We’re living in interesting times where Republicans require their supporters to disregard what the only profession protected by the Constitution tells them to see, but see what doesn’t exist when it comes to voting, so Republicans can limit people’s access to the levers of power. Throw in Republican xenophobia, nationalism, incessant lies, whipping up hatred of the targeted minority groups, militarism, faux-religiosity, misogyny and government acting as an appendage of the affairs of oligarchs on top of an autocrat strongman “daddy” who promises to save the “forgotten Americans” from everything, including the scary, complex world of “others”… and we have the very definition of fascism.
Watching Trump’s rally in Melbourne, Florida on Saturday afternoon, I suddenly felt a special kinship with all those who’ve lived through the rise of an autocrat. In the past, reading my history books, I felt safe behind a buffer of assumptions that “it can’t happen here.” Watching Trump’s updated version of his very own “Nuremberg Rally,” the scales fell from my eyes. It HAS happened here.
The attacks on the “fake news media” are directly out of an autocrat’s playbook. Hitler called his nemesis the ‘Lügenpresse, or “lying press.” Trump claims he’s speaking directly to his supporters, because he’s been treated so “unfairly,” and simultaneously signaling his dupes to reject any damaging truth about him – including the impending revelations about just what a corrupt puppet of Putin he is.
When Trump and his supporters boast about their “movement,” let’s get real. Their “movement” is called “fascism.” Though, being incapable of grasping history, reality and being victims of Trump and Republican lies, I’m don’t think his average supporters understand that, so let me explain.
Of course, here’s the famous 14 defining characteristics of facism, if you need a refresher.
Franklin Roosevelt described it as this:
The liberty of a democracy is not safe if the people tolerate the growth of private power to a point where it becomes stronger than the democratic state itself. That in its essence is fascism: ownership of government by an individual, by a group, or any controlling private power.
In 2015, Jeffrey A Tucker nailed Trump’s fascism in Newsweek, after witnessing him in action at a campaign rally, “His speech was like an interwar séance of once-powerful dictators who inspired multitudes, drove countries into the ground and died grim deaths. I kept thinking of books like John T. Flynn’s As We Go Marching, especially Chapter Ten that so brilliantly chronicles a form of statism that swept Europe in the 1930s. It grew up in the firmament of failed economies, cultural upheaval and social instability, and it lives by stoking the fires of bourgeois resentment.
Since World War II, the ideology he represents has usually lived in dark corners, and we don’t even have a name for it anymore. The right name, the correct name, the historically accurate name, is fascism. I don’t use that word as an insult only. It is accurate.”
Now, the fascist squats in the White House. As we watch Trump stack his cabinet with banksters, white supremacists and oligarchs, we can’t say we weren’t warned. As I’ve written about before, “In 1944 as World War II raged, Henry Wallace (FDR’s Vice President from 1941 to 1945) penned an article in the New York Times about the dangers of American Fascism. Wallace warned of the American Fascist’s deliberate perversion of truth and fact, monopolistic extortion, appeal to prejudice and fear while paying lip service to democracy, intolerance towards the “other,” evasion of laws designed to protect the public good, elevation of money and power before the welfare of human beings to feed insatiable greed. With the exception of right wing isolationism, the piece could have been written today.” Give it a read and draw your own conclusions.
“It is the connection of wealth to power that can transform a democracy into a totalitarian state. The rich and well-connected corporate elites have long played a dominant role in the executive branch and virtually every other political institution since their inceptions. Before Trump came along, three of the public’s most well-known presidents, George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, and Theodore Roosevelt, were also the nation’s top three wealthiest presidents with a combined wealth at their peak of $862 million adjusted for inflation.Trump’s faux-populist campaign message to “drain the swamp” failed to mention his plan to replace it with a cesspool of corporatists facilitating the corporate takeover of governmental institutions. His cabinet is among the most corporate in U.S. history with one-third of appointments going to executives with no government or military experience. Only President McKinley, who took office during the Gilded Age in 1897, appointed proportionally more corporatists.
The Gilded Age marked the highpoint of inequality, both economically and socially, in the U.S. It took the struggles of the abolitionists, suffragists, populist agrarians, and workers combined to force equality into the law and eventually move Franklin Roosevelt into the New Deal and the basis for Johnson’s Great Society. Over the years, policy changes and laws to unravel the New Deal, and everything flowing from it, were sought and eventually won, in bits and pieces, by and until the descendants and disciples of the Robber Barons and so-called “heirs apparent” to our nation’s wealth won Ayn Rand’s vision of a neo-fascist society. And, then Donald Trump was elected.
