Wednesday, October 02, 2019

The Fascism Issue--Revisited

It will be interesting to see how things develop the next few days.  But there have been a lot of worrying signs.
In addition to all the shocking news coming out about how Trump has been breaking the law (which is pretty shocking in and of itself), there's been the disturbing news about how Trump has been reacting to the investigation.

Donald Trump's tweet alleging a coup:
As I learn more and more each day, I am coming to the conclusion that what is taking place is not an impeachment, it is a COUP, intended to take away the Power of the....
....People, their VOTE, their Freedoms, their Second Amendment, Religion, Military, Border Wall, and their God-given rights as a Citizen of The United States of America!

....If the Democrats are successful in removing the President from office (which they will never be), it will cause a Civil War like fracture in this Nation from which our Country will never heal.” Pastor Robert Jeffress

And his comments suggesting that the Whistle Blower should be executed:
“I want to know who’s the person, who’s the person who gave the whistleblower the information? Because that’s close to a spy. You know what we used to do in the old days when we were smart? Right? The spies and treason, we used to handle it a little differently than we do now,”

This is not how someone talks who wants to respect the democratic process.  
But, as with everything else that has happened the past 3 years, the worrying thing is not just the fact that Donald Trump has said this.  The worrying thing is that this has not been universally condemned by people across the political spectrum. Donald Trump is still supported by the Republican Senate.  He still has the support of a large percentage of Republican voters.  

How did we get to this point?  If a significant portion of the population can't recognize this as dangerously unstable language, then our democracy is no longer functioning.  

So, then, what are we evolving towards?
That, ultimately, remains to be seen.  But there was another piece of news today which may give some indication of a possible direction.  From the BBC:
According to an excerpt, the president privately suggested to aides that soldiers shoot migrants in the legs, but he was told it would be illegal.
Previously, Mr Trump had made a public statement suggesting soldiers shoot migrants who throw rocks.
Mr Trump suggested other extreme measures, according to the book.
"Privately, the president had often talked about fortifying a border wall with a water-filled trench, stocked with snakes or alligators, prompting aides to seek a cost estimate. He wanted the wall electrified, with spikes on top that could pierce human flesh," reads the extract.
So we have a President who is not only showing dictatorial tenancies, but who also wants to shoot migrants.
This is no time to mince words, so I'll just say it: This is fascist.

...and yes, I know this word has gotten over-used a lot.  And yes, I know we're all sick of people using the word "fascist" on their blog posts to describe their political opponents.

But this combination of a desire to destroy the democratic process mixed with this desire for increasing violence... what would you call this if not fascist?
I'm not saying we're a fascist society yet.  But what I am saying is that we have a fascist president. 

Now again, the problem is not only Trump himself.  In theory, there are checks and balances in the United States constitution to prevent someone like this from becoming a dictator.  But those checks and balances require the political will to act. And at this point in time, it will require the Republicans to put their country ahead of their own political party.

All the current predictions are that the Republican Senate will never vote to impeach Trump.  I guess we'll see.  Maybe things will change.  But it's shocking to me we've even gotten to this point.  How could it not be obvious to everyone at this point that Donald Trump needs to go?


I just don't understand how things could possibly have gotten to this point.
I guess I've been living abroad for so long, maybe I never realized how much America was changing while I was away.
I don't recognize America anymore.  This isn't the country I grew up in.  I don't understand how this could be happening now.


Back on November 16, 2016, I wrote a blog post entitled: Obligatory Post Election Blog Post: Part 7--The Fascism Issue.  I concluded by saying
Donald Trump's campaign may definitely have courted elements of Fascism, but (to repeat what I said earlier) I believe the institutions of American government are stable enough to withstand this.  There are enough checks and balances in the American system to prevent any one group from getting too powerful.  And as long as a lot of people still oppose Donald Trump (and a lot of people still do) then we won't be seeing a rapid conversion to a Fascist state anytime soon.
I may have to take back those words.


With Donald Trump, the eternal question has always been: Are we supposed to take him seriously, or not?
After all, he's not a traditional politician.  He's an Internet Troll who got elected as President.  He delights in saying deliberately provocative things just to get a reaction from people, and he doesn't intend to follow through on most of what he says.  Half of what he says today will be forgotten by tomorrow anyway.
And it's working for him.  He's worn us all down to the point that we've become used to it.  His  supporters now expect it as part of his game.  And the rest of us are not really shocked anymore when he says outrageous things.

That's the only explanation I can think of for why everyone hasn't turned on him yet.  Maybe no one is worried about this threats of civil war, because no one ever took him seriously?

But these comments would be unacceptable if anyone else said them.  And Donald Trump shouldn't be getting away with them either.

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