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Trump and Fascism: A Retrospective Series, Part 1

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"Either this nation will kill racism, or racism will kill this nation." (S. Jonas, Aug., 2018)

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Usually one puts a picture here. I've had enough pictures of Trump. So there will be none for this Series.

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Series Introduction

As the first (and hopefully the last, but hey, you never know) Trump Administration comes to an end, over its last six days I am running a six-part retrospective series on the subject of Trump/fascist. At the time I began the series in 2011, "fascist" was a term that not too many observers were applying to Trump (although certainly some were). Now historians and cable news hosts from Paul Krugman to Joe Scarborough are freely applying the term to him. As we are now at the last six days of his Administration, I am running here on OpEdNews a set of six columns on the subject that appeared previously on Buzzflash.com, The Greanville Post, and on this site as well. The purpose is to remind us how we got to this current state, a state in which Trump could actually instigate a fascist-style coup attempt, in which, for example, liberal-progressive members of Congress could have been slaughtered. If it had been better planned, it might actually have succeeded in achieving its own horrific ends. It is fortunate for us and the nation that the Trumpites and their allies are such lousy planners (e.g., see the tragic, fatal mess the Trumpites have made in dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic, which I call the Trumpidemic2020┬ę). And so, here is column 1 in this series.

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Donald J. Trump: On the Road from Racism to Fascism, 2011-2020

This brief column, the first in this series, is an introduction that I wrote for this retrospective series of columns on this subject that appeared first on Buzzflash.com last year (click here).

The first one, "Before, Trump Was a Wealthy Blowhard Buffoon With the Taste of Liberace. Now He's an Enabler of Racism," was published on the original Buzzflash in 2011. It briefly traced the history of the development of the Doctrine of White Supremacy in the American colonies, from how it was used in the OLD South to protect and promote the interests of the slave owning ruling class to how it has been used since the end of the Civil War to promote and protect the interests of the corporate ruling class over the whole nation. It then discusses how Trump, in 2011-12 thinking about possibly running for the Republican nomination for President, used the fake "birther controversy" as a dog whistle for his own racism-as-policy. As MSNBC's Larry O'Donnell pointed out at the time, he was never serious about the matter back then, for a) he didn't think that he could get the nomination and b) thus at that time he wanted to continue with his moderately successful "reality show," The Apprentice. But he was running an on-the-road try-out for 2016.

And so, as is well known, the next time around Trump began what would become his successful run to the Presidency with the famous racism/xenophobia "coming-down-the-golden-escalator" speech at Trump Tower in New York City. Already in the fall of that year the words "Trump" and "fascism" were being used in the same sentence by a variety of observers, as I noted at the beginning of my contribution to the discussion entitled "Hair Trump or Herr Trump." This one, the second in this series, was published on The Greanville Post. It was mainly devoted to the theme that while there were certainly similarities in tone between Trump and the Nazis, especially in the use of racism/xenophobia and "Make [fill in] Great Again," there were many differences, certainly at the level of political and paramilitary organization. But I did conclude that column with the following: "And so, do I think that 'Trump' equals 'Hitler?' Well, not yet. But hey, you never know, in a land as benighted as America, and remember that international events always play a big role in how the plutocracy plays its cards at home."

Which leads to the third column in this series, also published on The Greanville Post, on June 21, 2016, "Donald Trump: Turning the Corner Towards Fascism." In that column I presented a comprehensive definition of the term "fascism," ( which many users of the term do not do) and then showed how Trump, his policies, and his supporters, were beginning to fit into it, as he was clinching the nomination in May of that year. Since then, I have written fairly frequently on the subject of Trump-as-President and fascism. The fourth column in the series, written in March of this year, projects what a fascist 2nd Trump term could look like.

It is scary, folks. As I have said before, and will say again, the election to be held in the U.S. on Nov. 3, 2020 will not only be the most significant one in U.S. history (yes, in my view, even more significant than those of 1860 [the Civil War was impending] and 1864 [would the Civil War end with a Union victory or would slavery continue in the South until it was just economically non-workable], and 1940 [would the U.S. attempt to sit out World War II, thus allowing Axis fascism to overtake the whole of Eurasia]). Given the onset of global warming, which would continue totally unchecked were Trump to win a second term, it will be the most significant one in the history of the world. If Trump does win, will the U.S. become a fascist country? Well, just look at what Trump has been doing, politically, administratively, and in terms of dealing with the Black Lives Matter movement. It's pretty obvious, is it not?

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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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