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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. 😏

7 Responses

  1. “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. “

    That was true last time, too. That’s what worries me.

    Yes, I tend to be pessimistic. That results from having spent my entire adult life (born in 1963) seeing the Treason Party (fka GOP) always either win, or at least not completely lose, and especially from seeing the TP cheat successfully in the 2000, 2004(?), and 2016 Presidential elections. Of course, the Purity Ponies helped them quite a bit.

    I begin to fear that Lucifer has changed his spots, and will never double-cross Putin (the TP being only Putin’s puppets now) the way all the old stories say Old Nick is supposed to do. 👿

    (I think I’m only using a colorful metaphor.)

  2. 😈

  3. I don’t know if that other one actually came from the Lincoln Project or not, but this one does: 😈

  4. Two completely unrelated comments, well not completely. In the Kentucky primary, upcoming, the number of polling places have been cut by about 90%. If they get away with that in November, McConnell will win again. If they do that in enough states, Trump will win, because polls only purport to measure sentiment, not ability to vote on it. And I can only hope that the DNC and any other group which has any impact on this, do everything they can to insure that people can vote. If they can’t, then we do have fascism, and 30% can control the other 70%.

    Then we have something which pales in comparison to what Trump is doing, but still greatly bothers me. Mayor de Blasio in NYC has ordered that a statue of Theodore Roosevelt be taken down. The statue shows TR on his horse, with a Black man and a Native American man standing below him, both dignified figures. de Blasio, who is a very stupid person who likes to tell people what is best for them, thinks that this clearly shows that the Black man and the Native American man are sujugated to Roosevelt. Now, anyone with any intelligence at all would know that this was not conceivably the intent of the sculptor. Further, TR did not subjugate Black people, nor Native Americans. He was the governor of a state where Black people were always free, and he did not participate in any of the so-called Indian Wars. The sculpture was undoubtedly intended to celebrate TR as a leader who was helping everyone. He had his flaws, as every President has had, but all in all, he was a good President, who had no designs to subjugate anyone in America. But de Blasio, who thinks he knows best for everyone, got the City Council to agree, and so the statue which has stood for over a hundred years, is taken down.

    Why does this bother me so much? Because, even with the real threat of fascism from the Right, the counterforce from the other side is inevitably moving toward its own version of societal control, which will involve banning of books, blacklisting of authors and moviemakers who do not purvey a certain vision demanded by would-be authoritarians and puritans, who do not even understand what they are trying to censor. I certainly abhor the Trump fascists,, but I am appalled at the de Blasio cultural authoritarians. HBO Max has pulled GWTW from its racks, although it will apparently return at some point, included with a warning message about the evils of r____m. Are these two cultural futures our only choice? Do the original Puritans win either way? Which versions of Salem and HUAC will dominate?

    • I since have looked at a picture of the sculpture, and I must admit that it is not ideal in its evocation. Surely, there are better ones. Still, I am against censorship, except at the extremes, when the work is clearly prejudiced, or passes reasonable norms of sexuality, e.g.. This is because once this starts, it is difficult to stop, and then all sorts of works are removed, defaced, banned, or even just chilled, and so never created. I do not think that this sculpture was intended to convey any message of bias, but it was not well conceived, and I can see how some might be offended, though that might apply to many works of art.

      • William I agree that the left can shoot itself in the foot with the destruction of statues. These statues need to be peacefully removed and placed in a museum as historical markers of sad times. Anarchy doesn’t usually have the desired results. Let’s all keep the faith though.

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