ve castigated Trump for picking Bannon as a senior advisor. Now more than ever, this is the time to come together, while appreciating our differences, and build sturdy bridges to cross our divides. It begins at the top.

Presently, I see Jewish friends defending Bannon as not being anti-Jewish because Jews worked for him at Breitbart. So what?

Maybe, Bannon is shrewd enough to realize that open Jew hatred in business today would isolate and affect his bottom line.

There is always the theory of multiple ethical selves which could be at play in Bannon’s case. This is a concept from the worlds of ethics and philosophy where we operate by different ethical rules in different situations. At home a person might be a loving parent and husband, but at work that same man is cold and ruthless. So, a spouse might find the husband to be supportive and warm, while his co-worker despises his brutal nature. I suspect the Jews who worked with Bannon saw his “friendly to Jews” ethical self. While the rest of us have seen his dark side.

Fanning the flames of hatred, xenophobia, and misogyny is as bad as committing actual acts based on those thoughts and feelings. As an analogy, that’s why our criminal justice system finds that ordering someone to kill another will convict both the killer and the boss of homicide.

While Bannon has the ear of the soon-to-be president, I will not stop speaking out against the hatred. No. I won’t be quiet. I won’t get in line.

While I appreciate what President-elect Trump said to Lesley Stahl on 60 Minutes right after the election, imploring his fans to stop harassing people, this is merely a start, not an end. If he is serious about the damage and hurt to minorities in the United States, he’ll dump Bannon and apologize for his hateful rhetoric during the campaign.

I will acknowledge if Trump creates, signs, initiates, or changes something for the better. But no, I will not automatically fall in line behind him after 15 months of unapologetic slurs alongside fueling all kinds of hatred, followed by filling key positions in the White House with people like Bannon.

For those who want to ignore the language from the election season and say, “move on”, the ends do NOT justify the means (winning the presidency). The damage is done. To lead all of We The People, President-elect Trump needs to apologize for the hatred, the harsh words, the mockery, the insults, and bring that apology to life by distancing himself from those who are well known to sow the seeds of hatred and bigotry.

Only then will I get in line.

NOTE: In light of the horrific, anti-Jewish, anti-Israel United Nations resolution abstained by the Obama administration, I am positive that President Trump will be a better friend to Israel. However, I am a U.S.-born citizen and my concern is foremost here at home.

Please contact Pace Public Relations to book me for any media appearances for discussion

16 thoughts on “I Won’t Get In Line

  1. Thoughtful. I need to read this again. I’m not a Trumpite and I did not vote for either major candidates, so I too am watching closely. I don’t trust him as I don’t trust Hillary or Barack. Don’t trust 99% of politicians anyway.

  2. Well, that should be worth a couple of bookings on CNN and MSNBC. I wonder if you’ll be equally judgmental of MSNBC for their hiring and promotion of Al Sharpton when they invite you on to smear Trump and Bannon. What specifically is it that Bannon has said and done that is anti-Jewish ? And please provide more concrete evidence than 1. He once said Breitbart provides a platform for the alt-right. When he said that several years ago there was a debate as to what the alt-right was and Breitbart wrote a full article about that debate. Some people said the alt-right was anyone outside the Republican establishment while others claimed it was white supremacists. The media has latched on to only the latter and completely ignored the former. Milo Yiannopoulus, a prominent Breitbart editor often self identified at that time as part of the alt-right and he explained clearly that he was referring to the anti-Republican establishment part of that term and not at all to do with the fringe racists. He speaks to this on college campuses over and over to this very day. 2. Breitbart posted an article wherein the title called a prominent Jewish Republican a “Renegade Jew”. That article was written by David Horowitz, another fellow Jewish Republican attacking Kristol for what Horowitz felt was his lack of support for Israel and had nothing to do with Jew hatred or anti-semitism. If we are going to label Steve Bannon something as vile as a racist or an anti-semite I’m sure we must have plenty of specific and concrete examples of his words and deeds demonstrating such. With prominent Jews in the media like Ben Shapiro, who hates Bannon for other reasons, Joel Pollack, Dennis Prager, David Horowitz, and many others, all saying they’ve known Bannon for years and defend him by saying they have never seen him say or do anything even remotely anti-semetic I’m sure we would all want to see the above mentioned specific examples before we smeared him as a racist or a Jew hater. Please provide. Cheers.

          1. So your evidence is the Mother Jones article and the claims of the Southern Poverty Law Center ? I’ve asked you to provide evidence and you refer me to hyperlinks. The only one making claims is the Mother Jones one. Is that right ?

      1. I read it. And I’ve listened to the prominent Jewish writers I listed above discuss this topic on numerous occasions. They are not defending Bannon based on the fact that he hired Jews. They defend him based on the fact that they have never seen or heard him say anything anti-semetic or racist while they worked with him either daily or periodically. They explain in their own words how the media is smearing him. Ben Shapiro detests Steve Bannon for many reasons and you can read or listen to him explain them on his show as I have. But even he ultimately says, he’s never seen or heard Bannon do anything anti-semetic. If you are seriously claiming we shouldn’t believe the people who worked with this guy for years because they are fooled by his personal self but we should believe the analysis of his public self by the highly partisan Mother Jones and the hate group SPLC I am baffled by that logic.

  3. So just to summarize. The evidence that leads you to believe that Steve Bannon is a racist and anti-semite is that provided by Mother Jones. (The two main pieces of which I addressed in my initial post). And you have no other evidence of your own. And we are supposed to believe the outside analysts (regardless of their political biases) rather than those people who actually know and work with the guy being attacked. Got it. I hope you are never accused by the left wing media of being racist, sexist, xenophobic, Islamophobic, insert your leftist attack label here, because under your standard it will be extremely hard to defend you against those attacks even if you were Mother Theresa….oops, I forgot, they smeared her too. Yikes.

