Donald Trump Exhibits And Embraces Typical Fascist Rule: The (Very) Long-form Argument, In 16 Points
I’m not writing this to alarm or incite. In some circles, the chyron given only adds to the growing consensus. In others, it only works to justify an overwhelming upset. I’m writing this for one simple reason: a sickness can only be cured by recognizing, and treating, the symptoms.
Fascism is not a demonic or intrinsic evil. It is a form of nationalistic authoritarianism; a way of mobilizing public opinion by adhering to a calculated set of subversion tactics —ideological, psychological, political, social, or otherwise — in order to undermine and suppress dissent, while actively targeting and demonizing illegitimate enemies of the state. To say other Presidents are wholly blameless in fascistic tendency would be a severe lapse of both judgement and memory.
To give a recent example, here is John Ehrlichman — former Nixon (yes, that Nixon) domestic policy chief — admitting Nixon’s administration actively targeted and suppressed their enemies through political and ideological subversion.
“The Nixon campaign in 1968, and the Nixon White House after that, had two enemies: the antiwar left and black people…You understand what I’m saying? We knew we couldn’t make it illegal to be either against the war or black, but by getting the public to associate the hippies with marijuana and blacks with heroin. And then criminalizing both heavily, we could disrupt those communities…We could arrest their leaders. raid their homes, break up their meetings, and vilify them night after night on the evening news. Did we know we were lying about the drugs? Of course we did." — John Ehrlichman
In the case presented, the powers that were had two enemies: the “antiwar left and black people”. How would one suppress dissent in these circumstances? By criminalizing drugs laws harshly, thereby legitimizing police intervention of both groups. How, then, would one force the public to agree? By indicating these drugs — and thereby, these people —were hurting children and young adults through crime and influence. On June 17th, 1971, Richard Nixon declared drugs “public enemy number one of the United States” at a press conference, and what ensued was a cold, hard attack on the perpetrators of this villainy.
In a similar respect, the war on terror that took place throughout the early 2000's— a product of the Bush administration — triggered a need to ‘point out the perpetrators’, so to speak. While the circumstances by which both phrases were publicly displayed differed greatly, as Bush’s address to Congress wherein the phrase “war on terror” was first iterated came after a moment of great national tragedy, the effects remained the same. Muslims faced legally justified undermining on behalf of the Bush administration’s NSEERS (National Security Entry-Exit Registration System) program which, among other facets, created a domestic registry of the period’s potential enemies of the state. Individuals were ethnically and religiously profiled under the program, and were made to be photographed, fingerprinted, and periodically interviewed.
Both Nixon’s war on drugs and Bush’s war on terror greatly defined their respective presidencies. When you particular frame government actions in these terms, you’ll note the same blueprints extends to American presidents down the line in some manner. Yet, none exhibit the classic symptoms of fascist rule better and more blatantly than Donald J. Trump. Period.
WWII-Era Fascism: A Vestige Of A Different Time
I want also to distinguish outright the idea that modern fascism (not fascistic tendencies, not strange fascistic coincidences, but direct fascism) is exactly like that encountered before and during the outset of WWII in Italy and Germany. I also want to distinguish modern fascism from lesser known types of fascism as well, such as those present in central and south America, Asia, and eastern Europe throughout the 30’s and 40’s.
Nazism, for example, is a particular type of fascism, while Nazi Germany indicates a particular time period in a nation’s history. That is to say: fascism is a political institution which, like all political institutions, undergo changes of political form and execution. Remarking or believing that all fascism is akin to Nazism is a false equivalence.
Fascism became an all-purpose term because one can eliminate from a fascist regime one or more features, and it will still be recognizable as fascist. Take away imperialism from fascism and you still have Franco and Salazar. Take away colonialism and you still have the Balkan fascism of the Ustashes. Add to the Italian fascism a radical anti-capitalism (which never much fascinated Mussolini) and you have Ezra Pound. Add a cult of Celtic mythology and the Grail mysticism (completely alien to official fascism) and you have one of the most respected fascist gurus, Julius Evola. — Umberto Eco
Likewise, remarking or believing Donald Trump is akin to Adolf Hitler by the nature of his political and legislative agenda is just as false an equivalence. Furthermore, attributing the term fascist to any individual who holds, maintains, and exercises authority is also a falsehood. Fascism is not a trait of personality, it is the complex set of systems by which power is usurped and unjustly maintained.
While widespread fascism in the 1930’s and 40’s has long since ceased, and its geopolitical activity child-locked by political means, such as the United Nations, and technological advancements, such as the internet, it remains a valid means by which to govern. Why? Fascism is, above all, a means by which to gain and keep power. Its terminology, method of execution, and containment, does not change according to the period. Its blueprint, effective and dangerous, remains the same.
The Chekhov’s Gun Of Fascistic Regimes
Fascist regimes are, by an large, a family affair. That is to say, fascistic ideals are developed and enforced via tight-knit groups of elite officials purposefully estranged from mainstream media attention. This is due to the careful coordination of a citizenry’s attentive faculties: while government activity is a multi-pronged, multi-faceted affair, it is often the case that the focal point of power — the President, Chancellor, or Prime Minister — must take sole credit for complex political opinions and agendas in order to inflame their authority within the eyes and hearts of the populous.
This selective draw of attention creates the impression of a singular, effective government branch. All decisions made toward the public good are a direct result of this singular head of state, while all decisions against the public good must be redirected towards any other legislative or judicial branch. It’s a form of executive scapegoating, and often results in the persecution of elected government officials whose ideals are seen as dissent when misaligned with the executive — often referred to as the “public” —well-being.
Fascist regimes also often incorporate three main aspects of social and civil life into their ideological fold: religion (particularly the Christian and Catholic religions: more generally, monotheistic religions), nationalism (or civic engagement), and economy. Each of these aspects are not only defended, but vocally enforced, within the Trump administration.
It’s a matter of simulated victimization. Christian citizens must not only be assured their religious liberties will be protected, but also ensured those of other faiths would be condemned for seemingly unrelated (often security) reasons. Citizens taking part in our largely capitalist-driven economy must be protected by the “spreading” communist ideals infecting the nation. Americans must have their right to free speech protected, but also limit speech adverse to a particular agenda. The right to protest must be maintained, except for when exercised by domestic terrorists.
If citizens can be made to believe difference in any form is a potential compromise of one’s own constitution — whether that be civic, religious, or economic — without taking into account their own say and sense of responsibility in the manner, they have potentially entered the folds of fascism.
The danger behind ingraining religious, economic, and national success into an ideology is serious. These traits are often the first embraced during an individual’s psychological development. Given Urie Bonfenbrenner’s ecological systems theory, a theory widely considered a solid basis for understanding psychological and cognitive development, the family is the atom by which opinions concerning the greater world are developed. The smaller the world in which the family lives, the smaller the frame of reference concerning social and political ideal.
When we consider the role these traits — economics, religion, and civics— have on the individual family, we begin to see each as an extension of the family’s identity and general well-being. In a very real sense, the strength of a family — and thereby the family’s individuals —is valued by its economic well-being, religious identity, and civic activity. For example, how much money does a family make? Do they attend the same church regularly, or belong to the same faith? Are your family members citizens or immigrants? Have any served in the armed forces? All these questions correspond directly to the average American family, and all directly impact an adult’s political configuration.
While what’s been presented above applies to a large majority of citizens, fascist regimes are particularly damaging because they enforce the belief that an individual’s economic, religious, and civil success are all contingent on and conflated with one another.
God therein becomes responsible for a political leader’s success, who then becomes responsible for the success of the citizenry. This chain creates a simple ladder by which an individual’s success relies. It is this simple ladder that must be usurped by a fascist regime.
