Tuesday, December 8, 2015

As Trump Goes Full Fascist, Thoughtful Testimony from Various Witnesses: "Repudiate Him, or Become His Monster"

Where our world is heading, if we American citizens, who wield enormous global influence and power at a global level, don't soon wake from our slumber: 

"Heil Donald Trump - THE ULTIMATE SAVIOR." 
That's what Andrew Anglin, publisher of the neo-Nazi website Daily Stormer, had to say in response to Republican presidential hopeful Donald Trump's call for a "total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States."  
"Finally: someone speaks sense," Anglin wrote, pasting Trump's new proposal under the headline "Glorious Leader Calls For Complete Ban on All Moslems." 
"Make America White Again!" his post concludes.

As Pam Martens and Russ Martens note, in succumbing to fear and hatred, we're playing right into the hands of the 1%, who want us to be torn apart by social hatred and distracted from the damage they do to us. As the Martens report, the Koch brothers and the Lynde and Harry Bradley Foundation fund hate campaigns against the U.S. Muslim community. The Kochs and others in their elite economic circles want our country and the world so ripped apart by hatred that we'll turn to them as our saviors. 

This is not good news for the future of the planet.

Americans are increasingly terrified, and the tough-guy bravado of Trump is just what the moment rewards. Every new attack boosts Trump's standing in the polls. 
Trump's insane rhetoric -- blaming Muslims in general, wanting to erect walls, invoking Hiroshima as a positive example, seeing terrorists in refugee children, supporting waterboarding-plus -- is just what frightened people want to hear. . . . 
What's less obvious is how the Republicans help ISIS. But consider: The right wing's fervent defense of the right to buy assault weapons makes the U.S. a sitting duck for random mayhem. Yes, terrorists were able sneak weapons into France, where gun laws are much tougher, but that's because the cops were asleep at the switch. Several earlier plots involving those guys had been foiled. They were on the radar screen and should have been intercepted before they struck. 
America, by contrast, is a terrorist's paradise -- not because of civil liberties but because of the ease of purchase of military arms. All of the assault weapons purchased for the San Bernardino attack were bought legally. Terrorists getting more assault weapons, committing more random attacks, generating more fear, producing more support for the insane premise that armed Americans might stop such attacks, equals a virtuous circle for the NRA and the GOP.

Just as fear stifles the thinking of an individual, so a country comes to be self-immolating by burning itself up in hate rather than harnessing the promise of its collective strength. 
That is a perilous path, but it is one that the United States is experiencing with violent and not infrequently lethal outcomes: attacks on providers of medical services to women, racist shootings by police and white civilians, violence against migrants, killings of people because of their gender identities, brutal treatment of protesters and the massive number of deaths caused by US military intervention abroad among other legacies of this nation’s violent, racist and exclusionary history.*

In Josh Marshall's estimation, it's as if the U.S. has embarked on a national version of the Milgram experiment with Mr. Trump: 

Intended or not, we have a grand national version of something very similar. How far will this go? Donald Trump started calling Mexican immigrants rapists and murderers. Then he called for the rushed expulsion of over 10 million residents of the United States. This was followed by proposals to create a national registry or database of American Muslims. Late last month it was the continued invocation of a lurid racist fantasy of thousands of U.S. Muslims cheering the fall of the Twin Towers from across the river in North Jersey on 9/11 — in many countries something that might be charged as racist incitement to violence. And then today, we have the culmination — or perhaps better to say, since this can't possibly be the end of it, the next massive upping of the ante — which became inevitable in the wake of everything that preceded it: Donald Trump, frontrunner for the Republican presidential nomination, says Muslims as a religious class should be banned from entering the United States. 
What's next?

Daniel Denvir's headline sums up the situation with a neat, entirely accurate, historical referent:

Donald Trump is the second coming of George Wallace.

The concluding exhortation of Jedidah Purdy's testimony yesterday is equally pithy and challenging: 

Repudiate him, or become his monster.

*These are side-by-side paragraphs in Karlin's text. I've taken the liberty of placing his second paragraph first, for the sake of clarity.

I find the photo at quite a few blog sites, with no indicator (that I have found) of its original source.

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