Moment of Supreme Danger: Trumpism-Fascism Rears its Head

Photograph Source: Mike Maguire – CC BY 2.0

“What He Wishes He Had: Total Power”

This is a supremely dangerous moment. The White House is occupied by a rogue fascist regime whose malignant leader Donald Trump has recently made it clear yet again that he will not honor the results of an election that does not go his way next November.

It is well understood within his administration that Trump is a wannabe dictator who is only half-joking when he talks about wanting to be “president for life.”

Whence Trump’s special love for despots and dictators of various ideological stripes around the world? “The president,” one top national security aide told the senior Trump administration official Anonymous, “sees in these guys what he wishes he had: total power, no term limits, enforced popularity, and the ability to silence critics for good.”

Of course this regime regularly violates the rule of law and has no respect for constitutional checks and balances. Its demented leader argues that Constitution gives him the power “to do whatever I want.”

Of course the president is absurdly claiming that mail-in ballots are fatally subject to fraud to set up his potential refusal to accept the electoral verdict this fall.

The indecent beast Trump has called for “tough guys” – bikers, cops, soldiers, right-wing extremists – to resist any effort to remove him from office with physical force, even “civil war.”

Virulent Racism

This rogue fascist regime is headed by a virulently racist Confederacy fan who would be happy to oversee the restoration of Black chattel slavery if he could bring that about. America was “great,” Trump thinks, when the ferocious Indian-killing slaver Andrew Jackson terrorized the nation’s Black and Native American subjects.

Trump offered praise and dog-whistle cover to the neo-Nazi white-supremacists who terrorized Charlottesville (chanting “Jews will not replace us, Blood and Soil!”) in the summer of 2017. He did the same for the armed white militia members who occupied state capitals to protest common sense public health measures earlier this year.

Trump’s mass-murderous failure to seriously address the nation’s greatest pandemic in a century has if anything been encouraged by the fact that COVID-19 disproportionately kills Black and brown people.

Herr Donald calls Haiti and African nations “shit-hole countries” and told his onetime personal lawyer Michael Cohen that “Black people are too stupid to vote for me.” He calls Black football players who take a knee to protest racist police brutality “bastards.” He refers to Black Lives Matter as a “symbol of hate.” He calls anti-racist civil and human rights protesters “terrorists.”

Virulent Racist Nativism

The Trump regime has torn children from their mothers’ arms and put them in cages at the southern border. Its demented leader opposes international asylum law and tells Border Patrol to shoot migrants.

In one of his many mass hate rallies, Herr Donald told his frothing Amerikaner base how much he enjoys the image of migrants being chased by German Shepherds. The was an obvious and loud neo-Nazi dog whistle.

Trump portrays Mexicans and Mexican Americans as rapists and murderers. He declares diseased meatpacking plants an “essential industry” to send predominantly Latinix workers back to lethal toil on infected killing floors.

The wannabe president-for-life has ordered numerous military-style Immigrations and Customs Enforcement (ICE) raids to snatch up and deport “illegal” migrant workers, tearing apart families and leaving children without parents. He has deployed ICE paramilitaries to round up illegal and destroy families in American cities.

Herr Donald absurdly claims that he can “end birthright citizenship” (the Fourteenth Amendment’s guarantee of citizenship” to anyone born in the U.S.) with an executive order.

He wants to send hundreds of thousands of young Americans who have grown up in the U.S. to Mexico and Central America because their “illegal” parents brought them to the U.S. as children years ago. Such an action would be profoundly cruel.

The fascist president viciously told four progressive minority Congresswomen to “go back” to the “crime-infested countries” they supposedly “came from.” Three of those Congresswomen were born in the U.S. and the last one of them was of course a fully naturalized U.S. citizen.

And now we have Trump saying that he “wishes” Ghisaine Maxwell “well, frankly.” The recently arrested Maxwell is accused of being Epstein’s madam. By numerous reports, she worked to provide Jeffrey Epstein and his friends (very possibly including Trump) with under-age girls to rape.  Trump’s words “I wish [her or him] well” are code language for “don’t talk about me if you know what’s good for you.”

A Virulent Sexist

The rogue fascist Trump regime demeans women and threatens their right to control their own bodies. But of course – the virulent sexist Donald Trump is a former good friend of the disgraced child rapist Jeffrey Epstein, about whom Trump said this in 2002:

“I’ve known Jeff for fifteen years. Terrific guy. He’s a lot of fun to be with. It is even said that he like beautiful women as much as I do, and many of them are the younger side. No doubt about it – Jeffrey enjoys his social life.”

