The first time Donald Trump talked about immigrants poisoning the blood of the nation, he did so in an interview with a right-wing outlet. For the next month, the straight-out-of-”Mein-Kampf” meme disappeared from Trump’s campaign rhetoric, only to be replaced by an even more obvious tip of the Hitler hat when Trump described his opponents as “vermin” in a Veterans Day speech that threatened to erase the legacy of every American veteran.
Now Trump is bringing the full-on Nazi rhetoric to his rally speeches. As CNN reports, Trump’s weekend rally featured a return of his talk about how immigrants are “poisoning the blood of our country.” He mixed that theme into a speech that brought even more of his regular shout-outs to authoritarian rulers and expressions of disdain for democracy.
Trump is not just humming Hitleresque themes, but bellowing full-bore Nazi slogans to his red-hat rally crowds. It shows that just as he has done so many times in the past, he has crossed the line and found that the white supremacist territory on the other side suits him just fine. Trump is making his similarity to Hitler into the core of his 2024 campaign.
As if quoting Hitler to his pale, screaming crowd wasn’t enough, Trump also trotted out a quote from Vladimir Putin about the “rottenness” of American democracy. Rotten, according to Putin, because it goes after Trump. “Even Vladimir Putin … says that Biden’s — and this is a quote – ‘politically motivated persecution of his political rival is very good for Russia because it shows the rottenness of the American political system, which cannot pretend to teach others about democracy.’”
As a side note, Putin’s most notable political opponent, Alexei Navalny, who has been held as a political prisoner since 2021 after surviving an attempt to kill him using a nerve agent, disappeared from the prison where he was being held at the beginning of December. He is still missing.
Trump once again ticked off names from his authoritarian friends list, making his now-regular round of how much he admires everyone who is ripping up democracy around the world. That included reminding the crowd that he gets on well with Hungary’s Viktor Orbán, and letting everyone know that North Korean leader Kim Jong Un is “very nice.”
But it was the centerpiece return of the Nazi theme of “poisoning the blood” that really stole the show at Trump’s New Hampshire rally. On many occasions, Trump has tossed some loathsome statement out to the public, stepped back for a moment to see how it went down, then chased it up with something even worse when it turned out his supporters either did not care or actively loved his hate speech. Could he get away with going after Gold Star families? Could he dismiss prisoners of war as losers? And could he endlessly elaborate on how Mexico is populated entirely by rapists and drug mules? Yes, yes, and oh-hell-yes.
He’s not unaware that he’s repeating Nazisms. He’s just erasing another line as he aspires to make the country a dictatorship.
Now it seems that “poisoning the blood” could be as big a part of Trump’s 2024 run as “lock her up” was in 2016. A fulsome embrace of the white supremacism that has never been all that far from the surface of Trump’s speech.
Back in a 1990 interview with Vanity Fair, Trump’s then-wife, Ivana Trump, said that her husband had a copy of Hitler’s collected speeches, “My New Order,” that he kept in a bedside cabinet. Trump insisted that the book had been given to him by a Jewish friend. Only that friend wasn’t Jewish. He was just someone who thought Trump would find a book of Hiter’s speeches “interesting.” Clearly, he was right.
This is not the first time that Trump has put his nighttime reading to use in his campaigns, but now it seems he no longer feels the need to disguise his plagiarism.
That 1990 interview also featured this little tidbit.
Donald Trump appears to take aspects of his German background seriously. John Walter works for the Trump Organization, and when he visits Donald in his office, Ivana told a friend, he clicks his heels and says, “Heil Hitler,” possibly as a family joke.
It’s a whole lot less funny these days.
Author: Mark Sumner