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OpEdNews Op Eds    H2'ed 10/1/20

Why Voting for Trump Could be a Get out of Jail Free Card

Message Fred Gransville

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First they came for the socialists, and I did not speak out - because I was not a socialist.
Then they came for the trade unionists, and I did not speak out - because I was not a trade unionist.
Then they came for me, and I didn't need to speak out, I voted for Adolph J. Trump

I have been trying to explain the millions of Americans---Republicans Christians, Jews, Blacks, Hispanic and college-educated white voters--- who watched Trump stand in the middle of 5th Avenue and shoot freedom, equality and justice in the head, and are still voting for him in November.

They don't care that he lost more money than any other American, bankrupted his businesses six times, is an adulterer, a liar, and that he grabs women by the p*ssy.

It's not an enigma wrapped in a riddle. Roe vs Wade, Moving the Embassy to Jerusalem, the Wall, the Economy, Iran or Climate Change, none of them solve the mystery.

Forty percent of Americans have an inclination to authoritarianism and favor authority, obedience and uniformity over freedom, independence and diversity. [1]

That 40% includes the Senate who will not impeach Trump regardless of what the House finds, the federal judiciary, two Supreme Court justices, the 194 lifetime appointed judges in lower federal courts, and of course "the very fine people on both sides."

And don't forget the leader of the Senate Committee on the Judiciary, Lindsey Graham, who before Adolf, oops before Trump, was elected, called him "a race-baiting, xenophobic religious bigot that should to go to Hell."

Today Graham won't condemn the President over his racist tweets against several minority members of Congress, instead joining him in calling them a "bunch of communists."

Graham's comments are the latest example of congressional Republican alignment with Trump.

"Well, we all know that (New York Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez) and this crowd are a bunch of communists, they hate Israel, they hate our own country," Graham said during an appearance on "Fox and Friends." "They're calling the guards along our border, the border patrol agents, 'concentration camp guards.' They accuse people who support Israel of doing it for the Benjamins. They're anti-Semitic. They're anti-America."

Activated by fear, authoritarian-leaning Americans, are predisposed to trade civil liberties for strongman solutions to secure law and order; and they are ready to strip civil liberties from those defined as the "other."

Surveys found that American authoritarians, compared with non-authoritarians, are more likely to agree that our country should be governed by a President who doesn't need Congress or elections and is allowed to limit the freedom of the press because the media is the enemy and a threat to the country. Trump Is an Authoritarian. So Are Millions of Americans

Donald Trump and Adolph Hitler brought to the surface a dormant, authoritarian pre-disposition in politics.

It Can't Happen Here, or Can it?

Trump's reliance on myths of national betrayal and decline to pursue political bi-partisan power, his use of existing and new forms of media to dominate news and politics, the holding of mass rallies to build a political movement, the subordination of a national party to a dominant leader asserting sole capacity to save the nation. [1]

If recent events are any indicators, the Trump presidency and American society is looking like Nazi Germany in the 30s.

Hate crime increased 17 percent in the United States in 2017 and the number of violent hate crimes reported in the United States in 2018 was the highest in 16 years, according to the FBI.

When Adolf Hitler came to power, he acted swiftly to supplant the existing constitution by emergency decree, directed widespread repression against political opponents, purged Jews from state institutions, and held elections and referenda under conditions of mass intimidation to cement Nazi rule.

Trump waited three years to supplant the existing constitution by emergency decree, directed widespread repression against political opponents and held elections and referenda under conditions of mass intimidation to cement Authoritarian rule.

And Trump didn't purge the Jews, he hired them: Kushner, Miller Mnuchin, and Barr. [2]

Donald Trump's response to national protests and unrest over brutal police violence against African Americans: Trump used tear gas against the peaceful demonstrators in front of the White House, Hitler would have used firearms and had them shot.

The evidence Donald Trump brutally raped a 13-year-old girl in 1994 when he was 48-years-old easily meets the police standard of "investigatory credibility."

