Trump, Populism, and Anti-Semitic Dog Whistles

Distinguishing between anti-elite populism and coded anti-Semitism is next to impossible.

Donald Trump’s closing advertising message is a much more polished version of the populism he’s been peddling all campaign:

Joe Scarborough really likes it:

Dan Drezner really hates it:

Josh Marshall is much more explicit:

From a technical and thematic perspective it’s a well made ad. It’s also packed with anti-Semitic dog whistles, anti-Semitic tropes and anti-Semitic vocabulary. I’m not even sure whether it makes sense to call them dog whistles. The four readily identifiable American bad guys in the ad are Hillary Clinton, George Soros (Jewish financier), Janet Yellen (Jewish Fed Chair) and Lloyd Blankfein (Jewish Goldman Sachs CEO).

The Trump narration immediately preceding Soros and Yellin proceeds as follows: “The establishment has trillions of dollars at stake in this election. For those who control the levers of power in Washington [start Soros] and for the global [start Yellen] special interests [stop Yellen]. They partner with these people [start Clinton] who don’t have your good in mind.”

For Blankfein: “It’s a global power structure that is responsible for the economic decisions that have robbed our working class, stripped our country of its wealth and put that money into the [start Blankein] pockets of a handful of large corporations [stop Blankfein] and political entities.”

These are standard anti-Semitic themes and storylines, using established anti-Semitic vocabulary lined up with high profile Jews as the only Americans other than Clinton who are apparently relevant to the story. As you can see by my transcription, the Jews come up to punctuate specific key phrases. Soros: “those who control the levers of power in Washington”; Yellen “global special interests”; Blankfein “put money into the pockets of handful of large corporations.”

I must confess, even as a die-hard #NeverTrump guy who has grudgingly endorsed Clinton, I just don’t hear it. The nature of dog whistles is that they’re only audible to those tuned to the frequency. Perhaps my ears just aren’t.

On the late, lamented “Colbert Report,” Stephen Colbert played a caricature of a ring-wing talk show host. Among his many tropes was “I don’t see color.” Having spent most of my life in the South, I certainly see color. But anti-Semitism has to be extremely overt for me to notice it, in that I’ve always viewed all but the most ostentatiously Orthodox Jews as “white people.”

Certainly, the Trump campaign has attracted the enthusiastic support of something called the “alt-right,” a phenomenon of which I was completely unaware until a few months back. And there has been a widespread and ugly attacking of Jews on social media this cycle of the likes I’ve never seen. I’ve experienced it second-hand, mostly by virtue of Dan’s Twitter feed.

Yet, while I see Trump’s bashing of Mexicans and Muslims as extreme nativism at best and racism at worst, I don’t see him overtly bashing Jews.

The attacks on a “global power structure” and “large corporations” who are “robb[ing] our working class” seem very much out of Bernie Sanders’ and Elizabeth Warren’s playbooks. It’s pure economic populism. And Sanders is Jewish.

But, again, when I see a picture of Janet Yellen, I don’t think “Jew.” Ditto George Soros. I wouldn’t know Lloyd Blankfein if I ran into him in the lobby at Goldman Sachs (which is exceedingly unlikely; I’m not even sure they have a lobby). His name is sufficiently unusual that it triggers a Jewish association in a way that “Yellen” and “Soros” don’t.

The same, I think, is true of Scarborough, who’s roughly my contemporary and a fellow graduate of The University of Alabama. (Roll Tide!)

Drezner and Scarborough have a good exchange on the economic populism issue following the initial salvo above; I won’t reproduce it here but commend it to you. While I don’t particularly like the ad in question—even presuming any anti-Semitic messaging was unintentional—I agree with Scarborough that the key to a viable Republican party is figuring out a way to cater to the very real needs that Trump, Sanders, and Warren have tapped into while simultaneously being inclusionary. The Trump ad moves in that direction, in that, absent the baggage of Trump and his campaign, it’s a message that could appeal to working class blacks and Hispanics just as well.