The chances are good that Trump raped a thirteen-year-old girl at one of Epstein’s parties in 1994.

At one of homeland hate rallies, the president entertained his demented Trumpenvolk by sadistically mocking a woman who reported that Trump’s vicious right-wing Supreme Court appointee Brett Kavanaugh had sexually assaulted her in his youth.

As president, the revolting male chauvinist Trump has repeatedly singled out “nasty” female public figures for special abuse.

Virulently Neo-McCarthyite

Along with being toxically racist, nativist, and sexist, this rogue fascist regime is virulently neo-McCarthyite. It absurdly calls establishment corporate and imperialists Democrats like Joe Biden “radical Leftists.”

Trump ordered his Treasury Secretary to review the tax-exempt status of colleges and universities because, he claims (falsely), American higher education is controlled by “the radical Left.” (I wish that were remotely true!). He says that the nation’s “beautiful” slaveholder monuments are under attack from “Marxists” who “hate our country.”

False conflation of liberal moderates with the actual Left and obsessive anti-radicalism, linked to the notion that the supposedly “great” Nation is threatened by a powerful “radical Left” – these are hallmark narratives in fascist ideology.

The War on Truth

Trump pardons sociopathic neo-Nazis and blood-soaked war criminals. He brazenly assassinates foreign leaders and threatens other nations with nuclear annihilation.

He calls the non-Trump media “the enemy of the people” and tells his Amerikaner backers “don’t believe what you see and hear” beyond what the president and his allies tell them. He brazenly approves the absolutist Saudi Arabian regime’s brutal vivisection and murder of a dissident Washington Post journalist.

The Trump regime encourages violence against its political enemies. Its leader praises a frenzied right-wing politician who body-slammed a reporter for asking the politician to clarify his health care policy agenda.

The Trump “administration” mimics Third Reich imagery in its symbols and public aesthetics. Its leader has only read two books in his life: his own ghost-written Art of the Deal and My New Order, a collection of speeches by Adolph Hitler.

Trump makes on average fifteen false statements a day. That must be a record.

The deceptions are not uncommonly beyond dystopian comedy. Trump had one of his pathetic underlings use a Sharpie pen to distort a weather projection map in accord with his false claim that a hurricane threatened Alabama.

During an interview on Trump Television (FOX/Fatherland News) last Sunday, he asked his Bad Barbie “press secretary” to give him a sheet of paper falsely said to prove his preposterous claim that America has the “best” COVID-19 mortality rate in the world. It has one of the worst.

The demented fascist Trump says that America is leading the world in handling COVID-19 even though the US accounts for a quarter of world coronavirus cases while it home to just a twentieth of the world’s population.

Trump says that 99% of COVID-99 cases are harmless. That is absurdly and sadistically false.

His Bad Barbie absurdly claims that the world is looking to the U.S. as a leader in the fight against the novel coronavirus. The truth is the opposite, as one might expect since the U.S. hosts more than a quarter of the world’s COVID-19 cases but is home to roughly a twentieth of the world’s population.

Trump absurdly claims that Europeans COVID-19 cases are dramatically lower than those of the United States because “they [the Europeans] don’t test.”

The relentless assault on truth is a hallmark characteristic of fascism.

To Kill Off the Poor and Sick

The Trump regime has gone to court to kick tens of millions of poor and working-class Americans off health insurance even as the coronavirus sets new daily U.S. infection records.

The demented fascist Trump wants to reinstate the health insurance mafia’s right to deny coverage to people with pre-existing conditions. The pandemic is creating masses of Americans who will be branded by this costly and lethal insurance sector stigma.

This is evil on steroids. It is hard for people who are sociopaths (roughly 24 of every 25 Americans) to process malevolence on this scale.

Efforts to cull the human herd of its sickest and poorest members is a hallmark Social Darwinian characteristic of fascism.