Adolph Hitler was never accused of rape, he was a Urophiliac:

Hitler made her undress " He would lie down on the floor. Then she would have to squat over his face where he could examine her at close range and this made him very excited. When the excitement reached its peak, Hitler demanded that Geli urinate on him and that gave him his sexual pleasure. Geli said the whole performance was extremely disgusting to her and " it gave her no gratification.

Trump's lying is right out of Goebbels's playbook

Excerpt from Can It Happen Here? Donald Trump And The Fracturing Of America's Constitutional Order

"The main thing is, they're talking about us." Joseph Goebbels, The Goebbels Diaries, 1932-34, The Lie as the Basis for Politics

Goebbels used "Big Lie" to help craft Hitler's rise and consolidation of power . The phrase comes right out of Mein Kampf for how an international Jewish conspiracy could control the world.

Hitler stated that "[T]he broad masses more readily fall victims to the big lie than the small lie" since "in the big lie there is always a certain force of credibility." The reason, he was unabashed to say, was that "they themselves tell small lies in little matters but would be ashamed to resort to large-scale falsehoods." The Big Lie gives protective cover in its scope.

"Adolf Hitler lied all the time," writes Hett, as did Goebbels. Hitler's political rise, of course, was based on his own "big lie" as presented in Mein Kampf: a total confabulation in which the German nation was betrayed, its existence threatened, and its power suppressed by nefarious forces that were explainable only by a Bolshevik and Jewish conspiracy for world domination. The big lie gave cover to all manner of falsehoods to achieve power and carry out an extremist world vision. "[T]he essential paradox," Hett writes, is that "Hitler also said clearly what he was doing and what he planned to do."

Donald Trump, too, lies all the time - a practice compounded by media trumpets and enablers in the Republican Party. The lies are legion, daily and also foundational to how Trump practices politics and carries out the presidency. Some describe the lies as a purposeful distraction ("watch what they do, not what they say," advises MSNBC's Rachel Maddow). Others (including Trump) argue they are an excusable means for achieving legitimate policy goals ("truthful exaggeration" or "alternative facts" in Trump parlance). Both descriptions mistake effect for cause. The lie is the basis for what Trump tells us he is doing and plans to do. The lie governs.

Trump's Big Lie is also grand. He claims a rigged and corrupt political system betrayed the nation and brought economic decline; imperiled its core identity and health by allowing an influx of drugs and criminal migrants across the border; and rendered the U.S. internationally weak through terrible trade agreements, non-reciprocal alliances, and feckless wars. Only Trump, an outsider, could challenge this "stupid" system, protected by certain Republican and Democratic elites alike ("the swamp"), to save the country. "Only I can fix it," he stated. This grand framework was repeated at every campaign stop, the convention, and his inaugural address (prompting former President George W. Bush to state "that was some weird sh*t"). It is now the foundational belief system of Trump's followers, his political party, and his administration.

Conservative radio, Fox News and some Republican leaders have worked to promote a similar right-wing ideology. Many elements for Trump's Big Lie existed within a rich panoply of propaganda and conspiracy theorizing (such as that an organized entity called "the Left" controls American culture and thus its politics). It included policy elements found within the Republican Party's think tank infrastructure (such as restricting immigration, enacting tax cuts and reducing the "administrative state"). Yet, all actors in this political universe acknowledge it was Donald Trump who molded these elements into a new ideological framework ("Make America Great Again") and convinced a major national party to adopt exclusionist, nationalist and authoritarian policies. Meanwhile, conservative "thinkers" have rushed to provide a theoretical underpinning.

Another characteristic of the political accommodation toward Hitler was the normalization of his extremism and its adoption by his followers. [3]

Peter Fritsche notes in Hitler's First Hundred Days offers insightful description for how parts of German society and politics gradually tolerated and then accepted the unmitigated extremism of Hitler and his followers in the years before 1933. Normal citizens began to adopt ideas of national betrayal and underhanded Jewish influence. They explained away violent attacks on Social Democrats, Communists and Jews as understandable acts of retribution against political enemies. Observing the mass rallies, they began to appreciate Hitler's "genius." Within a brief period of Hitler's rule, Fritsche concludes, "most Germans preferred the Nazi future to the Weimar past" and "came to identify their own prospects" with the new regime.

