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Trump is a bad fascist.

This is the theme I am hearing from the Bolton book. I haven’t read it yet and probably won’t. That kind of book gets old about 100 pages in. Why waste an audible credit? Debating. I’m more intrigued by what that book says about John Bolton because when 2020 is over I want someone I can blame. It’s BiFF’s turn to add to the audible library so I’ll let him choose.

Besides, I’d like to see him testify under oath in front of the House. It irritates me to no end that he characterizes the impeachment proceedings the Democrats did as incompetent. He’s no friend to Democrats. We’ve always known that. But this II assessment beggars belief. The Democrats went out of their way to keep the impeachment as calm, professional and thorough as they could. If anything, it was the president’s lawyers who tried to turn it into a circus.

If Trump obstructs justice as a way of life, then Bolton had an obligation to volunteer this information when it counted. The truth has an expiration date. It gets quickly replaced by the next new crisis. If anything, Adam Schiff didn’t let anyone or anything distract him while he pressed the case allowing the evidence speak for itself. Come on, John, was there really a single person in America who didn’t believe Trump was guilty as charged? No, they only chose to hold him accountable or not.

So maybe Bolton had a point that his testimony was irrelevant. In that case, his criticism of the Democrats process is also irrelevant. On the other hand, we may never know because Bolton wouldn’t risk his reputation, not to help the Democrats but the American people.

And while we’re at it, didn’t Bolton fire the pandemic response team? Does it matter that he was “just following orders”? Where is Stanley Milgram when you need him?

But back to Trump and fascism. When Trump was “elected” back in 2016, observers in the UK were horrified. If any Trump voter doubts for one second that there was any way of knowing that Trump was going to be a catastrophe back then they only have to listen to the series of interviews historian Dan Snow had with Frank McDonough and Sarah Churchill in 2016. (The interview from November 16, 2016 is the one analyzing whether Trump is a fascist and it seems to not be publicly available anymore. You can listen to it and Sarah Churchill’s interviews on the History Hit app. It’s subscription but the first month is free.)

What they concluded at the time was that Trump displayed some very strong fascist tendencies. They also pointed out that the country was vulnerable to fascism because of the economic hardships since the 2008 financial collapse. I’ve said for years that the Democrats by electing Obama got us closer to the edge here by allowing the recovery to be structured according to the financiers preferences, not the American people’s best interests. (See Elizabeth Warren’s interview with Adam Davidson on Planet Money if you want to hear what that sounded like. It’s cringeworthy in so many ways. Just listened to it again and my hatred and disgust for all male journalists of a certain age, educational background etc is off the charts again. It’s infuriating. Plus, Warren wasn’t even a senator yet. She was the chair of the congressional oversight committee to manage TARP. Her expertise was that extensive and respected. Adamson showed her no respect at all as he mansplained her. Honestly, why does this man have a good paying gig in journalism?? Not to mention that she was absolutely right. Completely. If the Obama administration had followed Warren’s advise and concentrated on addressing the economic/credit problems of the average American, and the systemic causes that lead to them, there’s a good chance that Trump would have NEVER happened. Davidson was just typical of the young smug guys that Obama listened to. Blame him for the disaster we now have. I’m sorry I’m still mad. Need a third latte. It’s worth re-examining TARP and the Obama admin’s reaction to the collapse of 2008 in a separate post or a group conversation or something. It’s time we get to the bottom of this. Fiona Hill, yes that Fiona Hill, is writing a book that ties in well with this overdue conversation. Funny that Warren, Hill and Katie Porter are coming to roughly the same conclusions. It takes a kid from a working class background becoming an educated thinker to see it clearly. You never really leave the coal mine, farm or mop bucket behind. But I digress.)

The problem with Trump and his fascism, and we should be grateful he sucks at it, is that as Bolton describes him, Trump is so amazingly incompetent and incapable. Bolton confirms that Trump doesn’t have a guiding political philosophy. He uses his political power to serve his personal purposes. This is what keeps him from being a true fascist. He doesn’t seem interested in making any changes for the good of his constituents whether they are extralegal or not. At least Hitler got Germany out of its downward spiral of inflation, unemployment and reparations depression and Mussolini got the trains to run on time.

With Trump, we get no political realignments and a profound inability to cope with new threats as the governmental institutions he and the Republicans are in charge of are hollowed out. Note that there is a symbiotic relationship between Trump and the McConnell Republicans. The McConnell Republicans are likely the true fascists. They know what they’re doing by setting the courts up to do their real employers’ bidding in the future. It’s never been about abortion and gay rights. It’s always been about packing the courts to help large businesses and the wealthy stay in control. No, not stay in control. Take back control. That’s the ideology we should have all feared.

Trump isn’t capable of pulling that off. He just happened to be the right person in the White House when the Republicans needed him most. But his fascist tendencies are self limiting so the historians and right wing analysts in Britain can relax. Yes, he’s every bit as horrid as you guys predicted. But he’s so over the top horrid that he has become a parody of himself.

The number of people who still support him is stubbornly high in the thirties but they represent the most intractable authoritarian followers. Their numbers are well known. As a few more percent get picked off here and there, there will be the risk that the bottom of that support will fall out. It doesn’t mean they will switch allegiances. They’ll simply become less visible as their views become less popular. The authoritarians will hoard their MAGA hats and T-shirts like Nazi memorabilia. But they’ll conform, like they always do, to the new herd mentality, simmering away by the heat of radio talk show hosts and god-fearing hucksters on the 700 Club until the next Trumpish politician gets their attention and promises to unleash havoc on their “enemies”.

It will take a miracle, or cheating, for Trump to get re-elected this fall because clearly, he won’t be able to do it on his own.

******************

Moving this up from the comments section. Stick with it until the end. It’s worth it. 😏