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Trump’s Fascism Comes Clearer

In this weekend’s signs of creeping fascism in America, Republican Presidential candidate Donald Trump says that a “Black Lives Matter” protestor who interrupted his speech yesterday in Birmingham, Alabama, was “so obnoxious and so loud” that “maybe he should have been roughed up.” Trump’s supporters certainly thought so:

At one point, Southall fell to the ground and was surrounded by several white men who appeared to be kicking and punching him, according to video captured by CNN. A Washington Post reporter in the crowd watched as one of the men put his hands on Southall’s neck and heard a female onlooker repeatedly shout: “Don’t choke him!”

As security officers got Southall on his feet and led him out of the building, he was repeatedly pushed and shoved by people in the crowd. The crowd alternated between booing and cheering. There were chants of “All lives matter!” [Jenna Johnson and Mary Jordan, “Trump on Rally Protester: ‘Maybe He Should Have Been Roughed Up’,” Washington Post, 2015.11.22].

Donald Trump is loud and obnoxious, but you will never hear me advocate that he be physically assaulted. Such a suggestion should never come out of the mouth of a candidate for an office that requires taking an oath to defend the Constitution of the United States.

When they weren’t kicking and punching a black man in Birmingham, Trump’s supporters were chanting, “Build a wall!” and applauding Trump’s well-refuted lie that he saw thousands of New Jerseyans (translated today by Trump as “large Arab populations“) cheering the collapse of the Twin Towers on September 11, 2001.

Meanwhile in New Hampshire, more Presidential candidates are stoking fears that could lead to discrimination against a whole class of brown people:

But the fear spread far beyond the places that terrorists had actually targeted. In his first TV ad, which debuted Sunday, Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) said bluntly that “what happened in Paris could happen here.” At a Saturday rally for Donald Trump, in Alabama, voter after voter described some hard new thinking about safety in the wake of Paris.

“I have never been fearful of anything in my life because I put my faith in God,” said Kathleen Jones, 58, a vice president at a medical equipment company. “But I went out this week and bought a pistol.”

…“How are we to determine if they are a good Muslim or ISIS? Unfortunately we have to be cautious of all Muslims,” she said, agreeing with Trump’s call again Saturday for the country to reject Syrian refugees [David Weigel, “In Paris’s Wake, a Changed Presidential Contest—and Electorate,” Washington Post, 2015.11.22].

Hitler and the Nazis were able to take over Germany because they could work voters into a fear of Communism and Jews that was greater than fears of what Nazism really meant. Donald Trump has said scary things throughout his campaign; as long as he can divert our attention by preying on our fears of terrorism, the more he can get away with saying even scarier things… and the more chance there is that the politics of fear and hate will put a fascist in the White House who will do more damage to this country than any Syrian refugee.


  1. larry kurtz 2015-11-22

    $20 says Denny Sanford has Trump’s cell phone number: birds of a feather and all that, init?

  2. grudznick 2015-11-22

    Lar’s right. Right as a libertarian can be.

  3. 96Tears 2015-11-22

    It’s usually a laughingstock when political observers point at their opponents as Hitler and Nazis. But it appears that is exactly where Trump and the louder base of the Republican Party are goose stepping in the last week. They are the classic definition of facists and their tactic is bullying their way into power. The process of grabbing the GOP nomination for President more resembles the Beer Hall Putsch than an American experience. The telling symptom is that when Trump pipes down on the hate rhetoric and attempts at appearing friendly, his numbers drop. When Carson makes bizarre statements which bend the physical laws of reality, his number bob up. The other candidates have given up on logic and reason. Instead, they’ve joined the race to the bottom of the political septic tank to snag a headline, desperately trying to pull above 5 percent.

    The most serious concern is what is this nightmarish experience in the GOP doing to political attitudes about our nation, foreign relations and our relationship with our fellow Americans. I’d love to see the GOP implode with its hate and fear mongering, but there usually is a price to be paid to society.

