The American Fascist

I’ve been reluctant to use the  “f” word to describe Donald Trump because it’s especially harsh, and it’s too often used carelessly.

But Trump has finally reached a point where parallels between his presidential campaign and the fascists of the first half of the 20th century – lurid figures such as Benito Mussolini, Joseph Stalin, Adolf Hitler, Oswald Mosley, and Francisco Franco – are too evident to overlook.

It’s not just that Trump recently quoted Mussolini (he now calls that tweet inadvertent) or that he’s begun inviting followers at his rallies to raise their right hands in a manner chillingly similar to the Nazi “Heil” solute (he dismisses such comparison as “ridiculous.”)

The parallels go deeper.

As did the early twentieth-century fascists, Trump is focusing his campaign on the angers of white working people who have been losing economic ground for years, and who are easy prey for demagogues seeking to build their own power by scapegoating others.

Trump’s electoral gains have been largest in counties with lower than average incomes, and among those who report their personal finances have worsened. As the Washington Post’s Jeff Guo has pointed out, Trump performs best in places where middle-aged whites are dying the fastest.  

The economic stresses almost a century ago that culminated in the Great Depression were far worse than most of Trump’s followers have experienced, but they’ve suffered something that in some respects is more painful – failed expectations.

Many grew up during the 1950s and 1960s, during a postwar prosperity that lifted all boats. That prosperity gave their parents a better life. Trump’s followers naturally expected that they and their children would also experience economic gains. They have not.

Add fears and uncertainties about terrorists who may be living among us, or may want to sneak through our borders, and this vulnerability and powerlessness is magnified.

Trump’s incendiary verbal attacks on Mexican immigrants and Muslims – even his reluctance to distance himself from David Duke and the Ku Klux Klan – follow the older fascist script.  

That older generation of fascists didn’t bother with policy prescriptions or logical argument, either. They presented themselves as strongmen whose personal power would remedy all ills.

They created around themselves cults of personality in which they took on the trappings of strength, confidence, and invulnerability – all of which served as substitutes for rational argument or thought.  

Trump’s entire campaign similarly revolves around his assumed strength and confidence. He tells his followers not to worry; he’ll take care of them. “If you get laid off …, I still want your vote,” he told workers in Michigan last week. “I’ll get you a new job; don’t worry about it.”

The old fascists intimidated and threatened opponents. Trump is not above a similar strategy. To take one example, he recently tweeted that Chicago’s Ricketts family, now spending money to defeat him, “better be careful, they have a lot to hide.”

The old fascists incited violence. Trump has not done so explicitly but Trump supporters have attacked Muslims, the homeless, and African-Americans – and Trump has all but excused their behavior.

Weeks after Trump began his campaign by falsely alleging that Mexican immigrants are “bringing crime. They’re rapists,” two brothers in Boston beat with a metal pole and urinated on a 58-year-old homeless Mexican national. They subsequently told the police “Donald Trump was right, all these illegals need to be deported.”

Instead of condemning that brutality, Trump excused it by saying “people who are following me are very passionate. They love this country and they want this country to be great again.”

After a handful of white supporters punched and attempted to choke a Black Lives Matter protester at one of his campaign rallies, Trump said “maybe he should have been roughed up.”

There are further parallels. Fascists glorified national power and greatness, fanning xenophobia and war. Trump’s entire foreign policy consists of asserting American power against other nations. Mexico “will” finance a wall. China “will” stop manipulating its currency.  

In pursuit of their nationalistic aims, the fascists disregarded international law. Trump is the same. He recently proposed using torture against terrorists, and punishing their families, both in clear violation of international law. 

Finally, the fascists created their mass followings directly, without political parties or other intermediaries standing between them and their legions of supporters.  

Trump’s tweets and rallies similarly circumvent all filters. The Republican Party is irrelevant to his campaign, and he considers the media an enemy. (Reporters covering his rallies are kept behind a steel barrier.)

Viewing Donald Trump in light of the fascists of the first half of the twentieth century – who used economic stresses to scapegoat others, created cults of personality, intimidated opponents, incited violence, glorified their nations and disregarded international law, and connected directly with the masses – helps explain what Trump is doing and how he is succeeding.

It also suggests why Donald Trump presents such a profound danger to the future of America and the world.  

reason.com
Nashville Councilwoman: Deciding Who Sleeps in Your Home is a Privilege Bestowed by Government, Not a Right
You can do whatever you want on your own property, as long as the government approves.

