Sunday, February 12, 2017

He's Not Andrew Jackson -- He's a Fascist

Some people are calling Donald Trump another Andrew Jackson -- the rough hewn American president who brought the democracy of the common man to the United States. But Henry Giroux is not fooled. For Giroux, Trump is -- in plain terms -- a fascist.The evidence is overwhelming. It's apparent in:

Trump's blatant contempt for the truth, his willingness to embrace a blend of taunts and threats in his inaugural address, and his eagerness to enact a surge of regressive executive orders, the ghost of fascism reasserts itself with a familiar blend of fear and revenge. Unleashing promises he had made to his angry, die-hard ultranationalist and white supremacist supporters, Trump targeted a range of groups whom he believes have no place in American society. These include Muslims, Syrian refugees and undocumented immigrants, whom he has targeted with a number of harsh discriminatory policies. The underlying cruelty, ignorance and punishing, if not criminogenic, intent behind such policies was made all the clearer when Trump suggested that he intended to roll back a wide range of environmental protections. He asserted his willingness to resume the practice of state-sponsored torture and deny funding to those cities willing to provide sanctuary to undocumented immigrants.

It's been awhile since the world has faced an unabashedly fascist leader. And memories have faded. Some foolishly insist that Trump should be "given a chance" to implement his program. They wait for him to be normalized:

Lesley Stahl's "60 Minutes" interview with Trump portrayed him less as a demagogue than as a transformed politician who was "subdued and serious." In addition, NBC's Andrea Mitchell reported approvingly upon the transition, as if proposed White House counselor Steve Bannon and proposed attorney general Jeff Sessions, two men with racism in their pasts, were ordinary appointments. High-profile celebrity, Oprah Winfrey, stated without irony, in an interview with "Entertainment Tonight" that "I just saw President-elect Trump with President Obama in the White House, and it gave me hope." This is quite a stretch given Trump's history of racist practices, his racist remarks about Blacks, Muslims and Mexican immigrants during the primary and the presidential campaigns, and his appointment of a number of cabinet members who embrace a white nationalist ideology. The New York Times's opinion writer, Nicholas Kristof, sabotaged his self-proclaimed liberal belief system by noting, in what appears to be acute lapse of judgment, that Americans should "Grit [their] teeth and give Trump a chance." Bill Gates made clear his own and often hidden reactionary worldview when speaking on CNBC's "Squawk Box." The Microsoft cofounder slipped into a fog of self-delusion by stating that Trump had the potential to emulate JFK by establishing an upbeat and desirable mode of "leadership through innovation."

This week, as Trump's deportation squads rounded up hundreds of "illegal immigrants" -- some of whom have been in the country for over thirty years -- it's become obvious that there is nothing normal about Donald Trump. He is a clear and present danger.

Americans must hang together against Trump. Or, as Benjamin Franklin warned them, they will hang separately. Those who see Trump as Jackson have the wrong Andrew. Like Lincoln's vice president -- Andrew Johnson -- he should be impeached.



Rural said...

Anyone in the U.S. , or for that matter across the world who is not concerned (perhaps scared shitless is a more accurate phrase) is , like the Twit in Chief, living in LaLa Land.....

Owen Gray said...

It's amazing -- and frightening -- to see how so many Americans have been duped, Rural.

the salamander said...

.. as my lovely shining fiancee often says..
'decide if you're a victim.. or a volunteer'
There is a difference

My analogies often stem
from my farm boy background..
and to be very blunt re Trump.
I know when there's rats in the granary
.. they do breed ..

After 'Buttons' our wicked barn cat passed on
I borrowed Clayton Bacon's vicious barn cat, Joad
which I had to transport in a burlap grain bag..
That beast would simply head home
about a mile via our south hayfield
and through the shared woodlot
after the rat supply in our barn was toast

If it had a shot at a hare..
it would drag it back to the Bacon homestead
The story was it was son of Buttons
who came in the deal in our purchase of the farm

Moral.. North Americans need to be like barn cats
not sleepy lazy get along volunteers.. or victims
Expecting politeness or truth, responsibility etc
from the likes of Trump Bannon et al is ridiculous
These are distorted ideological Takers not Givers..
and the same situation exists in Canada
Captured government.. in the granary

Owen Gray said...

The problem with rats is that they breed quickly, salamander. Unless the cats are on the prowl, the rats will take over.

Anonymous said...

It's absurd to consider Trump a fascist. At best it's a dangerous cry of wolf.

The fake news media, on the other hand, is an altogether different story.

It's a captured form of news media that helps facilitate the establishment capture of democracy and the economy.

Some political organization that nullifies democracy is either collectivism or fascism. And our establishment overlords are certainly not commies.

That they are so livid over Trump tells me he must doing something right. (Like killing free-trade globalization.)

Considering how bad things are under establishment dictatorship, I welcome any form of change at this point in time. Looking forward to the Trump show in all its glory – and the O'Leary show coming in 2019 thanks to politicking Dippers who just destroyed electoral reform.


Dana said...

