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Hair Trump or Herr Trump, Revisited

By   Follow Me on Twitter     Message Steven Jonas       (Page 1 of 2 pages)     Permalink    (# of views)   No comments

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This nation shall kill racism, or racism shall kill this nation. S. Jonas, Aug. 7, 2018

Introduction

Back in 2015, on another network as it were, I published one of the earlier considerations of the question "Is Trump a Fascist?" Since then, as any even now-and-then readers of my publications on OpEdNews know, I have come to the conclusion that indeed Trump, along with the ruling class sector that he represents, is on his way to establishing what I have come to call "21st Century Trumpite Functional Fascism." In one aspect of it currently, Trump is displaying more and more his attraction to/belief in authoritarianism (which is a central aspect of fascism).

From flickr.com: Mount Constitution Viewpoint.  It is doubtful that Trump has ever read the document, much less that he has even a notion of what is actually in it. {MID-309365}
Mount Constitution Viewpoint. It is doubtful that Trump has ever read the document, much less that he has even a notion of what is actually in it.
(Image by Jonathan Miske)
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Under the Constitution, Presidential power is limited by the powers of the other two branches. But A) Trump is on his way, with the active participation/cooperation of Senators Mitch McConnell, the Majority Leader and Chuck Grassley, the Chairman of the Judiciary Committee, to taking over significant segments of the Judicial Branch, especially at the Supreme Court level. And B), even when his actions go against the wishes of significant sectors of the ruling class that put him in power, such in starting up a trade war and weakening NATO, where he can make decisions on his own without consulting Congress, like imposing tariffs, he is doing so. Another example, is his going way around the usual, written procedures in such cases, to remove former CIA Director John Brennan's security clearance, for political reasons, just because, functionally at least, he can. (It is highly ironic that it is highly unlikely that, were he required by law to have it, given his long-standing business ties to Russia, President Trump himself could not get national security clearance.)

Then C) he has completely ignored Congress in setting immigration and refugee policy, again because he can. D) He is doing the best he can to destroy whatever is left of the Affordable Care Act, in this case apparently because it has President Obama's name attached to it. (Of course, he might be doing the same thing if it had the name of that State model which preceded it, that is Romneycare in Massachusetts. Doesn't like Romney much either.) Further, E) he has been able to take over one sector of the Legislative branch and turn its function into one which is simply attempting to run political/judicial interference for the Executive Branch. That of course is what the Devin Nunes-led majority of the House Intelligence Committee is doing. Finally, F) in courting the Religious Right, which is becoming an ever more important part of his shrinking base, he is relatively quietly assaulting the separation of church and state which fundamental principle of democracy appears at several junctures in the Constitution. (It should be pointed out that the words "God," "Bible" and "Christian" do not appear in that document.) If unchecked, this could lead to a 16th century European-style religious authoritarianism.

And so, we can see where Trump is actually going, towards a form of fascism (which I carefully define in the set of columns I have written about the subject), now. In my view, it is useful, however, to take a look back at where we were in the matter of Trump/fascist, in 2015, when it still seemed to be a very long shot that he could actually get the Republican nomination for President. And so, with an edit here and there, we go to that column.

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"Hair Trump or Herr Trump?"

First, the similarities (between Trumpite and Hitlerite fascism). There's the racism, the xenophobia, and in Trump's case substituting for Hitler's extreme prejudice against one religious grouping, the Jews, it's another, the Muslims. There's the speaking style and with it the ability to whip up the right audiences into a frenzy. (One difference: Hitler's was apparently well-practiced, while Trump's apparently isn't.) There's the frequent name-calling in re opponents.

From flickr.com: Let's see.  How long did they take to get my hair just right this morning?  (And the Fake News thinks that my executive time is spent watching them!  No, fools!  It's for my hair!) {MID-309367}
Let's see. How long did they take to get my hair just right this morning? (And the Fake News thinks that my .executive time. is spent watching them! No, fools! It's for my hair!)
(Image by DonkeyHotey)
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There's the "our nation must be great again." Germany had lost the last big war it fought. Now while the U.S. cannot be said to have "won" the last big one it engaged in, the War on Iraq, while millions of people on the region have clearly lost much, starting with their lives, militarily at least the U.S. did not lose. (However, the U.S. may actually be on the verge of losing militarily in Afghanistan, joining a long line of foreign forces, from Alexander the Great to the Soviet Union that failed there, militarily.) But that doesn't stop Trump from trumpeting on the "great again" theme, just like Hitler did.

For Hitler, after the Jews, the Great Enemy was "Soviet Bolshevism." For Trump it seems to be Russia (although I do think that bunches of U.S. persons are confused on the point of whether the U.S. enemy is Russia or the Soviet Union, especially with the constant demonization of Russian President Putin who is the new "Stalin", of course). [NOTE: this has obviously changed, sharply.)

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Then there are the vague promises of a great future, without telling much about exactly how they planned/plan to get there. There's the ample use of the Big Lie Technique (but that is common to all of the current crop of Republican leaders). There are other similarities too, but among the most important, a characteristic that kept/keeps both men going is that they didn't/don't embarrass. They never had/have to apologize, explain, defend. They were/are the prefect avatars of the Roy Cohn/Lee Atwater consummate principle of politics: "Always attack; never defend." Finally, it is clear that Trump just loves personal power, just like Hitler did.

Now for the differences. First, as most readers of this site are well aware, Trump does not have nearly the mass following that Hitler had. While before the functional coup d'e'tat of January 30-31, 1933, Hitler's Nazi Party did never command more than about 37% of the vote (in a country where most people voted), Trump has only gotten into the 30's, of Republican voters, which amounts to about 15% of the total. [Remember. This was written in October, 2015.] Of course, we do have to remember that in a Presidential election, only about 50% of the eligibles vote and in 2016, Republican voter suppression will begin to exact a major impact on the number of Democratic votes recorded.

Second, Trump does not have a mass, very well-organized political party behind him, personally. For Hitler the National Socialist German Workers Party (yes, hard to believe, but that was indeed the literal translation of what "Nazi" stood for in German, a calculated move to steal some wind from the Socialist Party of Germany's [SPD] sails and other genuine workers' formations including the Communist Party of Germany [KPD]) provided huge electoral clout in the localities in which it was powerful. If Trump does get the Repub. nomination, we really don't know what the National Republican Party will do for him. But whatever that would be, it could not compare to the personally loyal Nazi Partei.

Third, Hitler had a huge (up to three million part-timers strong) private army, the "Sturmabteilung," the SA, the Storm Troopers, the much feared and despised -- and in other quarters admired -- "Brownshirts." They were his enforcers, frequently engaging in violence against his primary opponents, the Communists and the Socialists. As documented by numerous historians and journalists, the NSDAP was cradled from inception by the Reichswehr (the German Army under the post-World War I Weimar Republic) and paid for from the beginning by major members of the German ruling class led by the steel magnate Friedrich "Fritz" Thyssen. (An early [1923] foreign supporter of the Nazis was a U.S. person named George Herbert Walker. [Sound familiar?].) Trump has nothing like this. But since there is no organized resistance at present to the kind of long-term authoritarian threat that Trump might become in the future, that is immaterial.

Fourth, one huge (huuuuge [!]) difference in practice is that while Hitler was arguably the world's greatest Keynesian political economist, in terms of his vision of the government's role in making the economy hum, Trump would likely get as far away from that as he possibly could. The one exception might be the U.S. massively crumbling infra-structure, which might be as big a focus for Trump as it was for Hitler, except that Trump would likely attempt to privatize any major expansion.

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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 "Trusted Author," he is a Senior Editor, (more...)
 

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