The problem, as Drezner and I note in the exchange, is that it’s very difficult, indeed, to craft an inclusionary populist message. Almost by definition, populism is anti-elite. Which gets us back into the “dog whistle” issue. The fact that Jews are well represented in elite sectors like finance, law, entertainment, journalism, and the academy means attacks on these sectors could well invoke anti-Semitic reactions. I don’t know how we can disentangle that.

FILED UNDER: Campaign 2016, Race and Politics, US Politics
James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College and a nonresident senior fellow at the Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security at the Atlantic Council. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm vet. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.

Comments

  1. Franklin says:

    But, again, when I see a picture of Janet Yellen, I don’t think “Jew.” Ditto George Soros. I wouldn’t know Lloyd Blankfein if I ran into him in the lobby at Goldman Sachs

    Same here. Personally I rarely notice if people are Jewish. It wasn’t a factor in my upbringing, and even though there were apparently a large number at the college I attended, I sort of just failed to notice at the time.

  2. JohnMcC says:

    Like you I’m a southerner and like you I was not brought up to perceive Jewishness. This election has certainly sensitized me, though. So I suppose I could thank Mr Trump and the Republican party for opening my eyes to a form of racism that my Alabama roots had spared me from.

  3. JKB says:

    And yet, although they be Jewish, that element of their individuality was not caused the inclusion of neither Soros, Yellen, or Blankfein. Rather the are show for their chosen actions (Soros) or chosen positions as top banker (Yellen) or head of a firm that has come to personify globalist Wall Street.

    Had the content of the ad included a more international element, it would have most likely shown the anti-Israel bent of the globalists to support its message.

    Sadly, we’ve increasingly seen the abandonment of modernity by many on the Left. They rush to judge and assign an individual by their tribal/clan genetic identity and not by the individuals chosen associations in the separate economic, social, political and religious/ideological spheres. In fact, if an individual seeks to interact with the world as an individual and not be defined by their genetic identity, then the Left is quick to shun and even persecute that individual, such as they do with Conservative African-Americans, Conservative Gay individuals, etc.

  4. CSK says:

    As a northeasterner, I may be more attuned to this sort of message. It’s pitched to the alt-right, which is obsessive about ferreting out any trace of Jewishness. And you have to understand that the alt-right does not consider Jews to be white people.

  5. michael reynolds says:

    Well, as the joke goes I’m as Jewish as Olive Garden is Italian. Ethnically Jewish if not religiously. (Excuse me a moment, room service just rang with my bacon.) Yes, there are echoes in the ad. Those echoes are subtle enough that decent people can easily miss them, but crystal clear and deafening to the KKK and the American Nazi Party that endorse Trump. Believe me, they hear it.

    I’m in Vegas walking the streets canvassing for Hillary. Yesterday stopped at a house where the woman started in on how ‘she’s not racist at all,’ ‘but these Mexicans get everything and we get nothing!’ To the average Trump voter so long as you don’t say, ‘ni–er,’ and remember to say, ‘I’m not racist but. . .’ then you should be safe from any accusation of racism. They are, I think, honestly baffled and hurt when normal people say, ‘Eewww,’ and avoid further contact.

    But do Jews and Nazis hear anti-semitism in the ad? Yep. Intentional? Who knows, but the effect is there.

  6. CSK says:

    @JKB:

    Come on, JKB, have you ever looked at the reader comments at an alt-right site such as Amren or Takimag? Every bad thing that happens in the world is because of the evil Jews. Or Joooooz, as they’re wont to spell it.

  7. CSK says:

    @michael reynolds:

    It’s intentional, Michael. Bannon knows his audience.

  8. Kylopod says:

    If this were some isolated incident to a candidate who’d never been suspected of anti-Semitism or ties to anti-Semites before, I might have an easier time dismissing it. But this is the candidate who tweeted the Star of David graphic, who’s regularly retweeted from anti-Semitic white supremacist sites with names like WhiteGenocide, who said “I’m a negotiator like you folks” before the Republican Jewish Coalition, who attacked Jon Stewart by referencing his real name Jonathan Liebowitz, who was very wishy-washy about disavowing the support of David Duke, who speaks about a worldwide conspiracy of “international banks,” and who, might I add, has a campaign chairman with an apparent history of anti-Semitism.

