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Aug 7, 2018 11:39 AMPublication: The East Hampton Press

Zeldin Responds To Comments Made By Trump Jr. Comparing Democratic Party Policies To Nazi Policies

U.S. Representative Lee Zeldin
Aug 7, 2018 12:38 PM

References to Adolf Hitler and Nazi Germany became a source of fierce debate within the 1st District race between U.S. Representative Lee Zeldin and Democratic challenger Perry Gershon late last month, when Mr. Zeldin sharply criticized his opponent for saying his motivation for becoming more politically active came from similarities he sees between the rise of Donald Trump and the rise of Adolf Hitler.

Another recent invocation of Hitler and the Nazis—this time by a prominent political figure within Mr. Zeldin’s own party—has drawn national attention and re-stoked the debate about the consequences and effects of making what many agree is the most provocative and incendiary reference there is, politically speaking.

At the premiere of well-known conservative Dinesh D’Souza’s new film, “Death of a Nation: Plantation Politics and the Making of the Democratic Party,” in Washington, D.C., on August 1, Donald Trump Jr. gave an interview to the conservative media outlet One America News Network in which he referenced the Nazi Party while giving his thoughts on the film and the modern-day Democratic Party.

“When you look at the movie, you’ll see that there is a very distinct and clear difference between what actually happened and what is being sold to our youth today,” he said, according to the Chicago Tribune on August 2. “You see the Nazi platform from the early 1930s … and you look at it compared to the DNC platform of today, you’re saying, ‘Man, those things are awfully similar,’ to a point where it’s actually scary. It’s the exact opposite of what you’ve been told.”

Mr. Zeldin, who, like Mr. Gershon, is of the Jewish faith, has made it clear how he feels about any references to Hitler or Nazi Germany. On July 8, he tweeted: “Many in politics have resorted to calling all policies they disagree with as Nazi policies and all people they disagree with as ‘Nazis.’ It’s not working. Rightfully so. I’m trying to figure out what is getting insulted more: their own intelligence, or everyone else’s?”

Mr. Gershon originally drew Mr. Zeldin’s ire after saying at several town hall meetings and public forums that he was “struck by the parallels between the rise of Donald Trump today and the rise of Hitler back then” after taking a visit to the Holocaust Museum in Washington with his son two years ago. He has referred to Mr. Zeldin as an “enabler” of Mr. Trump and his policies.

At the end of July, Mr. Zeldin called Mr. Gershon’s comments “disgusting,” adding: “You can’t compare any president in the history of our country or their supporters and voters to Adolf Hitler and the Nazis.”

Mr. Zeldin repeated that last phrase when asked earlier this week about Donald Trump Jr.’s comments. But when asked if he was personally disappointed or frustrated that Mr. Trump—who is scheduled to attend Mr. Zeldin’s next fundraiser this month—made those comments, he declined to affirm feeling either emotion or to criticize him. He did, however, reiterate his distaste for the comparisons in a general sense.

“It could be someone in my family, a friend, or a stranger—my view on the issue is not colored with any different stripe based off who the person is saying it. I have my beliefs, and my belief is that you can’t compare it to anything,” he said.

Mr. Zeldin drew a distinction between the way he feels about Mr. Gershon’s comments, and the way he feels about Mr. Trump Jr. making similar references, explaining why he is more offended by Mr. Gershon’s statements and more openly and publicly critical of him.

“My opponent was attacking me [with those comments], trying to kick me out of office because of comparisons to Trump and Adolf Hitler, and that’s absolutely insane,” Mr. Zeldin said. “I was responding to [Mr. Gershon] saying that as part of his stump speech, and the fact that he was choosing to run against me because of those comparisons. It’s a different point when you’re personalizing it to me.”

For his part, Mr. Gershon said he believes that Mr. Zeldin’s intense public criticism of his campaign comments was an attempt to distract voters from the issues, and he has not backed down from his original comments.

“I talked about what’s going on and my fears,” he said. “I see creeping authoritarianism in Trump and Zeldin policies: taking babies away from mothers, siding with dictators against our intelligence agencies and allies, siding with insurance companies looking to take away health care and coverage for people with pre-exisiting conditions, calling the press the enemy of the people. Lee Zeldin has never criticized Trump for any of it.”

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Dirt throwing, I'm really tired. Dig deep enough and skeletons will show...
By knitter (1941), Southampton on Aug 7, 18 6:10 PM
Sauce for the goose is sauce for the gander, every time. The Honorable Lee can’t go beating up on Perry Gershon for something but stay mum when the Trump crowd says the same thing. People see right through that, but he does it anyway.

