While most of the mainstream media was reporting upon the public health ramifications and speculating upon Trump’s motives for refusing to wear a face mask, as mandated by the State of Michigan, in public areas of a Ford Motor Company facility he visited in Ypsilanti on May 21, another far more ominous sliver of a disturbing story, with troubling messaging, had unfolded during his visit.
An article in The Intercept reported about Trump’s photo-op at the factory, which has been converted into making ventilators. It mentions an unseemly deviation from Trump’s remarks as distributed to the press in advance:
In an apparent ad-lib, Trump looked up from his prepared remarks — which praised the firm for teaming up with General Electric to produce ventilators and face shields for medical workers — to observe that Henry Ford’s descendants, like the current chairman, Bill Ford, who had introduced the president, have “good blood.”
Ford was such a rabid anti-Semite that he was the only American praised in Mein Kampf, and was lavishly praised as an inspiration in “exposing” Jews as part of a pernicious conspiracy theory, “The Protocols of the Elders of Zion,” which claimed that Jewish bankers controlled the world. Ford believed that Jews and not Hitler were the cause of World War II, and Hitler awarded him the Grand Cross of the German Eagle, his most prestigious award for foreigners in 1938. According to The Intercept, as early as 1922 Hitler had German translations of Ford’s anti-Semitic diatribes displayed in his office, as well as a portrait of the man who revolutionized assembly line car production.In a May 22nd Washington Post opinion piece, Helaine Olen wrote: So Trump has turned to his greatest hits of grievance, insults and conspiracy theories in an attempt to rally the base. Crooked Hillary is back on rotation. So is voter fraud. Why not anti-Semitism, too?The pandemic is already leading to a rise in global anti-Semitism. And Trump has long winked at it, in the same way he incites hatred against Mexicans and Muslims. In 2016, he aired a campaign ad claiming that George Soros, then-Federal Reserve chair Janet L. Yellen and then-Goldman Sachs chairman and CEO Lloyd Blankfein were part of a “global power structure,” a reference Henry Ford would no doubt have endorsed.Soros, whose name features in many an anti-Semitic rant, made a major reappearance during the fight over Brett M. Kavanaugh, when Soros was accused by Trump and Republicans of paying for protesters. Less than three weeks later, a man would enter Pittsburgh’s Tree of Life synagogue to murder 11 men and women attending Saturday morning services.It is easy to connect the dots of Trump’s off-the-cuff praise of the Ford family bloodlines with his praise of “alt-right’ protesters, who chanted “the Jews will not replace us,” as having “some very fine people” in the infamous 2017 Charlottesville, VA, protest. Can Trump’s May 21 attribution of “good bloodlines” to a man who helped inspire Hitler to launch the Holocaust be viewed by elements of Trump’s base as a tacit endorsement of Ford’s catastrophic views? (Trump’s grandfather was German, and was forced to leave Germany to settle in the United States after attempting to return to live there.) The Charlottesville mob and now more than a few of the oligarch-activated anti-lockdown protesters are openly anti-Semitic. (One anti-shelter-in-place demonstrator in Illinois held a “Work Will Set You Free” sign which was what greeted condemned Jews, embedded in a wrought-iron arch, as they entered Auschwitz, Arbeit Macht Frei in German.)Another dot to connect to Trump’s eugenic praise, in which he no doubt includes himself, is that Arbeit Macht Frei also applies to his “starve or risk death” directive to “reopening” that is taking place amidst continued obstruction to rein in the Coronavirus, continued absence of OSHA enforcement to prevent COVID-19 transmission in the workplace, continued ignoring of the science of epidemiology that dictates transmission will now accelerate again, continued effort to grant companies exemption from liability even if they do not take steps to limit infection (as Trump already did in his emergency order to try and reopen Coronavirus ravaged meatpacking houses), and overall continued treatment of low-wage workers, indeed everyone but the “good bloodline” oligarchs, as disposable people. These forced workers will be “set free” to save the nation for the wealthy.It’s the same dismissal he holds for immigrants from “shit-hole” countries as disposable people. In fact, the Trump administration, through Stephen Miller, is now deporting children, refusing any asylum cases from the Mexican border and sending COVID-19 infected migrants to Guatemala, which is causing pandemic spread in Latin America.Progressives often get queasy and uncomfortable when Trump is compared to Hitler. However, the fact that the US is not the Third Reich does not mean that Trump does not share many techniques and goals of Hitler. For one, Trump is a master of the big lie, which he knows how to endlessly repeat until it is accepted by his followers and much of the press as the truth. That is a gift from Joseph Goebbels.Trump’s frothing hate for non-European immigrants is similar to Hitler’s hate of the Roma, as an inferior “bloodline.” Like Hitler, as cited above, he has ignited his base with anti-Semitism as a strategic political tool. Black and Browns to Trump are like the Jews to Hitler. In fact, Trump has employed the same kind of language Hitler used toward Jews: vermin who infest the nation.That Trump at the Ford Motor Company ventilator plant offered just a glimpse of insight into his solidarity with the history of believers in eugenics in the United States, which many of Trump’s followers exhibit as a belief in the inferiority of non-whites and Jews with “polluted” bloodlines, is a reaffirmation of the “reopening” of the US as meant for the white oligarchs and perhaps some of his more well-off “alt-right” believers. Of course, America’s original sin of slavery is the epitome of eugenic superiority doctrine.[dc]“T[/dc]he Jews will not replace us; the Hispanics will not replace us; the Blacks will not replace us; the Asians (who Trump is fingering as the cause of COVID-19) will not replace us; the Muslims will not replace us.” Just add your non-white, non-European descendant label and Trump’s dog whistle of eugenics is in plain sight for all, especially his white supremacist followers, to see.Mark Karlin
“The company founded by a man named Henry Ford,” Trump’s prepared text appeared to say, “teamed up with the company founded by Thomas Edison — that’s General Electric.” But when Trump came to Ford’s name, he looked up from the text and observed: “good bloodlines, good bloodlines — if you believe in that stuff, you got good blood.”
Trump has made no secret of his own belief that he inherited everything from intelligence to an ability to withstand pressure through the “great genes” passed on to him by his parents and grandparents. He has also frequently compared the importance of “good bloodlines” in humans to the breeding of champion racehorses, a view that overlaps in uncomfortable ways with those of eugenicists and racists like Ford.
“I’m proud to have that German blood,” Trump once told an interviewer.