Monday, May 23, 2016

Donald Trump and the Fascist Question



Donald Trump may be looking and sounding crazier than ever. Calling for guns to be allowed in classrooms.

While also calling for Hillary Clinton's bodyguards to be disarmed.



But despite his deranged statements, polls suggest his support is surging.




And that he is now matching and even surpassing Clinton's lead. 

The latest NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll shows Clinton’s lead over Trump has dwindled to merely three points — with 46% of voters supporting Clinton, compared to 43% for Trump. Clinton towered Trump by 11 percentage points in the same poll just last month, and held a double digit lead over him since December. Now, her lead is so thin it falls within the poll’s 3.1% margin of error.

Pollsters say the main reason for Trump's surge, is that despite the reservations of some Republican leaders he is gaining the support of independent voters.

Trump’s renewed rush comes largely thanks to independent voters, who have been swayed to the bullying businessman as he marches uncontested to the GOP nomination.

Trump won with independents in both polls — with a staggering 13-point lead with them in the Post/ABC survey.


And some pundits are now wondering whether it's time to ask that old question: is this how fascism comes to America? 



Republican politicians marvel at how he has “tapped into” a hitherto unknown swath of the voting public. But what he has tapped into is what the founders most feared when they established the democratic republic: the popular passions unleashed, the “mobocracy.”

Conservatives have been warning for decades about government suffocating liberty. But here is the other threat to liberty that Alexis de Tocqueville and the ancient philosophers warned about: that the people in a democracy, excited, angry and unconstrained, might run roughshod over even the institutions created to preserve their freedoms.


For if the Republican leadership, that didn't do enough to stop him when he was weak, thinks it can now control him by rallying around his campaign, they may be dangerously deluded.

What these people do not or will not see is that, once in power, Trump will owe them and their party nothing. He will have ridden to power despite the party, catapulted into the White House by a mass following devoted only to him.

Today, less than 5 percent of eligible voters have voted for Trump. But if he wins the election, his legions will likely 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?


For the monster they helped create could end up devouring them, as well as their country.

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.

And of course the question that should haunt the Democratic leadership is whether they have been backing the right candidate.



The polls have one more surprise in store: Democratic second-runner Bernie Sanders continues to stand tall against Trump in a hypothetical matchup.

Sanders — whose path to the Democratic nomination is nearly impossible — would have a 15-point lead over Trump if two went toe-to-toe in the general election, according to the NBC/Journal poll.


In a race filled with animosity, Sanders seems to be only candidate most voters like. In both polls, the Vermont senator is the only remaining candidate whose positive responses from voters outnumber the negative.


You know, if I was an American and I had no choice but to support Hillary in a matchup against Trump, I would. Despite my many reservations about her.

Because for me it would be unthinkable not to vote to stop a fascist.

But if Trump's support keeps growing, and Clinton's support keeps shrinking, if I was a super delegate I'd ask myself some hard questions about where the Democratic establishment might be leading that party and that country.

And in the meantime, I'm still praying for a miracle.

And still have high hopes for Bernie...



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11 comments:

David said...


https://mobile.twitter.com/SpectreReturns/status/733339147939643393/photo/1

http://forward.com/news/breaking-news/341094/trump-supporters-unleash-anti-semitic-tweets-at-ny-times-editor/

http://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2016/06/the-mind-of-donald-trump/480771/

http://www.newyorker.com/news/news-desk/donald-trump-and-the-ku-klux-klan-a-history

http://billmoyers.com/story/donald-trump-and-the-walter-winchell-effect/

http://thefederalist.com/2016/05/18/trump-supporters-arent-stupid-theyre-foolish/

Anonymous said...

Still on about Bernie eh? Ya socialism never works. Hear about Venezuela? The silence is deafening from lefties and progressives.

Simon said...

hi anon...right. Bernie Sanders wants to turn the U.S. into Venezuela. Where did you get that talking point from you dumb teabagger? And how many times have I told your four-legged Cons not to drink from the toilet bowl? Bad boy, bad boy, no treat for you...

jrkrideau said...

Hi Anon,
You've been reading the Toronto Sun too much.

There's a big wide world out there with places like Denmark & Sweden & Norway. Hint: They are in Europe and, come to think of it, have not had the USA trying to overthrow their governments as Venezuela has from the time Hugo Chávez was elected.

jrkrideau said...

Well when you have a long history of the both main US political parties supporting the Kleptocracy (aka the 1%) and looking a bit more isolated from the general population than the aristos of the ancien régime or the Russian aristocracy in 1900 what can one expect? The Republicans are worse but the Democrats are not exactly a progressive socialist party. In many ways, looking at the social conditions in the USA in 2016 is a lot like reading Charles Dickens.

It looks to me like a lot of Trump's appeal, and Sanders, too, for that matter is that neither are real members of the parties they currently are representing. The current Austrian election cliffhanger seems something of the same thing. Apparently the two establishment parties in Austria got turfed as people wanted real change.

Oh course, years of funding and developing the astroturf Tea Party was an amazing display of how the Republicans managed to shoot themselves in the foot. Tell everyone that all politicians are evil and then expect that people will only remember that Democrats are evil is not likely to work.

Then, present the electorate with a set of candidates for the Republican nomination that looked a lot like the patients on the Oak Ridge ward in Penetanguishene and what can one expect?

