After last week’s controversial campaign rally in North Carolina, it’s official: President Donald Trump has gone full fascist in his bid to be re-elected to a second term. The historically unpopular president is pinning his hopes on the basest instincts of his white nationalist followers.
You know, the kind of people who chant “send her back” at rallies when Trump suggests that Rep. Ilhan Omar should return to Somalia, the naturalized American citizen’s homeland, instead of criticize his administration’s policies, which is the job she was elected to do.
Trump should just give up on his freakish comb-over and shave his head. Mugging for the rally crowd a full 12 seconds during the chant, he could have been Il Duce.
The president denied blowing the racist dog whistle, but it was audible to every human being in America outside of right-wing radio talk show hosts, FOX News pundits and their audiences—but kudos to Geraldo Rivera, an American of Puerto Rican and Jewish descent, for informing his FOX colleagues that the president’s comments were indeed racist.
This capped off a week in which Trump doubled, tripled and quadrupled down on Twitter with similar racist comments about the so-called Squad, which includes Omar and Reps. Ayanna Pressley, Rashida Tlaib and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.
The four women of color are progressive Democrats swept in by the 2018 Blue Wave election that tilted the House to Democratic control. The Squad symbolizes a generational shift in the Democratic Party, away from the corporate centrism of the Clinton era and toward more progressive solutions to the income inequality that has continued to increase in the United States during Trump’s watch.
These solutions include programs that are supported by a large majority of the public, including Medicare For All, reduced college tuition and student loan debt relief, as well as the more controversial Green New Deal, an urgently-needed plan to address anthropogenic climate change.
Trump has branded the Squad as socialist fanatics, or even worse, communists, that need to go back to their home countries of origin if they don’t like the glaring income inequality that exists in America.
I can’t help but compare Trump’s senior adviser Stephen Miller, architect of the administration’s immigration policy, to Hitler’s director of propaganda, Joseph Goebbels, and not just because they look alike.
The Nazis were not averse to socialism—they were after all the national socialist party. In controversial historian David Irving’s biography of Goebbels, as the Nazi’s consolidated their power during the 1930s Great Depression, Hitler’s PR man made sure that starving Germans received food rations in the winter—even as he encouraged those same Germans to attack Bolshevik communists in the streets, because many were Jewish and therefore un-German.
It’s worth noting that Stephen Miller is Jewish, the descendant of Jews who immigrated to the United States at the turn of the century—before the 1924 Immigration Act limited Jewish, Italian and Polish immigration from Europe. His uncle, David Glosser, basically calls Miller’s present employment a family disgrace.
“I have watched with dismay and increasing horror as my nephew, an educated man who is well aware of his heritage, has become the architect of immigration policies that repudiate the very foundation of our family’s life in this country,” Glosser wrote last year in Politico. He continues to be an outspoken critic of his nephew.
Of course Trump and his right-wing media enablers have labeled Omar an anti-Semite because she dared to state the obvious on Twitter: Everyone in Washington D.C. knows the American Israel Public Affairs Committee is one of the most powerful lobbying organizations on Capitol Hill. It’s not an “anti-Semitic trope” to point that out.
The vast majority of American Jews are liberal, oppose Trump and aren’t too pleased he’s dragging the Jewish people into his race war. Here’s Anti-Defamation League national director Jonathan Greenblatt on Trump’s comments about the Squad in a Jewish Telegraph Agency article last week:
“As Jews, we are all too familiar with this kind of divisive prejudice. While ADL has publicly disagreed with these congresswomen on some issues, the president is echoing the racist talking points of white nationalists and cynically using the Jewish people and the state of Israel as a shield to double down on his remarks.”
That’s exactly what Trump is doing, appealing to his white nationalist base, a good many of whom are also right-wing evangelical Christians. Trump moved the U.S. embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem to please them, not the Jewish people.
Right-wing evangelicals love Israel, because its recent history fulfills their eschatology, which states the Jewish people must return to Israel before the end times can begin. When Armageddon arrives, everyone who doesn’t convert to Christianity, including the Jews, gets thrown into an eternal lake of fire.
It would seem evangelicals love Israel, but the Jewish people? Maybe not so much. I’d wager many evangelicals, particularly in rural areas, have never met a Jewish person and believe George Soros is pulling the world’s puppet strings, because they’ve been told that thousands of times on right-wing radio and websites.
At any rate, anti-Semitism is on the rise in the United States and worldwide, both in the number of violent attacks and the proliferation of anti-Semitic material on the internet. To be sure, criticizing Israel’s treatment of the Palestinians is not anti-Semitism; asserting that the Protocols of the Elders of Zion are in full-effect, a la Henry Ford, is anti-Semitic.
The latter sentiment is all over the internet these days, 99.9 percent of it comes from the right-wing, and it has already led to blood being spilled in our streets.
The Pittsburgh synagogue shooter believed brown people were literally invading from the south in a plan perniciously designed by Jews to dilute the white population known as “white genocide” on the alt-Right. Like many members of the alt-Right, he was disappointed by the number of Jews Trump appointed to his administration and the president’s deference to Israel. Trump didn’t give him his wall, so last October he went out and murdered 11 Jewish people on Shabbat.
Every time Trump attacks a person of color, which is frequently, the extreme members of his right-wing base light up the internet with their approval. They’re just like those starving Germans waiting for Goebbels to throw some raw meat their way, angry, hungry and looking for “others” to blame. Needless to say, many of Trump’s supporters are rabid Second Amendment supporters who are armed to the teeth.
What could go wrong?
Ever since Trump took that escalator ride to inform us Mexicans are rapists four years ago, people have been posting “The 14 Characteristics of Fascism” online, which I pilfered from a recent Daily Kos article on the subject and originates from the national Holocaust Museum’s gift shop.
It’s easy to see many of these characteristics were already with us before Trump: the obsession with national security, the protection of corporate power, the suppression of labor unions, a controlled mass media, rampant sexism, the obsession with crime and punishment.
Trump is like the final grain added to a supersaturated solution that instantly crystallizes in the beaker, in his case as fascism.
He’s handed one religion, right-wing evangelical Christianity, the tools to begin dismantling the wall separating church and state, in exchange for their unconditional support. The five-time draft dodger sucks up to authoritarian leaders and crazily threatens countries with nuclear annihilation—on Twitter.
His climate change denial has demonstrated an unprecedented break from science by an American president. Anti-intellectualism is a feature of the Trump administration, not a bug.
He has time and time again shown his disdain for the human rights of non-white people, particularly if they happen to be refugees from the seven and counting countries the United States has invaded and destroyed during the 18-year-long War on Terror, or a football player protesting police violence against blacks, or the Squad exposing our horrific treatment of South American immigrants on the border.
The Squad, whether the Democratic Party knows it yet or not, along with presidential candidates Sens. Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren, offers an antidote to this creeping fascism. Income inequality is at the root of the problems faced by the disenfranchised white working class, just as it is for non-whites. If whites and non-whites join together to form a more perfect union for everybody, Trump doesn’t stand a chance in 2020.
The fate of the nation depends on convincing white working class people to stop voting against their own interests. Just don’t call it socialism, and most of them will go along with it.