Extremism Has Been Normalized by the GOP

February 28, 2023

It feels like antisemitism is everywhere these days. Last week, neo-Nazis declared a “National Day of Hate” targeting Jewish Americans. They harassed Jews in Florida and theatergoers in New York. These were just the latest examples of far-right antisemitic extremism at a moment of record hate and violence.

Amid this growing danger, it’s important to consider the root causes:

Right-wing antisemites are uniquely emboldened by Republican politicians, including Donald Trump and Ron DeSantis, who have dangerously used extremist rhetoric, conspiracy theories, and policies — and have aligned with, tolerated, echoed, and even embraced white supremacists and other far-right extremists — as a part of their political agenda for their own political gain.

In the 2022 midterms, a record number of extremist candidates ran for office: at least 119 ran in primaries, and roughly 25% won their election, according to the ADL. Significantly, all of these extremist candidates ran as Republicans. Make no mistake: the threat posed by extremism to the Jewish community has a political dimension — extremism has been normalized by the GOP.

At JDCA, we believe it’s crucial to identify and call out this normalization of extremism within the Republican Party. The rise of antisemitism and other forms of hate among GOP leaders is directly connected to the larger fight for our democracy.

Here’s the good news: the Biden administration and Democrats in Congress are working to combat this dangerous extremism, defend democracy, and protect the Jewish community. When the history books are written, we’re proud that Democrats will be on the right side of history. We have a particularly powerful advocate in Second Gentleman Douglas Emhoff, who shares and embodies our Jewish values. He tweeted this yesterday:

JDCA is committed to supporting and electing Democrats who share these values, combating extremism and antisemitism, and growing this movement to advance our values and defend our community. Thank you for your continued support and partnership.


Halie Soifer
CEO, Jewish Democratic Council of America