Donald Trump Says He Would Publish a NeoNazi Image Again
This week, Donald Trump’s presidential campaign is walking straight into a stinking mire of the kind of hate for its own sake that has become the defining characteristic of right wing politics.
The week began with the news that Donald Trump had posted an image of Hillary Clinton in front of a wall of money, with a 6-pointed star bearing a condemnation of Clinton’s corruption. The image quickly drew condemnation as an expression of antisemitism.
As antisemitism goes, the image wasn’t very clear. The star on Trump’s image had six points, like the Jewish Star of David, but it was red, and solid, not yellow, with a hollow center. The combination of the six-pointed star with a wall of money seemed to move in the direction of the old stereotype of Jews as people who secretly control the world through their money-lending prowess, but the link between these symbols had some plausible deniability.
That deniability became less plausible, however, with the news that the image was originally created by a neoNazi Trump fan. NeoNazis are scrupulous in their symbolism. They don’t use a star with six points unless they mean to refer to the Star of David, and the Jewish identity that it represents. With this revelation, the message behind Trump’s image became clear: It expresses a right wing conspiracy theory that Hillary Clinton is a representative of a Jewish cabal of moneylenders that secretly controls the world.
In response, Donald Trump insisted that he never posted the image with any intention to express antisemitism. He just thought that the star on the image was a star, and didn’t mean any harm by it, Trump said.
That explanation made some sense at the time. Perhaps Donald Trump simply didn’t know that the image came from a neoNazi who shares Adolf Hitler’s belief that Jews are an evil group of people who inflict secret political conspiracies upon the world.
The plausibility of Trump’s excuse was shattered yesterday, however, when the presidential candidate angrily insisted that he would post the image all over again. In a speech in Cincinnati, Trump declared that he “should have left it up”, and explained that it was the decision of campaign employees to remove the image from Trump’s Twitter feed.
Donald Trump made this statement after he found out that the image comes from a neoNazi, a person who almost certainly did intend the image to be antisemitic.
Trump’s excuses for the image no longer hold water. Trump knows where it came from. He knows the image’s intent as an expression of hatred against Jews.
Most Americans understand that using propaganda created by neoNazis is absolutely unacceptable. They understand that anyone who uses such propaganda, even if they didn’t realize its origin, should remove it from publication and apologize for the mistake.
Donald Trump won’t accept even that basic standard of decent respect. The fact that he is unwilling to acknowledge the need to retract or apologize for the use of neoNazi propaganda should serve as a clear warning of the manner in which he would use the power of the President of the United States.