    Of course he has not attacked Jews to the same degree he’s attacked Muslims or Latinos. But there can be little doubt at this point that he’s consciously pandering to anti-Semitic groups in order to shore up their support.

  9. Nikki says:

    For those who don’t hear/see the anti-Semitism in the ad, ask yourself if the ad would have still been effective without an actual human face given to the institutions under discussion.

  10. JKB says:

    @CSK: Every bad thing that happens in the world is because of the evil Jews. Or Joooooz, as they’re wont to spell it.

    The legacy of the Democratic Party will take generations to root out.

  11. CSK says:

    @JKB:

    You may have missed my point.

  12. JKB says:

    @Nikki: For those who don’t hear/see the anti-Semitism in the ad, ask yourself if the ad would have still been effective without an actual human face given to the institutions under discussion.

    No, the test would be would the ad still have been effective if the known extremely rich funder of globalist causes, the head of the Fed, and the CEO of Goldman Sachs did not have Jewish heritage?

  13. gVOR08 says:

    @JKB:

    Sadly, we’ve increasingly seen the abandonment of modernity by many on the Left. They rush to judge and assign an individual by their tribal/clan genetic identity and not by the individuals chosen associations in the separate economic, social, political and religious/ideological spheres.

    Project much?

  14. Ben Wolf says:

    Marshall is consistently histrionic and hyperbolic. More than anything his response here amounts to a smear attempt against those other than Trump who criticize the Democratic Party’s Wall Street donor class. This is really aimed at the Sanders wing of the party.

  15. Nikki says:

    @JKB: So you believe Trump’s campaign speech was intended to be derogatory toward Soros, Yellin and Blankfein and not the institutions he actually mentioned?

    Really?

    Is Jamie Dimon Jewish? Is Warren Buffet or Bill Gates?

  16. Pch101 says:

    I agree with Scarborough that the key to a viable Republican party is figuring out a way to cater to the very real needs that Trump, Sanders, and Warren have tapped into while simultaneously being inclusionary.

    So the Republican party should pledge to give puppies to everyone?

    Perhaps we should have some reality-based politics for a change. Most Americans could not afford to maintain their lifestyles without cheap imports and cheap illegal labor. Without any sense of irony, they whine on the internet that the government helped to invent about a government that does too much.

    In a certain sense, these non-politician politicians are cowards, telling people what they want to hear and making promises that they can’t keep. The time might be better spent having the CEO of Apple tell the American public what an iPhone would cost if it was built in Ohio instead of China, and then let the people decide whether they personally want to pay the several hundred premium that would be needed to subsidize an American job. When being principled costs real money (or perhaps ensures that you won’t be able to afford an iPhone at all), just watch how principles evaporate like a gas.

  17. Kylopod says:

    @JKB:

    No, the test would be would the ad still have been effective if the known extremely rich funder of globalist causes, the head of the Fed, and the CEO of Goldman Sachs did not have Jewish heritage?

    No, that’s actually not a very good test at all. You’re assuming that something can be anti-Semitic only if anti-Semitism is the one and only message–that anti-Semitism never comes wrapped in a package of more “legitimate” grievances. If you believe that, you don’t know anything about the history of anti-Semitism (or bigotry in general) beyond the most superficial level.

  18. Patrick says:

    Meh. Jewish Comedians can trash WASP’s like me all day long. (See Don Rickles) But, you say ONE THING negative thing about a Jew and it’s bedlam…

    Screw them, it’s time to take America back and yes, I am voting for Trump. If for anything else, to stick it in the faces of those who peddle this bullcrap.

  19. Pch101 says:

    I must confess, even as a die-hard #NeverTrump guy who has grudgingly endorsed Clinton, I just don’t hear it.