It really is beyond pathetic how Little Lee Zeldin lives in terror of Big Donald Trump. As he speculated during the campaig, Big Donald could shoot someone in the middle of Fifth Avenue, and Little Lee would probably be the first to call it self defense. ...more
By Turkey Bridge (1979), Quiogue on Aug 7, 18 6:10 PM
Democrats now are running on a policy of hate. They have no deas other than harassment of people who disagree.
By Spinny OHO (94), Speonk on Aug 7, 18 6:18 PM
1 member liked this comment
As usual, left wing hate mongers demonstrate their hypocrisy. Too bad the media has such a double standard for democrats and republicans.
By BillWillConn3 (180), Southampton on Aug 7, 18 10:09 PM
1 member liked this comment
The Democrats are being crushed because they have no policies except open borders, and crazy liberal ideas. Go back to NYC Perry we see your agenda.
By chief1 (2800), southampton on Aug 7, 18 11:15 PM
1 member liked this comment
Here's a rule for both sides of this debate - stop comparing anything we do in the country with the policies and actions of the Third Reich/Nazi party. The Nazi party rule resulted in the most evil episodes in modern world history. Hitler's reign of terror can in no way be compared with the leadership that has existed within our borders. Our actions both domestically and internationally cannot be compared with the evil of the Nazi regime.
By roverton (64), Westhampton on Aug 8, 18 7:28 AM
I for one don’t care what the half witted son of the president says. His statement alone shows the exact degree of thought that goes into his statements, zero thought. The Nazi party and what they did is one the most despicable things that happened to mankind in modern history. It reinforces my hate and distaste for neo nazis and their ilk.
By Fred s (3321), Southampton on Aug 8, 18 7:52 AM
2 members liked this comment
So in Perry’s opinion I’m a Nazi/ deplorable ? Go back to NYC we don’t need a narrow minded identity politician.
By Dee1961 (11), East Quogue on Aug 8, 18 8:40 AM
How sad. At every given chance to condemn the Trump family's base tactics and hate-mongering, Zeldin just heels like an obedient dog. Just another re-affirmation that Zeldin is a spineless Trump puppet. We need a Representative who will look out for all constituents, not just blindly support the policies of a demagogue. Time to go Lee!
By eagleeye (82), Sag Harbor on Aug 8, 18 10:48 AM
He's a coward and a traitor.
By johnj (1024), Westhampton on Aug 8, 18 10:52 AM
1 member liked this comment
It seems this article has hit a nerve with Zeldin's Neo Nazi followers. Trump Jr., like his pathological lying father, is a liar. All one has to do is look at Zeldin's backers. The first Zeldin fund raiser, this season, was held in New York City and hosted by Neo Nazi Steve Bannon. His second fund raiser was up west, not in this area, and featured as honored guest, Sebastian Gorka, a known Hungarian Neo Nazi and member of the anti-Semitic "Vitzi Rend" organization. So LEE, when you lie down with ...more
By SpeedRacer (160), Southampton on Aug 8, 18 2:19 PM
1 member liked this comment
Speaking of lying down with pigs, in a different kind of slime, how about that Chris Collins, huh? Charged with serious insider trading is this colleague of Lee Zeldin's in the New York Republican Congressional delegation. Paul Manafort, Scott Pruitt, Ryan Zinke, and now Chris Collins -- what a crowd! I'm not at all suggesting that Lee Zeldin himself is guilty of any such improprieties, but hey, lie down with pigs . . . . .
By Turkey Bridge (1979), Quiogue on Aug 8, 18 4:38 PM
So Turkey if I use your reasoning that would make you a drug dealer right? After all you did endorse Brad Bender! Both sides need to stop making foolish accusations.
By GoldenBoy (351), EastEnd on Aug 9, 18 10:49 AM
1 member liked this comment
Point taken, Boy, but it's not a "foolish accusation" to say that Little Lee Zeldin is keeping his mouth shut, not only about Big Donald Trump's multiple lies and attacks on democracy, but also about the widespread sleaze that infests what I'll laughingly call the Trump Administration.

These guys are a lot of greedy, grasping, lying swine, just like their boss Big Donald. We have a right to expect our Congressman to speak out when he sees wrong being done -- that's part of Congress's job, ...more
By Turkey Bridge (1979), Quiogue on Aug 9, 18 11:13 AM
... what has Zeldin done for the 1st CD? Anybody know?
By William Rodney (561), southampton on Aug 9, 18 11:19 AM
He was going to get Flanders it’s own zip code, not sure if it happened.
By Fred s (3321), Southampton on Aug 9, 18 11:23 AM
...that's huge.
By William Rodney (561), southampton on Aug 9, 18 1:10 PM
Gershon draws a parallel between Hitler and Trump.

Don Jr. draws a parallel between the Nazi Party and the Democratic Party.

The Honorable One finds Gershon's remarks "disgusting" , but Don Jr.'s only "disappointing".

Right-Wing "objectivity".

