It's hard not to be cynical about politics watching Donald Trump every day and wondering how so many people could fall for his act, but with so many conspiracy theories promoted by people who should know better, we shouldn't be surprised.
Chemi Shalev explains why inaccurate accusations that the White House misled the public on the Iran deal resonated among a certain segment of our community. After noting that "the world's most powerful countries, including those who control over 95 percent of the global nuclear arsenal, negotiated the agreement, examined it and endorsed it," Shalev writes that rather than accept the facts, some opponents of the Iran deal find it more convenient to ascribe the Iran deal's
de facto ratification to diabolical forces operating behind the scenes rather than to the failures staring them in the face, including their own...if global warming is a worldwide conspiracy of money-grabbing climate scientists, if Obama Care has death panels, if the government wants to take all the guns, if radicals are undermining the American family, if immigrants are about to take over, if Benghazi is the biggest cover up in history - how hard is it for Republicans to believe that White House spinmeisters hoodwinked the entire nation?
J.J. Goldberg ascribes Republican willingness to believe that the White House spun the entire nation to projection. The real lies that wrecked the Middle East came from Republican administrations:
The Republicans in Congress seem determined to accuse the Obama administration of something that it didn't do, but the two most recent two-term Republican administrations most assuredly did: pursuing a misguided policy under a cover of lies that greatly benefited Iran [Bush's invasion of Iraq, which destroyed Iran's worst enemy, and Reagan's illegal weapons sales to Iran]. Even more strange, they're basing their accusation on a misleadingly-written story in a newspaper they usually hate and mistrust, the New York Times.
It's a curious display of historical amnesia. Perhaps it's a case of psychological projection. Either way, it certainly shows how different are the realities in which different groups of Americans live.
Melania Trump blamed anti-Semitic attacks on the victim. Trump's wife said that a reporter who wrote a critical profile of her "provoked" the anti-Semitic abuse that the reporter received. Donald Trump said two weeks ago that he had "no message" for the "fans" who sent those anti-Semitic messages. On the other hand, Melania reassured us that Donald Trump is "not Hitler." That may be setting the bar a little low, but the Republican Jewish Coalition supports Trump.
Trump's policies on Israel are dangerous. Rep. Steve Israel (D-NY) writes that Trump's views on Israel (the country) are "not a matter for Talmudic interpretation" and that they pose high risks for Israel's security.
The Methodist Church heeded Hillary Clinton and rejected BDS resolutions. The rejection of four resolutions calling for divestment from companies that profit from Israel's control of the West Bank followed a statement from Hillary criticizing the boycott, divestment and sanctions movement against Israel. Criticism of BDS is almost always more effective when done by progressives using progressive messaging.