This psychological phenomenon goes on to create a sense of fanaticism not readily perceivable by the citizen. God, nation, and financial success — implicit traits already developed within a given individual— aren’t implanted. They are oriented. That is to say, one doesn’t need to inflame the political agenda of those not politically interested or inflame the religious fervor of an atheist or agnostic. One need only conflate the traits within those already susceptible to make them seem as one. In a sense, the germ of fascism is already implanted within the central tenets of the politically conservative family, all of which correspond to God, country, and individual (which leads, in turn, to familial) success.
“From the standpoint of social development, the family cannot be considered the basis of the authoritarian state, only as one of the most important institutions which support it. It is, however, its central reactionary germ cell, the most important place of reproduction of the reactionary and conservative individual. Being itself caused by the authoritarian system, the family becomes the most important institution for its conservation.”— Wilhelm Reich
This conflation creates two byproduct results: an intense clutching of familiar political ideals, and an intense adversity to separate ideals. Why? To disagree politically means to disagree with the candidate, and to disagree with the candidate means to disagree with an individual’s economic success, along with a higher power’s moral decree to make it so.
These byproducts are more keen for those with both a lack of education and a subconscious need that power be simple. One God, one country, one leader, one family: single increments of absolute authority. As opposed to working with state senators and local officials to solve present local issues, all issues are then directed to the highest, and often most indirect, powers. In a very real respect, the implicit backing of one’s social identity extends to the political sphere. More often than not, the crowd to which a politicians plays all but directs the swing of their ballot.
While the reasons for fascistic regimes are more plentiful, and infinitely more complex, than I have stated, the pillars presented are those which must always be maintained in order to gain, and keep, fascist regimes in power.
Fascism Is A Creeping, Encroaching Force
In order to understand the tenets of fascism, one must understand its creeping and encroaching nature. Fascist regimes are not a sudden force: they are the continual barrage of sudden minor forces, which eventually amount to grand gestures of the exercise of power (whether that power be military, executive action, or the like).
Milton’s Mayer’s They Thought They Were Free is an excellent portrayal of growing fascistic rule.
“What happened here was the gradual habituation of the people, little by little, to being governed by surprise; to receiving decisions deliberated in secret; to believing that the situation was so complicated that the government had to act on information which the people could not understand, or so dangerous that, even if the people could not understand it, it could not be released because of national security. And their sense of identification with Hitler, their trust in him, made it easier to widen this gap and reassured those who would otherwise have worried about it.
As recently as yesterday, Reuters reported the EPA had been ordered to remove a page explaining and detailing the issues of climate change from their website by the Trump administration. How do we know? Because unnamed officials leaked the information to the public.
Also, as recently as yesterday morning, Donald Trump announced that he would investigate massive voter fraud, a theory he has long defended through unsubstantiated means. This move comes after no previous indication of a large-scale voter fraud investigation, even after Sean Spicer, White House Press Secretary, was asked multiple times during his press briefing on Tuesday if widespread voter fraud would be investigated.
Governance by surprise is something of a commonality within the Trump presidency, as Trump often fancies Twitter as a means of informing the public on political action. His own staff has mentioned they receive no previous indication regarding his Twitter posts.
Two things should be mentioned alongside this event as well: it seems Donald Trump has an addiction to media, television especially, as reported by his aides. This addiction is important, as it seems his claim to investigate widespread voter fraud was sparked by television coverage shown shortly beforehand by conservative media outlet FOX News.
Secondly, it should be noted that governance by secrecy is not only a matter of surprise proclamation. Given its hastened nature, it often leads to coincidental action through circumstantial evidence rather than concise action through substantiated evidence. For example it’s safe to assume, even if a small fraction of voter fraud is detected, steps would be taken (as indicated by his tweet) to enforce Voter ID laws which have notoriously been used to control and limit the minority vote.
“You will understand me when I say that my Middle High German was my life. It was all I cared about. I was a scholar, a specialist. Then, suddenly, I was plunged into all the new activity, as the university was drawn into the new situation; meetings, conferences, interviews, ceremonies, and, above all, papers to be filled out, reports, bibliographies, lists, questionnaires….It was all rigmarole, of course, but it consumed all one’s energies, coming on top of the work one really wanted to do. You can see how easy it was, then, not to think about fundamental things.
One had no time…The dictatorship, and the whole process of its coming into being, was above all diverting. It provided an excuse not to think for people who did not want to think anyway…Most of us did not want to think about fundamental things and never had. There was no need to. Nazism gave us some dreadful, fundamental things to think about — we were decent people — and kept us so busy with continuous changes and ‘crises’ and so fascinated, yes, fascinated, by the machinations of the ‘national enemies,’ without and within, that we had no time to think about these dreadful things that were growing, little by little, all around us. Unconsciously, I suppose, we were grateful. Who wants to think?
This directly invokes Donald Trump’s stance on certain issues, most notably the issues related to both his tax returns and growing worry that Trump is still in breach of constitutional law, through what is known as the emoluments clause. “People didn’t care” chimes in Kellyanne Conway, advisor to Trump — a classic exchange of “fundamental things” for trivialities like the war on mainstream media, Twitter, the Mexican border wall, and so on. After promising Trump would release his tax returns in due time, Kellyanne then rescinded her statements.
“To live in this process is absolutely not to be able to notice it — please try to believe me — unless one has a much greater degree of political awareness, acuity, than most of us had ever had occasion to develop. Each step was so small, so inconsequential, so well explained or, on occasion, ‘regretted,’ that, unless one were detached from the whole process from the beginning, unless one understood what the whole thing was in principle, what all these ‘little measures’ that no ‘patriotic German’ could resent must some day lead to, one no more saw it developing from day to day than a farmer in his field sees the corn growing. One day it is over his head… “Your ‘little men,’ your Nazi friends, were not against National Socialism in principle. Men like me, who were, are the greater offenders, not because we knew better (that would be too much to say) but because we sensed better. Pastor Niemöller spoke for the thousands and thousands of men like me when he spoke (too modestly of himself) and said that, when the Nazis attacked the Communists, he was a little uneasy, but, after all, he was not a Communist, and so he did nothing; and then they attacked the Socialists, and he was a little uneasier, but, still, he was not a Socialist, and he did nothing; and then the schools, the press, the Jews, and so on, and he was always uneasier, but still he did nothing. And then they attacked the Church, and he was a Churchman, and he did something — but then it was too late.”
This demonization of groups based on political leaning and category of profession seems to coincide well with Trump’s attack on racial and ethnic groups, most notably Mexican-American and Muslim groups. It should also be mentioned that the Republican party, by and large, has advocated for limits on immigrant amnesty, refugee acceptance, transgender freedoms and minority votes under the guise of public safety and rule of law. As of yet, no significant data has shown these acts would enforce public safety in any significant capacity.
“You see,” my colleague went on, “one doesn’t see exactly where or how to move. Believe me, this is true. Each act, each occasion, is worse than the last, but only a little worse. You wait for the next and the next. You wait for one great shocking occasion, thinking that others, when such a shock comes, will join with you in resisting somehow. You don’t want to act, or even talk, alone; you don’t want to ‘go out of your way to make trouble.’ Why not? — Well, you are not in the habit of doing it. And it is not just fear, fear of standing alone, that restrains you; it is also genuine uncertainty.
Donald Trump has, time and time again, compromised his dignity as an individual, as an American, and as a President. Trump recently tweeted the following.
The action presented above — “I will send in the Feds — casually suggests evoking martial law, meaning the President, via Twitter, threatened a state with military intervention in order to “fix the carnage” present in Chicago.
This tweet coincides with a broadcast of the O-Reilly Factor, a conservative news show, as reported by Salon.
This is just the latest stint in a long line of tweets threatening companies, the press, and the truth.
In response to thoughts of dissent, Mayer writes:
They say, ‘It’s not so bad’ or ‘You’re seeing things’ or ‘You’re an alarmist.’
“And you are an alarmist. You are saying that this must lead to this, and you can’t prove it. These are the beginnings, yes; but how do you know for sure when you don’t know the end, and how do you know, or even surmise, the end? On the one hand, your enemies, the law, the regime, the Party, intimidate you. On the other, your colleagues pooh-pooh you as pessimistic or even neurotic. You are left with your close friends, who are, naturally, people who have always thought as you have.
