On August 20, 2019 President Trump stated on national TV, “I think any Jewish people that vote for a Democrat – I think it shows either a total lack of knowledge, or great disloyalty.” In the days following, Trump doubled down and said similar statements again, on TV.
Let’s break this down. “A total lack of knowledge” is a politer way of saying “stupid.” Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines “disloyal” as “failing to support or be true to someone or something; not loyal or faithful to your friends, family, country, etc.” Cambridge English Dictionary defines “disloyal” as “not loyal; acting to hurt someone you are expected to support.” Synonyms for “disloyal” include “faithlessness, falseness, infidelity.”
According to Trump, Jews who vote for Democrats are stupid. Or, they are very disloyal, meaning they are hurtful to people they should support, and are unfaithful to their country.
When have we heard this before, demonization of an entire group of people from a leader of a country? Does it sound similar to what Hitler said of Jews in 1930s Germany? Jews in Hitler’s Germany started out as being disloyal and bad for the country. Then they became rats and vermin. When they became the cause of all that was wrong with the Fatherland and the world, they weren’t even human anymore, and had to be exterminated.
Some will accuse me of blowing Trump’s words out of proportion. Trump is not Hitler, they will say, and we are not 1930s Germany. True. Not yet.
Substitute Trump’s words about Jews being stupid and disloyal for: Muslims, Mexicans, immigrants, environmentalists, liberals, fake news media, Democrats, Republicans who turn on him. It’s not hard to do; he has denigrated all of them, all of us, who are not part of his core base.