Sex & Gender

Ivanka for VP: I Don't Want a Jewish Woman to become Vice President like This.

Donald Trump’s followers are rabidly antisemitic and have been verbally attacking and threatening* Jewish reporters online.

But that’s not what this is about.

Let’s pretend that the upcoming American Presidential election is a fun reality TV show. Let’s pretend it’s not an important moment where a country will elect someone to hold great power for several years. Forget the lack of accountability for murderers in police uniforms, forget the absence of gun control, forget light sentences for rapists, forget the Syrian refugee crisis, forget ISIS related bombings, forget everything. Let’s willingly suspend disbelief for a moment.

If a bombastic man in a suit got on stage and went off script a lot, we would watch and laugh and roll our eyes. We would talk about him, because that’s what you do with entertaining villains.

And of course the villain would have his lackeys, and they would be terrible. Racist, xenophobic, antisemitic. The worst parts of society.

And then if his opponent were a woman, we would watch him and expect to see sexism. He would be sexist, of course, making demeaning comments about women’s appearances, etc. The usual.

But that gets boring quickly. This is reality TV; we have short attention spans.

What if we keep things interesting with a plot twist? Let’s say our villain decides to team up with his grown daughter. Not just the usual photo ops where she waves and smiles on stage–what if he considers her to be a Vice Presidential candidate? And what if she’s Jewish?

I don’t want a Jewish woman to become President or Vice President like this.

Ivanka Trump for VP is just a rumor for now**, but so was Donald Trump for President until a few months ago.

I know very little about Ivanka Trump. I know she’s Donald Trump’s daughter, and that she converted to Judaism, and that she has a new baby. I know she is blonde and beautiful.

She might well be a brilliant and savvy businesswoman with solid ethics and a gift for public speaking, a wonderful Vice Presidential candidate who could do an excellent job in office. I don’t know.

But this is not the way I want a Jewish woman to become Vice President. If Ivanka Trump or any other Jewish woman wants to get involved in politics, let their campaigns be about plans for how to fix our broken world, not about blustery hate-filled rhetoric. A political campaign should involve carefully thought out and researched ideas for policy changes, not plot twists.

The American political world has turned into a farce, a gimmicky free-for-all where politicians resemble clowns in a rodeo–they are absurd and nauseating caricatures that distract us from a brutal world over which we seem to have very little control.

I long for the day when I see a Jewish woman running for President or Vice President on a platform that doesn’t encourage me to forget everything important. Help us fight for Olam Ha Ba, help us work for peace and justice, help us make the world a better place! I believe the American people can create a better political system–a better world–than the mess we’re in right now.

I am heartbroken by recent violence, too many incidents to enumerate and too much outrage to bear, but I refuse to give in to hopelessness. No, not today. I believe there are lots of strong Jewish women out there who can change things, and I believe there are all sorts of wonderful people who can change things with us.

Let’s work on this, friends. We can pray and work to make this a better world.



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