Don Cohen: People Aren’t Thinking About The Election Yet

"Obviously, there's a lot going on, but I don't think everybody's particularly engaged right now."
By | May 15, 2024
JPVP 2024
Don Cohen

This interview is part of Moment’s Jewish Political Voices Project. To learn more about the project, click here. To see our other participants, click here. To see all posts from Don, click here.


Age: 65
Occupation: Retired Jewish community relations professional

Location: West Bloomfield, MI
Party Registration: Independent
Jewish Denomination: Conservative
2020 Vote: Joe Biden
Current 2024 Vote: Joe Biden
Family: Married, two daughters, one grandchild
News Sources: The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, Detroit News, Detroit Free Press, Times of Israel, CNN

You recently traveled to Israel. What was it like?

It was like an episode of The Twilight Zone. Everything was just sort of surreal. One was the episode where the guy wakes up and everything seems to be fine. But he realizes there’s nobody there. Everything’s there. That was one of them. That was my experience.

Were you more optimistic when you came back?

At the heart of it. Most Americans understand that the enemies of Israel are the enemies of America. I think that a lot of people aren’t paying attention to the fact that we are a rich community, etc. And there’s real problems that need to be dealt with. And I’ve seen this even more since I’ve been back. But I get the feeling that the war isn’t not going to be the issue that it’s portrayed as being. Not that those Arab and Muslim and progressive votes are going to come into Biden, I doubt they will. That’s gonna be a problem. I think there’s still going to be a lot more people who are going to come out against Trump.

What do you think about what’s happening in Michigan? How does the state fit into the upcoming election?

All the polling here still shows Democratic favorability. Except for Trump as a president. I think there was a Wall Street Journal poll that had seven of eight of the battleground states going for Trump. But, you know, the baseball team won a few games. It’s getting warm, there’s an eclipse. I just don’t know that everybody’s focused on the election at this point. In the last couple of weeks, I’ve begun to see Biden campaign commercials. I hadn’t really seen them previously. They’re pretty evident now.

Obviously, there’s a lot going on, but I don’t think everybody’s particularly engaged right now. And to bring it back to the Middle East just for a sec. Because the other piece that fits in with what I was saying is I think people are also getting fed up with the tactics of the anti Israel protesters. I mean, they are I mean, with what they’ve what they’ve disrupted here at the University of Michigan with their honors convocation. You know, those sorts of things are not going to play well.

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