“Destroying the Prospects for Organized Human Life”

The rogue fascist Trump-Pence regime shreds every environmental regulation and nuclear weapons treaty it can get its hands on. This marks Trump as, in Noam Chomsky’s words, “the most dangerous criminal in human history.” As Chomsky explained last February:

“Hitler had been perhaps the leading candidate for this honor. His goal was to rid the German-run world of Jews, Roma, homosexuals and other ‘deviants,’ along with tens of millions of Slav ‘Untermenschen.’ But Hitler was not dedicated with fervor to destroying the prospects of organized human life on Earth in the not-distant future (along with millions of other species). Trump is.”

Indeed. I’ve been trying to amplify this shocking and accurate comparison for year by pointing out that Trump (along with Jair Bolsonaro and many other high-level eco-monsters) is doing everything he can to turn the entire planet into a giant Greenhouse Gas Chamber.

Trumpstapo Coming to Your Town Soon

I could go on — and on. Keeping track of Trump’s outrages and transgression is a full-time job. Covering this “administration” is like playing a never-ending whack-a-mole. Nail down one atrocity and two more pop up

But now things are running even deadlier than before. With an election nearing and his approval numbers in the tank thanks in large measure to his openly socio-pathological responses to the pandemic and the beautiful George Floyd people’s rebellion, King Covid is a dangerously wounded animal. Doubling down on his hard core “reactionary populist” (fascist) base’s lust for a “strong leader” who will humiliate “liberal” and “radical Left” elites who stand accused of letting supposedly undeserving Black and brown people get ahead of “real” white “Americans,” Trump is going to up the fascist ante.

Trump and his and his sick Trumpified party are going into Orwellian hyper-drive, linking the Democrats to the “radical Left,” “the Chinese Communist Party,” and the virus, supposedly hatched by China in order to undo the Trump regime and put “democratic socialists” like Joe Biden (!) in power. Ugly purges and hard-right October Surprises beckon as the election date draws closer. Expect false flags, acts of desperation, provocations, states of emergency and the specter of cancelled elections.

And now his rogue fascist regime is sending paramilitary storm troopers from Customs and Border Patrol to violently repress social justice and democracy protesters in American cities, including my own hometown of Chicago.

Think Trumpism is just a rural, small-town, ex-urban and suburban phenomenon? Think again. Big city white cops love Trump: he won the heavily white urban precincts where “blue lives” reside.

And just in case the urban police forces can’t sufficiently repress people of color and “radical Left” inclination sufficiently for his taste, Dear Leader Donald has got some Black Shirts of his own to send in to save “our great cities” from “radical Leftists” like Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot (a pro-cop big business mayor who absurdly says that an offensive statute of Christopher Columbus needs to stay up to “educate” Chicagoans about history) and Bill DeBlasio.

So here comes the Trumpstapo. Of course. What took him so long? Portland, where fascist paramilitaries from federal Customs and Border Protection critically wounded a peaceful protestor and have been sweeping up citizens into unmarked cars, was just the beginning – a fascist paramilitary dress rehearsal.

Yes, We Can – Call it Fascism, that is

A Michelle Goldberg New York Times column that I can’t read because of a “liberal” media paywall is titled “Trump’s Occupation of American Cities Has Begun.” A teaser I was briefly able to glimpse before my non-subscriber status kicked in read as follows: “Can we call it fascism yet?”

Many of us on the officially marginalized and actual Left have been correctly calling it fascism from the start.

Yes, Ms. Goldberg, we can certainly call it fascism now. (Sorry I can’t read your “radical Left” paper. I’m a little short on spending money these days).

182 Days?

This is a local and national emergency. The Trump administration is a clear and present danger to everyone and everything we hold dear. In the face of this emergency we must act on a mass and sustained scale, demanding the collapse of the Trump-Pence regime now. We cannot wait, the world cannot wait, 182 more days (I am writing on Tuesday, July 21st) for this indecent beast and his Christian fascist flying monkey of a V.P. to be removed from power (assuming that they’d agree to leave after losing a mere election). Think about how much more damage these fascist freaks can and will do if given 182 more days.

One hundred and eighty-two more days for these monsters to wreak havoc at home and abroad? Seriously?

Thanks for the Poisoned Spinach, Obama

People who tell you “oh, I participate in politics” because they go into a voting booth or a mail in ballot to make a mark next to the name of a lame corporate and imperial Democrat once every 4 years reminds me of somebody who says they’ve got a healthy diet because they eat a single bowl of pesticide-laden spinach once every 1,460 days (365 x 4).

