The former Party of Lincoln is now the Party of Trump, the party of white identity and white grievance and white nationalism.
At last night’s rally in Texas for “Lyin’ Ted” Cruz, Russian asset Donald Trump formally embraced fascism:
Donald Trump: You know, they have a word. It sort of became old-fashioned. It’s called a nationalist. And I say really, we’re not supposed to use that word. You know what I am? I am a nationalist. Use that word.
This is the result of the conservative movement’s decades-long embrace of Friendly Fascism: The New Face of Power in America that professor Bertram Gross presciently warned us of in 1980.
Fascism doesn’t descend on a nation overnight. A nation has to be prepared for it first. 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.”
Paraphrasing from Friendly Fascism, Michael Moore said “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 [reality] TV show” the night Donald Trump was elected. “That’s how the 21st-century fascists will essentially take over.”
A review of today’s headlines should cause any patriotic American who loves their country to weep over how almost half of our fellow citizens have fallen under the spell of Trumpism, the new American fascism.
Donald Trump Is Lyin’ Up a Storm: Is there an election coming up, or something? New York Times editorial.
Greg Sargent writes, “Trump has infused fear-mongering with even uglier elements of xenophobic populism. We can only hope that this electorate will deliver a massive repudiation of it.” Trump takes an old Republican lie and makes it even worse.
Ahead of the midterm elections, President Trump and some Republicans are escalating efforts to tie Democrats to rampant immigration and violent crime in an effort to stoke fear in voters. G.O.P. Frames Midterms as Battle Over Race and Immigration.
President Trump has settled on a strategy of fear — laced with falsehoods and racially tinged rhetoric — to help lift his party to victory in the coming midterms. Trump and Republicans settle on fear — and falsehoods — as a midterm strategy.
President Trump on Monday sharply intensified a Republican campaign to frame the midterm elections as a battle over immigration and race, issuing a dark and factually baseless warning that “unknown Middle Easterners” were marching toward the American border with Mexico. Trump and G.O.P. Candidates Escalate Race and Fear as Election Ploys. The unsubstantiated charge marked an escalation of Mr. Trump’s efforts to stoke fears about foreigners and crime ahead of the Nov. 6 vote. Trump’s Evidence-Free Claims About the Migrant Caravan.
Welcome to the Fear Election (for the third election in a row).The intent of Trump’s tweet about the caravan is not subtle. Illegal immigration is the biggest problem identified by Republicans in a recent Pew Research Center survey, making the existence of the caravan a potent political tool. But with his tweets, Trump is also hoping to repeat an effective tactic for Republicans during the past two cycles: Make the election about fear of immigrants surging across the border.
And most disturbing, the Washington Post reports Some white Northerners see a flag rooted in racism as a symbol of patriotism:
“Part of it is an act of rebellion,” said Greg Cler.
The other part is tied to the national turmoil surrounding race and identity. Cler sees the flag as a fitting symbol of white people’s shared grievances, which, he says, have new resonance today.
“I proudly fly it like I do the American flag,” he said, nodding to the two red, white and blue banners — representing opposing sides of the country’s bloodiest conflict — waving in synchrony above his head.
This is an abomination to true Americans. The Confederate flag is a symbol of slavery, segregation and secession – an act of treason against the United States.
The Confederate flag’s appearance at Trump rallies in 2016, sometimes emblazoned with his name, cemented its link to his “Make America Great Again” brand of patriotism, which appealed to many disaffected white people. Some supporters say the country under President Barack Obama put the needs of minorities before theirs.
“It seemed like I wasn’t represented,” Cler said, while others “took advantage of the system.”
For people like him, the Confederate flag reflects 21st-century pride in a form of American identity that harks back to the scrappy self-sufficiency of the white settlers of Appalachia. To others, flying the flag for “white grievance” is simply racism by a different name, an effort to redefine patriotism as the interests of white Americans.
My father, all of his brothers, and my older male cousins all proudly served in the U.S. military during World War II fighting a war to rid the world of fascism. They believed that their service and sacrifice had succeeded.
Now the Party of Trump has brought fascism to America. Those who support Trumpism dishonor the service and sacrifice of millions of American veterans who fought and died to rid the world of fascism in World War II.
Trumpism, the new American fascism, is a malignant cancer in the American body politic. Patriotic Americans must repudiate the Party of Trump.
The survival of democracy is on the ballot in November.
UPDATE: More headlines from Wednesday:
In the fall of 2014, with the midterms approaching, Fox and other conservative media went in overdrive on the “border crisis” and ISIS. Fox News and Trump Reboot a Fearmongering TV Drama From 2014.
The president’s false claims and outrageous rhetoric keep escalating as the midterm elections approach. A witches’ brew of over-the-top Trump attacks.
Faced with defending Trump’s false claim, Pence embraces it — using a claim that has been debunked and contradicts both the Department of Homeland Security and State Department. Pence’s eye-poppingly bogus claim about terrorists at the border.
The Daily Beast: Trump’s Own Team Knows His Caravan Claims Are Bullsh*t.
Rick Wilson writes, Trump “sent a signal to his alt-right allies that it’s time to rally to his side once again, just ahead of the midterm elections. It was one more knife into the moldering corpse of the GOP, which with every Trump rally has looked more and more like some clapped-out third-world claque of the Glorious Leader’s sycophants, and less like a modern political institution.” Trump Shoves Nationalist Needle Into His Followers’ Veins.
Aaron Blake of the Post writes, Trump’s embrace of a fraught term — ‘nationalist’ — could cement a dangerous racial divide.
Finally, Trump is using the machinery of the federal government to turn it into a GOPropaganda machine, just like in George Orwell’s “1984.” ‘In the service of whim’: Officials scramble to make Trump’s false assertions real: There is no tax cut legislation. “Yet Washington’s bureaucratic machinery whirred into action nonetheless — working to produce a policy that could be seen as supporting Trump’s whim.”