This bitch is anti-third amendment and anti Declaration of Independence. 

Sometimes I think our civil society has gone too far in that there aren’t any reprisals for batshit fascism like this bitch is spouting. 

Just try and tell me she doesn’t deserve an onslaught of Denis the Menace 50s era pranks at the very absolute least!

8

http://www.nytimes.com/2014/03/23/world/asia/in-china-michelle-obama-speaks-out-for-free-speech.html?partner=MYWAY&ei=5065

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/chris-ernesto/occupy-arrests_b_1475670.html

http://foxnewsinsider.com/2013/11/10/fox-news-reporter-jana-winter-facing-jail-time-unless-she-reveals-sources-may-have-return

http://www.theblaze.com/stories/2013/08/13/journalist-michael-hastings-was-investigating-cia-director-john-brennan-before-he-was-killed-in-fiery-car-crash/

http://usnews.nbcnews.com/_news/2013/06/21/19079389-us-charges-nsa-leaker-snowden-with-espionage?lite

http://baltimore.cbslocal.com/2014/02/25/video-shows-officer-confronting-man-filming-arrests-in-towson/

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/07/26/obama-whistleblower-website_n_3658815.html?1374857923

Put a man in uniform, preferably a white man, give him a gun, and Americans will worship him. It is a particularly childish trait, of a childlike culture, that insists on anointing all active military members and police officers as “heroes.” The rhetorical sloppiness and intellectual shallowness of affixing such a reverent label to everyone in the military or law enforcement betrays a frightening cultural streak of nationalism, chauvinism, authoritarianism and totalitarianism, but it also makes honest and serious conversations necessary for the maintenance and enhancement of a fragile democracy nearly impossible.
— 

It’s been 70 years since we fought a war about freedom. Forced troop worship and compulsory patriotism must end

Calling all cops and troops heroes insults those who actually are heroic – the soldier who runs into the line of fire to protect his division, the police officer who works tirelessly to find a missing child – by placing them alongside the cops who shoot unarmed teenagers who have their hands in the air, or the soldier who rapes his subordinate.

It also degrades the collective understanding of heroism to the fantasies of high-budget, cheap-story action movies. The American conception of heroism seems inextricably linked to violence; not yet graduated from third-grade games of cops and robbers. Explosions and smoking guns might make for entertaining television, but they are not necessary, and more and more in modern society, not even helpful in determining what makes a hero.

Do we really want to diagnose and medicate everyone with “deficits in rule-governed behavior”?

Albert Einstein, as a youth, would have likely received an ADHD diagnosis, and maybe an ODD one as well. Albert didn’t pay attention to his teachers, failed his college entrance examinations twice, and had difficulty holding jobs. However, Einstein biographer Ronald Clark (Einstein: The Life and Times) asserts that Albert’s problems did not stem from attention deficits but rather from his hatred of authoritarian, Prussian discipline in his schools. Einstein said, “The teachers in the elementary school appeared to me like sergeants and in the Gymnasium the teachers were like lieutenants.” At age 13, Einstein read Kant’s difficult Critique of Pure Reason—because Albert was interested in it. Clark also tells us Einstein refused to prepare himself for his college admissions as a rebellion against his father’s “unbearable” path of a “practical profession.” After he did enter college, one professor told Einstein, “You have one fault; one can’t tell you anything.” The very characteristics of Einstein that upset authorities so much were exactly the ones that allowed him to excel.

king5.com
Connecticut to ban gun sales to 'no fly' listers
Connecticut Gov. Dannel Malloy said Thursday he will sign an executive order banning people on the federal terrorism watch lists from buying guns in the state.

I’ve got people I know on Facebook endorsing this.

They shouldn’t.

I’m not even here to argue about gun rights. I’m here to argue about process of law.

The “no-fly” list is lawless. There’s no real way to know you’re on it, you’re not told, you can’t know why you’re on it, there’s no judicial process, there’s no right to confront accusers, there’s no appeal, there’s no way off unless you Know Someone and maybe not even then; it is the opposite of law.

The inevitable creeping expansion of this intrinsically abusive system is one of the reasons I’ve been fighting this system since it was instituted.

I expect Mr. Trump’s supporters will love it, because it’s without law.

Do not play the “Now it’s doing something I want done, so that makes it okay” game. THAT NEVER ENDS WELL. JUST LOOK AT THE LAST 15 YEARS FOR HOW WELL THAT GOES.

