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OpEdNews Op Eds    H1'ed 9/1/15

Fascist Trump, Neoliberal Hillary, and Progressive Bernie: Three Contrasting Performance Styles

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If we can't have President Camacho from the movie Idiocracy, then we will have President Trump.

Trump's spiel is a compilation of every uninformed, simplistic, and delusional component of the conspiratorial narrative of grievance held by "real" Americans against those who are said to have falsely appropriated the label "American" for themselves. Trump, like all the ignorant demagogues preceding him, claims that he will clean up this mess and separate the true Americans from the phonies.

Trump four years ago on the Bill O'Reilly show when the same opinions came packaged in a more "moderate" style.

And even earlier, in the late 1980s, on the Oprah Winfrey show

But does all this add up to fascism? Fascism is the alliance of big business with the military in a nationalist rejuvenation that aims to regain lost greatness by resort to violence and brutality. Trump does say he's the "most militaristic" guy you will know, and echoes Bush from the 2000 campaign and all subsequent Republican frontrunners that he will "rebuild" the military. He wants the military to be so strong that we will never have to use it. His attitude toward corporations is that they need to be brought in line with the country's needs, they need to act patriotic rather than greedy by keeping jobs in America, otherwise he will tax them disproportionately if they build or send jobs overseas. He's not about to start any wars--or at least he hasn't said so yet--to bring back the luster to our glory. He does introduce the element of charisma, something I always noted was missing during the Bush years, because, entertainer that he is, he knows how to speak to the people in just the right folksy manner that reiterates their every prejudice while simultaneously holding himself apart (because of his wealth) as a super-special specimen of humanity.

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Anis Shivani is the author of several critically acclaimed books of fiction, poetry, and criticism, including Anatolia and Other Stories (2009), Against the Workshop: Provocations, Polemics, Controversies (2011), The Fifth Lash and Other Stories (more...)

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