    The two-party system might be the casualty, and that might not be bad. In recent decades, it has served only to give us the realistic choice between Brand X and Brand Y. Barack Obama was a clear best choice in 2008 and 2012, but the GOP managed to creep up and grab the grassroots politics of America. The Tea Party served as the coup de grâce to anything useful coming from the GOP for generations on a national level. There is a whisper of a hope the GOP could develop credible policy and credible leaders in state and local jurisdictions, but I doubt it. Its function now appears to be what Terry Dolan said back in the early ’80s as a stalled out tank, setting on the Ludendorff Bridge at Remagen. All it needs, Terry said, is to install another crew of fresh, über conservatives to turn the tide of the battle.

    This appears to be what the Republican National Committee has allowed itself to become. If you like what’s being done to popularly vilify babies, children, women, men and elderly running as fast as they can to escape the holocaust of Syria and ISIS, then you’re really going to like the shape of public and foreign policy of a Presidency shaped by the violent, bully base of the Republican Party.

    If that’s not your vision for America’s future and your future, you had better fight like hell. This election is going to be one hell of a fight.

  4. jerry 2015-11-22

    God would not protect the dummy, so she went out an bought a pistol. To funny for words. The video of the black man getting ganged, showed a chunk of a woman holding a big ole wine glass shooting off her pie hole. So these people are not only fascists?, they are drunk ones as well. A real fascist wraps themselves around the flag while holding a bible. These guys gave up on religion so they are just anarchists that are full of treason.

  5. Roger Cornelius 2015-11-22

    Trump is a disturbing character and a scary candidate. Not once during all his tirades does he ever mention working with congress and the senate on his ill conceived ideas.
    What will Trump’s reaction be when a senator or representative questions him loudly? Throw them out of the room? Have his goon squad beat them up?
    Trump has yet to come up with anything positive about America, he wallows in the muddy waters taking Americans down with him.
    It is even worse that not one of the other presidential candidates have stood up to Trump and called him out, instead they follow him into the fear trap.
    Trump is angling for a war, a war with anyone and any place, he doesn’t care, it won’t be his children fighting it.
    But the war I think Trump really wants is a Civil War, he may not be saying that directly, but his words are suggesting just that.
    The good news is that Trump’s numbers seem to have stagnated at around 28% of republican voters, that is far from being electable.

  6. Les 2015-11-22

    Somebody here, I think Larry, had me convinced Trump was bought and paid for by Hilary. He has certainly scattered the GOP to the winds. That he is given attention by Cory is surprising.

    My new favorite saying, “I will not give you the honor of hating you.”

    Trump deserves no more or no less.

  7. larry kurtz 2015-11-22

    Les: all the best to you and yours. Save me a few of those hors d’oeuvres.

  8. Donald Pay 2015-11-22

    The saving grace in all this is that, as Roger points out, Trump isn’t going much higher. If, however, things get really terrible after, for instance, a terrorist attack in the USA, Trump will creep higher, and he could take enough delegates to win the nomination. Fascism will then be on the ballot, and I’m not so sure America, like Germany did, won’t vote fascism in.

    The few remaining rational Republicans and we Democrats had better think about what sort of united front can be negotiated to prevent the fascists from gaining power. Trump supporters, as we’ve seen, are gutless bully boys, but give them some power and they will lead a lot of folks to the concentration camps.

    I’m not confident that there will be very many Republicans who won’t follow Trump into fascism. It has become a party of the gutless. A steady march toward fascism has been the trend in the party over the last seven years, as they have used a lot of the tactics that brought Hitler to power.

    Only a few leaders, like Kasich, have shown the courage to take on the brownshirts, and that has been very late. Kasich appears ready to fold his campaign. The other candidates are sissies, aping Trump but trying to seem as if they would usher in a more compassionate fascism. Yeah, the time for gutlessness has passed. Time to get some balls, Republicans, because you are probably now faced with a decision whether they will support a gentler form of fascism, or if you want the real evil.

