Trump Calls Biden a ‘Servant of the Globalists,’ Using Term Viewed as Antisemitic Dog Whistle

President repeats exact phrase that includes what ADL calls a code word used by antisemites in several events over past week

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US President Donald Trump watches a video of Democratic presidential nominee former Vice President Joe Biden as he holds a Make America Great Again rally as he campaigns at Erie International Airport in Erie, Pennsylvania, October 20, 2020
US President Donald Trump watches a video of Democratic presidential nominee former Vice President Joe Biden in Erie, Pennsylvania, October 20, 2020Credit: Photo by SAUL LOEB / AFP

President Donald Trump has been calling his Democratic rival, former Vice President Joe Biden, a “servant of the globalists” in speeches at campaign rallies throughout the past week, repeatedly using a term widely viewed as an antisemitic dog whistle.

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On Tuesday evening, Trump told a crowd gathered in Erie, Pennsylvania, that Biden was “a servant of the globalists, lobbyists, wealthy donors and Washington vultures who got rich bleeding America dry.”

Trump used exactly the same line at an Arizona rally the previous night. Its a charge he seems to have polished over past weeks, turning it into a regular feature of the stump speech hes making at his rallies in key battleground states in the closing weeks of his reelection campaign. 

At a rally in North Carolina, he said Biden was “a servant of the globalists and wealthy donors and special interests who got rich bleeding your country dry, taking jobs from North Carolina.” At another rally in the crucial swing state of Pennsylvania, he said Biden was “a servant of the radical globalists, the wealthy donors, the big money, special interests who shipped away your jobs and shut down your factories, threw open your borders and ravaged your cities.”

White nationalists and conspiracy theorists often use the term “globalist” interchangeably with “Jewish” to promote the belief that Jews put greed and tribe ahead of their country. Sometimes the word is used as a code word for “Jewish,” while sometimes it’s an adjective descriptor in the phrase “globalist Jews.” The word is frequently evoked in conspiracy theories featuring Jewish billionaire George Soros as the leader of an international Jewish cabal that controls financial institutions and the media. 

According to the ADL, “because of the long history of anti-Semitic associations of Jews with money and commerce, and allegations that Jews place their transnational ethnic affiliations ahead of the interests of their non-Jewish neighbors, these pejorative subtexts quickly take on anti-Semitic connotations.”  

Trump’s attacks echoed those he made against Hillary Clinton in the final weeks of the 2016 election campaign. Trump charged that Clinton was at the head of a “global power structure” aimed at harming the middle class and stripping the United States of its wealth, and accused her of meeting “in secret with international banks to plot the destruction of U.S. sovereignty in order to enrich … global financial powers, her special interest friends and her donors.” 

Trump’s use of the term “globalist” Tuesday was condemned by Halie Soifer, executive eirector of the Jewish Democratic Council of America, who tweeted that the ADL views the term as “a code word used by antisemites to describe Jews.”

“Trump is a growing threat to our security who continues to use hatred to further his political agenda,” Soifer added. “He deserves to lose.”

It wasn't the first time Trump was criticized for the use of the word. In 2018, the president said that his departing economic adviser Gary Cohn – who is Jewish – “may be a globalist, but I still like him,” adding, “He’s seriously a globalist. There’s no question.”

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