The above sentiment has become immediately familiar given America’s recent political climate. Fascism is an all-too-often buzzword used in mainstream American society to label actions taken without public consent or on the basis of sweeping authority. I’m sure the readers may even be thinking along these same lines, even as you read on (if you read on).
…If the last and worst act of the whole regime had come immediately after the first and smallest, thousands, yes, millions would have been sufficiently shocked — if, let us say, the gassing of the Jews in ’43 had come immediately after the ‘German Firm’ stickers on the windows of non-Jewish shops in ’33. But of course this isn’t the way it happens. In between come all the hundreds of little steps, some of them imperceptible, each of them preparing you not to be shocked by the next. Step C is not so much worse than Step B, and, if you did not make a stand at Step B, why should you at Step C? And so on to Step D.
And one day, too late, your principles, if you were ever sensible of them, all rush in upon you. The burden of self-deception has grown too heavy, and some minor incident, in my case my little boy, hardly more than a baby, saying ‘Jewish swine,’ collapses it all at once, and you see that everything, everything, has changed and changed completely under your nose. The world you live in — your nation, your people — is not the world you were born in at all. The forms are all there, all untouched, all reassuring, the houses, the shops, the jobs, the mealtimes, the visits, the concerts, the cinema, the holidays.
But the spirit, which you never noticed because you made the lifelong mistake of identifying it with the forms, is changed. Now you live in a world of hate and fear, and the people who hate and fear do not even know it themselves; when everyone is transformed, no one is transformed. Now you live in a system which rules without responsibility even to God. The system itself could not have intended this in the beginning, but in order to sustain itself it was compelled to go all the way.
Focusing specifically on the little boy, it was recently reported middle school children took to chanting the racist phase “Build that wall!”, a phrased coined by Donald Trump referring to building a border wall to keep illegals and immigrants out, during lunchtime.
Unfortunately, this is not a single, tailored instance of racial intimidation. The same is occurring both in schools and in public, as reported by Mother Jones, Time Magazine, and the SPLC (Southern Poverty Law Center). The following is a quote taken directly from the SPCL’s study concerning school violence under Trump’s presidency.
“In the first days after the 2016 presidential election, the Southern Poverty Law Center’s Teaching Tolerance project administered an online survey to K–12 educators from across the country. Over 10,000 teachers, counselors, administrators and others who work in schools have responded. The survey data indicate that the results of the election are having a profoundly negative impact on schools and students. Ninety percent of educators report that school climate has been negatively affected, and most of them believe it will have a long-lasting impact. A full 80 percent describe heightened anxiety and concern on the part of students worried about the impact of the election on themselves and their families. Also on the upswing: verbal harassment, the use of slurs and derogatory language, and disturbing incidents involving swastikas, Nazi salutes and Confederate flags.”
In continuation with Mayer’s portrayal:
“You have gone almost all the way yourself. Life is a continuing process, a flow, not a succession of acts and events at all. It has flowed to a new level, carrying you with it, without any effort on your part. On this new level you live, you have been living more comfortably every day, with new morals, new principles. You have accepted things you would not have accepted five years ago, a year ago, things that your father, even in Germany, could not have imagined.
This process is considered normalization. You may have heard of it in publications or online, directly relating to Donald Trump’s outrageous activity and ties to Russia. Many argue this process has already happened, or has been happening for years. A notable example of this social facet concerns Trump’s opinion on what is widely considered a crime against humanity, torture. Donald Trump has not only advocated for such torture techniques like waterboarding, but going after terrorist families as well.
Trumpism: The 16 Defining Characteristics Of Fascism Under Donald Trump
Do not treat the following as a conclusive list. Instead, treat the following as warranted accusations. If I have proven, beyond a reasonable doubt, Trump’s fascist tendencies, admit the arguments and not the accusation as fact. If there are any discrepancies with the following, please indicate as much in the comments section. The presented grievance with America’s current head of state and commander in chief is, understandably, quite serious.
The sources for my list range in scope and depth, as is the case with defining any complex institution by a set list. The main criteria follows two works: Ur-Fascism by Umberto Eco and The 14 Defining Characteristics of Fascism by Dr. Lawrence Britt. These works heavily influenced, and are often directly quoted in, the following.
I. “Powerful and Continuing Nationalism — Fascist regimes tend to make constant use of patriotic mottos, slogans, symbols, songs, and other paraphernalia. Flags are seen everywhere, as are flag symbols on clothing and in public displays.”
The Republican party has always been more susceptible to patriotic insignia than those of the Democratic party, as suggested by a study entitled “LONG-TERM EFFECTS OF U.S. FLAG EXPOSURE ON REPUBLICANISM”.
“A single exposure to an American flag resulted in a significant increase in participants’ Republican voting intentions, voting behavior, political beliefs, and implicit and explicit attitudes, with some effects lasting 8 months,” the study found. “These results constitute the first evidence that nonconscious priming effects from exposure to a national flag can bias the citizenry toward one political party and can have considerable durability.”
Trump’s own premiere slogan, “Make America Great Again”, and his new, potentially copyrighted slogan for the 2020 re-election cycle “Keep America Great” exude this Fascist tendency perfectly. Trump’s nationalist tendencies are tried and true, reflected in his inaugural address as well.
“My foreign policy will always put the interests of the American people, and American security, above all else. That will be the foundation of every decision that I will make. America First will be the major and overriding theme of my administration.”
The above phrase displays two key components on his overarching and often unclear political ideology: nationalism, and isolationism. The phrase “America First” in itself has been heavily criticized as well, considering it was the “name of the isolationist, defeatist, anti-Semitic national organization that urged the United States to appease Adolf Hitler.” Among the early critics of this group is notable author Dr. Seuss, who drew political cartoons displaying the America First group tied with Nazism.
II. “Disdain for the Recognition of Human Rights — Because of fear of enemies and the need for security, the people in fascist regimes are persuaded that human rights can be ignored in certain cases because of “need.” The people tend to look the other way or even approve of torture, summary executions, assassinations, long incarcerations of prisoners, etc.”
Besides obvious instances of concern regarding opinions on torture, ethnic and religious registration, inherent criminality of racial and ethnic groups, and so on, Donald Trump has imposed a sort of crisis in the social and legislative standing of civil rights.
For one, he has questioned the authority of one of the last remaining, and most notable, Civil Rights advocates of our time, John Lewis.
Trump remarked on Twitter that Lewis was “all talk…no action” when Lewis stated he considered Trump to be an illegitimate President.
Trump has advocated for torture multiple times and continually, which is not only a jab at civil rights but a violation of human rights as well. Sanders correctly rebuked his infatuation with torture, citing he would defy the Geneva convention and international law.
Here is the link to the article provided. He is also for racial and ethnic profiling in regard to Muslim communities along with stop-and-frisk laws, which were deemed unconstitutional in New York for unfairly targeting black and Hispanic individuals.
“Well, I think profiling is something that we’re going to have to start thinking about as a country. And other countries do it. You look at Israel and you look at others, and they do it. And they do it successfully. And I hate the concept of profiling. But we have to start using common sense, and we have to use our heads. Recently, we had tremendous numbers of people coming into a speech I was making. And people that obviously had no weapons, had no anything, they were going through screening — the same scrutiny as somebody else that looked like it could have been a possible person [of interest]. So, we really have to look at profiling.” — Donald Trump
III. “Identification of Enemies/Scapegoats as a Unifying Cause — The people are rallied into a unifying patriotic frenzy over the need to eliminate a perceived common threat or foe: racial, ethnic or religious minorities; liberals; communists; socialists, terrorists, etc.”
