Thursday, May 19, 2016

It Begins...

The more I see of Donald Trump and his followers, and of the rationalizations otherwise (probably) intelligent people provide for voting for him, the more I find this opinion piece to be true. I've said as much myself, if less persuasively.

... Today, less than 5 percent of eligible voters have voted for Trump. But if he wins the election, his legions will comprise a majority of the nation. Imagine the power he would wield then. In addition to all that comes from being the leader of a mass following, he would also have the immense powers of the American presidency at his command: the Justice Department, the FBI, the intelligence services, the military. Who would dare to oppose him then? Certainly not a Republican Party that laid down before him even when he was comparatively weak. And is a man like Trump, with infinitely greater power in his hands, likely to become more humble, more judicious, more generous, less vengeful than he is today, than he has been his whole life? Does vast power un-corrupt?  
This is how fascism comes to America, not with jackboots and salutes (although there have been salutes, and a whiff of violence) but with a television huckster, a phony billionaire, a textbook egomaniac “tapping into” popular resentments and insecurities, and with an entire national political party — out of ambition or blind party loyalty, or simply out of fear — falling into line behind him.
It's not merely speculative. Trump has already threatened to use the IRS against Jeff Bezos and Amazon, because Bezos' WaPo has criticized him. I'd hope the irony isn't lost on his followers, all of whom, I assume, believe (falsely) that President Obama used the IRS for political purposes and called him a dictator because of it. He's promised uses of our military so reckless that generals have suggested they'd have to ignore his orders.

Trump's supporters, clearly, don't care. Quite the contrary. For them, as I wrote, it's about getting even. At everyone who's, in their minds, taken "their" country away. Blacks, immigrants, legal and otherwise, non-Christians, LGBT citizens. That resentment and the flogging of it is the history of the rise of tyrants throughout the world. It's an illusion to think it can't happen here. Trump, deliberately or not, is following the blueprint line by line, while once-credible conservatives look the other way, selfishly, and as the RWS™ across all their media whip up the frenzy.

Trumpists love it. They aren't frightened by the implications of a leader who'd trample on the press and single out various minorities for punishment. Unless they figure on being part of the Stormtroopers, they should be.

[Image source]


Dr Strangelove said...

Damn the Republican leaders who are falling in line behind Trump! Evidently their love for country, Constitution and citizenry pales in comparison to their addiction to power and money. They must think that they'll be able to control Trump because he'll need them to negotiate an environment and responsibilities of which he is completely ignorant. Or, at at the very least, that they will individually survive even if their party does not. What price are they willing to pay? Whatever it costs us.

dan said...

Gotta love irony. For a group of people who believe everything is about Nazis, meanwhile back at the Trump plaza.....
For the screamers nothing can be subtle. They simply grab one of the worst periods of history and cut and paste.
Nothing EXACTLY like Nazis, Stalin, Pol Pot, et al will occur. The recipe however is familiar. A charismatic leader who changes his mind, forgetting and remembering at his whim which rather than concerning followers actually ENERGIZES them.
Perhaps The Donald can moderate himself but when his followers demand action, maybe Muslims should be in a place where they can be watched . Maybe we should pull out of Japan and let them build their own nuclear arsenal.
I need to renew my passport.

Sidney Schwab said...

I think what frightens me most is his thin-skinned vengefulness, his threats (and suits) against anyone who criticizes (or satirizes) him. His threats against the press. Given their already-high levels of cravenness, it'd be chilling, and the first step toward autocracy. Yeah, those same people that have called Obama a dictator, which he isn't, are rising up in joy to support Trump, who'd love to be. Dictators and suppression are fine, as long as the suppression is against those you hate. It's worked before, over and over again.

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