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Gov. Pritzker: Republicans need to call out Trump’s dangerous rhetoric

The Democratic governor of Illinois says politicians have a responsibility to condemn Trump’s language, which can serve to “dehumanize” minority groups.

After the eruption of the Israel-Hamas war last month, antisemitic and Islamophobic threats have spiked across the U.S., forcing leaders to grapple with how to confront the rise in hate.

In an interview on “Inside with Jen Psaki,” Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker addressed the role played by former President Donald Trump in stoking tensions, telling us that “Trump is dangerous for our democracy, and he’s dangerous for specific minority groups in the United States.”

The Democratic governor specifically denounced Trump’s recent comments at a rally in New Hampshire in which he compared his political opponents to “vermin,” which President Joe Biden said echoes language used in Nazi Germany.

“It’s just one in a long series of remarks, words that Donald Trump has used, that are unfortunately reminiscent of the past,” Pritzker said. “In Germany in the 1930s, people that they didn’t want to have power — people that they wanted to separate and segregate — they began calling them immigrants, even people who had been in Germany for generations.”

Pritzker, who recently founded a nonprofit group aimed at combating right-wing extremism, emphasized that Trump’s rhetoric is intended to “dehumanize” minority groups.

Pritzker, who recently founded a nonprofit group aimed at combating right-wing extremism, emphasized that Trump’s rhetoric is intended to “dehumanize” minority groups.

“At least what happened in Germany is they turned it into a way to almost dehumanize — and they did, in fact, dehumanize — and kill people,” Pritzker said. “I don’t know where it’s going with Donald Trump. What I can tell you is the things he talked about are frightening to those of us who know the history of Europe in the 1930s and ’40s, and I’m deeply concerned about his predilection for revenge.”

Ultimately, he argues, politicians on both sides of the aisle have a responsibility to condemn Trump’s dangerous language, which Pritzker vows to continue to do.

“I know there are people who are afraid, and that’s exactly what Donald Trump hopes — is that people will be too afraid to speak out. I’m not,” the governor said. “There are Republicans that need to stand up and call it out, and I’d like to see that sooner rather than later.”

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