Please. Corporate Democrats like Joe Biden, Hillary Clinton, and Barack Obama put Trump’s ass in power, passing on numerous deadly authoritarian tools to a man Obama knew privately to in October 2016 be a “fascist”(Obama’s own damn word). They word there is “privately.” Obama had quite different things to say about Trump in public the next month. They day after he apocalyptic white nationalist won, Obama told the American people to welcome, because, as Obama said to the American people the day after Trump’s victory:

“Now, everybody is sad when their side loses an election. But the day after, we have to remember that we’re actually all on one team. This is an intramural scrimmage. We’re not Democrats first. We’re not Republicans first. We are Americans first. We’re patriots first. We all want what’s best for this country. That’s what I heard in Mr. Trump’s remarks last night. That’s what I heard when I spoke to him directly. And I was heartened by that. That’s what the country needs—a sense of unity; a sense of inclusion; a respect for our institutions, our way of life, rule of law; and a respect for each other.”

If you think I’m lying, Google it up yourself (search “Obama” and “Rose Garden” and “speech” and “day after Trump was elected”). You can’t make up shit like that.

A bunch of us did not listen to Obomber in Iowa City after the fascist was elected. The day after I walked up to the city’s leading old Obama-Clintonite Democrats at a big community meeting and said “congratulations, you corporate clowns, you just put a fascist in the White House.” A few days later, I joined 150 or so mostly young people in shutting down the Main Street of America, Interstate 80, just north of town.

How many liberals know or admit that Trump’s paramilitaries in Portland acted in accord with the 2011 National Defense Authorization Act, signed by Barack Obama, which legalized the detention of Americans suspected of being terrorists?

Thanks again, Barack.

“The Best Way to Protest”

Establishment elites like the nation’s most popular living Democrat, Obama, have a simple little magical fix for America’s flaws: vote for Democrats. “The best way to protest,” Obama told University of Illinois students in September of 2018, “is to vote. When you vote,” Obama said, “you’ve got the power.”

Really? We get to vote, yes, but mammon still reigns in the United States, where, as the mainstream political scientists Benjamin Page and Martin Gilens note in their important book Democracy in America?, “government policy … reflects the wishes of those with money, not the wishes of the millions of ordinary citizens who turn out every two years to choose among the preapproved, money-vetted candidates for federal office”—candidates like Obama, who blew up the public presidential campaign finance system with record-setting contributions from the likes of Goldman Sachs and Citigroup in 2008.

Here’s a better way to protest than to vote: protest.

This fall, it seems distinctly possible that action in the streets will be required even to secure an election outcome supposedly guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution. Trump has made it clear that he wants to be president for life and that he doesn’t think he can be fairly voted out of office. It may well take mass action and organized pressure — with millions in the streets — to force him out of the White House. Moderate, liberal, and progressive Democrats might as well start coming out now to develop skills they’ll need to secure their own limited electoral objectives after Election Day.

The Real Issue to be Faced

I can’t really blame people for voting for the ridiculous racist clown, corporate tool and warmongering blowhard Joe Biden in one of the few contested states where a presidential election is actually held under the absurd slaveowners’ Electoral College. But the Democrats will not fix this situation for you. They will not de-Trumpify the American racist police state. They will not undo the underlying regime of savage class-race inequality that gave rise to this rogue fascist regime.

A Joe Biden presidency (a distinct possibility) can be expected to follow the usual formula of the “Inauthentic Opposition” (the late Sheldon Wolin’s useful description of the Democratic Party): abject service to the nation’s unelected and interrelated dictatorships of money and empire followed by the electoral reinstatement of an ever more virulently right-wing and eliminationist Republican White House (Tom Cotton 2025?)

We must fight this rogue fascist regime in the streets, the workplaces, the fields, the public assemblies, the local and federal plazas, the parks, the financial districts, in every public and private space that matters. But that must only be our dress rehearsal. We must then graduate to take on the entire, richly bipartisan social order that produced this rogue fascist shit-hole presidency in the first place.

“The real issue to be faced,” wrote Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. in his final essay, is “the radical reconstruction of society itself.” That was a call for popular democratic revolution, our only chance for survival going forward. The alternative, King knew in his time, was a fascist police state. Today, the alternative is even worse, strange as that sounds to say. It is extinction.

Paul Street’s latest book is This Happened Here: Amerikaners, Neoliberals, and the Trumping of America (London: Routledge, 2022).