After Trump’s inaugural address, ABC journalist Terry Moran claimed that the “America first” theme that Trump espoused during his speech was a “loaded term” that carried “overtones from the 1930s, when an anti-Semitic movement” didn’t want to fight Germany.
“It’s a loaded term in American history,” Moran said. “Now, he defined it here as total allegiance to the United States of America, and it is something, as [fellow anchor Cecilia Vega] said, this is why he was sent here by people who want to hear that message of America first.”
“However, it carries with it overtones from the 1930s, when an anti-Semitic movement [said], ‘We don’t want to get involved in Europe’s war. It’s the Jews’ fault in Germany!’ Charles Lindbergh led them,” Moran continued. “It is a term as he defined it his way but the words themselves carry very ugly echoes of our history.”
It is almost impressive how Moran can take a term that simply espouses wishing to put America’s interests ahead of those of other countries – and warp it into something that is, allegedly, anti-Semitic.
And, he wasn’t the only one to make this non-existent connection.
MSNBC’s Chris Matthews also couldn’t seem to comprehend what “America first” meant, calling the speech “Hitlerian” while also implying that it somehow endangered the “special relationship” that the United States has with Great Britain. (Never mind that Trump is returning the bust of Winston Churchill Obama had removed from the White House).
“But I’m thinking when he said today ‘America First’ it was not just the racial, I mean the, um, I shouldn’t say racial, the Hitlerian background to it,” Matthews opined. “But it was the message I kept thinking, what is Theresa May thinking this morning, when she picks up the papers and goes ‘My God, what did he just say, he said America first, what happened to the special relationship.’”
Matthews should ask May herself, as both she and Trump have repeatedly said that the special relationship between America and Great Britain would continue and thrive. The two leaders spoke the day after the election in November where May’s own office said that Trump “said he was confident that the special relationship would go from strength to strength.” It was also less than a week ago when Trump himself promised a strong U.S-U.K trade deal as the U.K transitioned out of the European Union due to Brexit.
This, however, is probably what the media is going to look like in the age of a Trump presidency. The idea that a country putting its own interests ahead of other countries (something every country should be doing) has any kind of anti-Semitic undertones is beyond ridiculous, and it’s an almost lazy argument to compare anything that those in the media don’t like to Hitler.
At best, this is just a sad attempt to get headlines, and at worst it’s a well thought-out effort to undermine a new President less than 24 hours into his presidency.