    On this point, I largely agree with you. Populists have an anti-banker, anti-elite, anti-Fed streak generally, and this taps into that. Soros is to the right-wing what the Koch brothers are to the left, and Goldman is the best known of the investment banks. All of these people would have been selected because of their positions, regardless of their faiths, and the GOP has generally preferred Islamophobia to anti-Semitism.

    On the other hand, I’m willing to bet that the folks over at Stormfront hear dog whistles loud and clear. While I doubt that the anti-Semites are viewed as an important constituency, the Trump camp hasn’t exactly been quick to disavow them, which should tell you something.

  20. Peggy says:

    @Franklin: I totally agree. Who even knew they were Jewish??? And who cares. It’s well accepted that people of the Jewish race are whizzes with finance. So the fact these guys are connected to finance is no bombshell to me. Besides, if I ever bothered to worry about how they worship – I would have thought Soros was Greek Orthodox. Stop digging so deep to find fault and let’s get on with it!

  21. Mister Bluster says:

    @Patrick:.. If for anything else, to stick it in the faces of those who peddle this bullcrap.

    If you can take the hot lead enema, then you can cast the first stone.
    Lenny Bruce

  22. Jenn says:

    Thank you. I had to Google, “Trump ad dog whistle” to find an article that explained what the dog whistles were, because they were not apparent, to me. I am always amazed at what liberals and media construe as anti-Semitism. I don’t think of anything but “liberal” or “globalist” when I see Sorros or Yellen. TBH, their heritage never occurred to me. I think that is true of many Americans.
    Maybe the fact that the left seems so acquainted with the “dog whistles” tells us who is more likely to use them.

    I once used the phrase “Boo-phidelphia.”, In my mind, it was a reference to the famous incident where Eagles fans booed Santa Clause and pelted him with snow/ice balls at an Eagles game. I was immediately banned from online forum for using a racist slur. TBH, I had never heard the term “boo” used in a racial context, only used as a jeer, commonly directed towards football referees. I was shocked and astounded to hear it has any racial connotation.

    Let’s stop finding dog whistles where they don’t exist.

  23. Nikki says:

    @Jenn:

    I once used the phrase “Boo-phidelphia.”, In my mind, it was a reference to the famous incident where Eagles fans booed Santa Clause and pelted him with snow/ice balls at an Eagles game. I was immediately banned from online forum for using a racist slur. TBH, I had never heard the term “boo” used in a racial context, only used as a jeer, commonly directed towards football referees. I was shocked and astounded to hear it has any racial connotation.

    Uh huh.

    Perhaps a snowflake like you should just stay off the internet.

  24. wr says:

    @Peggy: ” It’s well accepted that people of the Jewish race are whizzes with finance.”

    See? No bigotry among the Trump folks! It’s so unfair — like when they get criticized for appreciating the way all blacks like watermelon and fried chicken. How is that racist?

  25. JKB says:

    @Nikki:

    We appear to be making the same point, but with cross purposes.

    I was asking that if the message would have been the same if the individuals shown were not Jewish, which it would have been. The Jewish heritage of Soros, Yellen, and Blankfein is purely incidental, but as we see for James and those he cites that Genetic Lineage Matters (GLM) more than any other trait of an individual.

  26. Mister Bluster says:

    @Patrick: I will not be voting for the Pride of the Republican Party on Tuesday.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TqtoUFW5svQ
    Win or lose. You will not be taking anything from me.

  27. MarkedMan says:

    @Pch101:

    CEO of Apple tell the American public what an iPhone would cost if it was built in Ohio instead of China

    MIT Tech Revue just looked at this and concluded that the cost would rise about 5%, and that mostly because it would incur shipping costs by swimming upstream against the conventional direction of the supply chain. Of course if manufacturing returned to the US the supply chain and parts suppliers would eventually readjust.

  28. Nikki says:

    Include among the footage of Soros flashes of the more widely known Gates and Buffett, footage of Yellin with an image of the Federal Reserve and footage of Blankfein with logos of various multinational banks and you get the exact same message without the anti-Semitism.