This is not a positive step for any agenda other than authoritarianism. This must be fought, not embraced - even if it’s being used for something you happen to like, this time.

UN climate chief candidly admits goal is not to help environment but to end capitalism

Anybody reading this website for any significant period of time could have told you this long ago, but it’s refreshing that they’re finally admitting it out in the open.

from Investor’s Business Daily:

At a news conference last week in Brussels, Christiana Figueres, executive secretary of U.N.’s Framework Convention on Climate Change, admitted that the goal of environmental activists is not to save the world from ecological calamity but to destroy capitalism.
“This is the first time in the history of mankind that we are setting ourselves the task of intentionally, within a defined period of time, to change the economic development model that has been reigning for at least 150 years, since the Industrial Revolution,” she said.
Referring to a new international treaty environmentalists hope will be adopted at the Paris climate change conference later this year, she added: “This is probably the most difficult task we have ever given ourselves, which is to intentionally transform the economic development model for the first time in human history.”
The only economic model in the last 150 years that has ever worked at all is capitalism. The evidence is prima facie: From a feudal order that lasted a thousand years, produced zero growth and kept workdays long and lifespans short, the countries that have embraced free-market capitalism have enjoyed a system in which output has increased 70-fold, work days have been halved and lifespans doubled.

read the rest

The giveaway, of course, has always been that the proposed “solutions” to climate change without fail are some form of taxation or redistribution of wealth.  

Just because you can watch half-nude women on afternoon television or gay men kissing on the streets of nearly any major city does not mean America is free, as complacent liberals might think, much less too free, as conservatives often suggest. Just because most dissidents are left alone doesn’t mean there is no police state, for that would be convenient indeed for the police statists: the idea that people ought not complain so long as they have the right to do so.
—  Anthony Gregory, America Is Fascist
Why Republicans are Disciplined and Democrats Aren't

As we head toward renewed battles over the debt ceiling, sequester, and government funding, it’s important to understand why Republicans are disciplined and Democrats aren’t.

For the past five years of the Obama administration Republicans have marched in lockstep to oppose just about everything Obama and the Democrats have proposed. Yet the Democrats rarely march together. Recently, for example, 22 Democrats in the House joined every Republican in voting to delay the individual mandate in Obamacare.

When Republican leaders tell rank-and-file Republicans to call Obamacare’s cost controls “death panels,” or to say the rich are “job creators,” or the poor are “takers rather than makers,” they all repeat the same words. (Frank Luntz, their message consultant, once said: “There’s a simple rule. You say it again, and you say it again and you say it again, and you say it again, and you say it again, and then again and again and again and again, and about the time that you’re absolutely sick of saying it is about the time that your target audience has heard it for the first time.”)

Democrats never stick to the same message. They rarely even say the same thing the same way twice. In fact, their messages often conflict.

To be sure, the Tea Partiers in Congress have challenged the GOP leadership. But that challenge is really about who should have the authority to impose discipline over the Party. The firebrands are bucking the old establishment with their own new establishment. Democrats, by contrast, buck their leaders all the time. And they do it as individuals, lone wolves and free agents.

Republican discipline and Democratic lack of discipline isn’t a new phenomenon. As Will Rogers once said, “I’m not a member of any organized political party. I’m a Democrat.”

The difference has to do with the kind of personalities the two parties attract. People who respect authority, follow orders, want clear answers, obey commands, and prefer precise organization and control, tend to gravitate toward Republicans.

On the other hand, people who don’t much like authority, recoil from orders, don’t believe in clear answers, often disobey commands, and prefer things a bit undefined, tend to gravitate to the Democrats.

In short, the Republican Party is the party of the authoritarian personality; the Democratic Party is the party of the anti-authoritarian personality.

In “Authoritarianism and Polarization in American Politics” (Cambridge University Press, 2009), Jonathan Weiler, professor of international studies at UNC Chapel Hill and his co-author, Marc Hetherington, use statistical models to determine whether someone is a Republican or Democrat. It turns out that the best predictor of party affiliation is someone’s score on an authoritarian personality scale that measures many of the traits I mentioned above.

This means Republicans will almost always be more disciplined about voting and messaging than the Democrats. Which gives the GOP an advantage in times like this, when the two parties are at war with each other  – and when so many Americans, angry and confused, are looking for simple answers.