Over the weekend, America was treated to one of the great spectacles that has become a tradition over decades. Not the Super Bowl—that other big American festival. The one where major media outlets fixate on some perceived flaw in a Democratic candidate to ignore a Republican threatening to bring on the end of the republic, this time with a side order of World War III.
On Friday evening, Donald Trump spoke at an NRA event, the eighth time he has spoken to the organization. Besides bragging that during his time in the White House he “did nothing” to control guns in any way, Trump promised a door-to-door effort to sweep the nation of migrants and place them in enormous detention camps along the border “within moments” of taking office.
The speech—which included such bizarre claims as insisting that if he didn’t win “they” would change Pennsylvania’s name, and saying that he had personally witnessed a migrant stealing a refrigerator—ended with some of the most chilling words any American politician has ever uttered, words that make it clear that Trump has been studying hard from that book of Hitler speeches he keeps at his bedside.
The second most frightening thing may be that Trump has said it all before. Many times. The most frightening thing of all may be the complicit silence of the national press.
Trump isn’t quite promising a “final solution” to the “Jewish problem.” Instead, he’s promising a “final battle” to “drive out globalists.” Which is … not at all different.
The idea of casting out the communists, another Hitler favorite, isn’t new. Neither is that “final battle” phrase. Trump used both in his “I am your retribution” speech in March of 2023. That speech ended in much the same way as Trump’s two most recent appearances.
“With you at my side, we will demolish the deep state. We will expel the war mongers… We will drive out the globalists. We will cast out the communists. We will throw off the political class that hates our country … We will beat the Democrats. We will rout the fake news media. We will expose and appropriately deal with the Rinos [Republicans in name only]. We will evict Joe Biden from the White House. And we will liberate America from these villains and scoundrels once and for all,” he said.
He gave an almost identical closing at a rally in North Carolina in June. And at an Iowa rally in September. And a New Hampshire rally in January.
These words, which seem so potently venomous written out as a single small block of text, aren’t some random, one-off firing of Trump’s jangled synapsis. This is his standard closing. This is what he is saying to millions of Americans. This is his promise to the nation.
Trump is promising to drive out globalists. He’s promising to cast out communists. He’s promising to throw off the political class. There is not one idea here that has not been expressed before. They haven’t just been written down on pages and cheered before adoring crowds. They have been etched across the world in blood and flames.
There is a word for what Trump is promising when he says he wants to expel, drive out, cast out, throw off, rout, and evict. That word is pogrom.
Trump posted this capsule summary of his plans in the same weekend in which he informed European allies that he intended to violate the NATO treaty requiring mutual protection and would “encourage [Russia] to do whatever the hell they want.”
Still, the front page of The New York Times on Saturday morning had three stories about President Joe Biden’s age, and nothing about Trump’s repeated threats, or his claim that “they” were out to get Pennsylvania. On Monday morning, the Times is doing a little better, with a block of stories about Trump’s promise to break the NATO accords. And about how Republicans are falling into line to pretend that Trump doesn’t mean what he says.
“Give me a break—I mean, it’s Trump,” said Lindsey Graham.
“I have zero concern,” said Marco Rubio.
“I don’t think it’s encouragement at all,” said retired Gen. Keith Kellogg. “We know what he means when he says it.”
The press must find this very familiar. The dismissive attitude that Republicans claim to have toward Trump’s expressed intent to turn his back on Europe is the same mindset the national media shows toward Trump flat-out proclaiming that he’s going to rid the nation of political opponents and conduct a purge of “globalists” and “communists.”
It’s just Trump. It’s not like he actually means what he says. And says again. And again.
Now, let’s check in to see if Biden made an error in grammar. That’s worth a headline.
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