    And yet, the campaign chose to go with the anti-Semitism.

  29. JKB says:

    @Kylopod:

    Well, sure. Bigotry takes many forms

    Ami Horowitz went and talked with several liberal Berkeley students and residents, and they said that they think voter ID laws are racist. He then brought their concerns to black people in Harlem, and asked for their reactions.

  30. Nikki says:

    @JKB: No, the Jewish heritage of the 3 is not purely incidental. The 3 were chosen BECAUSE they are Jewish.

    That YOU didn’t know the 3 are Jewish doesn’t change the fact that they were chosen BECAUSE they are Jewish.

  31. Don says:

    I bet you would recognize Jamie Dimon, who is of Greek decent and much more public.

  32. Chip Daniels says:

    I think Michael Reynolds point is well made, that for the Neo-Nazis and alt-rightists who are attuned to it, the message is loud and clear.

    But there is also the point that the message didn’t occur in a vacuum- Trump has openly courted the anti-Semite and racist vote, so every utterance is measured in that light.

  33. Gustopher says:

    Watching the ad, I wondered why they only showed 3 of the 7 Jews Who Control The World. I know they don’t all advertise their position, but everyone knows Micheal Bloomberg and Steven Spielberg.

    Given the people Trump has surrounded himself with, I don’t think this was accidental. Given Trump, I’m not sure he heard the anti-Semitic dog whistles as he spoke them, or when he saw the finished ad — I’ll give him the benefit of the doubt since one of his kids married a Jew and converted.

    This does not make me feel better about Trump, that he can be used by his underlings this way.

  34. gVOR08 says:

    I agree with Scarborough that the key to a viable Republican party is figuring out a way to cater to the very real needs that Trump, Sanders, and Warren have tapped into while simultaneously being inclusionary.

    How, pray, do we cater to the “very real needs” of people like @Patrick:

    Meh. Jewish Comedians can trash WASP’s like me all day long. (See Don Rickles) But, you say ONE THING negative thing about a Jew and it’s bedlam…

    Screw them, it’s time to take America back and yes, I am voting for Trump. If for anything else, to stick it in the faces of those who peddle this bullcrap.

    Also, I own furniture that’s smarter than Joe Scarborough.

  35. Stormy Dragon says:

    So is Obama an anti-Semite too? He frequently criticized Goldman Sachs, the Federal Reserve, etc. during both his campaigns.

    Or is it only anti-Semitic for a Republican to criticize them?

  36. Scott O says:

    @gVOR08:

    How, pray, do we cater to the “very real needs” of people like @Patrick:

    Invent a time machine and send him back to the 50s.

  37. Gustopher says:

    @gVOR08: The idiots like @Patrick aside, do you doubt that there are a significant number of people who aren’t getting ahead in today’s economy?

    Trump puts the blame on Mexicans and Chinese and global power structures run by — apparently — The 7 Jews Who Rule The World. And, he gets pretty close to succeeding at it, because people who are doing everything “right” and aren’t getting ahead become angry and resentful and are looking for someone to blame and for someone to rescue them.

    The middle class has been hollowed out — most people who call themselves middle class now are really the working poor. We need to fix that to keep people like Trump from gaining traction in the future.

    And, Trump says some of the right words, but doesn’t mean what the words say on the surface. “Lowering taxes for job creators” ends up meaning “cut taxes on the wealthy” rather than “make it easier for small business owners to reinvest and grow their companies”.

  38. dxq says:

    Steve Bannon is a figure of the Alt Right. Google Breitbart Anti-Semitism. It’s kinda been a story all year.

  39. PJ says:

    @Stormy Dragon:

    So is Obama an anti-Semite too? He frequently criticized Goldman Sachs, the Federal Reserve, etc. during both his campaigns.

    Or is it only anti-Semitic for a Republican to criticize them?

    Personally, I think you understand the difference between criticizing Goldman Sachs, the Federal Reserval, etc and the ad in question.

    Or would you disagree?

