Talking Points

Why do all these anti-Semites keep appearing in the Republican Party?

On the second night of the Republican National Convention, a member of the Trump campaign's advisory board named Mary Ann Mendoza was scheduled to speak. That same day, Mendoza tweeted that her followers should read a thread containing ancient gutter anti-Semitism — including crack-brained allegations that Jews were conspiring to make "The Goyim Destroy Each Other," and a recommendation to read the notorious anti-Semitic forgery The Protocols of the Elders of Zion. (The thread also contained repeated references to the QAnon conspiracy, suggesting this has become a pipeline to flagrant hatred of Jews.) Mendoza's speaking slot was canceled.

Republicans were no doubt confused as to how someone who would endorse such a virulently anti-Semitic message managed to land a speaking slot at their national convention. It's not like President Trump has suggested that American Jews are all obsessed with money, that their political allegiance can be bought, or that they are not really American citizens. It's not like he has said that neo-Nazi terrorists were "very fine people."

It’s truly an astonishing coincidence that some of Trump’s most hardcore followers can’t stop talking about an international Jewish conspiracy to control world media and politics. How could this be happening?