Nixon Converted Jews to His Cause. Trump Is Blowing It.

Instead of being showered with Hosannas after moving the American embassy to Jerusalem, he’s stuck with a thorny crown. Trump could have taken a page out of Richard Nixon’s 1972 campaign playbook and patiently wooed Jewish voters. Rather, the 45th president let his emotional incontinence rule the day, complaining about “disloyal Jews” who don’t appreciate what he’s done for their country, meaning Israel, and once again his numbers are heading south.

Nixon was different, at least when it came to Jewish voters. Unlike Trump, he knew how to play the long game—at least in the light of day when he was sober, and when the late Rev. Billy Graham wasn’t around to commiserate over Jews and America’s purported decline.   

And it’s not that Nixon had much choice. In 1960 and again in 1968, Nixon had garnered only about one-sixth of the Jewish vote, and it would take more than two decades before another Republican, George H.W. Bush in 1992, fared so poorly (actually worse) with Jewish voters.