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Trump’s rhetoric goes to new dark extremes

by Yucatan Times
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Donald Trump’s rhetoric dropped to a spine-tingling new low this weekend with less than a month before the Iowa caucuses.

The GOP primary front-runner said migrants are “poisoning the blood” of the US and quoted Russian President Vladimir Putin about the “rottenness” of American democracy.

Whipping up thousands of supporters at a New Hampshire hockey rink on Saturday, the former president again drew comparisons to the language of Nazi Germany with the comments about migrants from mostly Africa, Asia and South America “poisoning the blood of our country.”

The language “parrots Adolf Hitler,” President Joe Biden’s reelection campaign alleged. Experts pointed to passages in Hitler’s manifesto “Mein Kampf” in which the future dictator called for racial purity and said German blood was being “poisoned” by Jews.

Trump has used the line previously, in an interview with a conservative news outlet, and bringing it out for a rally suggests he could be adding it to his routine.

He drew criticism last month for describing his political rivals as “vermin,” another term that has antisemitic connotations and was employed in Nazi rhetoric.

It’s the repetition of these lines, after their fascist roots are called out, that is more chilling than their first utterance. The former president — who leads Biden in some swing-state polling of a hypothetical rematch — has a long history with language that plays on racial prejudice and excites the right wing.

His recently repeated claim that he wants to be “dictator” for one day to build his border wall and stop immigration could be laughed off as a joke if he didn’t keep saying it.

On Sunday night, at rally in Reno, Nevada — the third GOP-nominating state — Trump claimed, without evidence, that migrants are largely coming from prisons and mental institutions. And he wondered, again without evidence, if Chinese migrants crossing the border are meant to be part of an invading army. Trump promised to reorient the US government to purge migrants. Claiming the US is now a “haven for bloodthirsty criminals,” he said he would invoke the Alien Enemies Act, a 1798 law, to remove migrants from the country. The former president also promised to divert the FBI and Drug Enforcement Administration to border actions.

Invoking authoritarian leaders is no longer a surprise

“He’s a populist, authoritarian narcissist,” the Republican former House Speaker Paul Ryan said last week, before Trump’s most recent comments. “So, historically speaking, all of his tendencies are basically where narcissism takes him, which is whatever makes him popular, makes him feel good at any given moment.”

Dictators erase freedoms, but Trump — who tried to overturn the 2020 election after he lost — needs an electoral victory to get there. On Saturday, he called his campaign a “righteous campaign to liberate this nation” and said, to cheers, “we are not a free nation.”

It is no longer even jarring when Trump speaks highly of authoritarian leaders, such as North Korea’s Kim Jong Un or Hungary’s Viktor Orban, as he did again Saturday in New Hampshire.

But Trump went a step further, twisting around the idea put forward by his rivals, including Biden and former Rep. Liz Cheney, that he is a threat to democracy for trying to overturn the last election.

Instead, Trump now argues, it is Biden who is a “threat to democracy.”

As a way of proving the claim, Trump cited Putin, who said in September that Trump’s legal problems are “politically motivated persecution” that is good for Russia. “‘It shows the rottenness of the American political system, which cannot pretend to teach others about democracy,’” Trump went on, quoting the Russian president.

The truth is that Putin knows about rotten systems and putting political enemies in jail; supporters of Putin’s chief rival, Alexey Navalny, can’t locate the dissident leader who is serving a 19-year prison sentence.

Trump is facing multiple criminal trials. But he will have to be convicted by unanimous juries, assuming he is tried at all. The US Supreme Court, on which three of his appointees sit, has been asked by prosecutors to weigh in on whether Trump, as a former president, is immune from prosecution.

One of Trump’s rivals for the Republican presidential nomination, former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, said the pending trials are contributing to Trump’s increasingly intense rhetoric.


TYT Newsroom

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