  40. gVOR08 says:

    @Gustopher: I have often commented in these threads that there are legitimate grievances, and specifically that trade, and trade deals (not the same thing), help the 1% hugely but hurt many others. I’ve also commented that I like and trust the many Trumpkin individuals of my acquaintance. That doesn’t change that for the most part they seem to find it difficult to articulate what they want, which makes it hard to satisfy them. It also doesn’t mean I can’t have a little fun at the expense of Trumpkins like Patrick who make their racism explicit.

    We appear to completely agree that whatever their legit grievances, expecting Trump to help is insane.

  41. CSK says:

    @Stormy Dragon:

    No, but here’s the difference, and it’s a big one: Bannon, who is Trump’s campaign ceo, is one of the leading proponents of the alt-right, and the alt-right is obsessed with the alleged baleful influence Jews have on western civilization. He knows how to deploy the dog whistles.

  42. HarvardLaw92 says:

    @Peggy:

    It’s well accepted that people of the Jewish race are whizzes with finance.

    I bet she uses jew as a verb too 🙂

    🙄

  43. HarvardLaw92 says:

    @Patrick:

    From your posted biography:

    One of my biggest reasons for leaving the Democratic Party or at least not voting for them anymore is this: Race. There has been a very large uptick in anti-white sentiment, especially southern whites; among the left since the election of President Obama. Even when Obama was being elected, we white folk were considered the enemy.

    I think that gem says all that need to be said about what sort of person you are and what motivates you to vote for Trump – wouldn’t you agree?

  44. CSK says:

    @HarvardLaw92:

    Didn’t Trump himself say that he wanted little guys with yarmulkes counting his money rather than black guys?

  45. HarvardLaw92 says:

    @CSK:

    It wasn’t an accident. Simply using photos of the Federal Reserve Building and the Goldman logo would have said exactly the same thing, and probably more effectively, since I’d wager 99% of Americans wouldn’t know Lloyd if he spoke to them on the street.

    For that matter, you have to wonder why they didn’t choose to depict JPM (Jamie Dimon, Greek Orthodox), Citi (Michael Corbat, Episcopalian), Morgan (Jim Gorman, Anglican), etc.

    Unless, of course, the message wasn’t actually “banks screwed you”, it was instead “Jews screwed you”. 🙄

    It was about as subtle as Ronald Reagan standing in a field less than 5 miles from where the Schwermer/Goodman/Chaney murders took place & babbling about “states rights”.

    The Klukkers in attendance that day didn’t miss that particular dog whistle either.

  46. Mister Bluster says:

    Patrick is a stinking bigot. I think he is proud of it.
    No one should be surprised he is voting for Trump the pig sexual preadator.

  47. HarvardLaw92 says:

    @CSK:

    He did …

    On a related note, I had a chat with our executive committee about a week ago, where I informed them that I wouldn’t going forward work on anything connected in any way to Trump or his companies, would be encouraging and protecting any of my associates who feel the same about Trump to refuse to as well, and if they had a problem with it, they should tell me on the spot so I could sell them back my equity and walk (and take my clients with me …)

    It was bad enough having to stomach him back when he was just a boorish asshole, but after the things he’s said during this campaign, it’s beyond what I’ll tolerate. The man is just a pig …

  48. Mikey says:

    The nature of dog whistles is that they’re only audible to those tuned to the frequency. Perhaps my ears just aren’t.

    I’m certain yours aren’t.

    But I guarantee you the ones for whom it was intended heard it as loudly as a foghorn.

    The fact that Jews are well represented in elite sectors like finance, law, entertainment, journalism, and the academy means attacks on these sectors could well invoke anti-Semitic reactions. I don’t know how we can disentangle that.

    We can’t, but in the eyes of many Trumpists, that’s a feature, not a bug.

  49. charon says:

    @Peggy:

    I did not down vote you only because I could not tell if you are serious or a Poe.

