America has been in this dark place before

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Our crypto-fascist racist Twitter-troll-in-chief held another Nuremberg-style campaign rally in North Carolina Wednesday night for his MAGA personality cult followers. Trump again used “the squad” of four Democratic women of color in Congress as his foil to rile up the white grievances of his mostly white nationalist base.

Trump, and Republicans in general, are now defining “the country” and “America” as personified in our wannabe authoritarian dictator, Donald Trump. (Remember his convention speech? “I alone can fix it.”) Anyone who opposes the radical crypto-fascist policies of Donald Trump and his craven coward enablers in the Republican Party is said to “hate America” and are socialists or communists, or otherwise un-American.

Nothing is further from the truth. The exact opposite is true. What non-Trump cult followers “hate” is America’s descent into Trumpism, the new American fascism, and it is the highest calling of American patriotism to defend American democracy against where Trump and his subversive cult followers want to take this country. It is also undisputed that there is only one politician who courts and prefers the company of brutal communist dictators like Vladimir Putin and Kim Jong-Un of North Korea, and that is Donald Trump. They are his mentors and role models.

Trump is a master of psychological projection: he tells you exactly all the evil things he is doing, but he assigns his conduct to his political opponents to claim that it is they who are doing it. And he practices the old childhood taunt of “I’m rubber/Your’e glue/whatever you say/bounces off of me/And sticks to you.” (Remember his debate with Hillary Clinton when she said he is Putin’s puppet? “Not the puppet, not the puppet, you’re the puppet.” A classic example.) This is particularly true when Trump says his political opponents are trying to destroy America and accuses them of treason. Trump openly campaigned on destroying the norms of American democracy, and ignoring the rule of law. He is doing exactly that. Trump is telling everyone he is destroying America and committing treason, and is defying anyone to stop him.

Trump ramped up the Islamophobia of his mostly fundamentalist evangelical Christian base Wednesday night, something Fox News has been doing since 9/11. Trump’s incitement on Ilhan Omar marries two of his nastiest tactics, with familiar results:

President Trump’s four-day campaign against four freshman Democratic congresswomen reached its perhaps inevitable conclusion Wednesday night, as Trump paused to allow a raucous North Carolina crowd to call for the deportation of a lawful American citizen.

Send her back,” the crowd chanted about Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.), a Somali American immigrant who has been accused of no crimes, including by Trump’s own Justice Department.

On Thursday, Trump tried to disavow his cult followers’ rally chant, saying “I was not happy with it,” and tried to stop it. Let’s go to the video: he is lying. This will now become a feature of his rallies until election day, just as “lock her up” is still a Trump fan favorite to this day from 2016.

On Sunday, Trump’s tweets urged Rep. Ilhan Omar and three other nonwhite freshman congresswomen to return to their countries to fix their ineffective governments — never mind the fact that the other three were actually born in the United States, and Rep. Omar is a naturalized citizen.

In recent days, he has accused her of supporting Qaeda, a claim for which The Washington Post’s Fact Checker gave him four Pinocchios. Then, shortly before his speech Wednesday night, he cited long-standing, unsubstantiated Internet rumors that Omar had married her brother. These rumors popped up in her 2018 campaign, during which she called them “disgusting lies.”

The fact that these allegations have entered into any national news stories whatsoever is a testament to a president who is willing to traffic in innuendo and unfounded conspiracy theories. And they hark back to Trump’s regular questioning of whether President Barack Obama had lied about his birthplace, a baseless theory that led to many Republicans believing Obama was not just ineligible to be president, but was also a secret Muslim. A poll just this week showed one-third of Americans continue to believe Obama was “probably” born in Kenya.

This is the big lie propaganda technique in action:

All this was inspired by the principle—which is quite true within itself—that in the big lie there is always a certain force of credibility; because the broad masses of a nation are always more easily corrupted in the deeper strata of their emotional nature than consciously or voluntarily; and thus in the primitive simplicity of their minds they more readily fall victims to the big lie than the small lie, since they themselves often tell small lies in little matters but would be ashamed to resort to large-scale falsehoods.

It would never come into their heads to fabricate colossal untruths, and they would not believe that others could have the impudence to distort the truth so infamously. Even though the facts which prove this to be so may be brought clearly to their minds, they will still doubt and waver and will continue to think that there may be some other explanation. For the grossly impudent lie always leaves traces behind it, even after it has been nailed down, a fact which is known to all expert liars in this world and to all who conspire together in the art of lying.

— Adolf Hitler, Mein Kampf, vol. I, ch. X.

Given that backdrop and what happened in 2016, it’s no surprise what transpired Wednesday night in North Carolina. The president of the United States married two of his favorite political pastimes — innuendo about Muslims and goading his supporters into an extrajudicial fever over female political opponents who law enforcement has accused of no crimes — and allowing his supporters to take it from there.

Both reinforce this fact about Trump’s political tactics: He doesn’t have to say it explicitly to get his crowds to say it for him — and loudly.

There can be no doubt he knows exactly what he’s doing.

What Donald Trump and his sycophant cult followers are really saying is that only white Americans are true Americans. Everyone else is an “other,” something less than a real American. Even African-Americans who can trace their lineage to the first slaves to arrive in Jamestown in 1619. Even Mexican-Americans whose ancestors lived in the Southwest and California long before these territories became part of the United States. And even Native Americans who are the only true indigenous people, and who can rightfully tell these descendants of white European immigrants to “go back where you came from.” The defining characteristic of white nationalism is whiteness.

