Donald Trump fully jumped the shark on any sort of legitimate run for the Presidency of the United States with a speech last night on the Orlando mass shooting that confirmed his indifference to the rule of law, the rights of American citizens, and a free press.
Trump is by personality not a Washington, Jefferson, Lincoln, the two Roosevelts, Kennedy, or Ronald Reagan. He fits like a glove with the fascist leader Benito Mussolini. This is not hyperbole, just a fact that any sentient citizen of our nation should be able to see clearly.
Like all authoritarian fascists he is extremely narcissistic, seeing himself as the great leader, prescient, strong, the embodiment of the only man who can save his nation from ruin. His constant references to himself as being superior to all others, never making a mistake, never apologizing, never backing down makes world leaders overseas wonder if North Korea’s totalitarian dictator might fit also.
The New York real estate mogul is astonishingly thin skinned, going berserk at news outlets, or anyone who dares to accurately take the measure of him. His lust for power, and for the United States to vastly increase its lead as the greatest military power on our planet attached to his unstable personality, which psychologists and psychiatrists have openly warned the nation is a classifiable mental disorder, ought to frighten any American without regard to party or demographic.
He wants us to be so strong militarily we can strike at will against any enemy and he has several. Trump is deeply agitated by China, Russia, North Korea, Iran, Iraq’s ISIS terrorist organization, and now Muslims in general. Providing him with control over the U.S. military, our national security state already out of control in spying on Americans and limiting civil liberties, and the use of our nuclear arsenal, when, where, and how he wishes to use it offers prospects that even as bizarre as it feels coming from a U.S. major party presidential candidate, threatens the future of humankind.
In the speech last night, he continued a line of hostile attacks on our free press, whatever its limitations often are. The Washington Post, like the New York Times and Wall Street Journal, a paper of record for the nation, had their press credentials revoked. He’s made clear that changes to libel law to permit easy and destructive lawsuits at any press outlet that dares to do its job stills the necessary conversation about his fitness or lack thereof. It also makes our press reluctant to even educate us on the issues of the day that are certain to be at the core of any Trump presidency.
The First Amendment to the United States Constitution prohibits Congress from making any law or the President from taking actions that threaten free expression, speech, assembly, and the ability we all value to not have a state imposed church or atheistic dictatorship. It is the heart- beat of our democracy, equal to if not superior to our rights to have as many guns of great power as we wish and to slaughter each other freely.
Americans themselves seem paralyzed to think clearly, to act, and to turn away from him as we do from evil so vile and so openly on display.
The key to this is Trump’s ability to channel the fears, hatreds, and prejudices of roughly forty percent of the population who need a constant barrage of hate directed at groups perceived to be responsible for the nation’s troubles. They are already afraid; very afraid, and Trump speaks right into the heart of their fears, angst, and desire to strike back at an America that no longer looks like the nation of their childhoods forty and fifty years past.
In Nazi Germany it was the Jews who were charged with cheating honest Germans financially, and having all the money and education. Here we can find the resentment of our idiocracy at education, science, culture, and a fact oriented liberal left that is much hated in this country. And yes, large portions of the reasonable, intellectual right are hated too much as well.
The rest parallels the stirring up of fear, hatred, and disgust at Jews who Hitler and his whole crew constantly told the German people had betrayed them at Versailles and who were not true Germans known as Aryans. Hitler mocked and ridiculed the last President of the old Weimar Republic Carl von Hindenburg, and the government he charged was filled with enemies of the Reich. It’s not hard to see the connections to our present situation where government and community are under assault every day.
Now, the Jews are Mexicans, Latinos, blacks who dare ask for justice, Muslim American citizens from parts of the world where that billions strong religious faith predominates. Trump laid down his primary issue for his whole campaign on the very day he descended the elevator above his lovely wife dressed in designer clothing to tell the nation that we have been invaded by rapists, drug dealers, and criminals generally; that these people must be deported by the millions. He enlarged upon this after the San Bernardino terrorist attack. Then it was a Muslim ban.
As Trump wooed business interests and establishment Republicans he backed off a little. Now that he has the nomination locked up he’s gone back to it and furthered it by telling Americans who are Muslims by faith that unless they turn in and inform upon their friends and relatives “forthwith” (not even until he’s President) that there will be “consequences” and that they will also “be brought to justice.” Their citizenship rights matter little whether born overseas or here.
Demographically outlining the good Americans and the bad Americans is no different from Hitler’s and the National Socialists in Germany dividing Jews from Aryans. Now it is people of color from those of white Anglo-Saxon bloodlines that include the Aryans spoken of by Hitler. In Italy with Mussolini, it was the failure to give everything for the state rather than the state or government serving the citizen populace. Mussolini also took a swipe at liberals and socialists and monarchists.
Trump’s campaign is both exceedingly racist in character, as well as divisive in a nation already far too divided and needing leadership that speaks to the great democrats (small d) of our nation’s glorious past rather than to a new constituency that has historical amnesia and that feeds off Trumps belligerent manner and steady diet of fear and hatred.
What will you do? Every American has to answer this question. In Germany and Italy it was far too often nothing and we know what came next. Will you oppose this authoritarian bigoted narcissist, or will you feed his continued mania to be our absolute leader?
Notably, a key distinction here is we are not talking about policy differences between Republicans and Democrats. We are not seeking to further divide America by suggesting you are automatically racist or a supporter of tyranny.
Nevertheless, so many of Trump’s core supporters are worshipful white supremacists who have been waiting and dreaming for such a leader. They already see Trump an analogous to Hitler or Mussolini. And frighteningly they love it and worship him. Fascism depends on the cult of personality in a strong aggressive and often violent leader. It depends on a hyper nationalism and xenophobic nativism that is so present now in the United States.
The Republican Party, the party of Lincoln, who would not be caught dead talking and acting and thinking like Trump still has a chance to denounce Trump and remove him from his candidacy in the party. This will take enormous courage and integrity; two things totally lacking thus far. Trump is a creation of the Fox News fear mongering over race, gender, social class, and the like. He is a creature of that political party.
No, you Republicans can’t have the White House in 2016. Yet, you still can win plenty of down ballot races this fall. Think of the great dividends if you stand up to Donald Trump and whip his ass at the convention, and turn away white supremacists who have no business being in the party of Lincoln. There are just as many Republicans who are reluctant to support Trump as who worship the man. Millions of good Republicans who would cheer at Trump’s ouster, and all Americans would be in your debt should the party reverse course and simply have people vote for say Ron Johnson or perhaps in some cases even Hillary or the Green Party.
Donald Trump should and must never be anywhere near the central power of the United States government: NEVER. Otherwise the nation we have known for its generosity, kindness, unity, and support for democracy and the Bill of Rights will fade into the past.
Beware. You have been warned.