Donald Trump Thinks Henry Ford Would Be ‘Very Disappointed’ in Ford
Donald Trump — a simpering disaster of a creature who thinks it’s prudent and necessary to lock children in cages indefinitely and believes he can just zap away the 14th Amendment with a snap of his tiny fingers like an orange, racist, less sympathetic Thanos — is mad. Specifically, he’s big mad at Ford Motor Company because it has decided — along with Honda, Volkswagen, and BMW — to back California in a deal that directly spurns his administration’s rollback of Obama-era emissions requirements.
Targeting his seemingly unending rage directly at Ford on Wednesday, he invoked its namesake by expressing a belief that Henry Ford would be “very disappointed” in the company he created for … uh … not agreeing with Donald Trump? He tweeted:
Henry Ford would be very disappointed if he saw his modern-day descendants wanting to build a much more expensive car, that is far less safe and doesn’t work as well, because execs don’t want to fight California regulators.
This is far from the first time that Trump has gone after Ford. In 2016, Trump incorrectly claimed that Ford would “fire all their employees in the United States,” which may just rank somewhere among the top 100 bald-faced lies then-candidate Trump shared during his campaign.
Ford, for its part, responded to Trump’s attack by telling Reuters: “This agreement with California provides regulatory stability while reducing CO2 more than complying with two different standards.”
Xavier Becerra, California’s Attorney General, tweeted a handy infographic demonstrating the negative impact of Trump’s rollback, adding: “This doesn’t look like a better alternative to us.”
Reuters’ David Shepardson chimed in, writing: “There is no evidence that existing fuel economy rules would degrade vehicle performance. And environmentalists and many states challenge Trump’s assertion that his administration’s proposed rule would boost vehicle safety or dramatically reduce the price of vehicles — and argue that consumers will save more in reduced fuel costs under the Obama rules.”
But these are facts- and evidence-based claims and assertions, and if the last three years have demonstrated anything, it’s that facts and evidence serve no function for Trump or his adherents. They’ll push on blindly, dumbly together until the inevitable heat death of this planet. But at least some folks will die very, very rich!
Henry Ford and His Antisemitism
The decision to invoke the specter of Henry Ford of all people is particularly pointed given some of Trump’s more controversial comments from earlier in the week. Trump on Tuesday claimed that American Jews voting for Democrats demonstrated “either a total lack of knowledge or great disloyalty.” Then, on Wednesday, he took to Twitter to quote right-wing conspiracy crackpot Wayne Allyn Root, who proclaimed him “the King of Israel” among other things.*
For those unaware, Henry Ford was a virulent, unabashed antisemite. An antisemite who purchased a newspaper, The Dearborn Independent, with the intent to use it to distribute anti-Jewish propaganda to a readership of over 700,000. From that propaganda sprung The International Jew: The World’s Foremost Problem, which stated that “the Jew is a threat” and postulated that the objective of Jews is “to control the world, not by territorial acquisition, not by military aggression, not by governmental subjugation, but by control of the machinery of commerce and exchange.”
Though he ultimately apologized in 1927 for the anti-Jewish rhetoric of The International Jew (after being sued for libel and settling out of court), Ford happily accepted the Grand Cross of the German Eagle from Adolf Hitler in July 1938. That would be same Adolf Hitler who praised Ford as a “great man” in Mein Kampf for preventing Jews from becoming “the controlling masters of the labor power.” The same Adolf Hitler, by the way, who orchestrated the murder of 6 million Jews in the Holocaust.
So here’s Donald Trump, apoplectic over the idea of American Jews not falling all over themselves to vote for a disgusting trash bag in a baggy suit, claiming to know the thoughts of a man who influenced a man directly responsible for the murder of 6 million Jews on the same day he giddily shares that a nutjob has proclaimed him the king of Israel and “the second coming of God.”
Another quote from aforesaid nutjob (Root, not the one in the White House): “But American Jews don’t know him or like him. They don’t even know what they’re doing or saying anymore.” This is the “disloyal” American Jew to Donald Trump — anyone who does not like Donald Trump. In his muck-addled brain, disloyalty to him means disloyalty to the country. The United States Holocaust Memorial Museum notes in its definition of antisemite: “A potent component of political antisemitism was nationalism, whose adherents often falsely denounced Jews as disloyal citizens.” Feel free to chew on that and draw your own conclusion about what Donald Trump is.
Putting Jewish identity as being at odds with American identity is not a new concept. In fact, an example of similar rhetoric can be found just in the title of “‘Jewish Rights’ Clash with American Rights,” one of the chapters from the second volume of The International Jew. So, yeah, maybe Donald Trump does have some insight into how Henry Ford might think if he were alive today.
*It’s worth noting here that among Root’s inane theories is the idea that James Alex Fields Jr., the white supremacist who murdered Heather Heyer in Charlottesville at the Unite the Right rally, was “hired by [billionaire George] Soros.” Soros, a Hungarian Jew, is often named by right-wing conspiracy theorists as the financier of “false flag” operations. According to Veonika Bondarenko, writing for Business Insider, people like Root paint Soros as “a kind of puppet master secretly controlling the global economy and politics,” which aligns with the antisemitic trope, perpetuated in Ford’s The International Jew, of Jews seeking control through “the machinery of commerce and exchange.” Conspiracy claims that Soros was funding the caravan of migrants that headed toward the U.S.-Mexico border last year — echoed by Trump — influenced the Tree of Life Synagogue shooting (much as Trump’s rhetoric toward immigrants in general influenced the shooting in El Paso earlier this month).