  9. Roger Cornelius 2015-11-22

    “Polarizing people is a good way to win an election,
    and also a good way to wreck a country.

    Many a time freedom has been rolled back –
    and always for the same sorry reason: FEAR”.

    Love and miss Molly Ivins.

  10. Porter Lansing 2015-11-22

    Electability matters. It just doesn’t matter, yet.
    None of the Republican candidates can beat Bill Clinton. And he’s our candidate, really.

  11. Thomas 2015-11-23

    I fail to see any real difference between Trump’s comments and the comments from University of Missouri Professor Melissa Click, when she was asking for “muscle” to intimidate a journalist attempting to report the news.

  12. Nick Nemec 2015-11-23

    Trump is running for president, Click isn’t.

  13. caheidelberger Post author | 2015-11-23

    Les, you challenge me to a silence of which I am not capable.

    Thomas, I actually haven’t followed Professor Click’s comments and other anti-First Amendment activity at Mizzou. But on brief review, I’ll restate the principle I lay out above: responding to First Amendment activities with force is wrong. I’ll draw your analogy further: Trump also tries to control the press, now penning them up at his events. Of course, Hillary Clinton has done the same thing….

  14. caheidelberger Post author | 2015-11-23

    Roger’s observation about Trump’s autocratic rhetoric is important: he doesn’t talk about cooperation at any level, domestic or foreign. He thinks he can run this country like a business… and business runs like fascism, with no democratic rights for workers. Hmmm… and isn’t complicity with corporate interests a key part of fascism?

  15. mike from iowa 2015-11-23

    mike from iowa 2015-11-22 at 14:01
    But fear is what you get from wingnuts,even when they outright lie and distort everything to cause fear. Their voters tend to fall for the propaganda. Simply amazing how shallow voters can be.

    Rinse and repeat.

  16. mike from iowa 2015-11-23

    Trump also claims he saw thousands of Muslims cheering when the WTC buildings fell. There are no news reports of such and the police and Mayor of Paterson,New Jersey say the cheering did not occur. The Outlaw Jersey Whales(aka C. Christie) says he can’t recall any such cheering. Guess that makes Trump a lying Fascist.

  17. leslie 2015-11-23

    all well and good mfi, but i’d like to see their birth certificates. jk btw, not so sure cc is a good character reference for anything. it will be good to see these two republican presidential candidates eliminated for lack of gravitas

    something else i wonder, about the don (like i really care) is his big deal about nice guys and “so and so always treated me nice” and outrage about media who don’t treat him nice. so the bully only comes out when he is mistreated? then and only then does he mistreat the other because the other “deserves it”?

  18. Common sense advocate 2015-11-23

    Donald Trump is extreme–there is no doubt. But, how is he different than our current President in his apparent extreme “sympathy” for Islam? He’s done all but lay down and played dead, while we are watching ISIS move in.
    Caheidelberger–you do enough criticizing of innocent people on this blog to recognize what it’s like to be the one verbally assaulting others. I think from much of what I’ve read of your blog, you spout off with about half of the information–not caring who you hurt along the way. You and Trump are not really that different. I just have more respect for him.

  19. caheidelberger Post author | 2015-11-23

    What absurd rot, CSA. I’m not calling for physical assault on anyone. That’s Trump. You are falling right into Trump’s trap, misportraying bullying and violence as some lost manliness that we have to recapture. It takes a bigger man not to throw a punch and to recognize that throwing a punch may not solve the problem.

    But feel free to expand on your “common sense”—what innocent people have I assaulted? With what half-informed spouting have I hurt people? And specifically (notice CSA’s rhetorical tactic here, readers, unable to refute anything specific I have said about Trump and his fascism, so resorting to changing the topic to an attack on me) what facts do I get wrong in this blog post? Did I misquote Trump? Did I attribute to him any position he has not publicly stated? Do I get history wrong? Is fear not a dangerous tool in the hands of political bullies?

