The idea that Donald Trump’s campaign is borderline anti-Semitic is being hauled out this week as we hurtle toward Election Day. No one suggests Mr. Trump himself is hostile to Jews. The idea seems to be that because some of the alt-right groups are kvelling over his criticism of the big international banks and the Federal Reserve, Jews should vote for Hillary Clinton. Never mind that the Democrats have emerged as the party of appeasement in respect of, in Iran, the world’s most anti-Semitic regime.
This all burst into the headlines after Mr. Trump’s speech Thursday at Palm Beach. It was praised on a Web site called the Daily Stormer, which reported that in the speech Mr. Trump “affirmed” that the “the mass media isn’t ‘biased’ in the innocent sense, it’s the lying Jewish mouthpiece of international finance and plutocracy, seeking to protect agendas that make trillions of dollars for a small film of scum at the very top, at the expense of middle and working class Americans.”
The Daily Stormer article was being emailed around by some of the most distinguished journalists in the country. So imagine our surprise when we called up on the Web the text (and then the video) of Mr. Trump’s tirade only to discover that neither the Jews, nor Israel, nor Zionism were mentioned in the speech at all. Not once. The only thing that came close was when Mr. Trump attacked the Obama administration for sending $1.7 billion — in cash — to the Iranians.
It is true that Mr. Trump mentioned — once — “international banks.” And there is no doubt that that the epithet of international bankers has been used as a slight against the Jews. In American politics, this reached an apogee in 1896, when the Democrats put up Wm. Jennings Bryan. He accepted the nomination with a pro-inflation speech that answered those who sought sound money by warning: “You shall not crucify mankind upon a cross of gold.”
When the Nebraskan ended his speech on that famed oratorical note, he stood there in the convention hall at Chicago with his arms outstretched. Total silence fell over the hall. Then suddenly the crowd erupted into a delirious ovation such as has rarely been heard in politics. The New York Sun, the leading broadsheet of its day, reported the hall echoed with shouts of “Down with the hook-nosed Shylocks of Wall Street! Down with the Christ-killing gold bugs.”
How amazing it is that a century after Bryan’s speech this knot has yet to be untied. And it’s no small irony that the only candidate today who supports the gold standard, as Donald Trump does in principle, is the one who is being libeled on this head. He’d be by far the better choice on this issue and would be perfectly positioned to work with the Congress, whose leadership at the moment is so well primed to bring monetary reform into law.
It is the issue at the core of our economic travail, and one doesn’t have to be anti-Semitic to be angry over what has happened in the era of fiat money. Banks have lately been soaring to near record profits, as the Fed makes money cheap and takes on trillions of dollars in debts of the government that established the Fed. Yet family businesses and working men and women have yet to enjoy the largess of what Mr. Trump has the sagacity to call a “false economy.”
Our own impression is that those journalists making a megillah of Mr. Trump’s warnings about the banks and the Fed are those who are not terribly invested in the story of monetary reform in the first place. They have been nowhere heard of as Congress has brought this whole matter to the fore. As for the Sun, we haven’t yet endorsed in this campaign, but we don’t mind saying that we’re one Zionist publication that isn’t going to be run off this issue by the ilk of the Alt-Right.