Fascism in America and the Rise of the Great Dictator

I’m a 64 year old man now but the words of my mother still ring in my mind. My Mother, who lived through the time and horrors of the second world war, told me when I was very young that if I ever was to see something like Hitler and the Nazi movement growing in our society that I had to do something. My mother was a serious woman and she meant what she said. If you see it you must do something.

My Father, who fought in both the Second World War and The Korean War, taught me through his influence to find peaceful paths towards the world’s problems and showed me the art of studying history and the philosophers.

He encouraged me to write and would have acknowledged the power of the pen but also the reality of great armies, authoritarian police states and nuclear weapons.

Having neither army, police or weapons I take up the pen or more precisely, I go to my keyboard to at least shout out loud and clear to the present danger that so many feel but somehow we refuse to fully acknowledge or accept. As in any crises, acceptance of the situation is the first step to any defense, rescue or recovery.

That there is a power that is “something like” Hitler and the Nazi movement not only rising in this country but very much in place in this country there is no doubt, we see the news of it every day. Here we could show pages and pages of documented evidence in the form of videos, transcripts, news articles etc. showing both the words and actions of a fascist dictator and all that he has gotten away with and achieved. This fascist coup is achieved with the help of a fascist leaning right wing party, a corrupted left wing party and a corrupted segment of the Christian church bent on dominating the world while advancing what looks like the agenda of the four horsemen of the apocalypse and the destruction of earth by fire.

Although Trump is certainly the “The Great Leader” figurehead of this movement and the one who will wear the mantle of dictator I prefer not to focus too heavily on him alone as by doing so we underestimate the real threat of this movement knowing that even if Trump were removed Mike Pence or someone else like him could easily carry this coup forward. In seeing this we know that the fascist coup taking place is not solely in the hands of Donald Trump. We must remember too that there are, many, many people involved in the support of this movement from the Republicans who full-on embrace the coup to the Democratic party that has at times refused to put-up real resistance, to Supreme Court justices who give the legal blessing to the corruption with their votes up-holding laws that promote fascism such as the laws giving super PACs financial power over public elections while allowing the stripping away of basic constitutional rights.

Then there’s Attorney General William Barr corrupted years ago with neo-con lawlessness under George H.W. Bush. There are also those shady characters that helped Trump in his run for president like Bannon and Miller and Stone, folks who mostly work in the dark behind closed doors. There are as well those Americans who have either blindly or with eyes wide open supported the Trump presidency with votes and donations and rhetoric that promotes and supports him.

It is important that we remember that this march towards fascism did not begin with and may not end with Trump. The country has been moving toward fascism for many years. The US has been corrupted by capitalism which sets the stage for fascism going back at least to the time of the robber barons and the industrial revolution but took a sharper turn towards full on fascism under Bush II and the Obama administrations which both further entitled the wealthy ruling class, created stronger bands between business interests, corporations and Wall Street while simultaneously stripping citizens of basic rights guaranteed under the constitution.

Working hand in hand and adding to and enabling the government and business take-over we must of course consider the main stream media. With the propaganda machine we call the daily news fully in place the public has been thoroughly manipulated into accepting the atrocious actions of our government and corporations. The media is complicit as it altogether ignores many important stories or falsely reports on important events such as the killing of young Black people in the streets by police to the tearing away of babies from their mothers on the border by our Border Patrol to the total destruction of non-threatening counties by our military.  American citizens while believing they are well-informed and engaged have become misinformed, numb, uninterested and apathetic towards these government actions which now seem quite ordinary but would have been seen as somewhat monstrous 30, 40, 50 years ago by most of the American people.

We’ve watched as the use of mass surveillance has become ubiquitous, as freedoms have been stripped away, as the military funding and build-up has increased along with the odious militarization of domestic law enforcement. Laws are passed that move the money and economic power always up into the hands of the already mega-wealthy while putting the middle-class on alert and the poor on the streets. We’ve also had the Patriot Act, the NDAA, Nafta1&2, whistle-blowers tracked down and imprisoned, laws passed state to state criminalizing protest, laws chipping away at women’s right to choice and discriminatory and racist immigration bans.  The fascist coup has been playing-out over the years just like in the story of the frog caught in a pan of slowly heating water.
Here are some well publicized indicators of a Fascist up-rising:

An emphasis on nationalism
Diminishing of human rights
Unifying around the hatred of opponents and perceived enemies
Sexism and oppression of alternative gender and lifestyle groups
Ownership of media
An inordinate emphasis on security
State sponsored and supported religion
Unlimited corporate power
Suppression of unions and workers’ rights
Contempt towards intellectuals and artists
Extreme emphasis on crime and punishment
Cronyism and corruption in government
Unsecured and/or fraudulent elections

Under the Trump presidency the slow moving fascist coup has gone into over-drive. Though I don’t assign total blame to Trump I will say that he has certainly been the perfect actor to pull-off the role of Great Dictator.

There is nothing real about Donald Trump; he is as phony as they come because unlike a real human being everything he does, everything he says and does now is in service to his image and role as the Dictator.

