(Update) Donald Trump and American Fascism

I broached this topic last month Donald Trump and American Fascism after seeing an increasing number of articles suggesting that the demagoguery of Donald Trump borders on fascism.

Since then, there have been  far more articles, commentaries, television news reports, and editorial cartoons suggesting that Donald Trump is a fascist.

The New York Times conservative pundit “Pope” Ross Douthat has published two opinions just in the past week. Is Donald Trump a Fascist? “Yes, he leans that way.” Also, In Search of American Fascism.

The Philadelphia Daily News openly compared Trump to Hitler Daily News Cover Compares Trump to Hitler.

Cartoon_44Political cartoonists, even Steve Benson of the conservative Arizona Republic, are portraying Trump as Hitler, and his supporters as Brown Shirt stormtroopers (Sturm Abteilung – SA) .

The Washington Post‘s Dana Milbank today compared Trump to Mussolini. Donald Trump, America’s modern Mussolini.

The scary part? Trump is not bothered by comparisons to Hitler – POLITICO.

How has it come to this in this country? That the current front-runner contender for the Republican nomination for president is freely and openly accused by the media and his fellow American citizens of running  a fascist campaign? And he is “winning!” as Charlie Sheen would say.

First of all, Donald Trump has not said anything that the propagandists on conservative hate talk radio have not been saying for decades. The same holds true for FAUX News and conservative publications and web sites. Trump is simply reading from their old scripts.

Trump’s comments do not shock or offend the average listener of conservative hate talk radio and FAUX News because they have been conditioned to be receptive to the message. When Trump parrots what conservatives have been hearing for years and have been conditioned to accept, he is simply reaffirming their own set of beliefs. This is a critical factor in how voters identify with a candidate.

Donald Trump is simply a manifestation of the insidious cancer that is the conservative media entertainment complex, the Mighty Wurlitzer of far-right conspiracy theories, paranoia, and conservative tribalism built upon a foundation of ignorance, intolerance, fear and hatred of “others.”

Secondly, the outrageous things Trump says is what a majority of GOP voters actually believe. Greg Sargent of The Washington Point has been driving this point home for months now based upon issue polling that shows the vast majority of GOP voters agree with Trump’s xenophobic anti-immigrant “Mass Deportation Party” rhetoric. Morning Plum: Sorry, Lindsey Graham. Republican voters WANT mass deportations.

Unfortunately for Lindsey Graham, a new CNN national poll out this morning — which shows Trump continuing to dominate — finds that a majority of Republicans want what Graham described as “forced deportations.” Even more striking, two thirds of Trump’s supporters want this. The CNN poll asks:

Do you think the government should attempt to deport all people currently living in the United States illegally or should the government not attempt to do that?

A majority (53 percent) of Republicans and GOP leaners think the government should attempt to deport “all” those here illegally. Among Trump supporters, 67 percent agree. Among Americans overall, the numbers are the other way around: They oppose this by 63-35.

This is in sync with our polling, which has found a lot of overlap between Trump backers and those who support mass deportations and want to bar the entry of Syrian refugees. It is also in sync with polls earlier this year that found large percentages of GOP voters agree with Trump’s various immigration pronouncements and prescriptions.

A majority of Republicans also support Trump’s religious bigotry, calling for a ban of Muslims. Morning Plum: Shockingly, Trump supporters like his call for Muslim ban:

But hasn’t Trump finally gone too far? Well, CNN and NBC News interviewed a number of Trump supporters in South Carolina, and asked them to react to the new “plan.” I’ve transcribed some of their statements below:

“I don’t want ’em here. Who knows what they gonna bring into this country? Bombs? ISIS? What?”

“That’s a very prudent idea. I think that he’s done due diligence when he makes that statement. We have to protect our American citizens first.”

“We just let terrorists into this country.”

“Somebody just needs to go in there and take control of this. It’s going rampant, and I’m worried about America. Worried about our safety. They’re getting in. They need to be stopped.”

“I think it’s a good idea. With everything that’s going on in the world right now — it sounds harsh, but reality is reality.”

“I’m a veteran paratrooper. Been in three different campaigns and two different wars. Both Iraq and Afghanistan. And I’ve had too many brothers and sisters lost over there in those two wars to just let them come here free range in our country now. It’s a kick in the face to every veteran there is that’s fought in those wars, to us trying to protect our homeland from them coming in.”

