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The process of fascistization is accelerating. For progressives, this election is about choosing a more advantageous field upon which to wage battle. Without creating illusions about who he represents, the Left should vote Biden for President and support progressives in down-ballot races.
Is Trump a Mussolini-style fascist? Even though they look remarkably alike when posing from a balcony, chins up in the air, I think not. The Italian dictator was well-read and driven by political philosophy, as well as naked ambition. Trump has the ambition, but no real philosophy: he's just a talented con man.
The 45th President of the United States is a narcissistic megalomaniac who has "made a deal" with the far right. Steve Bannon, Opus Dei, and evangelical leaders whisper sweetly in his ear, "You are doing God's work; you are the chosen one." He is a useful vessel and a delusional fool.
Trump may be a buffoon, but the forces behind him are serious.
Many developments are driving a section of American elites toward a more overtly coercive and racist state: the pandemic and the depression that it's triggered, massive inequality and the growing awakening of American workers, the power of African American resistance to systemic racism and the broad support it has received, and China's rise as a world economic power. This section of the elite has been ascendant because "liberal" American capitalism is out of solutions. Had it not for the pandemic, Trump could be headed back to the White House. One can't rule out that he still might.
Obama's economic policies favored Wall St. and produced great income inequality. Desperation and frustration created conditions for strengthening fascist and racist ideas in segments of the working class and rural poor.
It tilled the soil for Trump.
So, if Biden is elected and continues Clinton-Obama-era pro-banker economic policies, he will set the table for a more dangerous version of Trump in 2024. Only a mass movement infused with a progressive vision can stop this from happening.
The oligarchy is aghast at the success of the Sanders campaign and the wave of progressives recently elected to office. They fear increasing public support for socialized solutions like Medicare for All, publicly owned banks, community control of the police, and a growing consciousness that some form of socialism is a viable alternative.
Trump frames his campaign as a fight against socialism not only to invoke the ghosts of Cold War anti-communism for what he hopes is electoral gain. It's also a recognition by the ideologues that guide him that public opinion must be prepared for a severe attack on the Left.
If Trump wins, a McCarthyite witch hunt and a campaign of political repression are almost assured.
If Trump wins, the consequences for the climate crisis will be catastrophic.
The consolidation of a further far-right control of the state apparatus, including the courts and military, will set the people's movement back years.
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