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OpEdNews Op Eds    H2'ed 10/25/16

Donald Trump and the "Rigged Election" -- What's it all About, Alfie?

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From Greanville Post

The legend of the stab in the back, postcard published in 1919 in Vienna.
The legend of the stab in the back, postcard published in 1919 in Vienna.
(Image by Berg International Publishers)
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In the Spring of 1918, the Prussian Army launched what proved to be its last major offensive on the Western Front. It happened that since the Russian Revolution on October 25, 1917 [November 7, new calendar] and the departure of Russia from The Great War, Germany faced only one front. But even it proved to be too much for an exhausted army, and the offensive failed.

Also, the British naval blockade had been proving to be increasingly effective in depriving Germany of both military and civilian goods, and food. And so, the government began the negotiations with the Western Powers that eventually led to the Armistice of November 11, 1918, and then after that to the Versailles Treaty, which proved to be so disastrous for the whole of Europe, in the long run.

However, the two leading commanders of the Prussian Army, Generals Paul von Hindenburg (later the Weimar Republic President who appointed Adolf Hitler as Chancellor on January 30, 1933) and Erich Ludendorff (who was a Hitler supporter from the mid-1920s), did not like the movement to end the war. They thought that somehow Germany could fight on and did not only because the civilian government was weak-kneed and thus decided to implement the policy to bring the War to an end.

That the civilian government, especially the Social Democratic Party that was part of it, undertook this policy, after the War, and especially after the imposition the onerous Versailles Treaty, came to called, by the German Right, the "Stab in the Back." It was used, over-and-over again, to justify the development of various right-wing parties in Weimar Germany, most especially the Nazi Party. Hitler and Goebbels were still using the phrase in speeches in the 1930s.

As everybody in the United States and indeed around the world who has any interest in the U.S. Presidential elections knows, Donald Trump, at the end of the last Presidential debate, on October 19, 2016, said that he would not necessarily accept the result of the vote on November 8. If he thought that "something was going on" (a phrase that he uses constantly to describe supposed conspiracies of all sorts [of course without defining them, much less proving their existence]), he would not do so.

In the past several weeks he and his surrogates have been ramping up the claim that the election is somehow "rigged," somehow by the Clinton forces, by the media, and by the very new claim that there will be massive voter fraud, by the millions. This fraud will, of course, occur only in "certain neighborhoods," "you know which ones I'm talking about."

It is well-known that the standard Republicans have already begun the plotting to obstruct a Clinton Presidency to the greatest degree possible. Senator John McCain has already announced that should the Democrats fail to gain 50 seats in the new Senate, that the Repubs. will block any Supreme Court nominees she proposes. Since the oldest members of the Court are liberals, this would mean that eventually the reactionary Court majority would be re-established, by attrition. (Would it come to be called "Court Unpacking?" But that's another story.) But back to Trump.

I have been fully convinced for some weeks now that Donald Trump, having realized for some weeks now (the Repubs. have very sophisticated, high-priced, private polling) that he is going to lose, has placed himself fully on the road to the creation of a Far Right Wing party in the United States. In the beginning at least it will have two main purposes. One will be to attempt to delegitimize the Hillary Clinton Presidency, using the charges of rigged/stolen election and "crook" the same way that he used birtherism in the attempt to delegitimize the Obama Presidency. (And of course that worked in lock-step with the Congressional Republican Party plan that was hatched on January 21, 2009 to do everything possible legislatively to block Obama and the Democrats.)

This will fit right in with the already planned Repub. obstructionism, while allowing the Repubs. to disavow the worst of Trump's charges (just the way they have denied all of these years that they are the party of racism, mysogny, and etc.). The other purpose will of course be to establish the new Far Right party itself.

This will, of course, split the Republican Party, but Trump doesn't care about that. He's gotten a taste of national power, he knows that he can mobilize millions of followers around the themes of racism, authoritarianism, and misogyny (and from his following, it is obvious that there are plenty of self-hating women, the products of a misogynist society, who will line up behind him, with enthusiasm).

He will also be able to quietly gain the support of that sector of the ruling class which indeed wants to institute fascism sooner, rather than later. I have written at length on Trump and fascism. As I pointed out in the more recent column, by definition Trump can now be considered to be a fascist. And with the support of a sector of the ruling class, he has his eyes on the eventual takeover of the Federal government, by one means or another.

As I said above, I believe that Trump will be using the false charge of a "rigged election," along with the "media/Hillary conspiracy to savage him," as his "stab in the back." I think that the appointment of Breitbart's Steve Bannon is part of the development of this strategy. In Trump's view (whether he truly believes that he was stabbed in the back or not, and given how he seems to think, he may very well truly believe it) he is THE one who can save the United States from all of its enemies, at home and abroad.

Once having let himself loose of the Repub. Party, he will be able to openly align with the Far Right, including its openly racist, xenophobic, and anti-Semitic elements. (Trump's Jews will have a problem with that one, but in the Nazis' early days, there were Jews for Hitler, in an organization called the Association of German National Jews.) In the beginning, the new party will likely be more like Sir Oswald Mosely's pre-World War II British Union of Fascists.

But it could develop into a national political party ready to contest elections. And in three-way races, it could conceivably win in certain areas. Trump right now seems stuck at around 39-40% of the vote. But it is useful to recall that Hitler and the National Socialist German Workers Party (clever name, eh wot?) never got more than 37% of the vote in a free election. Also, there will eventually be an armed uniformed militia in those states where the gun laws are so loose that they can be established. Can you say "Sturmabteilung," or "Brown Shirts?" After all, in certain "open carry" states armed Trump supporters were already showing up at his campaign rallies.

There is much more to say about this, if my prediction is correct. But let me say at this time: a) I think that the idea that when he loses Trump will do "Trump TV" is and always has been a cover -- too complicated, much too expensive, with a projected success rate of around 20%; b) that the Breitbart et al/Far Right takeover of the campaign was organized by Trump and his closest (mainly family) advisers when they saw, before many others did, that he would not/could not win this year and thus decided to move firmly in that direction; c) that in terms of historical models, he is much more like Mussolini (not an original thought to be sure) because he does not have a firm ideology, like Hitler did. Like Mussolini, he believes in himself, he believes in power, and he truly believes that he "can save the nation."

This is truly scary stuff folks, but in my view it is all part of his long-range plan, of which the "rigged election," the U.S. "stab in the back" for the 21st century, is a central piece.

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Steven Jonas, MD, MPH, MS is a Professor Emeritus of Preventive Medicine at StonyBrookMedicine (NY) and author/co-author/editor/co-editor of over 35 books. In addition to his position on OpEdNews as a ├ éČ┼"Trusted Author,├ éČ Ł he is a Senior (more...)
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