To quote Donald Trump’s (largely unscripted) announcement for the Presidential bid:
“Our country is in serious trouble. We don’t have victories anymore. We used to have victories, but we don’t have them. When was the last time anybody saw us beating, let’s say, China in a trade deal? They kill us. I beat China all the time. All the time. When did we beat Japan at anything? They send their cars over by the millions, and what do we do? When was the last time you saw a Chevrolet in Tokyo? It doesn’t exist, folks. They beat us all the time. When do we beat Mexico at the border? They’re laughing at us, at our stupidity. And now they are beating us economically. They are not our friend, believe me. But they’re killing us economically…Thank you. It’s true, and these are the best and the finest. When Mexico sends its people, they’re not sending their best. They’re not sending you. They’re not sending you. They’re sending people that have lots of problems, and they’re bringing those problems with us. They’re bringing drugs. They’re bringing crime. They’re rapists. And some, I assume, are good people. But I speak to border guards and they tell us what we’re getting. And it only makes common sense. It only makes common sense. They’re sending us not the right people. It’s coming from more than Mexico. It’s coming from all over South and Latin America, and it’s coming probably — probably — from the Middle East. But we don’t know. Because we have no protection and we have no competence, we don’t know what’s happening. And it’s got to stop and it’s got to stop fast.” — Donald Trump
That is 6 instances of scapegoating, and not one of legislative policy. This occurred time and time against throughout his candidacy. These were his first words as a Presidential nominee.
IV. “Supremacy of the Military — Even when there are widespread domestic problems, the military is given a disproportionate amount of government funding, and the domestic agenda is neglected. Soldiers and military service are glamorized.”
While Donald Trump attended the New York Military Academy, he did not enlist in the military. Sources closest to him have stated his love of the military extends from a deep fascination with military culture and pomp.
Besides having a fascination with the military, and having named a selection of generals to his cabinet, Donald Trump has also promised to tout the military in front of the public during military parades.
“Being a great president has to do with a lot of things, but one of them is being a great cheerleader for the country…And we’re going to show the people as we build up our military, we’re going to display our military…That military may come marching down Pennsylvania Avenue. That military may be flying over New York City and Washington, D.C., for parades. I mean, we’re going to be showing our military.” — Donald Trump
Donald Trump has also promised to expand the military multiple times, on multiple occasions.
“I’m going to make our military so big, so powerful, so strong, that nobody — absolutely nobody — is gonna to mess with us,” Trump says in a 23-second video posted on his campaign website.
V. “Rampant Sexism — The governments of fascist nations tend to be almost exclusively male-dominated. Under fascist regimes, traditional gender roles are made more rigid. Divorce, abortion and homosexuality are suppressed and the state is represented as the ultimate guardian of the family institution.”
Let the following words from Donald Trump, as leaked through a 2005 Access Hollywood video, be submitted for the record to establish his private character and attitudes towards females.
“No, no. Nancy. No this was — And I moved on her very heavily. In fact, I took her out furniture shopping. She wanted to get some furniture. I said, ‘I’ll show you where they have some nice furniture.’ I took her out furniture– I moved on her like a bitch, but I couldn’t get there. And she was married. Then all of a sudden I see her, she’s now got the big phony tits and everything. She’s totally changed her look… Yeah, that’s her, with the gold. I’ve got to use some Tic Tacs, just in case I start kissing her. You know I’m automatically attracted to beautiful — I just start kissing them. It’s like a magnet. I just kiss. I don’t even wait. And when you’re a star, they let you do it. You can do anything…Grab them by the pussy. You can do anything.”
This is not an isolated incident: Trump has, throughout his life in the public eye, made several claims disrespecting, insulting, and threatening women in particular. Donald Trump, within the first days of his presidency, reinstated a gag order first proposed by former President Ronald Regan under the Mexico City Policy which “made discussion of abortion by a group receiving federal support for any purpose illegal.”
“The United States does not consider abortion an acceptable element of family planning programs and will no longer contribute to those of which it is a part…The United States will no longer contribute to separate nongovernmental organizations which perform or actively promote abortion as a method of family planning in other nations.”
Again, this is one of the first acts Trump signed when instated into the Office. The gag rule was re-instated more forcefully during the Bush administration, but rescinded during the Obama administration.
In 2006, the Congressional General Accountability Office concluded that the global gag rule, coupled with abstinence promotion, was impeding the global fight against HIV. A series of legal challenges arguing the rule violated the First Amendment right to free speech made their way through federal courts. Three days after his inauguration in 2009, President Barack Obama rescinded the global gag rule. And in 2011, researchers from Stanford University published striking evidence that the global gag rule had, perversely, increased abortion rates.
Donald Trump has also stated numerous times that he is pro-life, his cabinet is largely and vehemently pro-life, and he has promised to instate a pro-life Justice to the Supreme Court.
Mike Pence, Vice President, has also been quoted as promising “We’ll see Roe v. Wade consigned to the ash heap of history where it belongs,” Roe v. Wade being the trial that decided federal legalization of abortion. Pence is deeply pro-life. Unfortunately, the instances by which the Trump administration has limited women’s reproductive and legislative rights only begin at abortion rights.
“VI. Controlled Mass Media — Sometimes to media is directly controlled by the government, but in other cases, the media is indirectly controlled by government regulation, or sympathetic media spokespeople and executives. Censorship, especially in war time, is very common.”
Donald Trump has issued gag order to several government agencies already. The EPA was issues a gag order by the Trump administration to delete their website pages related to climate change. This includes tweeting as well.
The order comes as Trump’s administration has moved to curb the flow of information from several government agencies who oversee environmental issues since last week, in actions that appeared designed to tighten control and discourage dissenting views.
The following message was sent to the staff, as reported by Mother Jones.
This gag order was confirmed by ProPublica, stating is also included “contract and grant awards” which make up most of the EPA’s activity. The EPA isn’t the only one affected, as reported by Fortune Magazine.
Employees at several federal agencies including the Department of Agriculture have been barred by the Trump administration from making any statements, or providing any documents to the public or journalists, according to published reports.
The Environmental Protection Agency and the Department of Health and Human Services are also impacted by the orders, which were reportedly handed down this week, and include a prohibition against some of the agencies posting on social media.
Donald Trump has also stated multiple times his distrust, and outright hatred, of what he calls the mainstream media, calling them fake news (which his supporters vehemently agree with).
“And the reason you’re my first stop is that, as you know, I have a running war with the media,” Trump said. “They are among the most dishonest human beings on Earth… We had a massive field of people. You saw them. Packed. I get up this morning, I turn on one of the networks, and they show an empty field…” — Donald Trump, to CIA Officials
This mainstream media seems not to include FOX News, the heavily conservative and heavily watched news program, and shown by a recent tweet.
FOX News has for a long time been known to foster the most uneducated viewership among all news networks, even among those who do not watch the news at all.
Media outlets such as Fox News and MSNBC have a negative impact on people’s current events knowledge while NPR and Sunday morning political talk shows are the most informative sources of news, according to Fairleigh Dickinson University’s newest PublicMind survey.
Trump’s official Facebook page also posts periodic news segment titled “Real News Update” which is filmed directly from the Trump Tower in New York and functions as a state public relations outlet to praise Trump’s each and every legislative action.
Donald Trump has also shared information from Breitbart, a factually inaccurate alt-right news publication, multiple times through multiple methods.
Here is a rundown of his most-shared and liked articles, also from the Buzzfeed article linked above.
Despite most of these articles having to do with Clinton’s emails, Trump’s administration has refuted claims they had anything to do with the outcome of the election.
“VII. Obsession with National Security — Fear is used as a motivational tool by the government over the masses.”
Donald Trump gave a speech yesterday in the Department of Homeland Security falsely inflaming the severity of crime taking place at the hands of illegal immigrants. Fox News Insider reports:
“We’re going to restore the rule of law in the United States,” President Trump said during a speech at the Department of Homeland Security on Wednesday.
Trump said he will instruct DHS to work “within the existing framework” of the law to secure the U.S.-Mexico border.
“A nation without borders is not a nation,” he said, “Beginning today, the United States of America gets back control of its borders.”
