Trump Is Shifting a Boundary That Shouldn't Shift

Michelle Goldberg: His dinner with Holocaust denier further normalizes antisemitism
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 29, 2022 8:19 AM CST
The Real Danger of Trump's Awful Dinner Guest
Former President Trump arrives to speak at Mar-a-Lago, Nov. 18, 2022, in Palm Beach, Fla.   (AP Photo/Rebecca Blackwell)

In a New York Times essay, Michelle Goldberg is not buying the idea that former President Trump didn't realize he was dining with Holocaust denier and avowed antisemite Nick Fuentes. For one thing, Goldberg wrote another essay in September about a Trump-backed candidate that mentioned Fuentes in the very first paragraph—and Trump made a point of writing a note of congratulations on a print version of the piece and mailing it to the candidate. But even giving Trump the benefit of the doubt, Goldberg notes he has failed to denounce Fuentes or his views since the dinner came to light. That the former president has not been criticized by the soon-to-be House speaker, Kevin McCarthy (who previously chided GOP House members Marjorie Taylor Greene and Paul Gosar for speaking at one of Fuentes' events) is a bad sign, writes Goldberg.

It "suggests that the boundary between the intolerable and the acceptable is shifting," she writes. "That’s what Trump does: By violating the norms holding together liberal democratic society with impunity, he renders those norms inoperable." It's bad enough that Trump is doing this, but Goldberg writes that "anti-Jewish bigotry, or at least tacit approval of anti-Jewish bigotry," is coming from other powerful figures, notably Ye (formerly Kanye West) and Elon Musk, the world's richest man. (Musk on Monday tweeted an image of Pepe the frog, which has become an alt-right symbol.) "Such antisemitism still feels, at least to me, less like an immediate source of terror than an ominous force offstage," she writes. "Maybe this time, for the first time, it won’t get worse." Read the full essay, headlined "Antisemitism's March Into the Mainstream." (More Donald Trump stories.)

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