    (By the way, people who adopt “common sense” as part of their username or political slogans are usually exhibiting anything but. See also “Hard-Working American”.)

  20. mike from iowa 2015-11-23

    That is prolly the last you will hear from Confederate States of Ameri… Csa.

  21. Don Coyote 2015-11-25

    “Fascism” is one of the most overused words in the English language. Co-opted by the Left, it’s become a weasel-word used in spurious insults to evoke disgust. Starting with Nixon, I can’t remember a Republican President who wasn’t called a fascist. And the people who use it demonstrate little to no knowledge about it. How it came about, it’s politics, it’s economics, it’s fundamentally socialist underpinnings and how it was admired by FDR and Wilson. In 1946 George Orwell stated “The word fascism has now no meaning except in so far as it signifies ‘something not desirable’”. This remains true today after almost 70 years.

  22. larry kurtz 2015-11-25

    Trump is a fascist earth hater just like all Republicans are.

  23. Bill Fleming 2015-11-25

    If Donald Trump isn’t a facist, nobody is, Coyote. And yes, I know exactly what the word means.

  24. jerry 2015-11-25

    In Donald Trumps dream world, we would all act like events in Chicago, Minneapolis, Ferguson and dozens upon dozens of other cities are not even newsworthy. Case in point the new reporting on the murder in Chicago by police. If not for this independent reporter, nothing to see.

    Donald Trump preaches this hate without remorse. This is what he believes in and he is leading the republican charts by a long shot. This is what fascism and American hatred is all about, scare the hell out of old folks and fools so you can steal the government. What one are you Don Coyote?

  25. Les 2015-11-25

    I don’t see Trump mixing philosophy’s of the right and the left, BF. In my mind fascism takes a majority movement.

  26. Bill Fleming 2015-11-25

    Then you don’t know what Fascism is, Les.

  27. caheidelberger Post author | 2015-11-25

    Notice Don Coyote comes to play word games and neatly avoids the very ugly challenge of defending the proposals and attitudes that Donald Trump is using to win more support from the Republican primary electorate than any other candidate. What does that say about Republican attitudes, Don Coyote? Whatever we are supposed to call them, are you proud of the success those policies and attitudes are enjoying with Republican voters? Are those policies and attitudes good for America? Do they fit American constitutional values?

  28. Winston 2015-11-25

    Isn’t fascism the ushering of the private means of production for the national interest through intimidation, administrative policy, and rhetoric from political leadership regardless of the current laws; and when a biscuit company legally moves to Mexico and a presidential candidate in response says he is not going to eat their cookies anymore is not that from a particular political playbook, I ask?

    My favorite line from this campaign and its authorship evades me at this time, but someone said recently that if Trump becomes president, the first thing he is going to learn is that “he cannot just make laws by tweeting them…”

  29. Porter Lansing 2015-11-25

    Republican Attitudes?
    NYTimes – Betting markets currently put the chances of a Trump victory at 23 percent compared with Marco Rubio’s 48 percent. Trump performs especially well among Republicans without a college degree, who tend to be more hostile to immigration.

  30. larry kurtz 2015-11-25

    Curious that we never see coyote using that handle at DWC or Rohr either.

  31. Roger Cornelius 2015-11-25

    President Obama has been called a fascist from day one of presidency by the teapublicans, further proof that the right doesn’t know the meaning of the word.
    Here’s another one of Trump’s gems, ” When I’m elected president, all Americans will be saying Merry Christmas again”. How will he implement that policy?

