Trump Doubles Down on Fascism
The Republican frontrunner continues to use Hitler's language, praise dictators, and lionize traitors.
Reuters (“Trump repeats ‘poisoning the blood’ anti-immigrant remark“):
Donald Trump, the Republican presidential frontrunner, said on Saturday that undocumented immigrants were “poisoning the blood of our country,” repeating language that has previously drawn criticism as xenophobic and echoing of Nazi rhetoric.
Trump made the comments during a campaign event in New Hampshire where he railed against the record number of migrants attempting to cross the U.S. border illegally. Trump has promised to crack down on illegal immigration and restrict legal immigration if elected to a second four-year term in office.
“They’re poisoning the blood of our country,” Trump told a rally in the city of Durham attended by several thousand supporters, adding that immigrants were coming to the U.S. from Asia and Africa in addition to South America. “All over the world they are pouring into our country.”
Trump used the same “poisoning the blood” language during an interview with The National Pulse, a right-leaning website, that was published in late September. It prompted a rebuke from the Anti-Defamation League, whose leader, Jonathan Greenblatt, called the language “racist, xenophobic and despicable.”
Jason Stanley, a Yale professor and author of a book on fascism, said Trump’s repeated use of that language was dangerous. He said Trump’s words echoed the rhetoric of Nazi leader Adolf Hitler, who warned against German blood being poisoned by Jews in his political treatise “Mein Kampf”.
“He is now employing this vocabulary in repetition in rallies. Repeating dangerous speech increases its normalization and the practices it recommends,” Stanley said. “This is very concerning talk for the safety of immigrants in the U.S.”
In October Trump campaign spokesperson Steven Cheung had dismissed criticism of the former president’s language as “nonsensical,” arguing that similar language was prevalent in books, news articles and on TV.
When asked for comment on Saturday, Cheung did not directly address Trump’s remarks and instead referred to the controversies over how U.S. colleges are handling campus protests since Hamas’ Oct. 7 attack on Israel, saying media and academia had given “safe haven for dangerous anti-Semitic and pro-Hamas rhetoric that is both dangerous and alarming.”
The “poisoning the blood of our country” language was not in Trump’s prepared remarks distributed to media prior to Saturday’s event, and it was not clear whether his use of that rhetoric was planned or adopted on the fly.
WaPo (“Trump quotes Putin condemning American democracy, praises autocrat Orban“):
Republican polling leader Donald Trump approvingly quoted autocrats Vladimir Putin of Russia and Viktor Orban of Hungary, part of an ongoing effort to deflect from his criminal prosecutions and spin alarms about eroding democracy against President Biden.
His speech at a presidential campaign rally here on Saturday also reprised dehumanizing language targeting immigrants that historians have likened to past authoritarians, including a reference that some civil rights advocates and experts in extremism have compared to Adolf Hitler’s fixation on blood purity.
And he used the term “hostages” to describe people charged with violent crimes in the Jan. 6, 2021, attack at the U.S. Capitol.
Trump quoted Putin, the dictatorial Russia president who invaded neighboring Ukraine, criticizing the criminal charges against Trump, who is accused in four separate cases of falsifying business records in a hush money scheme, mishandling classified documents, and trying to overturn the 2020 election results. In the quotation, Putin agreed with Trump’s own attempts to portray the prosecutions as politically motivated.
“It shows the rottenness of the American political system, which cannot pretend to teach others about democracy,” Trump quoted Putin saying in the speech. Trump added: “They’re all laughing at us.”
He went on to align himself with Orban, the Hungarian prime minister who has amassed functionally autocratic power through controlling the media and changing the country’s constitution. Orban has presented his leadership as a model of an “illiberal” state and has opposed immigration for leading to “mixed race” Europeans. Democratic world leaders have sought to isolate Orban for eroding civil liberties and bolstering ties with Putin.
But Trump called him “highly respected” and welcomed his praise as “the man who can save the Western world.”
In the speech, Trump also repeated his own inflammatory language against undocumented immigrants, by accusing them of “poisoning the blood of our country” — a phrase that immigrant groups and civil rights advocates have condemned as reminiscent as Hitler in his book “Mein Kampf,” in which he told Germans to “care for the purity of their own blood” by eliminating Jews.
The crowd of thousands in a college arena cheered Trump’s recitation of an anti-immigrant poem called “The Snake” that he has repeated on the campaign trail and popularized since the 2016 campaign.
And approaching the third anniversary of the Jan. 6, 2021, insurrection, Trump came to the defense of alleged violent offenders who have been detained awaiting trial on the order of judges.
“I don’t call them prisoners, I call them hostages,” he said. “They’re hostages.”
Whether the original use of language similar to that used by Adolf Hitler is intentional on Trump’s part is debatable. That he continues to use it after the connection has been pointed out by President Biden and pretty much every media outlet in the country is telling. (Alas, so is the fact that, so far as I can tell, Chris Christie is the only prominent Republican doing so.)
Trump has made it pretty clear that, while he may be a populist, he’s no fan of democracy. And, while he may run on an America First platform, his continued sucking up to Putin and Orban, autocratic leaders very much opposed to vital U.S. interests, would seem to belie that. It’s bizarre and, frankly, unprecedented in modern American politics, certainly at the highest level.