Let's see, Ben Carson believes that the Egyptian pyramids are grain bins, and, in one televised interview , Mike Huckabee didn't seem to have any problem with slavery. Ted Cruz sounds like an unpleasant version of Steven Harper on steroids. Well, I don't like Jeb Bush's politics but he did seem fairly sane.

Heck, crazy and erratic as Trump is, he may not be a lot worse than most or all of the other candidates all of whom were tainted with a connection to the Republican establishment and their paymasters though I would agree there is a higher potential for fascism with the Donald than with most of the others except perhaps Cruz who looked to have an even more evil potential.

I have to agree with you re Clinton. Give a choice between Trump & Clinton I'd hold my nose and vote to for the war criminal[1] rather than the batshit crazy. It reminds me of that election in the US south where the slogan was “Vote for the Crook”.

1.http://www.cbc.ca/radio/thecurrent/the-current-for-january-18-2016-1.3408273/somalia-2011-famine-was-a-u-s-created-war-crime-says-journalist-alex-perry-1.3408302

Unknown said...

One of your better articles.
Hillary is probably getting the nom for the Dems so it's up to her to "save" America, which is kinda scary.
It's imperative Trump not get anywhere near the presidency, because if he does, even the Senate's powers won't be able to stop him. And if he DOES get in? Civil War will be a real, happening thing. Christians v. Muslims, Pubs v. Dems, etc. etc. People are going to die. My friends, my political opponents.

So yeah, this is the real shit going down, if you'll forgive my crude language. Harper was terrible but this guy? He's REALLY dangerous.

jrkrideau said...

Well when you have a long history of the both main US political parties supporting the Kleptocracy (aka the 1%) and looking a bit more isolated from the general population than the aristos of the ancien régime or the Russian aristocracy in 1900 what can one expect? The Republicans are worse but the Democrats are not exactly a progressive socialist party. In many ways, looking at the social conditions in the USA in 2016 is a lot like reading Charles Dickens.

It looks to me like a lot of Trump's appeal, and Sanders, too, for that matter is that neither are real members of the parties they currently are representing. The current Austrian election cliffhanger seems something of the same thing. Apparently the two establishment parties in Austria got turfed as people wanted real change.

Oh course, years of funding and developing the astroturf Tea Party was an amazing display of how the Republicans managed to shoot themselves in the foot. Tell everyone that all politicians are evil and then expect that people will only remember that Democrats are evil is not likely to work.

Then, present the electorate with a set of candidates for the Republican nomination that looked a lot like the patients on the Oak Ridge ward in Penetanguishene and what can one expect?

Let's see, Ben Carson believes that the Egyptian pyramids are grain bins, and, in one televised interview , Mike Huckabee didn't seem to have any problem with slavery. Ted Cruz sounds like an unpleasant version of Steven Harper on steroids. Well, I don't like Jeb Bush's politics but he did seem fairly sane.

Heck, crazy and erratic as Trump is, he may not be a lot worse than most or all of the other candidates all of whom were tainted with a connection to the Republican establishment and their paymasters though I would agree there is a higher potential for fascism with the Donald than with most of the others except perhaps Cruz who looked to have an even more evil potential.

I have to agree with you re Clinton. Give a choice between Trump & Clinton I'd hold my nose and vote to for the war criminal[1] rather than the batshit crazy. It reminds me of that election in the US south where the slogan was “Vote for the Crook”.

1.http://www.cbc.ca/radio/thecurrent/the-current-for-january-18-2016-1.3408273/somalia-2011-famine-was-a-u-s-created-war-crime-says-journalist-alex-perry-1.3408302

jrkrideau said...

Well yes, Harper as evil as he is was relatively sane. Trump while probably not certifiable is wildly narcissistic to begin with and has an outstanding record of failures along with a few successes.

The other thing is that business people and politicians have totally different skill sets and experiences. A CEO with decent board backing is essentially a dictator. A politician in any kind of democracy is a cat-herder. Even Harper and his despicable cabinet could only go so far before a revolt would happen. Michael Chong (sp?) and Hugh Segal's resignations were red flags here.

Trump is probably accustomed to winning negotiations and much as most politicians would like to win especially in foreign affairs usually it's a compromise. How the Donald would take something like that is worrying.

Simon said...

Hi jrkrideau... what I fear is that the Democrats may have failed to understand the independent's phenomenon, for they are the ones who are fuelling the popularity of both Trump and Sanders. And while Clinton might do well in a traditional election, it's a whole new ball game and she might find herself turning up at a gunfight armed only with a knife. I still think she is going to win, but unless Trump really screws up, I fear it could be scarily close...

Simon said...

hi Pierre...I also find it scary that the fate of America, and the world, rests on the shoulders of Hillary Clinton, for I can't shake the feeling that some scandal could envelop her at any moment. And at a time when Americans are clamouring for real change, real or imagined, she's too tightly linked to the status quo. I don't drink, but I may have to order enough booze to get through the next six months... ;)

GreazedLitenen said...

What's happening in Venezaula is the same ploy the CIA used to over throw the Allende government in Chile. Now, Anon, look that up and tell me how great Pinochet, the American backed right wing dictator did, after they sabotaged the Chilean economy and eliminated the so called 'communist' freely elected government. I believe it was Kissinger who insinuated that the American government needed to step into Chile to save them from their own democratically elected president.