The tolerance of Trump's rise has some similarity. Trump never moderated his positions; nor did his most ardent followers. In fact, enthusiasm for Trump grew as he adopted ever more extremist policies. Expel all undocumented immigrants ("on the first day, they're gone"). Ban all Muslims from entering the U.S. "Bomb the sh*t out of them." "Take the oil." As he stoked his followers into chants of "build the wall" and "lock her up," the media and Republican Party leaders came to explain such extremism as some form of reasonable political response to porous borders and purported government corruption. Trump himself began to be viewed as a candidate with "unique political instincts" for reaching voters, not as someone building a dangerous extremist movement. [3]

[End of Excerpt]

And now you know why all the people who were fired or left the white house are keeping quiet when Trump sent paramilitary forces from the Department of Homeland Security to quell nonviolent protests, looked the other way when a foreign power interferes in American elections, celebrated the wounding of a journalist by police as "a beautiful sight," and spent an election year casting doubt on the very basis of our democracy, the electoral system, rather than working to protect it.

Tillerson, Sessions, Mattis, Kelly, along with Mitt Romney, don't want to get arrested when they come for Clintons, Harry Reid, Nancy Pelosi, and Chuck Schumer.

Roger Stone, Republican dirty trickster, wants the federal marshals to seize the ballots in Nevada and use the Insurrection Act to arrest the Clintons, former Senate majority leader Harry Reid, Zuckerberg, Tim Cook of Apple and "anybody else who Roger says was involved in illegal activity."

One of the only hopes we have is that the military won't support him now that he was outed calling them 'Losers' And 'Suckers.'

Footnotes

[1] Using lies and a Big Lie framework as the basis for governance has a certain logic. As Goebbels and Hitler practiced it, the lie is internalized. The less that truth is the basis for politics, the more one must lie. The more one lies, the more it forms the basis for one's own truth. The more a party's platform and governance is based on lies, the more followers must adopt those lies and the new truth to support the party and its leader. Since the lies become foundational to the practice of politics, the will to power is indistinguishable from belief.

The degree to which Nazism in Germany was consented to, versus submitted to, is still debated, as Peter Fritsche notes in Hitler's First Hundred Days. Given Hitler's swift use of terror and repression, historians of the Third Reich are wary to denote "genuine belief" as the basis of overt acts of support, such as the 43 percent voting for the Nazi party in March 1933 elections, which allowed Hitler to form a majority parliamentary coalition, or the 90 percent support in two national referenda that November which brought about full Nazi political control and withdrawal from the League of Nations.

[2] Barr's father was Jewish and raised in Judaism but later converted to Christianity and joined the Catholic Church.

[3] Republican Party voters and leaders are not alone in their accommodationism. Even within the Democratic Party, Trump's support is often explained as white working class voters feeling abandoned or alienated by an "identity-based" (one might say integrated) political party. It is argued that the entrenchment of 90-95 percent Republican support for Trump and of 40-45 percent among eligible voters is not a function of accommodation to extremism, but a reflection of political "tribalism" - a neutral description for political division. All such explanations have tended to conclude that Trump was a symptom of economic disparities and a frayed political culture (or that he was a mirror, not a projection) of a worldwide populist phenomenon.

These are really justifications, more than explanations, for why non-extremist voters would cast a ballot for an extremist presidential candidate with a fanatical following. After all, economic distress and political alienation did not cause most non-white voters, who had equal or greater economic distress and reason for political alienation, to cast ballots for an extremist candidate. Claims of legitimate grievance also do not explain why such support became further entrenched in the face of extreme and anti-constitutional behavior, such as the kidnapping and caging of thousands of children to deter their parents from applying for asylum, or extorting a foreign ally for political favors to help in re-election

Past warnings of a Nazi-like leader taking hold in America - like Sinclair Lewis's ironically titled It Can't Happen Here - were belied by history. America's constitutional system can withstand even Trump. Can't it?

(Article changed on October 2, 2020 at 05:09)

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I have been honing my craft as a writer since I graduated from Princeton University. I have been a newspaper reporter, a book editor and a Hollywood scriptwriter. My humor has been published in a number of publications. I have written two (more...)
 

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