Yet we must acknowledge and stand in awe at his ability to reach out to those who were feeling confused, dis-oriented and disposed, his ability to reach out and pander to many who are with the military or law enforcement, his ability to speak the language of those leaning towards violence, the armed alt-right and white supremacists. Trumps elevation to near god-like status by far-right evangelical Christians has also been remarkable, it happened very fast, has taken on cult-like fanaticism and has had a steady and apparently unmovable base of generally uninformed, misinformed or complicit followers.

10 stages of impending genocide:

Classification: of people into categories of “Us” and “Them”

Symbolization” of people through the use of symbols and names (liberals, immigrants)

Discrimination: against minorities or other groups who are politically powerless (the poor, people with alternative lifestyles/genders/religious views/ philosophies)

Dehumanization: of people through language (referring to certain people as animals) or abusive

Organization; Both formal and informal. Using militias and special security forces (private contractors, ICE, Homeland Security) in the service of the state

Polarization: Defining groups by their differences and driving them apart

Preparation: Building security forces, concentration camps, prisons

Persecution: Separating people off from mainstream society according to ethnic, religious, social, personal identities

Extermination: Allowing the killing of certain groups by state run agencies and security forces (on the streets, on the border)

Denial: Denial of deaths of crimes, cover-ups, intimidation of witnesses, pardoning war criminals and  other law-breakers  (As outlined by Gregory H. Stanton and Genocide Watch)

Under Trump we have seen the final stages of the much needed social and political engineering that converts a population of people from somewhat ordinary citizens into brain-washed and conforming accomplishes to the fascist coup and crimes against humanity. The Trump administration has used the proven techniques of dictators in a masterful way. The lying, a most necessary ingredient, was employed from the beginning of Trumps foray into politics. After the election we were swamped with even more and ever more ridiculous lies right up until today. The lies serve the dictators purpose which is to throw the whole idea of truth into question.

Another tool of oppressors, the use of the stochastic language that promotes violence against Trumps critics and opponents is quite intentional, deliberate and earnestly made. When Trump suggests that his people “rough up” his opponents he means it quite literally and he has never once retracted any of those kinds of statements. His threats of violence have been made against many, from certain political rivals to the entire Democratic Party and against whole nations. The language he uses is intentionally dehumanizing and most often directed towards either his opponents or those minorities who are both misunderstood and in positions of already constant intimidation and powerlessness. Dehumanizing minorities and rivals is a central tool for tyrants and dictators who wish to turn the general public into heartless monsters so that the imprisonment and killing of those others, those opponents becomes an acceptable act, terrorism becomes a patriotic act and a service to the dictator.

The hallmark of Trump’s presidency, the final nail in this nation’s democratic experiment, is Trump’s lawlessness. As the point of his policies is his cruelty the lawlessness he displays is the point of his presidency. And what is the point of the lawlessness, the absolute destruction of what little bit of representative democracy that remains in this country. Constant and consistent lawlessness is a most important factor because every point of our government is held up by a point of law. Undermining truth, promoting violence and breaking away from established law have all been constant elements of Trumps agenda which leads us to the very real danger of the Trump presidency, that it could be the end of democracy and representational government as we know it.

The impeachment and failed conviction serves no one better than Trump. A failed impeachment, the failure to convict and remove that is, emboldens Trump and gives Trump and the nation the very distinct impression that he truly is above the law as his attorneys and his Republican supporters continue to insist he is.  A person who is above the law is above everything. A ruler who has taken on the claim of authority of supreme jurisdiction of a government is a dictator. From the very beginning of Trump’s reign until today Trump has been dismantling both common expectations, domestic and international law and most importantly for the aspiring dictator, the laws that limit his personal or his administrations power. While Trump’s opponents laugh at him and mock him for his stupidity Trump is managing the fascist coup that most all Americans would claim as their greatest fear for the country that the country might fall into the hands of a dictator.

Having won an impossible election, having survived three years of both earnest and feigned opposition from some media and some truly concerned citizens, having survived the downfall of many of his accomplices, having survived the Mueller investigation, having survived the blowback from the Khashoggi killing, the travel bans, the migrant camps, atrocities along the border, the Epstein cover-up and on and on Trump must be feeling the power and, now with the impeachment ending without a conviction, Trump must be feeling most invincible.

The dictator does not begin his terrifying reign by moving to the terrorism and absolute power immediately upon coming into office, though Trump has indicated his love of dictators and dictatorships and the direction that his administration will move from the beginning of his term. The tyrant must build on his power, creating strong alliances with co-conspirators and certain elements of the society. That they do not move immediately into terrorism is in part how they achieve those ends later in their reign. How many slaughters, holocausts, genocides and purges might have been diverted if the public had been willing to act against such forces when they first appeared rather than waiting until the power is absolute and thousands or millions of lives are taken under the terror of the dictator?

There is no doubt given the well documented examples of Trumps intentions coming from his own mouth, his love of power and his lawlessness together, that Trump and his administration will follow through with whatever they must do to take and hold power. When Donald Trump says he’s done more than any other president, as he said just the other day, he isn’t kidding, not if by doing more you mean using the presidency as your stepping stone towards dictatorship which from all appearances is the sole purpose of Trumps presidency, consolidating and retaining power.

Now with the impeachment trial wrapped-up, with Republicans capitulating to the power, with democrats at the end of their rope, with the justice department fully in his court, with elections rigged to the Republicans’ advantage, Trump really has become the Great Dictator.