Phoebe Maltz Bovy’s Week in Jews: Donald Trump’s dinner for schmucks

What was Donald Trump doing, having dinner with Kanye West and an agitator named Nick Fuentes? I had never heard of Nick Fuentes, but understood that he is not a fan of Jews.

Well, right back at you pal.

What I am a fan of, however, is the Wikipedia page for Fuentes. Specifically the section on “Women.” It begins by noting that he doesn’t think women should have the right to vote. Standard-issue far-right thinking. Also the sort of thing a 24-year-old provocateur might quip to shock. Then it takes… a turn.

“Fuentes identifies as an incel (or ‘involuntary celibate’), although some of his supporters have criticized him for being a ‘voluntary celibate’ after he admitted that he kissed a girl while he was in high school.”

Exactly how unpopular this man was while in high school is being litigated. I guess this is part of some subculture among young right-wing men, wherein romantic rejection equals clout. Not how it went in my own distant youth. In any case, if a man who denies the Holocaust and blanket-embraces all the bigotries is unable to find love, this is the system working as it should.

What are Fuentes’s beliefs, then, where gender and sexuality are concerned?

“He has attempted to defend himself as an incel by claiming that ‘having sex with women is gay.'”

Did he really say that? Evidently:

What matters here is not that twerps on the internet are being twerps, which is their wont. Rather it’s that the former and potentially future president of the United States wants the likes of him in his inner circle. Is his 2024 campaign going to be antisemitic sorry I mean overtly antisemitic? Is that where things are headed?

And what is Canada’s favourite professor Jordan Peterson doing in the mix? Is he being obscure and philosophical or is he angling for a dinner invite of his own? (Assuming beef is on the menu.)

It is at times like these that I’m reminded of that time, what seems like 100 years ago, when I was on the Ivanka beat at a different Jewish publication. Remember Ivanka, Trump’s Jewish daughter? Week after week, trying to sort out what it all meant, and reassuring readers that skittishness regarding Ivanka did not extend towards converts to Judaism more generally. We had to cover Ivanka because she was the nation’s highest-profile Jew. And her being Jewish was supposed to matter.

But if ever there were a time for the lol nothing matters analysis, this would be it. It’s Trump, it doesn’t have to make sense! If a Black man and a man who comes by the last name Fuentes the usual way can be white supremacists, then there’s no reason to assume he’s sitting there thinking, Gee, maybe I shouldn’t dine with Mr. Hater of Jews, given that my daughter is one.

As for what’s actually going through Trump’s mind, I have no idea. Maybe he’s thinking about how tremendously, flamboyantly gay it is is when a man and a woman have sex.

The CJN’s senior editor Phoebe Maltz Bovy can be reached at [email protected] and on Twitter @bovymaltz