The fact is that my father in law is an incredibly loving and tolerant person who has embraced my family and our Judaism since I began dating my wife. His support has been unwavering and from the heart. I have personally seen him embrace people of all racial and religious backgrounds, at his companies and in his personal life. This caricature that some want to paint as someone who has “allowed” or encouraged intolerance just doesn’t reflect the Donald Trump I know. The from-the-heart reactions of this man are instinctively pro-Jewish and pro-Israel. Just last week, at an event in New Hampshire, an audience member asked about wasting money on “Zionist Israel.” My father-in-law didn’t miss a beat in replying that “Israel is a very, important ally of the United States and we are going to protect them 100 percent.” No script, no handlers, no TelePrompter—just a strong opinion from the heart.
There’s real racism in the world. There’s real anti-Semitism in the world. These are pernicious, dispiriting truths. Some of the tweets that Ms. Schwartz has received, depicting her being thrown into an oven, for example, are beyond disgusting. I am appalled that anyone, let alone someone who works for me, would have to endure that kind of hateful rhetoric. But blaming Donald Trump for the most outrageous things done by people who claim to support him is no different from blaming Bernie Sanders for the people who stomp and spit on American flags at his rallies.
I tell people that Donald Trump is a Rorschach test. People see in him what they want to see—if they dislike his politics, they might see other things they dislike, such as racism. If they like his politics, they might imagine they’re hearing “dog whistles.” He will touch subjects politicians try to avoid. This is part of why he appeals to so many.