To Give The Devil His Due

To Give The Devil His Due

By Warren S. Hecht

When I was preparing last week’s article I decided to conduct a test. I would not mention the controversy concerning the Trump administration’s failure to mention Jews in the statement for International Holocaust Remembrance Day on January 27. January 27 was chosen because it was the anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz-Birkenau.

The statement was as follows: “It is with a heavy heart and somber mind that we remember and honor the victims, survivors, heroes of the Holocaust. It is impossible to fully fathom the depravity and horror inflicted on innocent people by Nazi terror.

“Yet, we know that in the darkest hours of humanity, light shines the brightest. As we remember those who died, we are deeply grateful to those who risked their lives to save the innocent.

“In the name of the perished, I pledge to do everything in my power throughout my presidency, and my life, to ensure that the forces of evil never again defeat the powers of good. Together, we will make love and tolerance prevalent throughout the world.”

There was an outcry from many Jews and others about the omission. I wanted to see if the Trumpians would make a negative comment about it. I am still waiting.

The administration also walked back on its promise to immediately move the United States embassy to Jerusalem. There was an article in the Queens Jewish Link defending the backtrack as a brilliant political maneuver, and in any event, it is not so important to immediately move the embassy.

This past week, the administration made two comments supporting a two-state solution and said that building new settlements or increasing existing settlements are not helpful to the peace process. If any of these comments had been made by the Obama administration, the Trumpians would have been up in arms. Yet when it comes to their guy, there is a different standard.

I believe that this is due to the inability to admit that they can support someone who is not perfect and that they will not agree with him on all issues. This same absolutist attitude relates to their attitude toward those who do not like Trump and his policies. They cannot admit that the opposition may have some legitimate points.

The converse is also true. The Trump haters tend to refuse to accept the fact that he may be right on occasion and his actions have had some positive benefits. They also refuse to admit that Trump and those who support him may have some valid arguments.

This attitude is buttressed by only listening to those who support their position. For example, Trump supporters only watch Fox while Trump opponents watch MSNBC or CNN. It used to be that these stations would have panelists on both sides of the issue. Now it is one sided.

Therefore, when there is a give and take we are so surprised. I think we need more of it. That is why I was happy to have written responses between Rabbi Schonfeld and me concerning my comments about the president. We made our arguments in a respectful manner and agreed to disagree. Similarly, I realize that my positions are in the minority as it relates to fellow columnists and the readers, at least in my community. I think it is important that people hear both sides of an issue instead of reading a bunch of columnists spewing the same positions.

In the spirit of bipartisanship, I will make a list of some good things that have resulted from a Trump presidency, or actions or positions that I can agree with.

I do not agree with all the positions stated by Judge Neil Gorsuch, the president’s choice for Supreme Court. However, I would support the choice since he is a very bright, capable, and experienced jurist. That used to be the standard. Now we are stuck with choosing a judge based on how we think the judge would rule on hot-button issues.

Until Trump became president, it appeared that the millennials and younger people were uninterested in politics and getting involved as compared to older generations. Thanks to Trump’s statements since he has been president, these groups are becoming more politically active. For example, there were marches the day after the inauguration all over the country in numbers never seen in our history.

Trump, by his combative tone toward the media and calling them out when he believes that they are falsely reporting, has forced the media to become even more careful in backing up their reporting. They know that one mistake will be used by the president to try to discredit any future reporting.

As a result of the administration’s use of “alternative facts,” the book 1984 by George Orwell is now the number-one book requested on Amazon. I have read the book and I would recommend it.

There is now a discussion about America’s role in the world and what to do about our immigration problem.

I call on the Trumpians to try to be intellectually honest and admit the faults and mistakes made by the administration.

Judges and lawyers are now looked upon by much of society in a more positive light. They release our importance in protecting people’s rights and being a bulwark against an administration that oversteps its power under the law, including the constitution.

People are more aware of the close relationship between the United States and Australia and the sacrifice that Australia has endured in fighting with and supporting America’s policies.

The relationship between Trump and Netanyahu is better than it was between Obama and Netanyahu.

These are just a few examples of some positive results from the Trump presidency. I call on the Trumpians to try to be intellectually honest and admit the faults and mistakes made by the administration. There is nothing wrong with giving credit when credit is due, and criticism when a person should be criticized. This would go a long way in bridging the gap between those who support and admire the president and those who loathe him.

Warren S. Hecht is a local attorney. He can be reached at