Over the weekend, Donald Trump twice referred to Americans who don’t align themselves ideologically with him as “vermin.”
The words appeared in a Truth Social post on Veterans Day.
“In honor of our great Veterans on Veteran’s Day [sic], we pledge to you that we will root out the Communists, Marxists, Fascists, and Radical Left Thugs that live like vermin within the confines of our Country, lie, steal, and cheat on Elections, and will do anything possible, whether legally or illegally, to destroy America, and the American Dream. The threat from outside forces is far less sinister, dangerous, and grave, than the threat from within.”
Later that day he used the phrase at a rally in Claremont, New Hampshire.
Ruth Ben-Ghiat, a historian at New York University, said in an email to The Washington Post that “calling people ‘vermin’ was used effectively by Hitler and Mussolini to dehumanize people and encourage their followers to engage in violence.”
“Trump is also using projection: note that he mentions all kinds of authoritarians ‘communists, Marxists, fascists and the radical left’ to set himself up as the deliverer of freedom,” Ben-Ghiat said. “Mussolini promised freedom to his people too and then declared dictatorship.”WaPo
Trump campaign spokesman Steven Cheung explained that “those who try to make that ridiculous assertion are clearly snowflakes grasping for anything because they are suffering from Trump Derangement Syndrome and their entire existence will be crushed when President Trump returns to the White House.”
In Nazi Germany dictator Adolf Hitler’s 1925 autobiographical manifesto “Mein Kampf,” which translates to “My Struggle,” the fascist detailed his political ideology.