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OpEdNews Op Eds    H2'ed 3/19/19

Socialism Curiously Trumps Fascism in U.S. Political Threat Reporting

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From Counterpunch

Drawing by Nathaniel St. Clair
Drawing by Nathaniel St. Clair
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"I Have the Tough People"

Recently Donald Trump, the orange mother of all a**holes, said this in an interview with the proto-fascistic alt-right Website Breitbart News:

"You know, the left plays a tougher game, it's very funny. I actually think that the people on the right are tougher, but they don't play it tougher. Okay? I can tell you I have the support of the police, the support of the military, the support of the Bikers for Trump -- I have the tough people, but they don't play it tough -- until they go to a certain point, and then it would be very bad, very bad."

Don Veto Trumpleone was saying in not-so veiled ways that efforts to impeach or un-elect him will be met with white police- and military-state violence and carnage from right wing-thugs. If "the Left" (as FOX News and the Republicans absurdly describe everyone to the portside of Mitch McConnell) tries to remove him from office through constitutional means, Trump was boasting, then forces of repression and right-wing aggression will rightly come to his defense

This warning was consistent with Trump's toxic history of promoting violence against his political enemies. It matches his creepy embrace of authoritarian rulers around the world and his longstanding suggestion that any effort to bring an end to his presence in the White House would be illegitimate. From the beginning of his presidency, Trump has been using the hoax of immigrant voter fraud to set up a cancellation of the 2020 election or a refusal to recognize its results.

His ugly Ameikaner base will back any such moves... More than half (52%) of Americans who identify as or lean Republican would support postponing the 2020 election "to ensure that only eligible citizens could vote if it was proposed by President Trump." (The mendacious neoliberal warmonger Hillary Clinton wasn't all wrong when she called the president's backers "a basket of deplorables.")

Trump's "tough people" comment reflected the authoritarian mindset of a wannabe fascist strongman. Trump was only half-joking when he said the United States should consider making the presidency an appointment "for life" and when he said this about North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un: "He is the head of a country and I mean he is the strong head ... He speaks and his people sit up at attention. I want my people to do the same."

"Believe the autocrat," the Russian-American journalist and dissident Masha Gessen has warned: "He means what he says."

In some cases, at least, the pathological liar Trump should be believed.

Left Threat Inflation

Who are all the bad-ass lefties who "play it tough," in Trump's words? Outside of some dicey Antifa and radical skinhead types, it's a tiny group, certainly nothing compared to the assault weapon-wielding right-wing militias and other armed and brutish white-nationalists who thrill to Trump's call to Make America White Again.

Fascism, however, requires the notion that the virtuous and betrayed white Nation is besieged by a big dangerous Left that must be put down by steely-eyed patriots ready to defend the "homeland" by any means necessary. Inflation of the "radical left" threat is a key part of the fascist playbook. It's why nobody should laugh when they hear Republicans and right-wing media personalities habitually refer to the corporate-neoliberal Democratic Party as "socialist," "radical," and "leftist."

Avoiding the F-Word, Running with the S-Word

I watched a panel of experts discuss Trump's "play it tough" statement on CNN. A dark-haired female commentator suggested that Trump's comments were the unhinged ramblings of a big dummy drunk on power. A sharp fellow with a stylish white beard called the president's remarks authoritarian and dangerous. A clean-shaven Republican hack found Trump's comments mild and reasonable.

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Paul Street ( and is the author of Empire and Inequality: America and the World Since 9/11 (2004), Racial Oppression in the Global Metropolis (2007), Barack Obama and the Future of American Politics (more...)
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