September 6, 2020
We hope our California constituents are surviving this Labor Day Weekend heatwave…yet another reason to stay at home! We can all look forward to next year when hopefully we can enjoy the more traditional Labor Day picnics and barbecues surrounded by family and friends!
This coming Wednesday’s program with Ron Brownstein and Warren Olney is sure to be stimulating. Be sure to sign up; you will receive the ZOOM link several times via email on Tuesday and Wednesday. Register here
1. DANGERS POSED BY QANAN
Our own David Lehrer, founder and CEO of Community Advocates Inc., and member of the JUDJ leadership team, wrote this column about the dangers of Trump’s embrace of QAnan and conspiracy theories. In the column, which was published in this week’s Forward, Lehrer describes the grave threat which Trump poses to our pluralistic democracy, and challenges Jews who continue to support Trump. He writes: “That Trump’s enablers in the GOP tolerate his bizarre behavior is depressing enough, but that Jews who ought to have at least a glancing familiarity with the historical record of the past century and the evil that can result from unfounded conspiracy theories directed by a leader at a segment of his population, is downright perverse….For that cohort in the Jewish community (or any minority community in America) that still supports Trump, this should be a wake-up call. This is not a dispute about funding Social Security benefits or whether to cut taxes or save the Arctic tundra; this is a debate about fundamental values of truth and facts that speak to how minority groups and dissenting views are treated in our country.”
2. WHAT IF TRUMP LOSES BUT WON’T LEAVE OFFICE
Each week, the most frequently posed question to our speakers relates to what happens if Biden prevails but Trump does not accept the Biden victory. The Transition Integrity Project is a bi-partisan organization of more than 100 journalists, scholars, pollsters, campaign leaders, government officials, and academics formed in 2019 out of concern about potential disruptions to the 2020 US presidential election and transition by the RNC. The founder, Rosa Brooks, a constitutional law professor at Georgetown University, wrote this column which was published in this weekend’s Washington Post in which she reviews the “war games” scenarios which were conducted by the Transition Integrity Project. They looked at 4 different November election scenarios and played each one out to view likely outcomes, and, with but one exception, each of the exercises reached catastrophe. She writes that the “war game” is not predictive, but rather, it is intended to be instructive. Her concluding paragraph is particularly moving as she quotes the jurist Learned Hand who, in 1944 famously said, “Liberty lies in the hearts of men and women; when it dies there, no constitution, no law, no court can save it . . . while it lies there, it needs no constitution, no law, no court to save it.” Brooks concludes: “This is as true now as it was then: When people unite to demand democracy and the rule of law, even repressive regimes can be stopped in their tracks. Mass mobilization is no guarantee that our democracy will survive — but if things go as badly as our exercises suggest they might, a sustained, nonviolent protest movement may be America’s best and final hope.”
3. LATEST CAMPAIGN MESSAGING
In this weekend’s Washington Post political column Dan Balz analyzes the current status of the presidential race. He writes about Trump’s efforts to fashion a winning law & order message, and, what additional messages Trump might deploy if the law & order message fails to give him the boost he will likely need to prevail in November. “If Trump’s law and order message doesn’t work as planned, his chances will likely rest on whether perceptions of the pandemic — and his erratic leadership in fighting it — change and change rather rapidly, and also whether perceptions of Trump as an economic manager will somehow override attitudes about the virus. His other avenue is to dominate Biden in the presidential debates, especially the first one on Sept. 29.” Stay tuned!
In case you missed it in the last email, here is some background about Ron Brownstein as well as a recent column published by CNN about Biden’s GOP endorsements. Ron Brownsteinis a journalist, historian, and highly respected political observer who has won awards for his ability to effectively communicate even the most complex political issues and analysis. He is known for his clarity, precision and depth. He is the political director of Atlantic Media Company, the editorial director of National Journal, and a senior political and election analyst for CNN. His articles and columns appear regularly in The Atlantic, the LA Times and the National Journal. Warren Olney is a veteran of America at a Crossroads series and an award winning radio host and journalist. Hope you will join us! Register here
And, in preparation for next week’s program, consider reading this CNN column by Ron Brownstein in which he analyzes the various GOP endorsements which Biden has garnered and the impact they are likely to have on the election. He also compares the crossover endorsements in the Biden-Trump campaign to those in previous elections. He also considers the question of what happens to those GOP defectors when and if Biden is elected. The question is not only whether those GOP Biden supporters will have an impact on policies of a Biden presidency, but also what is the impact of those defectors on the future of the Republican party.
5. UPCOMING PROGRAMS: You can sign up for all of our upcoming programs via the links below. Notice our newly added programs with David Axelrod on the Wednesday before Election Day, and our special 2 hour Decision Day 2020 program on Sunday, November 1 5-7 pm PDT. Our guests are Max Boot, Jennifer Rubin, Bob Shrum, Mike Murphy, Lynn Vavreck, and Paul Maslin. See the bottom flyer below for more details.
6. RECORDINGS OF PAST PROGRAMS: You can access recordings of all of our past events at: https://www.jewsunitedfordemocracy.org/events/Donations to help offset our costs can be made here: JUDJ website . You can also donate here through Community Advocates. Funds donated to either organization are shared to offset the expenses of this virtual town hall series.(JUDJ ( EIN 82-0742397) is a fiscally sponsored project of Jewish Center for Justice (EIN: 81-4397882) which is a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt California public benefit corporation.)