Open Letter to Donald Trump

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US President Donald Trump announces his decision on the Iran nuclear deal in the Diplomatic Reception Room at the White House in Washington, DC, on May 8, 2018. (Photo by SAUL LOEB / AFP) (Photo credit should read SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images)

In the summer of 1988, while working as executive editor of For Your Health Magazine, I attended a gathering of journalists onboard a newly purchased  yacht. This gathering was an unveiling of the most expensive personal yacht purchase ever. The 30-something Manhattan businessman who purchased the yacht was Donald Trump.

He was a driven man, financially bright and not necessarily conservative. He was inordinately responsible, and if his name was on something, he made sure it was of the highest quality. He would never wholesale his name to the highest bidder. He bragged about his social commitment.


Does this sound familiar to you? Could you and he be the same Donald Trump?

The anti-Semitism in this great nation currently is more intense, obvious and prevalent than in Germany in the 1920’s and 1930’s. Not addressing this dangerous, volatile issue is inexcusable. To allow this hatred and bigotry to fester to the point that Jewish people are killed in the practice of their faith is an embarrassment.


The first job of a politician is to get elected. But remember what Harry Truman said: “My choice early in life was to either be a  piano-player in a whorehouse or a politician. And to tell the truth, there’s hardly any difference.”

James Freeman Clarke stated: “A politician thinks of the next election. A statesman, of the next generation.” Mr. Trump, be a statesman. You’ve already proven you can be a politician; an incredibly successful one. Now prove that you can be a statesman. You have the ability. I personally beleive that you have the desire.

It’s time to think of the next generation – not the 2020 election. I believe if you tackle this sticky, demanding issue you will be re-elected. You will also cement your place in history.

Think, Mr. President, of your legacy. You have the talent, the credibility and the inroads to this enraged, hateful, violent microcosm of our society. Do this for your legacy. Do this for your Jewish Kinderlach. Do it for all the Jewish children in America. Do it for all the children in the U.S. It may be just the Jews now. It always starts that way. But history teaches us there is always a next group. Who knows who’s next?

You have the talent, intelligence and ability to negate and obliterate anti-Semitism in this country once and for all. The power and ability to solve this crisis is not in the hands of Hilary Clinton, Elizabeth Warren, Joe Biden or even Bernie Sanders. It’s all yours. The connection with this small anti-Semitic demographic is yours and yours alone. These people like you; they respect you; they rely on you.

God had a plan, President Trump. Upon you God bestowed a “gift” to reach and touch these troubled people. Please use this “gift from above” to turn the tides of hatred and bigotry away from this amazing land.

Father’s Day has just passed. I know how much you love and admire your  parents. I am also aware of your love for your children and grandkids. Some of these kids and grandchildren are, in fact, Jewish. Address this dangerous, scary issue that plagues our Jewish children and grandchildren. Respect your parents and protect all our children and grandchildren.

We recently celebrated Memorial Day. Let us not desecrate the heroes we celebrated and honored a few weeks ago. The “Greatest Generation,” most of whom are long gone, sacrificed much and gave our generation a chance they never had. They defeated Hitler and Nazism in Europe. Leave us not denigrate that generation by allowing Nazism and anti-Semitism to resurrect and thrive in the United States in the 21st century.

Independence Day is just around the corner. Let’s together get this small group of dissatisfied Americans to be truly independent. Let’s help them break loose from the chains of  ignorance and the tyranny of bigotry and violence that they were indoctrinated  into as innocent children at the hands of their parents and angry communities.

I fully understand their unhappiness with the unfortunate path fate put them on. We also need to attach blame somewhere. The reason they kvell is how we Jews seem to be everywhere. We do own numerous businesses. We do run many unions. We are the capitalists, the bankers and yes even the socialists. For us, it is a source of pride how our incredibly small minority can be so prevalent and successful in so many endeavors. For some, unfortunately, it is a source of rage and prejudice. And sometimes, it leads to extreme violence.

Whether or not you are still the pro choice, socially liberal capitalist I met, you are now the President and the leader of the free world. And you have a moral obligation to speak out against this sick, vile anti-Semitism that has escalated. You have the legal responsibility,  in addition to a moral imperative.

So, Mr. President, let’s get together on this, like back on the Trump Princess in 1988. Not “For Your Health,” but for the country’s health and life. Just you and I. Two Queens County baby boomers reminiscing about Woodstock, and once again solving the problems of the world.

Speak from the heart. The Donald Trump who invited me onto his yacht to talk about how he stays healthy, had a heart. The current American president has a heart. I know it. So show it. You need to loudly, sincerely speak out against this anti-Semitic subculture. It must be from the heart. You  need to defend Jews against anti-Semitism, and thereby defend all minorities, and therefore insure domestic tranquility. You need to honor the oath that you affirmed.

The Donald Trump we all know and love never had a problem being spontaneous and honest with Letterman, Leno, or the View. If you insist on reading a prepared statement, please allow this writer to compose it for you; free of charge.

Please do not delay. More violence looms on the horizon. It’s too late to  prevent Pittsburgh. It’s too late to prevent Poway. Do not think it is too far from these tragic events to be relevant. Please prevent the next horror. Make no mistake about it, you have the ability to do just that.

President Trump, your talent was never the issue, nor was your true heart. The problem has been a misguided desire and quest for rating points. You might very well need the Jewish vote in large numbers in 2020.

Being best buds with Bibi is not enough. Yes, we like a pro-Israel stance, but it is just not enough. American Jews shouldn’t need to do an aliyah and move to Israel to feel safe. Praying in Pikesville or Pittsburgh, Poway, Philadelphia or  anywhere in America should provide the same security, if not more than living  near the Golan Heights. An American in a house of worship should feel as safe as a babe in momma’s arms; or an amazingly fortunate Jamaica Estates kid in the back of a chauffeur-driven limousine.

On the second day of Passover, Jews begin counting The Omer. On the eighth and last day of Passover, the day of the Poway murder, I started counting the my own “Omer.” How many days until Donald Trump reels in the violent, maniacal murderers? How many days until this cultured, concerned, able American president lets it be known that violence against Americans in their house of worship will no longer be tolerated? Not for a Queens County, New York second.

Please Mr. President, do not wait for more destruction, desecration and death. I know you understand. I know you get it. Above all else, please do not wait for the sound of breaking glass.

Gary Schuman is a retired editor living in Pikesville.

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