Today the target of white nationalists is Muslims. Previously it was Jews. If Trump was saying the very same things he has said about Rep. Omar about Jewish Americans, it would invoke the history of the holocaust under Nazi Germany and the wrath of the outrage machine would be dialed up to 11 right now. But Muslims – “Meh.” Where’s the outrage among Republicans?

Fox News and the Islamophobia cottage industry of the far-right have created a new scapegoat for white grievances, and desensitized Fox Nation’s mostly white fundamentalist evangelical Christian base to overt bigotry and hatred towards Muslims. (Spoiler alert: they only pretend to support Jews because they are a necessary evil in their Apocalyptic end-times religious cult of the rapture. For Jews who do not convert to Christianity, it ends badly for them: they are cast into the eternal hellfire of damnation in this cult favorite.)

Before America fought a world war to rid the world of fascism, there was actually a large number of Americans who supported Hitler’s fascist Nazi Party. There was the German-American Bund, an organization of ethnic Germans living in the United States, and an American Nazi Party. They appropriated the symbols of America, wrapping themselves in the American flag, the pledge of allegiance, and the national anthem. They even appropriated George Washington’s birthday for a Nazi rally in Madison Square Garden in New York City ion February 20, 1939. They asserted that white Americans were the “patriotic Americans,” to the exclusion of everyone else, especially those “devil” Jews with cloven hooves and a long tail. Their agenda was “Return America to the people who founded it.”

If watching this video makes your stomach churn in disgust, you should experience the same physical revulsion watching Donald Trump’s white nationalist campaign rallies.

It would not surprise me in the least to learn that some of the descendants of those in attendance at Madison Square Garden that night are now MAGA cult followers of Trump. Trump is employing the very same tactics as the fascists, appropriating American symbols to recruit Americans to Trumpism, the new American fascism, and telling them that they are patriotic Americans who want to “Return America to the people who founded it.”

This is how Friendly Fascism works. As filmaker Michael Moore noted after the election of Donald Trump, “The next wave of fascists will not come with cattle cars and concentration camps, but they’ll come with a smiley face and maybe a TV show. […] That’s how the 21st-century fascists will essentially take over.”

Well, there are actually concentration camps for migrants from Central America seeking asylum in the U.S., but not for American citizens … at least not yet. When the previously “unimaginable becomes imaginable,” only then “could the conscience mind formulate ‘intentions’ and move toward planning their fulfillment.” – George C. Bowder. Trump’s MAGA cult followers will shift from “send her back” to their preferred favorite “lock her up” soon enough … lock up American citizens on the basis of their ethnicity, religion, and political opposition to their cult leader Donald Trump. (Trump threatens to imprison his political opponents all the time).

Doctor Steven Jonas correctly noted in his 2015 essay, Fascism in the 21st Century:

When we are looking at 21st century fascism, in the context of what is happening in certain of the capitalist states, at the present particularly in the United States, it should be noted that it is entirely possible that wholesale violence will not be required for its introduction. Nor will a maximum leader necessarily be required. Like the fog in the famous, ultra-short poem by the U.S. person Carl Sandburg, it may well come in “on little cat feet.”

Fascism can gradually creep in over time little noticed, until it is too late.

America has been in this dark place before. As Adam Serwer says at The Atlantic, What Americans Do Now Will Define Us Forever.

There are still more decent Americans than there are the hate-filled personality cult followers of Donald Trump.  Rep. Ilhan Omar Receives Hero’s Welcome Home Amid Trump Attacks:

Rep. Ilhan Omar, one of the freshman Democratic congresswoman facing attacks from President Trump and his supporters, received a hero’s welcome back at her home district in Minnesota on Thursday.

A cheering crown at the airport in the Twin Cities held banners with slogans such as “Stop Racism Now” and chanted “Welcome Home Ilhan” as the congresswoman emerged from her flight.

“We are going to continue to be a nightmare to this president,” she said into a megaphone, “because his policies are a nightmare to us. We are not deterred, we are not frightened, we are ready.”

Watch the moment here, captured on video by Tom Hauser of KSTP.




3 COMMENTS

  1. Your article was perfect. It caught every element that makes the Pustule such an existential threat. Finding the Hitler quote was brilliant and thank you for including the evangelicals. They pompously insist the bible is inerrant but miss the obvious when confronted with 10,000+ lies and dead children at the border:

    John 8:44
    You belong to your father, the devil, and you want to carry out your father’s desires. He was a murderer from the beginning, not holding to the truth, for there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks his native language, for he is a liar and the father of lies.

    He Has Risen!!!

  2. Turns out there’s an alternate version of Godwin’s Law that applies to US Presidents.

    A Night at the Garden was posted here a few years ago. It’s chilling and shocking, but if you’ll notice how much better behaved old school American Nazis were compared to Trump supporters.

    Trump is even making Nazis worse.

    If Trump loses next year, after the joy subsides and the party ends, there’s going to be a very, very scary few months where we all worry what this unstable man will do prior to January 21, 2021.

    Hopefully it will just be bad executive orders and pardons for his sleazy family and not something much, much worse.

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