But he also devoted a good deal of time to another group that he claims he’s fighting against, a conspiratorial cabal he variously labeled “the establishment,” “those who control the levers of power in Washington,” “the global special interests,” and “people that don’t have your good in mind.”
In Trump’s estimation,
[t]he Washington establishment and the financial and media corporations that fund it exist for only one reason: to protect and enrich itself.
The establishment has trillions of dollars at stake in this election. As an example, just one single trade deal they’d like to pass involves trillions of dollars, controlled by many countries, corporations and lobbyists.
As Trump and his speechwriters see it, this shadowy cabal is manipulating politics to serve its own “global” interests.
For those who control the levers of power in Washington, and for the global special interests, they partner with these people that don’t have your good in mind.
This “group,” Trump insisted, is responsible for the vast majority of America’s economic and political woes:
The political establishment that is trying to stop us is the same group responsible for our disastrous trade deals, massive illegal immigration and economic and foreign policies that have bled our country dry.
The political establishment has brought about the destruction of our factories, and our jobs, as they flee to Mexico, China and other countries all around the world. …
It’s a global power structure that is responsible for the economic decisions that have robbed our working class, stripped our country of its wealth and put that money into the pockets of a handful of large corporations and political entities.
Dogwhistling even harder, Trump accused Hillary Clinton of secret meetings with international bankers who are plotting to destroy our national sovereignty:
The Clinton machine is at the center of this power structure. We’ve seen this first hand in the WikiLeaks documents, in which Hillary Clinton meets in secret with international banks to plot the destruction of U.S. sovereignty in order to enrich these global financial powers, her special interest friends and her donors.
Salon’s Heather Digby Parton, borrowing a phrase from political satirist Molly Ivins, joked that Trump’s speech “sounded better in the original German.” On the Daily Kos, a writer quipped that “Trump’s bedside book of Hitler speeches finally paid off.”
But Trump’s speech is also reminiscent of the rhetoric of a famous American conspiracy theorist (and carmaker): Henry Ford.
Before Adolf Hitler had even gotten around to penning Mein Kampf, Ford ran a 91-part series in The Dearborn Independent, his personal newspaper, targeting what he saw as a global conspiracy against the citizens of the United States. (The series was collected into a four-volume set of books; you can find the whole thing here.)
Like Trump’s speechwriters, Ford’s ghostwriters excoriated the evil “international bankers” who were happy to make money off of the misery of Americans. This enemy of America “has his own game to play,” as one Dearborn Independent article put it.
Hard times bring more plums tumbling off the tree into the baskets of the international bankers than does any other kind of times.
Unlike Trump, though, Ford and his ghostwriters didn’t use code words to obscure just who they were talking about. For them, the “International banker” was inevitably the International Jewish banker, or simply the International Jew, which was the name given to the Dearborn Independent series.
In Ford’s eyes, these evil moneylenders manipulated international politics to serve their own interests:
To the International Jewish Financier the ups and downs of war and peace between nations are but the changes of the world’s financial market; and, as frequently the movement of stocks is manipulated for purposes of market strategy, so sometimes international relations are effected for mere financial gain.
These evil globalists regard sovereign countries
not as fatherlands but as customers — and as customers in the Jewish sense. If an army wins or loses, if a government succeeds or fails, what of it? — that is their affair — “we are international bankers,” and we win, whoever loses.
And only a “radical” solution can solve this particular problem:
[T]he revolution which would be necessary to unfasten the International Jewish system from its grip on the world, would probably have to be just as radical as any attempts the Jews have made to attain that grip.
And guess who is today presenting himself as just such a “radical” solution?
Hint: his initials are “Donald J Trump.”
To the evil “people that don’t have your good in mind,” Trump declared yesterday,
Our campaign represents a true existential threat like they haven’t seen before.
This is not simply another four-year election. This is a crossroads in the history of our civilization that will determine whether or not we the people reclaim control over our government.
Ford’s International Jew series was a great inspiration to Hitler, who referred to Ford in Mein Kampf as a “great man” standing athwart the Jewish menace. Ford’s rhetoric has similarly inspired generations of anti-Semites in the US and around the world.
Now, I doubt that Trump’s speechwriters literally had a reprint edition of Ford’s The International Jew open beside them as they worked the denunciations of “international banks” into Trump’s speech yesterday. But America’s far right — and today’s alt-right — has so thoroughly absorbed Ford’s message, and his language, that any good alt-righter can spew this sort of stuff in his or her sleep.
Is Trump himself even aware of the dark history behind this sort of rhetoric, or is he simply reciting what his handlers have prepared for him? I don’t know, but one thing is for sure: Trump’s fans in the alt-right know exactly what (and who) he’s talking about. Message received, loud and clear.