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Trump Sees ‘Poison the Blood’ Rhetoric As a Winning Tactic

by California Digital News

Photo: Joseph Prezioso/AFP via Getty Images

When Donald Trump first made a remark about immigrants “poisoning the blood of America” in a September interview, this Nazi-adjacent term drew a sharp rebuke from the Anti-Defamation League, which had no trouble recognizing the biological racism it implied.

“Insinuating that immigrants are ‘poisoning the blood of our country’ echoes nativist talking points and has the potential to cause real danger and violence. We have seen this kind of toxic rhetoric inspire real-world violence before in places like Pittsburgh and El Paso. It should have no place in our politics, period,” ADL CEO Jonathan Greenblatt said.

It drew less attention that Trump’s campaign didn’t ignore this criticism or shrug off his evil rhetoric as a onetime improvisation, but defended it.

“That’s a normal phrase that is used in everyday life — in books, television, movies, and in news articles. For anyone to think that is racist or xenophobic is living in an alternate reality consumed with nonsensical outrage,” Trump campaign spokesperson Steven Cheung said in a statement.

We should have realized this signaled Trump’s intention to keep using inflammatory language from the storehouse of blood-and-soil fascism. On Saturday, he deployed the same term during a campaign rally in Durham, New Hampshire.

“They let — I think the real number is 15, 16 million people into our country. When they do that, we got a lot of work to do. They’re poisoning the blood of our country,” Trump said, per NBC News. “That’s what they’ve done. They poison mental institutions and prisons all over the world, not just in South America, not just to 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.”

Experts noted this rhetoric is straight out of Mein Kampf, per Reuters:

Jason Stanley, a Yale professor and author of a book on fascism, said Trump’s repeated use of that language was dangerous. He said Trump’s words echoed the rhetoric of Nazi leader Adolf Hitler, who warned against German blood being poisoned by Jews in his political treatise “Mein Kampf.”

“He is now employing this vocabulary in repetition in rallies. Repeating dangerous speech increases its normalization and the practices it recommends,” Stanley said. “This is very concerning talk for the safety of immigrants in the U.S.”

The phrase reportedly was not in Trump’s prepared remarks for the Durham rally, but it already seems to be part of his campaign message. Trump actually doubled down hours after the rally, posting this message on Truth Social:


Some may assume this is an example of Trump trying to hype up his core MAGA base. But polling suggests there’s something deeper and more alarming going on in the GOP.

A new poll of New Hampshire from CBS News showed Trump more in peril in an early primary state than at any point since midsummer: Nikki Haley now trails Trump by just 15 points (44 percent to 29 percent) in the Granite State. Ron DeSantis is continuing to fade at 11 percent, and Chris Christie — whose support seems destined to bleed over into Haley’s column — is at 10 percent. As CBS makes clear, the relative moderation of New Hampshire’s GOP primary electorate plays a big role in Haley’s strength there. A majority of likely primary voters want to keep abortion legal in all or most cases, and a relatively high percentage of them are college-educated and are not conservative Evangelical Christians. That, and New Hampshire’s rules allowing independents to vote in either party’s primary, are precisely why Haley and Christie have focused their campaigns on this state, and Haley’s recent boom there was supercharged by the endorsement she received from the openly anti-Trump governor, Chris Sununu.

Yet there’s one topic on which New Hampshire’s likely Republican primary voters aren’t moderate at all. CBS provocatively asked them if they “want [a] GOP nominee who’d deport millions of undocumented immigrants”; 80 percent said “yes.”

Let’s think about that for a minute. In the George W. Bush era, Republicans were the party of “comprehensive immigration reform,” which invariably meant a “path to citizenship” for most undocumented Americans. In 2012, Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney was viewed as a quasi-nativist radical for his position that the U.S. government should encourage the undocumented to “self-deport.” And even during the Trump administration, MAGA Republicans remained interested in accepting a path to citizenship for at least some undocumented immigrants in exchange for the legendary border wall. There wasn’t much open talk about mass government-enforced deportations.

Now it appears mass government-enforced deportations are an overwhelmingly supported position of mainstream Republicans in one of the least Trumpy states. And it’s not just Trump driving the deportation train. Ron DeSantis made “mass detention and deportation of undocumented people” part of his very first policy proposal as a presidential candidate. The alleged moderate Nikki Haley has promised to deport every immigrant entering the country without documentation during the Biden administration.

So in escalating his rhetoric to describe immigrants as a threat to the “pure blood” of this bastion of white Christendom, Trump isn’t just appealing to the wildest of his wild supporters or the unapologetic white supremacists who promote him on social media. This is a message aimed at persuadable Republican voters in his most vulnerable state. Just imagine what Trump will be saying if he winds up in a competitive primary in a far less “moderate” state.

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