Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Holocaust Deniers and the Donald Trump Phenomenon: Some Observations

Holocaust denial lurks in the shadows of Donald Trump's support, alongside 9/11 conspiracy theories and other Alt-right memes. This present article is prompted by this Snopes.com report of the death last week of Victor Thorn, who was both a Holocaust denier, as shown here, and 9/11 Truther, as shown here. Last year, Thorn was a main source of the anti-Clinton diatribe co-authored by JFK conspiracist Roger Stone and despicable racist Robert Morrow, which was endorsed by Trump in this tweet, discussed here. The connections that link Thorn to Stone and Morrow, such as those raised by Media Matters for America here, can cast light on the netherworld in which Alt-right characters work.

Victor Thorn was not a Trump supporter but this article by Thorn from August 2015 expressed admiration for Trump's "archetypal strength and rugged individualism by combining Billy Sunday’s bombastic style, bravado ripped straight from the pages of a Marvel comic book, along with a healthy dose of P.T. Barnum charlatanism." However, Thorn then implied that Trump was a Jewish puppet:
If all the world’s a stage, the biggest question right now is: who are the hidden puppet-masters writing Donald Trump’s script, and what is their larger agenda that we see unfolding before us?
Holocaust denial in Thorn's form can therefore be seen as expressing ambivalence about Trump. He is their pin-up proto-fascist white nationalist strong man standing up to "Obama and Hillary’s preference for New World Order multiculturalism" but he is also a stooge for Israel. However, this is also an internal contradiction. On the one hand, Thorn belongs to the tradition of Kevin MacDonald, who sees Jews as eroding America via multiculturalism, and also Pat Buchanan, who has flirted with Holocaust denial and sees cultural Marxism as a cancer eating the US from the inside. On the other hand, it would make no sense for Jews with such an agenda to support Trump, who sings from a nativist, isolationist hymn sheet. Similar ambivalence can be found in Ron Paul, who has accepted donations and posed with neo-Nazis but refused to support Trump.

In 2012, Thorn interviewed Glenn Spencer of the American Border Patrol, whose conspiracist views on immigration foreshadowed those of Trump:
Spencer has been warn­ing of a plan by Mex­i­cans to “invade” and “con­quer” the South­west­ern U.S. for more than a decade. He has claimed that the Mex­i­can gov­ern­ment is “spon­sor­ing the inva­sion of the United States with hos­tile intent.”  Spencer has also attended white suprema­cist events and had a let­ter pub­lished on the racist web­site, VDARE.com [source: ADL].
Thorn's own words are ominous when applied to conspiracy theories, given how often Trump speaks and tweets about alleged election rigging and media bias whilst 'joking' about the assassination of Hilary Clinton.In 2014, Thorn wrote an article entitled Mexico Invades the United States, with scare quotes about murderers and rapists. Thorn's book, Made In Israel, contains the claim that:
In the following pages, readers will discover indisputable truths that expose widespread Jewish involvement in 9-11. As they’ll learn, no other nation, race or people figure as prominently as do the Jews and Israel. Countries such as Chile, China, France or Australia cannot be substituted in place of Israel because they weren’t the plotters. Jews, on the other hand, were involved up to their ears.
Thorn's death has been met with conspiracy theories that would be familiar to anyone who has followed Trump's campaign. Nathan Francis summarizes them here. Note the similarity between this Pavlovian response and the ways in which deniers accuse Jews of bumping off witnesses, such as in this article by Thomas Kues.

Kues, until his disappearance from the scene in 2013, was part of a movement which believes that Jews lied about witnessing the workings of a death camp when what they actually saw, according to deniers, was simply a transit camp where Jews were given showers before being packed off to resettlement camps in the occupied USSR. This belief on the part of deniers would require a conspiracy in which countless numbers of SS members, collaborators, railway workers, police and so on lied about their wartime experiences, thousands of documents were forged or destroyed, and literally nobody came forward to expose what really happened. Thorn perpetrated the same fantasies around 9/11, with a clear antisemitic intent. Trump's mindset overlaps with that same delusional mentality with regard to his assumptions about how elections and the media can be rigged, as shown below.  

Trump's connection to such fantasies can seen in how often he has used false information supplied by Alex Jones, whose site has peddled conspiracy theories concerning the deaths of Antonin Scalia and Prince. Trump was even interviewed by Jones, with whom Trump shares climate change denial and JFK conspiracies; the interview was arranged by Stone. Meanwhile, Jones regularly interviews Stone, producing memorable segments such as long rants about vote-rigging conspiracies, which are then picked up by Trump.

Finally, a common feature of Trump and HD is the constant picking of fights with erstwhile colleagues. Thus, for example, we find that Stone and Morrow are now tweeting against each other, such as Stone's claim that "Morrow is in the pay of the Clintons.Sold out like David Brock."

Updates Friday 12 August 2016:

1) Although Trump says today that he was "being sarcastic" about Obama being the founder of ISIS, an interview with Roger Stone by Rebecca Berg has established that there is a Stone conspiracy theory that Obama supplied ISIS with weapons.

2) Alex Jones spoke at the pro-Trump rally on July 18th.

1 comment:

Bilbo said...

Since I am a 9/11 Truther but not a Holocaust Denier, I know from experience that being one does not entail the other. However, it does concern me that far too many Truthers are anti-Semitic, anti-Zionist, and Holocaust Deniers. I wish there was a way to kick them out of the Truther club. Alas, I don't how.