We’ve always teetered on the edge of fascism, which is why any mention of “Godwins Law” always irritated me. In case you don’t know, “Godwin’s Law” is an internet adage that says “once a Nazi comparison is made, the discussion is ends and whoever mentioned it automatically loses the argument.” But, why study history if we refuse to learn its lessons?
In 1939, surrounded by American flags and images of George Washington, twenty two thousand American Nazis rallied at New York’s Madison Square Garden. That’s really not long ago. My grandparents were alive. My parents were children.
At the same time the “German-American Bund” was calling for called “true Americanism,” the easily led of Germany were incited to violence against racially vilified so-called “enemies from within ” – just like when Trump’s supporters assaulted an undocumented immigrant and it took Trump days to finally assert that he doesn’t condone violence. Trump originally praised this attack as the actions of “passionate” people who “love their country.” Yes, as “passionate” as the “good Germans” who began with rhetoric, moved to thuggery and slowly graduated to atrocious.
The claims to be on the side of the working class, while turning government into an appendage of the affairs of the elite is exactly the tactic of Hitler. Der Fuhrer was great at paying lip service to the German working class, while undermining and usurping their power. For example, Hitler was the first Chancellor to make May 1st a Labor Day holiday. He “celebrated” by on May 2nd by abolishing labor unions and sending his goons to destroy labor union halls. Labor leaders were arrested and sent to concentration camps. Organizing, collective bargaining and striking were abolished. If that doesn’t sound like the Republican agenda, what does?
To appear “pro-worker,” Hitler replaced real unions with fake ones. The “German Labor Front” was overseen by employers. As the website “People’s World” describes, “Under the guise of providing benefits and services to workers, it supported the racist and pro-corporate Nazi agenda and spread Nazi propaganda among workers. Jews were banned from membership. Collective bargaining and the right to strike were outlawed. Pay and working conditions were decided by Hitler officials. As a result, wages were frozen, and the average workweek increased by 20 percent in just a few years.”
As the saying goes, if it quacks like a fascist, and acts like a fascist, it’s a freaking fascist!
For years I pointed out the strong, fascist, strain flowing through the Republican Party. You see, Republicans really don’t like democracy. Now they have their chance to destroy it for good. That’s really not that long ago. My grandparents were alive… my parents were children. Meanwhile, the easily led of Germany were incited to violence against racially vilified so-called “enemies from within ” – just like when a couple of Trump’s supporters assaulted an undocumented immigrant and days before he finally insisted he doesn’t condone violence, Trump originally praised it as the actions of “passionate” people who “love their country.”
Democracy is so fragile, and is in constant need of cultivation and protection. Especially in a nation of 320 million diverse people. How do you prevent working people from banding together, organizing, and demanding their rightful seat at the table of power? Divide and conquer, of course! Conservatism is – and always has been – an ideology that works to empower the elite few at the expense of the exploitable many. Followed to its ultimate end, and we have fascism. But they can’t come right out and admit that, so they play the ol’ CON standard of cultivating division – especially along racial lines.
Yes, as “passionate” as the “good Germans” who began with rhetoric, moved to thuggery and slowly graduated to atrocious.
We’re kidding ourselves if we think all humans have evolved past the weaknesses that prompt some to pine for an authoritarian daddy to restore “order” from the “chaos” of diversity and democracy. As today’s Republican Party and “President Trump” can attest.
- White Nationalists Throw Hate “Business Cards” at Black Woman - November 6, 2018
- Supposed Persecuted Trump supporter Scams Cons Out of $150,000 - November 5, 2018
- In 3 A.M. Tweet, Trump Complains he’s the Real Victim of Mail Bombs - October 26, 2018
- Melania Trump Claims She’s ‘The Most Bullied Person in the World’ and the Internet Groans - October 11, 2018
- Right Wingers Help Completely False Kremlin-Made Propaganda Video Go Viral - October 9, 2018
- Historian: Mitch McConnell is the “Gravedigger of American Democracy” - October 5, 2018
- Donald Trump Tried To Trick His Elderly Father Into Changing His Will - October 4, 2018
- Survey: Trump Surpasses ‘Terrorism’ as Germans’ Greatest Fear - September 6, 2018
- Ron DeSantis Moderated Racist Facebook Group That Attacks Minorities, Parkland Survivors - August 30, 2018
- Architect: Betsy DeVos’ Ostentatious McMansion Sucks - August 8, 2018