A current thread asks the usual array of questions about Jewish religious practice from a non-Jewish person. One question he/she adds, however, is: “Do you think there will ever be a Jewish President?” The complete list (so far) of responses to this question have been:
- I hope not.
- I very sincerely hope not.
- Someday, probably. There will probably first be a Hispanic president. I won’t comment on whether it would be good or bad.
- To quote a famous sage: Difficult to see. Always in motion is the future.
- I am doubtful about there ever being a Jewish President of the U.S. Certainly not in my lifetime.
One person asked a follow-up “Why do you feel this way?” and the response was:
- I think no matter how good a job they did, a Jewish president would cause an increase in antisemitism purely by virtue of being such a public notable figure.
to which another person added:
- Yeah, people tend to do that; they don’t like the “thems” to be on power. Whether it is Jews, Individuals of Colour, or LGBT, or any combination of groups that experience prejudice. That’s why almost every President has been Protestant, with a few deists, possible athiests, and a Catholic.
I admit to sharing some of these aversions to a Jew becoming president. Initially I thought Obama’s election was the beginning of the end to age-old American racist attitudes. However, in the end they also fanned those simmering attitudes and in turn turned contributed to the current White House occupant’s election.
At the same time, I am saddened to think that the end result of a Schumer or Bloomberg or Sanders election would be more swastikas on synagogues and worse. The promise of America has always been that anyone can become president and that America is unique among our diaspora dwelling places.
Comment if you care to.