Friday, October 21, 2016

Shades of fascism haunt Trump's candidacy

Benito Mussolini, the founder of fascism, outlined three principles of a fascist philosophy:
1)    “Everything in the state”.. The Government is supreme and the country is all-encompassing, and all within it must conform to the ruling body, often a dictator.
2)    “Nothing outside the state”. The country must grow and the implied goal of any fascist nation is to rule the world, and have every human submit to the government.
3)    “Nothing against the state”.. Any type of questioning the government is not to be tolerated. If you do not see thing our way, you are wrong. If you do not agree with the government, you cannot be allowed to live and taint the minds of the rest of the good citizens.
The use of militarism was implied only as a means to accomplish one of the three above principles, mainly to keep the people and ret o the world in line. Fascist countries are known for their harmony and lack of internal strife. There are no conflicting parties or elections in fascist countries.      (From the Urban Dictionary)

Although there is no evidence that Trump is a fascist, there are more and more academics, with brains larger and much better trained than this scribe’s, who are warning of the arrival of fascism through the Trump campaign for the White House. Typically taking the “high road” and maintaining a perpetual smile, President Obama, on the other hand, is merely pointing out how he cannot, and he trusts the American people will not, take Trump seriously.

In coffee shops, in public businesses, and even on the street, the question, “What do you think of the American election?” is being voiced in all kinds of company. And, even for people living outside the United States, without the “vote” in the presidential election, the drama playing itself out on the television shows, on twitter, and in the tabloids, is generating both guffaws of incredible laughter and a shared collective tightening of both the eyes and the lips for many people.

Trump has the habit of pummelling, albeit verbally, every one and any one who criticizes him, his gutter tongue, his brazen misogyny, racism and insufferable arrogance. That kind of scene is and has been repeated for months, demonstrating for those still living under a rock the unqualified truth that this man is not fit to be the leader of the free world. However, there are accompanying signs of political attitudes and words and behaviour that are aided and abetted, if not actually originated, supported and funded by the Trump forces that endanger both democracy and the American political culture.

One example of the steroid-infested rhetoric that burps out of the media came yesterday from the Senior Senator from Arizona: John McCain. He told the world that there was no chance, absolutely no chance, that the Senate (presumably controlled by Republicans) would ever approve any appointment to the Supreme Court from a (presumed) President Hillary Clinton. This follows a theme expressed by the “Donald” himself when he declared that Hillary should be in jail, and that, if elected, he would ask his Attorney General to appoint a Special Prosecutor to investigate her, with a view to sending her to jail.

Another irresponsible utterance from Trump concerns the “rigged election” and the command for his supporters to ‘oversee’ the polling stations to ensure that voter fraud is not rampant. Not only does this utterance completely disagree with the overwhelming evidence that there is very little voter fraud, it also undermines the confidence in the American political system at home and around the world. Furthermore, it suggests that should Trump lose the election, he will mount a serious campaign, urged on, funded and given voice and likely street protesters, to challenge the results of the election in any of the various theatres he could attempt to “purchase” and thereby to control.

Trump so positions himself in a “mode” that would position him, as president, as the embodiment of the “state” and thereby approximate the three postulates of Mussolini and thereby justify whatever actions the one-man omnipotent ruler might take.

·      Build a wall!
·      Keep all Muslims out, especially those from Syria and Iraq, (although the vetting process is considered the most rigorous and fool-proof in history…
·      Inflict a secret campaign against IRIS, since he “knows better than the Generals” how to fight the war against terror
·      Fix the problem of the lack of “law and order” in the streets, as if he has some superior, even Superman insight about how to reconcile two hundred years of racial tensions in his homeland
·      Fix the horrible problems of the Veterans Affairs Administration, once again as if by his mere command the world of entrenched and dysfunctional bureaucracy will suddenly and magically be transformed….
·      Make China stop manipulating its currency (by himself)
·      Gut NATO (by himself)
·      Bring jobs back to the United States (by his own actions)
·      Destroy ISIS (through his own control of the military, the intelligence and the Middle East)
These are not statements of policy; they are rather pronouncements of one who sees the state and his person as one, who proposes to rule as a solitary and superman ruler, given his persistent slandering of all individuals and groups who express opposition to him.

Why would Trump stoop to learn:
·      the nuances of the history of any file,
·      the parameters of any legislation,
·      the limits of the constitution, the commitments of any treaty,
·      the expectations of any ally or even the various and differing perceptions and positions of the various political interests at home and around the world,
·       the requirements of a planet bending under the weight of global warming and climate change…

when, in his own mind (the place of residence of the only universe that has any reality for that mind), he has no need, and no responsibility, and no respect for any idea, person, policy or option than whatever his mind dictates.

And it is that last word, dictates, the spectre of a single person having the absolute power, in a nation that has a long and honoured history of seeking to ‘perfect’ a democratic union, that so enflames both Trump’s supporters and his many opponents.
And when the issue of this male’s relations with women, with humility, with grace and dignity, with listening, with collaboration and with the exciting and humbling experience of learning is poured into the pot of his candidacy for the most powerful political office in the world, then there is no surprise that the people around the world are made even more anxious than they might have been prior to his vacuous emulation of some mythic Hercules, or Achilles….

Trump’s Achilles’ heel cannot be defined by his “heel”… it is his whole person that betrays him, his proposals and potentially the country he is pretending to lead.

And whether he wins or loses the election on November 8, the world is not finished with his incarnation of the empty and loud megaphone of the Barnum and Bailey circus. Trump is both the hawker and the freak-show inside the American tent, in a land so currently bi-polarized between the elevation of his “promises” and the desperation of the people who drink his kool-aid that it will take consistent and creative and compassionate empathy to heels its gaping psychic troubles. 


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