  32. Bill Fleming 2015-11-25

    Winston, Webster’s definition works for me, and describes “The Donald” to a tee:

    Fascism: a political philosophy, movement, or regime (as that of the Fascisti) that exalts nation and often race above the individual and that stands for a centralized autocratic government headed by a dictatorial leader, severe economic and social regimentation, and forcible suppression of opposition

  33. Bill Fleming 2015-11-25

    Synonyms: Authoritarianism, Totalitarianism, Dictatorship, Police State. (see also “Big Brother” and George Orwell’s 1984)

    Antonyms: Liberal Democracy, Libertarianism, Minarchissm, Anarchism

  34. Bill Fleming 2015-11-25

    Larry’s link is great. Here’s an excerpt that might help clear things up for Don Coyote:

    “[I]t it was after Trump started calling for stronger surveillance of Muslim-Americans in the aftermath of the Paris terrorist attacks that a handful of conservatives ventured to call Trump’s rhetoric something much more dangerous: fascism.


    “Trump is a fascist. And that’s not a term I use loosely or often. But he’s earned it,” tweeted Max Boot, a conservative fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations who is advising Marco Rubio.

    “Forced federal registration of US citizens, based on religious identity, is fascism. Period. Nothing else to call it,” Jeb Bush national security adviser John Noonan wrote on Twitter.

    Conservative Iowa radio host Steve Deace, who has endorsed Ted Cruz, also used the “F” word last week: “If Obama proposed the same religion registry as Trump every conservative in the country would call it what it is — creeping fascism.”

    Yes, this is a hard fought primary campaign with insults flying in every direction. But ask yourself when was the last time you heard Republicans using the “F” word against someone running in their own party? I can’t remember it happening in decades. It’s possible that some members of the GOP establishment called Barry Goldwater a fascist in 1964 (Democrats did, for sure) but that was half a century ago. In recent years this just has not been considered politically correct on left or right.”


    …and that’s just what THE CONSERVATIVES are saying….^^^

  35. mike from iowa 2015-11-25

    From wiki- Far-right politics commonly include authoritarianism, anti-communism, and nativism.[3] Often, the term “far right” is applied to fascists and neo-Nazis,[4][5][6][7][8] and major elements of fascism have been deemed clearly far-right, such as its belief that supposedly superior people have the right to dominate society while purging allegedly inferior elements, and—in the case of Nazism—genocide of people deemed to be inferior.[9] Claims that superior people should proportionally have greater rights than inferior people are sometimes associated with the far right.[10] The far right has historically favoured an elitist society based on belief of the legitimacy of the rule of a supposed superior minority over the inferior masses.[11] Far-right politics usually involves anti-immigration and anti-integration stances towards groups that are deemed inferior and undesirable.[12] Concerning the socio-cultural dimension (nationality, culture and migration), one far-right position could be the view that certain ethnic, racial or religious groups should stay separate, and that the interests of one’s own group should be prioritised

  36. larry kurtz 2015-11-25

    The question is whether Denny Daugaard is a fascist or a Fascist.

  37. Bill Fleming 2015-11-25

    I don’t think he is either, Larry.

  38. jerry 2015-11-25

    Fanatic fascists, like the Mayor of Chicago, its chief of police and dudes like Daugaard et al want to shut the government down so they can have free reign to steal from it. Here is what they did to the media man who reported the murder of the young black man in Chicago. The cop shot him 16 times in the back and they covered it up for a year. What kind of country are these crooks and liars running here?

  39. mike from iowa 2015-11-25

    Screwdy Rudy Guilliani says the kid committed a crime therefore the cop was right to shoot him over and over and over while he lay helpless on the pavement.

  40. Les 2015-11-25

    “””Then you don’t know what Fascism is, Les.”””

    I’ll leave that definition to those who’ve lived it rather than the wheel chair jockeys for Wikipedia quoting the fascist CFR.

    Trump is a big mouth and it’s easy to use a common hate word as those hating Obama do.

    Do we give up our first amendment rights to quiet an idiot?

    Talk about the Pubs using hate and fear.

  41. Bill Fleming 2015-11-25

    Go back to sleep, Les.

