October 29, 2018: The United States of Murder and Mayhem

I'm going to leave most of my remarks regarding the last few days on the show rather than here, but a few thoughts:

I'm not a particularly observant Jew but I went, with my daughter, to Denver's Temple Emanuel, which was the first Jewish congregation created in the state of Colorado. As a Jew I immediately felt, in a room full of people I don't know, as if I was part of a much larger community of Jews, both near and far. I know it's true even though I can't really explain it. 

Ben Shapiro, in his own way, helped me understand myself a bit better with this important article: https://www.dailywire.com/news/37683/why-we-cling-tree-life-ben-shapiro

On Monday morning, I'm going to have (at least) two guests:

First, Salena Zito, one of the best columnists and political writers in America -- because she is so in touch with her community. She's from Pittsburgh. 

Second, Distinguished University Professor Jeffrey Herf joins us to discuss the history of anti-Semitism and what Americans, including our current president, don't understand about it. Here's his Washington Post piece that led me to invite him to join us:

Of course, just before the mass murder at the Tree of Life synagogue, we learned of the arrest of another miscreant, the man who sent the non-functional bombs to many Democrats and critics of President Trump. One of the things that frustrated me about those few days of manhunt was how many people were fully invested in the "false flag" theory, i.e. that the perpetrator was a Democrat trying to make Republicans or the president or his supporters look bad. 

As I said on the show repeatedly, you obviously couldn't rule that out but I thought the odds were very low; the probability was always much higher that it was what it appeared to be. I have no problem with anybody talking, before the man's arrest, about what the situation could have been. But too many were "all-in" on the false-flag theory, including Rush Limbaugh, whom I've never seen so invested in a conspiracy theory. I don't agree with Rush on everything, but even when we've disagreed I've never been disappointed in him the way I was with this, and not just in hindsight. 

After the man was caught a listener emailed me a fairly crazy theory that the perpetrator couldn't have been the perpetrator because the stickers in his van windows weren't faded enough. It turns out that my listener must have gotten that from Limbaugh as well. Ugh. 

And finally, although I'm very hesitant to talk politics on a day like this, it is inevitable. My initial reaction, which was an email I sent to two good friends, is something that I know some of my listeners won't like. As for that all I can tell you is that it is honest, and I hope that's enough for you:

There was a murder of two black people – killed because they were black – on Wednesday in Kentucky. Somehow I didn’t even hear of it until this weekend, probably because the mail bomb story dominated the news through Friday. Then there was that arrest – of a Trump supporter. And then what happened in Pittsburgh (by a guy who didn’t like Trump because he thought Trump is too “globalist.”)

Any one of these things on its own, even the “bomber” (in quotes because we still don’t know if the bombs were intended to go off and none of them did), would not be particularly important politically.

But in combination, they’re probably a political disaster for swing-district Republicans next Tuesday. Think of Mike Coffman, a good man and good representative, against whom a campaign is being run on the issue of guns. 

And while the next presidential election is two further years away, I think a very large number of Americans will vote for almost anyone but Trump, seeing him as a man who is both incapable of and uninterested in uniting the nation. Unless the Dems put up someone as bad as Hillary, e.g. Elizabeth Warren, maybe Cory Booker, or Bernie Sanders, they shouldn’t have a very hard time beating Trump.

The crazy thing is that at this moment I really don’t now what I’d prefer. I despise Trump and wish I would never have to hear from or of him again. And I think that any of the leading Democrats will make this country a much worse place for my children’s economic future because their party (at the leadership level) has gone insane. The GOP is FAR more rational that the Dems right now. But their leader isn’t.

The Ross Kaminsky Show

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