As it stands, former President Obama deported more illegal immigrants than any other President in the history of the United States which delegitimizes Trump’s continual argument that borders have been abandoned or illegal immigration laws are largely lenient.
More important than an obsession with national security is Trump’s outlook on global chaos. Here he is explaining — or rather, portraying or painting — his view of the world as it stands.
“David, David, David, I know you’re a sophisticated guy. The world is a mess. The world is as angry as it gets. Why, you think this is going to cause a little more anger? The world is an angry place.”
While there are several global conflicts currently in effect — some of which General Phil Breedlove, a NATO Supreme Allied Commander for Europe and head of the US European Command, claims are a direct result of Russia’s tactical destabilization of Europe (and, as has been shown in official declassified documents, America) — Trump’s portrayal of the world at large is a clear contrast with the actual state of things.
This includes the state of domestic activity as well. Trump recently compared Chicago to Afghanistan in terms of present violence and danger.
“Afghanistan is not like what’s happening in Chicago. People are being shot left and right.”
To clarify: his above statement, taken in its full context, suggests Chicago is more dangerous than Afghanistan. This isn’t the first time he has painted this narrative, as an interview with Fox and Friends shows back in September shows.
The above was taken from a conversation regarding the now unconstitutional (as ruled by New York) use of stop-and-frisk, which unfairly targeted minorities.
Trump often associates downtrodden, forgotten communities with majority white communities, and violent, war-torn communities with a majority black communities. As AEI (American Enterprise Institute) shows, he is not wholly incorrect. His statements, however, are more so meant to manufacture public opinion rather than present statistical fact.
…Afghanistan is a much more dangerous place for civilians than Chicago. But of course, that is to be expected. Afghanistan is an actual war zone. Chicago is not — at least, it shouldn’t be.
The fact is, most murders in Chicago are concentrated in certain high-crime neighborhoods where most outsiders never venture. Most Americans would not set foot in Afghanistan, unless they were sent there by the US military, the press, or international organizations. But millions of Americans visit Chicago every year. Indeed, in 2015 Chicago set a tourism milestone, with 51 million visitors — more than any other year on record. The Windy City is setting both tourism records and murder records at the same time. Go figure.
So Trump would be correct to point out that more Americans have died in the city of Chicago than in the war zone of Afghanistan in the past 15 years — a stunning fact that should shame Chicago officials. But that does not mean that Afghanistan is safer than Chicago. It’s not.
It’s also not unprecedented or even particularly surprising, this coming from someone born, raised, and currently residing in Compton, California. As the data shows, his redirection towards Chicago works more so to show his partisanship towards particular crime-filled areas than to address crime as a manageable issue.
Nor, despite the attention it often gets from Trump and others, is Chicago uniquely dangerous among U.S. cities. According to preliminary data compiled by my colleague Jeff Asher, Chicago had the eighth-highest murder rate among big U.S. cities in 2016. Cities including St. Louis, Baltimore and Detroit have much higher rates, as do a host of other towns scattered throughout the United States.
Trump made the murder rate a focus of his attention during the campaign, as well. But both in Chicago and on the national level, the murder rate during the 1990s was significantly worse than it is now. Other kinds of violent crime have persistently fallen since that time as well and, unlike murder, haven’t shown a big increase in recent years.
I would also like to mention: this is a classic statistical technique used in largely conservative media to inflame the growing presence of danger, and has been for years.
“VIII. Religion and Government are Intertwined — Governments in fascist nations tend to use the most common religion in the nation as a tool to manipulate public opinion. Religious rhetoric and terminology is common from government leaders, even when the major tenets of the religion are diametrically opposed to the government’s policies or actions.”
In the month of December, Donald Trump told Yellowhammer Radio:
“I go out of my way to use the word ‘Christmas…There’s an assault on anything having to [do] with Christianity. They don’t want to use the word ‘Christmas’ anymore at department stores. There’s always lawsuits and unfortunately a lot of those lawsuits are won by the other side.”
During a speech to the National Guard Association in Baltimore, Maryland, Donald Trump mentioned “ “We will be one people, under one God, saluting one American flag…” which, as reported by the Huffington Post, reflects the same slogan held by the Nazi Party, “Ein Volk, ein Reich, ein Fuhrer!” ― or, “One people, one empire, one leader!” He has since used that same slogan multiple times. That is two slogans taken directly from past groups related to the Nazi Party either directly or as sympathizers.
Perhaps most illustrative of the One God, One Country narrative comes in the form of a speech he held at a rally in Sioux Center, Indiana.
“[Christians] are getting less and less and less powerful in terms of a religions, in terms of a force…If I get elected President, we’ll be saying ‘Merry Christmas’.”
A majority of Trump’s cabinet members, mostly conservatives, are deeply religious. Betsy DeVos, Trump’s pick for Education Secretary, is also deeply religious as illustrated by Mother Jones.
Asked whether Christian schools should continue to rely on philanthropic dollars — rather than pushing for taxpayer money through vouchers — Betsy DeVos replied, “There are not enough philanthropic dollars in America to fund what is currently the need in education…[versus] what is currently being spent every year on education in this country…Our desire is to confront the culture in ways that will continue to advance God’s kingdom.”
Mike Pompeo, Trump’s pick for CIA Director, told a church group in Wichita in 2014 that radical Islamic terrorists, although present in a small group, “…abhor Christians and will continue to press against us until we make sure that we pray and stand and fight and make sure that we know that Jesus Christ is our savior is truly the only solution for our world.”
Mike Pence, Vice-President and second in command, is also deeply religious and intensely pro-life.
“I don’t know how they introduce me. The introduction I prefer is pretty short: I’m a Christian, a Conservative, and a Republican, in that order.”
“IX. Corporate Power is Protected — The industrial and business aristocracy of a fascist nation often are the ones who put the government leaders into power, creating a mutually beneficial business/government relationship and power elite.”
Donald Trump is a member of the business aristocracy. Donald Trump’s cabinet is the richest in Presidential history, $6 billion by Bloomberg’s estimates on the low end and $13 billion by Boston Globes estimates on the high end.
That cabinet includes several CEO’s and Wall Street aficionados, including but not limited to former Exxon Mobil Chief Executive Officer Rex Tillerson, Former Goldman Sachs partner and hedge fund manager Steven Mnuchin, Billionaire investor Wilbur Ross, Fast-food magnate Andrew Puzder, etc.
Bernie Sanders also correctly called out Trump’s ties to the industrial and business aristocracy of our time.
Well, I found it somewhat amusing that Mr. Trump, President Trump, was punching the establishment, but right behind him, John, sitting in the VIP sections were billionaire after billionaire after billionaire, some of the most powerful people in this country , who over the last 10, 20 years have become much, much richer, while the middle class has shrunk.
So, I find it somewhat amusing that you are attacking the establishment when the establishment is sitting right behind you and when billionaires of large corporations are funding many of your inaugural events.
Trump has already signed an executive order which will directly benefit him financially. The Washington Post reports:
President Trump signed executive orders Tuesday to revive the controversial Dakota Access and Keystone XL oil pipelines, another step in his effort to dismantle former president Barack Obama’s environmental legacy.
He also signed an executive order to expedite environmental reviews of other infrastructure projects, lamenting the existing “incredibly cumbersome, long, horrible permitting process.”
Could there be any financial ties with this decision? The Huffington Post writes:
In May 2015, according to campaign disclosure reports, Trump owned between $500,000 and $1 million worth of shares of Energy Transfer Partners, the pipeline’s lead developer, but had less than $50,000 invested when he sold off the remainder of his shares this summer, according to The Washington Post.
As of last May, Trump had at least $100,000 invested in Phillips 66, which owns a quarter of the oil line, according to the AP.
There was mutual support, as Energy Transfer Partners CEO Kelcy Warren had donated $100,000 to a committee supporting Trump’s election.
Remember, small steps lead to bigger steps. In a similar vein, small profits lead to bigger profits.
