This evening Donald Trump decided to favorably reference the late Henry Ford, twice, while on a tirade about the United States auto industry. It’s part of a familiar pattern of Trump, where he attacks his adversaries by putting words in the mouths of people who aren’t in a position to refute him.
For instance, Trump recently claimed that Congresswoman Rashida Tlaib’s grandmother doesn’t like her very much. Now he’s claiming that Henry Ford wouldn’t like what Ford Motor Company is doing these days. But here’s the thing. Everyone from PBS to the New York Times has documented how Henry Ford was an anti-semite.
On any other day, we might be tempted to chalk this up to Donald Trump not knowing his history, and not realizing he’s invoking an anti-semite while making an argument about the auto industry. But consider the past twenty-four hours. Yesterday Trump claimed that American Jews were “disloyal.” This morning Trump declared himself “King of Israel.”
Donald Trump is in the midst of a nearly psychotic antisemitic bender, because the vast majority of Jewish voters ended up voting against him in 2016 – and in the middle of it, he’s suddenly making a point of name-checking an American public figure known for his antisemitism. We know what’s going on here, and we know why.
Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report