Adolph Trump and Genocide Joe: Race, Blood, Vermin, and Weimar

CSPAN screengrab.

Lefties still struggling even now with Trump’s Fascism Denial Syndrome (TFDS) might want to look at the orange “populist’s” recent statement on immigrants:

“They are poisoning the blood of our country. That’s what they have done. They poison mental institutions and prisons all over the world. Not just in South America, not just the three or four countries that we think about, but all over the world they’re coming into our country from Africa, from Asia, all over the world.”

This is straight up Hitlerian rhetoric, replete with eugenicist, Darwinian, white supremacist, and genocidal  suggestions that nonwhite people are despoiling the genetic stock of the white fatherland.

Donald “Vermin” (see below) Trump has long been a fan of Adolph Hitler. He once kept My New Order, a volume Hitler speeches, by his bedside table. Ivana Trump, his first wife, saw him reading the book with great interest. During a trip to France in 2018, Donald “Retribution” Trump told his chief of staff John F. Kelly that “Hitler did a lot of good things.” The former president  complained to Mr. Kelly, a retired Marine Corps general, that US generals didn’t treat him with the kind of obedience the Nazi Third Reich’s military commanders showed to Hitler. “Why can’t you be like the German generals in World War II?” he asked Kelly.

Hitler’s vile 1926 autobiography Mein Kampf contained a chapter titled “Race and People” in which he wrote that “All the great civilizations of the past became decadent because the originally creative race died out, as a result of contamination of the blood.” Hitler linked “the poison which has invaded the national body” to an “influx of foreign blood” that threatened the “purity” of “the Aryan race.”

Donald “Take Down the Metal Detectors” Trump’s reference to “mental institutions” ought to raise alarms.  The Nazi Third Reich’s first victims of genocidal extermination included mentally handicapped people considered by Hitler and his party to be genetic poison and “useless eaters.”

The Trump statement quoted above was made two weeks ago in Durham New Hampshire.  It was not the first time that Herr Donald used the phrase “poisoning the blood of our country” in relation to immigrants, millions of whom he plans to put in giant concentration camps when he gets back in the White House. He used those five words last October during an interview with the neofascist website “The National Pulse.”

What’s new in Trump’s latest “poisoning our blood” comment is his explicit specification of the nonwhite origins of the immigrants he accuses of contaminating US-Amerikan body fluids and pedigree (South America, Africa, Asia being directly mentioned) and his disturbing reference to “mental institutions.” (It’s true that Trump also said, “all over the world,” but we know very well from his previous comments that he does not mean white Europe.  Recall that in 2018 Trump referred to African nations,  Haiti, and El Salvador as “shithole countries” and asked why the US couldn’t get more immigrants from “places,” that is white nations, “like Norway.”)

Trump these days is more than merely “echoing” Mein Kampf; he’s giving textbook expressions of Hitler’s hateful volume. During a Veterans Day speech last November, Trump pledged to “root out the Communists, Marxists, fascists, and the radical left thugs that live like vermin within the confines of our country, that lie and steal and cheat on elections. The threat from outside forces is far less sinister, dangerous, and grave than the threat from within. Our threat is from within,” Trump said, channeling the virulent, paranoid, and palingenetic ultranationalist “stabbed in back” language and spirit of Hitler.

Historian Ruth Ben-Ghiat told the Washington Post that “calling people ‘vermin’ was used effectively by Hitler and Mussolini to dehumanize people and encourage their followers to engage in violence.”

Not just any violence. As the psychologist Allan Kanner wrote two days ago here on CounterPunch, “If Trump’s opponents are vermin, why not exterminate them? Germans were capable of that behavior. Are Americans really that different?”

Trump campaign spokesman Steven Cheung had a fasci[st]nating response to those who pointed out that Trump was sounding like Hitler with his shocking “vermin” statement. “Those who try to make that ridiculous assertion are clearly…suffering from Trump Derangement Syndrome and their entire sad and miserable existence will be crushed when President Trump returns to the White House,” Cheung told The Washington Post.

Here’s the point at which a half-smart Trumpenlefty (there’s a couple of those) might say “oh yeah? Well what about Genocide Joe Biden?  He is actively backing actual full on racist genocide in Gaza.  The US under Biden is funding, equipping, and protecting the racist, Ziofascist occupation and apartheid state of Israel as it conducts a vicious campaign of ethnic cleansing that has so far killed more than 21,000 Palestinians, mostly women and children.”

To which my response is the following: 100% correct. I hold no brief for Sleepwalker Joe. I don’t need the lecture.  I’ve been denouncing the mass-murderous imperialism of the Democratic Party since I first became politically conscious, in the late 1970s. I’ve been in the streets protesting what I call the US-Israel Crucifixion of Gaza, leading chants like the following: “Hey Israel, USA, how many kids did you kill today?”

The common Trumpenlefty charge that (in essence) one somehow embraces the capitalist-imperialist Dems because one has the elementary knowledge base and decency to describe the ever more openly Hitlerian Trump Republican Party as fascist is childish nonsense. It is a truly idiotic accusation to level at people who, like me, have long condemned the Democrats as a repellent capitalist-imperialist organization[1] and indeed as the bigger war criminal of the two reigning US-imperialist political parties.

Let’s say that my neighbor has two vicious and sociopathic dogs, both of which menace my neighborhood and both of which I have denounced.  But then let’s imagine that only one of these two dangerous canines has recently been infected by rabies. If I point out that one of the dogs is now rabid, does that mean I am somehow embracing the non-rabid dog? Of course it doesn’t.

(Here I might add that it has been Trump Republicans and not Democrats who have been most eager to openly embrace the genocidal ethnic cleansing of Gazans and who have done so in openly racist ways.  The Democratic Party base is far less comfortable with Israel’s horrific military actions than the Republican base.)

To carry the absurdity of the “Trumpenleft” criticism further, let’s imagine that I have consistently pointed out that the non-rabid dog has been a complicit enabler and conciliator of the rabies that has infected the other dog – and further that I have argued that the dominant social and political order that both of those dogs support is the generator or the rabies that now threatens life on our block. (That’s pretty much my take on the Weimar Democratic Party and on the underlying system that both of the dominant US parties uphold.[1]).

The end of the latest year under the rolling and accelerating apocalypse that is capitalism-imperialism is a good time to reflect on what we think we are doing with our lives that is better and more important than organizing to overthrow a system whose notion of a meaningful people’s choice is going as individuals into a voting booth once every four years for two minutes to make a mark next to the name of a Sick Imperialist Bastard like “Genocide Joe” Biden or next to the name of an Orange Fascist Maniac like Donald “Poisoning Our Blood” Trump.


+1. Please see my following books: Empire and Inequality: America and the World Since 9/11 (Routledge, 2004); Racial Oppression in the Global Metropolis: A Living Black Chicago History (Rowman&Littlefield, 2007); Barack Obama and the Future of American Politics (Routledge, 2008); The Empire’s New Clothes: Barack Obama in the Real World of Power (Routledge, 2010); They Rule: The 1% v. Democracy (Routledge, 2014); Hollow Resistance: Obama, Trump, and the Politics of Appeasement (CounterPunch Books, 2020); This Happened Here: Amerikaners, Neoliberals and the Trumping of America (Routledge, 2021).

Paul Street’s latest book is This Happened Here: Amerikaners, Neoliberals, and the Trumping of America (London: Routledge, 2022).