“X. Disdain for Intellectuals and the Arts — Fascist nations tend to promote and tolerate open hostility to higher education, and academia. It is not uncommon for professors and other academics to be censored or even arrested. Free expression in the arts and letters is openly attacked.”
The Hill, citing unnamed sources, reports Trump is planning to eliminate the National Endowment for the Arts and the National Endowment for the Humanities. As Snopes reminds readers, “The cuts would represent 0.006 percent of 2016’s federal spending.”
As Snopes also points out, “The Hill noted that Trump’s budget cuts closely mirror a document (titled “Blueprint for Balance: A Federal Budget for 2017”) that was produced in February 2016 by the Heritage Foundation, a conservative think tank. That document calls for the elimination of both endowments as well, arguing that they are unnecessary because private donations to the arts and humanities far exceed what is distributed by the endowments:
‘Taxpayers should not be forced to pay for plays, paintings, pageants, and scholarly journals, regardless of the works’ attraction or merit. In the words of Citizens Against Government Waste, “actors, artists, and academics are no more deserving of subsidies than their counterparts in other fields; the federal government should refrain from funding all of them.’”
More importantly, Donald Trump has always had a disdain for intellectual elitism. This is due, in part, to his affection for counterfactual belief. Despite never giving up a chance to call, or consider, himself a smart man, of falsely stating his cabinet has the highest IQ of all time, he has also stated:
“We won the Evangelicals. We won with young. We won with old. We won with highly educated. We won with poorly educated. I love the poorly educated. We’re the smartest people, we’re the most loyal people.”
We, or rather He, is not poorly educated, as is indicated by the video above entitled Understanding Donald Trump. Donald Trump has been very well educated, even by his own admittance. NYMag reports:
But when Trump describes himself, he retreats to the opposite method. Trump is not smart because he is poorly educated; he is smart because he benefited from the most elite education in the world. “I went to the Wharton School of Finance,” he said multiple times in one speech last summer. “I’m, like, a really smart person.” And again this week, he said, “I went to an Ivy League school. Our leaders are stupid people.” Populists like Trump usually take for granted the fact that government officials attended Ivy League schools and use this as evidence of their stupidity. Trump holds up Ivy League education as a credential, leaving open the question of why the many Ivy-educated officials in government are not also smart.
In a strange twist on anti-intellectualism, it also seems Trump believes there is a very close relationship between intellectual success and genetic excellence.
[M]y uncle was a great professor and scientist and engineer, Dr. John Trump at MIT; good genes, very good genes, okay, very smart, the Wharton School of Finance, very good, very smart — you know, if you’re a conservative Republican, if I were a liberal, if, like, okay, if I ran as a liberal Democrat, they would say I’m one of the smartest people anywhere in the world — it’s true! — but when you’re a conservative Republican they try — oh, do they do a number — that’s why I always start off: Went to Wharton, was a good student, went there, went there, did this, built a fortune — you know I have to give my like credentials all the time, because we’re a little disadvantaged.
Good genes, very good genes. The history of Republican anti-elitism, closely tied with Republican voter anti-intellectualism, is deep and complex. For a complete analysis, I recommend the New York Times article How The ‘Stupid Party’ Created Donald Trump by Max Boot. It suffices to say, Donald Trump is not anti-intellectual: the whole of his party, and his party’s voter constituents, is.
It should also go without mentioning that Trump has little, bordering on no, support from the nation’s most talented artists. While he tweeted the following out, after having a difficult time booking talent for his inauguration…
…his inauguration was sparsely attended in terms of both talent and people. Musical talent has already made strides to protest Trump’s election: most notably (at least, to me) bringing the Gorillaz out of a 6 year hiatus.
“XI. Obsession with Crime and Punishment — Under fascist regimes, the police are given almost limitless power to enforce laws. The people are often willing to overlook police abuses and even forego civil liberties in the name of patriotism. There is often a national police force with virtually unlimited power in fascist nations.”
Donald Trump considered himself the “law and order candidate” of the Presidency. There is nary a political speech that doesn’t often incorporate a reference to crime.
Besides having already threatened martial law, expanded military power, advocated stop-and-frisk, and advocated torture, he often conflated Clinton’s policies with weak and ineffective criminal defense. During a speech in Wisconsin, Trump said:
“A vote for her (Clinton) is a vote for another generation of poverty, high crime and lost opportunities,” Trump said. “Crime and violence is an attack on the poor and it will never be accepted in a Trump administration.”
A fuller look at Trump’s stances of crime is available here, although his basic opinion can readily be heard during his Inauguration speech.
“ . . . And the crime and the gangs and the drugs that have stolen too many lives and robbed our country of so much unrealized potential. This American carnage stops right here and stops right now.”
Crime in America remains at a 20-year low. A full rundown of Trump’s stances concerning criminal justice is available here as well.
“XII. Rampant Cronyism and Corruption — Fascist regimes almost always are governed by groups of friends and associates who appoint each other to government positions and use governmental power and authority to protect their friends from accountability. It is not uncommon in fascist regimes for national resources and even treasures to be appropriated or even outright stolen by government leaders.”
As reported by Politico:
More than a third of the almost 200 people who have met with President-elect Donald Trump since his election last month, including those interviewing for administration jobs, gave large amounts of money to support his campaign and other Republicans this election cycle.
Donors also represent 39 percent of the 119 people Trump reportedly considered for high-level government posts, and 38 percent of those he eventually picked, according to the analysis, which counted candidates named by the transition and in news reports.
While campaign donors are often tapped to fill comfy diplomatic posts across the globe, the extent to which donors are stocking Trump’s administration is unparalleled in modern presidential history, due in part to the Supreme Court decisions that loosened restrictions on campaign contributions, according to three longtime campaign experts.
Politico then goes on to name those on the Trump cabinet who donated to him, along with how much they donated.
The biggest donor who has met with Trump since the election is Todd Ricketts, Trump’s pick for deputy secretary of commerce. Ricketts hails from the family that founded TD Ameritrade, owns the Chicago Cubs and is among the Republican Party’s top benefactors. They handed Republicans more than $15.7 million for 2016 and more than $26 million in previous cycles. The family also organized a super PAC called Future45 that became the largest unlimited-money group supporting Trump. Todd Ricketts personally donated $63,835 to Republicans.
Trump’s choice to lead the Department of Education, Betsy DeVos, and her family (heirs to auto parts and multi-level marketing fortunes) spent $10.4 million this cycle, including $445,000 to Trump’s joint fundraising committee (known as Trump Victory) and one of the super PACs supporting him. She and her husband, Dick, have contributed to the campaigns of 17 senators who will vote on whether to confirm her.
Linda McMahon, the wrestling magnate whom Trump named to helm the Small Business Administration, gave $6 million to a pro-Trump super PAC. She and her husband, Vince, are also the largest donors to Trump’s foundation.
Labor Secretary-designee Andy Puzder, CEO of the parent company of the Carl’s Jr. and Hardee’s fast food chains, and his wife gave $160,000 to Trump Victory and more than $600,000 to other Republicans this cycle.
Trump’s pick for treasury secretary, investor Steven Mnuchin, personally chipped in $425,000, but was arguably responsible for almost everything Trump raised as his campaign’s finance chairman.
Beyond the donors joining Trump’s administration, two of his biggest benefactors perhaps wield more influence over the transition than any individual donors in history.
Rebekah Mercer — who with her father, the hedge fund billionaire Robert Mercer, spent more than $22 million backing Republicans this past cycle — is closely aligned with chief strategist Steve Bannon and special counselor Kellyanne Conway, and she has taken a crucial role picking Cabinet nominees. Robert Mercer gave $2 million to a pro-Trump super PAC.
Peter Thiel, the Silicon Valley venture capitalist playing an influential role on Trump’s transition team, spent almost $3.3 million this cycle, including $250,000 to Trump Victory and $1 million to a super PAC.