The Executive branch of the tripartite government of the US is actively attempting to undermine the legitimacy and authority of the other two branches, the Legislative and the Judicial, which is driving the US headlong toward a major constitutional crisis which could quite easily result in a second civil war.

Approximately 45% of American citizens think this is great stuff.

Owen Gray said...

I'm afraid I can't be as sanguine as you are about Trump or O'Leary, MAGA. Change is not always progress.

Owen Gray said...

That's what I read, Dana. And it's deeply troubling.

The Mound of Sound said...

MAGA should get caught up on how events unfolded in the 1930s. A good many people, particularly Germans, thought then much as he does now. "Considering how bad things are [in the Weimar Republic], I welcome any form of change at this point in time." That was a common sentiment in the public acceptance of National Socialism. That MAGA rejects the accusation of fascism in such a facile dismissal says a good deal more about him than anything else.

Anonymous said...

Conservatives have been saying that liberals control the courts since Reagan. Why is it only now the end of the world?

This is how electoral reform was destroyed. Partisans create alternative realities based on partisan rhetoric and react according to self-serving interpretations of events while ignoring everything that's actually going on.

People who who are not a part of these virtual realities think the people within them are members of a crazy cult – whether they are captured by some other system of group-think, or just have their own opinions.

The reason the Western economy collapsed was because of black cats and white cats on the prowl pretending to represent the mice. (If these looters are capable of thinking beyond ways of harvesting resources, they might believe there's an inexhaustible supply of wealth to loot – there is not.)

The problem is that various partisan groups – liberals, progressives, conservatives, libertarians, etc. – have it in their heads that they will somehow solve all the world's problems if they conquer all other groups. But they only end up conquering themselves, allowing the establishment to rule by default, making things worse and worse.

Now these great leaders of self-interest have put civilization on the verge of collapse into actual fascist revolutions and world war.

People better wake up fast – or they are for in quite the rude awakening. They will long for the days of Donald Trump when they witness civilization unraveling into the Anthropocene.


Owen Gray said...

As Dana suggests, Mound, 45% of the population agree with him.

Owen Gray said...

I'd like to publish your comment, Anon. But it must be initialed.

Toby said...

MAGA = Make America Great Again

Owen Gray said...

You're right MAGA. Politics isn't -- or shouldn't be -- a zero sum game. But that's the game Trump is playing.

Owen Gray said...

Let's see if he -- or she -- responds to that, Toby.

The Mound of Sound said...

"They will long for the days of Donald Trump when they witness civilization unravelling..."

There it is again, supposed strongman worship. Worried about the anthropocene? What better reason than to back a guy who wants to restore coal to its rightful place. Definitely go for a guy who caps off political capture and regulatory capture by installing special interests throughout the executive branch.

This MAGA character doesn't realize just how closely his remarks resemble those of another people from the 30s. It's more than a bit creepy.

Anonymous said...

Long story short: Hitler fancied himself a Roman Emperor who was guided by divine providence to conquer Europe, restore the Roman Empire and bring glory to the German people. He rose to power on anger over war reparations. As for their 2nd economic collapse – that he blamed on the Jews. (This is another great danger that the anti-racist henpeckers are oblivious to: if real fascist leaders come to power in Europe – again predicated global economic collapse – they will once again blame the Jews. Of course, by that time humanity will be past the point of no return: inevitable WW3 and Anthropocene.)

Compare all this to Donald Trump. He's a reality TV host and weasel businessman. He promised to ban Muslims because Americans wanted them banned. Why? Because they are racists? No. They simply don't want to risk jihadists slipping in and committing terrorist attacks on their homeland. Given Obama was mass murdering Muslim civilians across the Middle East, it was obvious that there are many of them out there who would love to get into America to extract revenge.

Trump promised to build a wall along the Mexican border because Americans wanted it. Why? Because they are racists? No. They simply don't want more illegals stealing American jobs with 11 million already in the country. (Of course no one has a problem with the wall in Israel which is an actual crime against humanity.)

People who equate banning Muslim immigration with putting Jews in concentration camps are either ignorant or corrupt. Same with people who think Trump voters are racist deplorables. All of this outrageous political rhetoric will accomplish nothing – except to distract from the real problem: looting and plundering upper-class barbarians. (Back then as well as now.)

I use MAGA ironically. I don't think much of Trump. But I think even less of fanatics who hate their political opponents and spread lies to manipulate people emotionally. I am a truth-seeking philosopher. I go wherever the universe takes me.



Owen Gray said...

Trump is profoundly ignorant -- particularly of his country's constitution, MAGA. When someone uses the word "fascism," people immediately think of Hitler. But there have been all kinds of fascists -- who essentially replace the rule of law with the rule of one "strong" man. Trump claims that only he can fix things. That's simply a lie. He lies unashamedly and often. I believe you underestimate him.

You also underestimate the American potential for racism and bigotry. From Salem to the Ku Klux Klan to Father Coughlin, to Joe McCarthy, to Richard Nixon -- paranoia always lies just below the surface in the United States. Trump traffics in paranoia. As Caesar said of Cassius, "Such men are dangerous."

Owen Gray said...

I only publish Anonymous comments that are initialed, Anon.