Donald Trump recently declared, “the shackles are gone.” Most folks wondered what possibly could that mean given the version of Trump we have already seen.
Well, after his recent speech in West Palm Beach we now know. Trump is no longer flirting with the neo-Nazi conspiracy wing of our nation. While months ago he played coy when asked if he would reject the support of white nationalists, now that the shackles are gone, he has replaced his dog whistle with a bullhorn through which he bellows their language and world-view.
He went from channeling Archie Bunker to embracing David Duke.
In his West Palm Beach speech – which was not off the cuff but rather written and delivered via a teleprompter – Trump accused his rival Hillary Clinton of being a conspirator in the “global power structure” that “threatens our existence.” Of “meeting in secret with international banks to plot the destruction of US sovereignty to enrich these global financial powers.” To having a “political agenda” that is “controlled by a small handful of global special interests.” He pointed to the “massive international corruption” and “the financial and media corporations that fund it.”
These are not phrases that are new or accidental. They are, in fact, very old and precise. They are nearly identical to the words and themes used to stoke nationalism in Germany prior to WW II, and they are used today very commonly on the alt-right web sites that provide a forum and echo chamber for the most hardened, anti-Semites and bigots in our nation.
Trump never used the word Jew, but he didn’t need to.
In other campaigns, the voice of the alt-right has been relegated to the shadows and remote parts of the Internet where decent people never venture. But Trump has made a calculated decision to speak directly to them in a language they understand.
I don’t suspect it is even because Trump actually holds anti-Semitic views. For him, it’s just a calculated and callous decision to find new votes no matter how hate-filled the voter may be. Many of my Republican friends have rejected Trump for precisely these reasons. They are voting for Hillary because no matter their quarrels with her, they view Trump’s deficiencies as something of a vastly different and perilous order.
It is vital that all Americans reject Donald Trump and the hate he seeks to harness.