Trump also met with former AIG CEO Maurice “Hank” Greenberg, who gave Republicans more than $10 million this cycle (including through his company, C.V. Starr & Co.), on Dec. 12 and with Cerberus Capital Management CEO Steve Feinberg, who gave $339,400 to Trump Victory and $1.47 million to a pro-Trump super PAC, on Nov. 16. It wasn’t clear whether they were being considered for administration jobs or why they got to sit down with the president-elect.
Besides the flux of wealth flowing in and out of Trump’s administration, Trump’s recent pardon of Sheriff Joe Arpaio — who “had faced sentencing Oct. 5 for a criminal contempt conviction in connection with his failure to follow a federal court order in a racial profiling case” — speaks most directly to the legal protection of criminal allies under the guide of justice.
“XIII. Fraudulent Elections — Sometimes elections in fascist nations are a complete sham. Other times elections are manipulated by smear campaigns against or even assassination of opposition candidates, use of legislation to control voting numbers or political district boundaries, and manipulation of the media. Fascist nations also typically use their judiciaries to manipulate or control elections.”
There is a large consensus that Donald Trump’s election was illegitimate. The CIA, FBI, and NSA all agreed — as revealed in a declassified briefing titled GRIZZLY STEP — Russia attempted to undermine both faith in America’s democratic process and smear the candidacy of former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.
This comes after Donald Trump openly suggested to Russia that they hack and release Clinton’s private server emails.
“I will tell you this, Russia: If you’re listening, I hope you’re able to find the 30,000 emails that are missing,” Trump said at a news conference then. “I think you will probably be rewarded mightily by our press.”
Despite this, Donald Trump has repeatedly denied claims of Russian involvement. This, like all other pertinent and highly important information, has all but been forgotten. Meanwhile, the FBI is leading an investigation into possible Russian connections associated with Trump’s cabinet.
Underlying investigations are also underway, through both domestic and foreign spy agencies, to find Russian connections between Trump’s election and creator of Wikileaks Julian Assange, Wikileaks being the publication which leaked Clinton’s emails to the public.
Then there is the second, related issue — namely, that both Trump and Julian Assange, the founder of WikiLeaks, which published the Democratic Party emails, have troubling connections to the Russian government. This is true — regardless of whether Russia was behind the election hacking — and it’s important to understand the hard facts behind the Trump and Assange connections with Russia, both in order to separate truth from allegation and to shed another light on why individuals outside the cybersecurity sector find the allegation that Russia was responsible for the hacking so plausible.
Besides this, Trump has had a strange fascination with the election results. He has stated time and time again that, along with the Electoral college votes, Trump also won the popular vote if it hadn’t been for millions of illegal voters.
“The President does believe that, I think he’s stated that before, and stated his concern of voter fraud and people voting illegally during the campaign and continues to maintain that belief based on studies and evidence people have brought to him,” Spicer said.
This theory was first famously purported by a fake news article written by Cameron Harris, recent college graduate. I suggest the audience read The New York Time’s piece From Headline to Photograph, a Fake News Masterpiece to gain more insight into the logic behind fake news.
“I had a theory when I sat down to write it,” recalled Mr. Harris, a 23-year-old former college quarterback and fraternity leader. “Given the severe distrust of the media among Trump supporters, anything that parroted Trump’s talking points people would click. Trump was saying ‘rigged election, rigged election.’ People were predisposed to believe Hillary Clinton could not win except by cheating.”
Sean Spicer attempted to defend Trump’s statement, citing a Pew report.
“I think there have been studies; there was one that came out of Pew in 2008 that showed 14 percent of people who have voted were not citizens,” Spicer said. “There are other studies that were presented to him.”
The author of that very Pew report denied this was the case in a tweet and subsequent interviews.
The Hill reports on this story in full. As has already been mentioned, Trump is now seeking to spend hundreds of thousands in taxpayer dollars to research and analyze voter fraud. Salon reported recently this voter fraud research will conveniently target New York and California, which voted for Hillary Clinton in sweeping numbers. Any evidence found will likely mandate restrictive voter laws for these states, suppressing states adverse to Trump.
“XIV. Labor Power is Suppressed — Because the organizing power of labor is the only real threat to a fascist government, labor unions are either eliminated entirely, or are severely suppressed.”
Before Trump met with labor union leaders recently, he was not a fan. As reported by Politico:
First, Trump blasted an Indiana union boss personally on Twitter, prompting a blistering response from labor leaders. Then he announced his choice for secretary of the Department of Labor is fast-food executive Andrew Puzder, a union critic who’s even floated the idea of automating his restaurants to avoid worker costs. “It’s part of a larger agenda, and you can see it playing out in terms of his picks, which is to destroy the labor movement,” said RoseAnn DeMoro, executive director of National Nurses United. “They want to do away with democracy. That’s the problem. Labor is a check on the balance of power with corporations and they want labor out of the way.”
In the soul searching after the election, labor needed to decide whether to stand with or against him. So far, Trump is making that decision easy. The president-elect seems to be assembling a pro-business Cabinet that could clash with unions at every turn. Puzder would fit right in. He’s the top executive of CKE Restaurants, the parent company for Carl’s Jr., Hardee’s and Green Burrito. While he doesn’t oppose raising the minimum wage, he says it will lead to job losses and more automation. Randi Weingarten, president of the American Federation of Teachers, said Trump’s plan to nominate Puzder “makes a mockery of what the Department of Labor is about.”
“Somebody like Andrew Puzder earns in one day what the workers in his stores earn in a year,” Henry said. “The absolute economic inequality that he represents is the actual thing that we’ve counted on the Labor Department to stand against.”
As gruesome as that sounds, teacher’s unions also face a tough future ahead. As reported by Forbes, Betsy DeVos Is Public Enemy №1 With Teachers’ Unions.
The forces in and around the teachers’ unions of America are engaging in a massive assault against Betsy DeVos, President-elect Donald Trump’s pick for Education Secretary. From her wealthy family to her Christian faith and support of school vouchers, DeVos ticks off the education establishment, which sees her selection as a direct shot at the grand tradition of public schools.
“DeVos’ anti-public education positions and her lack of any experience or qualifications show she would be a disaster for public education,” the horrified NJEA, the New Jersey affiliate of the National Education Association, told its members, providing them with numbers to call (and call again!) for Democratic Senators Cory Booker and Robert Menendez.
“Her efforts have been laser-focused on undermining our public schools and, in doing so, have harmed students,” wrote an equally terrified Steven Cook, president of the Michigan Education Association in an op-ed last month for the Lansing State Journal.
Trump’s assault on union leaders don’t stop with pro-business cabinet picks either, as Politico later describes. The grievances are simply personal at times.
Trump’s war with unions isn’t just reflected in his Cabinet picks. The two factions have battled in recent days over the president-elect’s deal to keep jobs at a Carrier air conditioner manufacturing plant in Indianapolis from moving to Mexico.The saga began when Trump announced last week that 1,100 jobs would remain in Indiana. Chuck Jones, president of United Steelworkers 1999, later realized that only 800 of the jobs slated to move would be preserved. “For whatever reason, lied his a — off,” Jones told the Washington Post.
In response, Trump called out Jones on Twitter and said he “has done a terrible job representing workers” in the local union. “If United Steelworkers 1999 was any good, they would have kept those jobs in Indiana,” Trump tweeted. “Spend more time working-less time talking. Reduce dues.” Union leaders rushed to defend Jones on Thursday. Randi Weingarten called Trump a “big bully” and lauded Jones. “Frankly, Mr. Trump has been buying steel from China,” she said. “Chuck Jones is a hero, he’s not the problem.”
Richard Trumka, president of the AFL-CIO, called Jones a “man of passion, conviction and integrity” in a statement and said “an attack on him is an attack on all working people.” Union supporters brandished an #ImWithChuck hashtag on Twitter, too. Larry Cohen, former president of the Communications Workers of America, said the idea that Trump would attack someone like Jones was “repulsive” and that Jones is “totally dedicated to his members and to his community.” In a broader sense, the early moves by the president-elect suggest he will be hostile toward labor groups, said DeMoro of National Nurses United. “It portends what is to come,” she said.
