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.