  50. Hal_10000 says:

    Well, I am Jewish. And I have certainly seen my share of anti-semitism. A cross was once burned on the lawn of my synagogue. A friend moved to rural Georgia and was regularly beaten up for being Jewish. My grandparents fled the Jewish crescent and remembered the Leo Frank murder. My dad went to University of Chicago because the Ivy League had quotas on Jews. Hell, my orthodontists was flunked out of dental school for being Jewish (seriously). And … this really doesn’t cross me as blatantly anti-semitic. Yeah, it echoes some things (I always get a twinge when people say “international bankers”) but it’s the sort of the thing I’d just ignore. It seems much more in the vein of anti-establishment messages.

    This goes double when you compare it to some of the other stuff we’ve seen from Trump’s supporters, such as the Star of David on a stack of money. At times this year, it hasn’t been dog whistles. It’s been fog-horns blaring, “Jeew-ewwwws!” So I’d prefer we focus our attention on that and not break down campaign ads like they’re the Zapruder film.

  51. Argon says:

    The Blues Brothers covered the appropriate response years ago.

  52. CSK says:

    @HarvardLaw92:

    Oh, I know it wasn’t an accident. That was my point upthread. It was an appeal to the alt-right, which wants to assume control of the Republican Party however the election shakes out.

  53. SC_Birdflyte says:

    @Gustopher: ‘Tis truly a pity that SC doesn’t allow write-in votes. I was all prepared to write in Michael Bloomberg on the grounds that it’s time the U.S. had a Jewish President – someone other than Joe Lieberman.

  54. Monala says:

    As a non-Jew, I didn’t get the dog-whistles of this ad either. But something I find interesting is that there are several people on this thread (Patrick, Peggy, Jenn with 2 ns’) whom I’ve never seen posting here at OTB before, all either denying the anti-Semitism of the ad (not just saying they personally don’t see it), or spouting their own racism and anti-Semitic remarks. Maybe they’ve been lurkers here all along, but it seems more likely that they are denizens of the alt-right scouting around the Internet for responses to the ad.

  55. JohnMcC says:

    Noticed Sen Al Franken’s description of the Trump ad. He said it was a ‘German Shepherd whistle.’ Thought it would amuse a few folks here.

  56. Kylopod says:

    @Monala: I have noticed over the years that whenever a blogger posts anything about Jews or Israel, it’s a good bet you’re going to see random anti-Semites popping up in the comments section. It’s like they’re just waiting there, scouring the web every day for places to drop in on and enlighten us all with their wisdom.

    The most memorable example I saw happened at The Atlantic in 2010. The reporter Josh Green uncovered the fact that a Congressional candidate liked to dress as an SS officer in WWII reenactments. Up to this point, Green’s posts typically attracted maybe one or two dozen comments at most. The day after he broke this story about the would-be Congressman, I went there and found over 10,000 comments. I didn’t possibly have the time or energy to read it all, but the sampling I got suggested there were quite a few visitors from Stormfront and the like.

  57. Andrew says:

    (Just a thought on “white supremacy.”)

    If this country would be so much better without anyone but white people, or WASP’s, or any match up Caucasian and Christian…Why is that that even after ALL this time of white religious men being in power to change things…is it always the “minorities” that ruin it all? You know, the ones that have held a fraction of power in a fraction of the time white people have?

    We did not just arrive at this point after 2009 and the first election black president. It’s been this way for centuries. Yet, it’s always the minorities that mess everything up? Not the white people who have held power for 99.999998% of the country’s existence?

    Paaaalease.

    Being a white person, I do not feel guilty. But, I can see how stupid it is to think white men (of varying shades) are the only answer to solve the problems of our country. Actions always speak louder than words. And white men have contributed more to our problems as a country than any other group. That is fact, that is history.

    If Obamacare NEEDS to be repealed as it obviously not working well, as the majority of Republicans and their voters declare…what is to be said about relying on white men to govern our country?

  58. al-Ameda says:

    @Patrick:

    Screw them, it’s time to take America back and yes, I am voting for Trump. If for anything else, to stick it in the faces of those who peddle this bullcrap.

    How far back? February 1933?