For a full look into the history of American labor unions and how they may have led to Trump’s election, read Newsweek’s opinion piece titled Trump’s Election May be the Death Blow for Labor Unions.
Think Trump’s meetings with union leaders will quell these longstanding gripes? As Newsweek reveals, probably not.
As those union leaders met on Monday, some who didn’t attend the gathering criticized Trump for implementing a hiring freeze on federal workers. “President Trump’s action will disrupt government programs and services that benefit everyone and actually increase taxpayer costs,” American Federation of Government Employees President J. David Cox told The Washington Post.
Hurd, the Cornell professor, says it makes sense that many if not all of the leaders at Monday’s meeting were from the construction sector. “It shows that he wants to solidify his relationship with the part of the labor movement that he has the best chance of working with,” Hurd says. “He has a long-term relationship with [construction unions] because in certain parts of the country, his hotels and casinos have been built with union labor.” The professor speculates that during the closed-door portion of the meeting, the president and leaders likely discussed pipelines, energy policy and prevailing wage, the federal law that requires workers on construction projects be paid at market raid. The 2016 Republican Party platform proposes to repeal that wage law.
How are unions reacting to a Trump presidency? Newsweek also reports:
The Service Employees International Union (SEIU) — the nation’s second largest — was one of those excluded from Monday’s meeting. But even before that, the union was girding for war. “We are battening down the hatches,” President Mary Kay Henry said in an interview.
XV. Strongly Supported By Hate Groups —Acknowledging a potential shift in ideological power, hate groups will be the first to support the candidate which they feel best matches their ideals.
Donald Trump’s candidacy was supported by the KKK, the Neo-Nazi party, white nationalists, and the alt-right movement. Hate groups also supported his pick for Chief Strategist and Senior Council, Steve Bannon.
At first Donald Trump denied knowing anything about white nationalists, as reported by Vanity Fair.
Earlier this year, Trump was notably slow to distance himself from former Klansman David Duke, who had given him his endorsement. Trump eventually disavowed him, only to feign ignorance of Duke days later. “I don’t know anything about David Duke, O.K.?” the then-presidential hopeful said during an interview with CNN’s Jake Tapper. “I don’t know anything about what you’re even talking about with white supremacy or white supremacists.”
Vanity Fair also reported on the various ties his cabinet members had to hateful ideologies.
Meanwhile, Trump has begun assembling a White House team that has been perceived by many as aligned with, if not sympathetic to, white nationalist goals. Among his first appointments was naming Stephen Bannon, the erstwhile executive editor of the alt-right organ Breitbart News, as his senior strategist. Several days later, he picked Jeff Sessions, an Alabama Senator who was turned down for a federal judgeship in 1986 because of his alleged past racist comments, to serve as attorney general. Other top advisers include Mike Flynn, a notorious Islamophobe, who he named National Security Adviser, and Kris Kobach, an immigration hardliner who has outlined plans to register Muslims, block the immigration of all Syrian refugees, and deport millions of undocumented immigrants.
Trump later states, in an interview with the New York Times:
“I disavow and condemn them,” Trump said at an on-the-record session with New York Times reporters and columnists when asked directly about the meeting. He also said he didn’t believe that he had energized such groups. “It’s not a group I want to energize,” Trump said. “And if they are energized I want to look into it and find out why.”
“If they are energized I want to look into it and find out why”. Wasn’t his first speech announcing his Presidential candidacy enough?
XVI. Overtones Of Nazi Germany — When those who have experienced the worst horrors of horrors speak, all who can should lend an ear and take their words into consideration.
Here are the words of Eva Schloss, Auschwitz survivor and stepsister of Anne Frank.
The theme of this year’s Holocaust Memorial Day is “Don’t stand by”. This is particularly important now with the refugee crisis going on as more people than ever are being bystanders. We haven’t really learnt anything — I’m depressed by the current situation. The experience of the Syrian refugees is similar to what we went through.
Britain is not taking many refugees from Syria and it’s a problem. Now, David Cameron’s government say they might take in 3,000 unaccompanied children who have arrived in Europe. It sounds similar to the Kindertransport [the informal name of a series of refugee efforts which brought thousands of refugee Jewish children to Britain from Nazi Germany between 1938 and 1940]. The Kindertransport was wonderful in one way but on the other hand, most of the children never saw their parents again. It was a terrible thing to separate those parents from their children.
This is not just a European problem, it’s a global problem. If countries as big as the U.S. and Canada would take in more people, then we would get much closer to a solution. If Donald Trump becomes the next president of the U.S. it would be a complete disaster. I think he is acting like another Hitler by inciting racism. During his U.S. presidential campaign he has suggested the “total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States,” as well as pledging to build a wall between the U.S. and Mexico to keep illegal immigrants out.
The situation today is worse than it was under Hitler because at that time all the Allies — the U.S., Russia and Britain — worked together to combat the terrible threat of Nazisim. If we don’t work together, the world will never be able to resolve the threats it faces today. I don’t think getting rid of the Schengen Agreement is the correct response. I remember how upset the world was when the Berlin Wall was erected in 1961 and now everybody is building walls again to keep people out. It’s absurd.
Final Words: What Now?
As it stands, protests litter the streets of every corner of the globe.
As it stands, Donald Trump is fulfilling his campaign promises.
If you bought the argument that Donald Trump is instituting fascist rule over the United States, you should know you’re not alone. If you don’t, you’re not alone either. If you voted for Donald Trump, you’re not alone. If you voted for Hillary Clinton, you’re not alone. If you approve of Donald Trump, you’re not alone. If you disagree with Donald Trump, you’re definitely not alone.
There are a variety of factors I could not cover. Fascism often involves complex domestic activity relating to various ideological opinions regarding capitalism, communism, concentrated, totalitarian power, specific military dynamic, political party dynamic, widespread hatred, minimal dissent, economic disparity, informational deprivation, starvation, geopolitical manipulation, rhetorical excellence, demagogic exhibition, philosophical & ideological conviction, revolution, traditionalism, jingoism, modernism, heroism, materialism, agrarianism, antisemitism, fear, and so on. I wrote this article, in large part, not because I wanted to expose a growing crisis in American government and culture, but because Merriam-Webster’s Twitter account posted November 29th, 2016 the word “Fascism” was the most-researched word of the year.
Whatever your leaning, the only ultimate arbiter of truth is time. As to the question of what now, there is only really one answer: it is paramount that America’s citizenry be an active one. It is paramount that, above all, our politics be sound, true, and free — as sound, true, and free as the American spirit.
In any case, whether Democrat or Republican, heed the ancient words of Aesop.
Also take into consideration the previously unmentioned words of Mayer, author of They Thought They Were Free.
“How is this to be avoided, among ordinary men, even highly educated ordinary men? Frankly, I do not know. I do not see, even now. Many, many times since it all happened I have pondered that pair of great maxims, Principiis obsta and Finem respice — ‘Resist the beginnings’ and ‘Consider the end.’ But one must foresee the end in order to resist, or even see, the beginnings. One must foresee the end clearly and certainly and how is this to be done, by ordinary men or even by extraordinary men? Things might have. And everyone counts on that might.”
Parting Words For Dissenters
I quote both members of Run the Jewels.
“I think a lot about what King said in Letter From Birmingham Jail: ‘I have almost reached the regrettable conclusion that the Negro’s great stumbling block in the stride toward freedom is not the White Citizen’s Council–er or the Ku Klux Klan–ner, but the white moderate.’” (He’s still in touch with Sanders: “We were texting just the other day.”) — Killer Mike
“I wanna give kids who listen to our shit the same shit I got from my rap heroes, which was an attitude, a way to approach life from a badass stance that isn’t about having the same things, or being as in-control, as the people that would subjugate you or that would look down on you.” He frowns. “It’s about having a swagger in the face of fucking doom.” — El-P