As CNN’s reporter put it: “No one here we spoke with had a problem with the plan.”

This is obviously a less than scientific sample. But multiple polls have shown that large swaths of GOP voters support some of his previous outsize proposals and statements. Our polling has also shown substantial overlap between Trump supporters and those who support both mass deportations and banning the entry of Syrian refugees. Would it be all that surprising if future polls show his supporters back his latest idea, too?

Ask and you shall receive. Bloomberg has a new poll out today on this very question.  Bloomberg Politics Poll: Nearly Two-Thirds of Likely GOP Primary Voters Back Trump’s Muslim Ban:

Almost two-thirds of likely 2016 Republican primary voters favor Donald Trump’s call to temporarily ban Muslims from entering the U.S., while more than a third say it makes them more likely to vote for him.

Those are some of the findings from a Bloomberg Politics/Purple Strategies PulsePoll, an online survey conducted Tuesday, that shows support at 37 percent among all likely general-election voters for the controversial proposal put forward by the Republican front-runner.

“We believe these numbers are made up of some people who are truly expressing religious bigotry and others who are fearful about terrorism and are willing to do anything they think might make us safer,” Doug Usher, who runs polling for Washington-based Purple Strategies, said in his analysis of the findings. “This indicates that, despite some conventional wisdom expressed in the last 48 hours, this is unlikely to hurt Trump at least in the primary campaign.”

Support for Trump’s proposal remains virtually unchanged even after voters are told both sides of the argument.

* * *

Those with less education are more likely to be strongly supportive of Trump’s Muslim proposal, with 34 percent of those without a college education feeling that way compared to 22 percent of those who do have a college education. Older voters, evangelical Christians, and whites are also more likely than the overall general election population to favor Trump’s plan.

 The media want to portray Donald Trump as an aberration, an outlier in the Republican Party. This narrative is entirely false. Donald Trump is the natural product of movement conservativism, which has supplanted traditional Republican values, and incorporates many elements of fascism. Trump is a master at manipulating the conservative media entertainment complex that feeds movement conservatives.

The Republican Party over many years created the environment in which it was possible for a Donald Trump to exist and to thrive. The problem is not Donald Trump — there are many others like him ready to step into his shoes — but rather the radical extremism of Republican Party base voters, fueled by the propogandists of the conservative media entertainment complex. This is a far greater, and more dangerous problem than Donald Trump that threatens the future of our democracy.

7 responses to “(Update) Donald Trump and American Fascism

  1. All of this is probably true and it’s useful to have this analysis but the real question is what to do. I suggest that to overcome Trump’s appeal we need to emphasize two points.
    1) If we legitimatize discriminating against Muslims then we have legitimatized going after any religion including your!
    2) Trump’s proposals actually strengthen ISIS’s ability to harm us. For ISIS to be successful they need to convince a lot of Muslims they are the answer and that we are the enemy. What Trump is proposing gives them the evidence that they need.
    I would also add that the other Republican candidates have made largely equivalent statements.

    • captain*arizona

      best thing to do is nothing. liberal democrats(and not only elitist democrats) always want to step in and stop the republican party from destroying itself at the behest of the corporate state. and not just third way corporate democrats. the worst example of this is jimmy carter refusing to denounce reagan and casey for treason when yasser arafat told they had made a deal to hold the hostages in iran until reagan won the 1980 election! and arafat knew because he was in on the deal! nixons treason to sabotage the 1968 peace talks was second with l.b.j. refusing to make his treason public.

      • I think you tinfoil hat is two sizes too small!

        • captain*arizona

          are you saying their treason didn’t happen and is not readily available to find out about their treason?

      • Or Obama refusing to go after the war crimes of the Bush administration. Or Holder refusing to prosecute any individual bankers. The list goes on, right?

  2. AZbm, I think you are probably correct. Trump does appeal to a significant percentage of American voters who want what he states. How else to explain his constant appeal? I thought for certain he would have fallen by the wayside by now, but he seems to only do better with every outrageous comment or idea. Given the large numbers of people that support him, that doesn’t speak well for the future of our Country.

  3. captain*arizona

    of course he is a fascist and will destroy the republican party so what! this isn’t 1980 there are not enough angry old whites left to vote him in anymore! az blue meenie I did not appreciate being called a troll I will match my record for fighting the republican fascist police state anytime.