    1. Wrong. I never called Bannon an anti-Semite. Brannon’s own words to Mother Jones is that he made Breitbart the homd of the alt-right. Do you claim to have evidence that Mother Jones is lying?

      1. If you read my initial post you will see that explained. Alt-right is a term that no one even had a clue what it meant 3 months ago. Now the mainstream media claims it’s members are overwhelmingly white supremacists. They saw it as a club to wield against Trump and they picked it and Bannon up as their tool despite having no idea the history of the term and who it represents. They even bit on the trolling that Pepe the Frog was a white supremacist symbol. I’ve seen that stated numerous times on the mainstream media as fact. That had the trolls rolling on the floor for a month. (There’s a whole article you can find on Yahoo where the writer explains the whole history of the trolling).

        At the time of Bannon’s interview (and as he explains if you can read around the Mother Jones writer’s commentary to what he is actually saying) he explains that it is an undefined term and group. Milo Yiannopoulos was explaining the same thing in his campus speeches 6 months ago (I watched several of them on YouTube at the time and I too had never even heard the term then). This is what the supposed article that the media holds up as proof of Breitbarts support for white supremacism is all about. It has nothing to do with supporting anyone, least of all the racists and supremacists. In an interview I listened to 2-3 months ago Jonah Goldberg highlighted this exact point. (paraphrase)The Alt Right is a completely undefined term up to now and since even a few white nationalist nut jobs are now using the term it will be used by the left and media (redundant) to smear conservatives and the right. He said, (paraphrase) Milo and others had better be careful or he feared they would be hammered with this cudgel because it’s so convenient for the left.

        It annoys me to no end that people who have no idea what they are talking about, have no idea of the history of these things, go on the media and spout off on them as if they are facts. It annoys me even more when media people run around calling or even insinuating (their favorite tactic) people are racists, xenophobes, homophobes, (insert basket of deplorable terms here), when they’ve never met these people, never spent a second with them, read their comments out of context from another media person with an agenda, and then try to destroy people’s reputations. It’s despicable. It’s even worse, it’s evil !

        And to be honest with you, it’s very likely it’s a huge reason Trump won. The leftists and media have been doing this to not only famous people but even to average citizens for years now and people are fed up with it. Just look at the leftist loons rioting over Trumps win and I highly recommend checking out the videos of “SJW Cringe Compilation”s on YouTube. It is literally amazing to watch how vile these self righteous moral idiots are.

        Sorry this has gotten so long but I trust your intellectual honesty so I’m hoping we can come to an understanding of each other’s opinions. You claim you are not calling Bannon an anti-semite. Hmmm, you said he should apologize. You claimed the fact Jews who worked for him claim he isn’t one proves nothing since they would (paraphrase) see his nice personal side but not have the outside perspective to see the real him. (if my paraphrase is wrong please feel free to clarify). Perhaps you had some other impression you were trying leave but it certainly looks like you were pushing your readers to believe that you thought he was one without saying directly “I Believe Bannon is an anti-semite !”.

        I don’t know if Bannon is an anti-semite or not, I’ve never met him and I’ve never seen an interview with him. No one I know personally knows him. I’ve only read and heard what others say about him. (Some of them the smartest people I know and trust in the media.) But most importantly in my book, if you’re going to condemn a man as a deplorable you (community “you”) better provide solid proof…..and I mean consistent and in context evidence. Not, ” his wife claimed in divorce proceedings that he didn’t want to send his kids to a school with too many Jewish kids” as the media has been giving us to date. Or any of the half truths and insinuations of Mother Jones who are too lazy (I’m being kind) to do their research on the history and facts of this terminology they use to smear people.

        Sorry about the length. Hope anything I wrote is useful to you. I’m not at all arguing you shouldn’t be a watchdog to the politicians. Quite the opposite. I just ask that those in the media be educated on their topic and careful about calling or insinuating someone is a “deplorable” of some sort. And I know you are meeting these people and going on their shows so I hope you can be a light in the darkness. Cheers Ethan. Have a great holidays.

        1. Dan, we will have to agree to disagree. I have regularly read Breitbart along with dozens of other news and partisan (not news) sites. You are sticking your head in the ground and working really hard to explain it away. Maybe it is easier for you to pretend that they don’t cater to, and at a minimum, tacitly support the vast number of nationalist/extremists who visit the site and comment.

          1. Ya, You got me on that one. 99% of the time I don’t read the comments on any of the web sites I go to. About 10 years ago I learned that lesson. Even on my sports team websites by about the 3rd comment the name calling and vulgarity start to fly. Heck, they even have a term for it, “trolling” and “trolls”.

            On the other hand, on Amazon when I buy a book I first go to the 1 star reviews just to see if there is anyone who actually has a serious objection to the book or if, as is usually the case, the trolls are just trying to drive down the rating of the book. You can pick it out quickly in their commentary. You should read what they say about Thomas Sowell of all people.

            I judge the quality of the management of a website by their writers. And I judge the owners by the quality of their managers. It never dawned on me to judge the managers by the quality of the people who comment on their pages.

            But since you made me think of it I decided to try your theory and check the comments at the bottom of Mother Jones. On the vile scale of 1-10 I’d give it a 3. Certainly not the worst I’ve seen but you still had to step around the sh#t if I may use a graphic metaphor. The only way around that as far as I’ve found is to charge. That’s why Ricochet charges the price of a cup of coffee each month to be a member. Just that small fee weeds out the trolls who are looking for cheap thrills and certainly don’t want to put any money/skin in the game.

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