By highhatsize (4217), East Quogue on Aug 9, 18 11:24 AM
1 member liked this comment
The only parallel I see between Trump and the Nazi’s is Trump’s likeness to Sergeant Schultz from Hogan’s Hero’s....I see nothing...I know nothing...
By SDG1776 (114), Southampton on Aug 9, 18 6:35 PM
SDG, good one. Both bumbling clowns.
By Fred s (3321), Southampton on Aug 9, 18 6:38 PM
Hey Fred, maybe he’ll rebirth the defunct Democratic opposition Know-Nothing Party circa 1850 which was built on xenophobia and hostilities towards immigration...Trump could then go down in History as a notable Know-Nothing...
By SDG1776 (114), Southampton on Aug 9, 18 6:54 PM
SDG, he’s overtaken history, he already is.
By Fred s (3321), Southampton on Aug 9, 18 7:00 PM
1 member liked this comment
I disagree with Gershon’s claim that Mr Putin's Red Pet...excuse me a moment while I disable my anagram keyboard app .....aah, that’s better...I meant President Trump....has sided with dictators against our intelligence agencies and dictators.
Aug 10, 18 7:01 AM appended by SDG1776
I meant....agencies and allies.
By SDG1776 (114), Southampton on Aug 10, 18 7:01 AM
SDG, why would / wouldn’t you?
By Fred s (3321), Southampton on Aug 10, 18 7:17 AM
I do believe he sided against the intelligence community, thus the anagram which pretty much describes it..why?....in a bit of a rush this morning, maybe at a later time
By SDG1776 (114), Southampton on Aug 10, 18 7:27 AM
SDG, my comment was snark. A takeaway from trumps walk back on his comment about Putin. All good
By Fred s (3321), Southampton on Aug 10, 18 7:35 AM
What are Gershon’s credentials and qualifications, other than having nothing more than a narrowly compartmentalized background in real estate lending management, which appears to be somewhat lacking in the necessary diversity I would expect of a House representative. Will this alone enable Gershon to be an effective civil servant representing NY’s 1st Condressional District other than having woken up one morning with the epiphany of becoming a US Congressperson? The 1st District is ...more
Aug 11, 18 9:24 AM appended by SDG1776
Correction...definition of Civil Servant excludes elected officials.
By SDG1776 (114), Southampton on Aug 11, 18 9:24 AM
@ SDG1776

There are no parameters of qualification for candidates for political office (other than the constitutional/legal ones.) What we look for in them is the ability to bring an intelligent, rational approach to the needs of their constituents and to be energetic in the advocation of their interests. (Harry Truman was a haberdasher.)

Gershon's resumé indicates that he fulfills these requirements.

In any case, he will be running against an incumbent who has ...more
By highhatsize (4217), East Quogue on Aug 11, 18 10:26 AM
1 member liked this comment
Who can say what anyone’s credentials should be. If your an engineer, you have a degree in engineering and are probably licensed. If your a dr. You went to med school and passed your exams to become a dr. Politics is basically a job with very few requirements. I believe Felix Grucci , our former congressman,wasn’t even a college graduate. Mr Gershon is employed, made his own money and appears to be a decent human being.any elected official is just that, elected. It’s a roll of ...more
By Fred s (3321), Southampton on Aug 11, 18 11:11 AM
1 member liked this comment

Seems his only intent and motive for running is to foil rather than to represent, the 1st District being his only venue to do so, with issues to support his motive being ancillary at most. He pretty much says all the above during an interview with the East End Action Network. His motivation for running seems to be the result of a plea by Gillibrand, the “Trump Resistance”, to members of NYC’s elite that might have a seasonal home on the East End, with Zeldin being ...more
By SDG1776 (114), Southampton on Aug 12, 18 6:50 AM
SDG, isn’t a large portion of people running for office to be a foil of the opposing party?i understand what your saying about Gillibrand, but that’s true with both parties. It’s the think globally and act locally mentality. I don’t agree with everything on his platform, it’s campaigning time. It’s what politicians do.i like the fact that he’s a decent man , he does have a place in easthamton, and he’s a New Yorker. I’m not buying he’s ...more
By Fred s (3321), Southampton on Aug 12, 18 7:18 AM
Free stuff is very appealing to people who have never had to work or pay for anything.

The rest of us know that there is no such thing as free stuff, it's just a bill given to somebody else.
By Undocumented Democrat (2065), southampton on Aug 13, 18 4:11 PM
Undocumented, your right in a way. I work, but I still like free beer. Is that bad?
By Fred s (3321), Southampton on Aug 13, 18 4:14 PM
Someone is paying for it.

That doesn't sound free to me.
By Po Boy (5299), Water Mill on Aug 13, 18 4:23 PM
Po, great sense of humor.
By Fred s (3321), Southampton on Aug 13, 18 4:26 PM
This comment has been removed because it is a duplicate, off-topic or contains inappropriate content.
By allpeoplecount (69), eastport on Aug 17, 18 3:27 PM