Wednesday, February 24, 2016
Donald Trump and the Rise of the Violent Demagogue
Donald Trump has claimed that he could shoot a person in the middle of a crowded street and his supporters would still vote for him.
And despite that statement it seems he's right.
But what also seems obvious is that with every passing day he is becoming even more of a dangerous demagogue.
And what happened when a demonstrator held up an anti-Trump sign at one of his recent rallies couldn't be a clearer warning.
And as this Slate writer points out, there is an undercurrent of brutality bubbling at every Trump rally.
Trump’s entire appeal is built around aggression and, yes, violence. To call for mass deportation, for example, is to entertain and endorse state violence. To back waterboarding and recite violent fantasies of wartime revenge against Muslims is to do the same.
Donald Trump isn’t just running as a man who “makes deals,” he’s running as a nationalist and a bully who will humiliate the nation’s adversaries—actual foes like Iran, as well as alleged ones like China and Mexico—and restore America’s symbolic manhood.
And the question all sane Americans should be asking themselves is where would that bully lead them?
What happens if Trump begins to lose and starts to lash out against opponents? Or if he becomes the nominee and suddenly is met with concerted opposition from the people—Latino immigrants, Muslim Americans, even black Americans—who he has attacked and demogagued? Will the Trump movement restrain itself? Or, following their leader, will those backers respond with their hands in fists?
You know, I was sure that what happened at another rally when the lights suddenly went out, would convince most people that the man is mentally unbalanced.
So I was surprised to see some commenters on my blog defended him for being against such things as the TPP. Even though both Democratic candidates for President are also against that deal.
And the only question for progressives, as Glen Greenwald points out, is which Democratic candidate is best capable of stopping him.
With a consensus now emerging that the real estate mogul is the likely GOP nominee, it would stand to reason that the most important factor for many Democrats in choosing their own nominee is electability: meaning, who has the best chance of defeating the GOP Satan in the general election? In light of that, can Democrats really afford to take such a risky gamble by nominating Hillary Clinton?
For those progressives who defend Trump should be under no illusions.
There is nothing even slightly progressive about Trump.
He is a dangerous demagogue who is leading the U.S. in the direction of fascism.
And for the sake of our neighbours, and our sake, and the sake of the world.
He must be stopped, by whatever democratic means necessary...