  42. Les 2015-11-25

    Wake up Flem!

  43. caheidelberger Post author | 2015-11-26

    I agree with Bill that Larry’s Salon link is very useful. Even conservatives can see that Trump’s authoritarianism reeks of fascism.

  44. caheidelberger Post author | 2015-11-26

    Roger, just imagine if Barack Obama said, “Now that I’m President, I’d like all Americans to start saying, ‘Allahu Akbar.'”

  45. larry kurtz 2015-11-26

    Nearly half of GOP-leaning respondents in the poll — 47 percent — both support the deportation of undocumented immigrants and oppose accepting refugees from Syria and other Mideast conflicts. If a GOP-leaning voter supports deportation, there is a 79 percent chance she or he also opposes Syrian refugees, compared with 54 percent if they oppose deportation.

  46. Les 2015-11-26

    Fascism aside, Cory, Trump has shaken the GOP to the core. Relating conservative comments to anything other than basic survival or a convenient acceptance from the Dems, gives a credibility few of them deserve.

  47. mike from iowa 2015-11-26

    Bugger ioff,Les. I’m not in a wheel chair,yet.

  48. caheidelberger Post author | 2015-11-27

    Les, could we say that Trump is reawakening and enhancing the threat the GOP faced from the Tea Party when it emerged in 2010? Trump is appealing to the same anger, the same paradoxical hatred of Big Brother wrapped in Big Business’s suit, and revealing the same volatile fear and loathing among the Republicans’ otherwise reliable base. Interestingly, this time, while the Tea Party seems to have faded in strength—it never was a coherent movement with a coherent leader—the same sentiment is tapped by a single overwhelming personality.

    Yikes—here’s a scary thought: what if Donald Trump had jumped into politics in 2010 to be the Führer of the Tea Party? Imagine if that general fervor had been paired with a specific leader.

    But Trump isn’t doing anything beyond his Presidential campaign, is he? Has he yet sparked a movement of Trumpists, candidates down-ticket joining him to take over government at all levels for the people Trump represents, for the frightened, aging white folks who think they need to Take America Back and Make America Great Again?

  49. caheidelberger Post author | 2015-11-27

    As the cartoon Mike links suggests, Trump isn’t so much shaking the GOP to its core as exposing it and daring the GOP to embrace it.

  50. Les 2015-11-27

    I’m an elder of the white skins. I’m not frightened.

    Not many in the photos you linked appear to have old or aging white skins.

    You are on base alright with tired of the shenanigans. Given enough time and enough anger build up, many of both parties will pull the rope Trump is stringing along. That might be scary.

  51. Les 2015-11-27

    Is 28% the GOP core? In SD that would be considered core with the Dem party because you don’t run who your core really represents and thus elect few. If the national core is 28% why would you worry about Trump?

    At some point without a house cleaning our country will naturally evolve into fascist state with the corruption multiple that happens with acceptance of such.

  52. caheidelberger Post author | 2015-11-28

    Bearcreekbat, what a rich article! Psychology, racism, Bush failure, Obama success, GOP obstructionism… I can’t effectively or justly boil that article down to an excerpt. For our immediate practical policy purposes, this paragraph is the most useful:

    The panic over Syrian refugees is particularly revealing in this regard. Not one American has died at the hands of a refugee either during or since 9/11, although there have been 745,000 of them. Yet, irrational fear of these refugees has defined the only “coherent” policy response the GOP has come up with—both among myth-driven governors and in the shutdown-happy Congress. But when it comes to actually confronting ISIS, they’ve got nothing unified except a PC rampage against Democrats not using the phrase “radical Islam;” aside from that it’s a smorgasbord of proposals ranging from basically endorsing Hillary Clinton’s position (John Kasich) to cutting off their money (Paul and Fiorina) to grandstanding in Congress (Cruz), to reinvading Iraq, with a side of Syria (Bush, Graham and Santorum), to total war (“destroy them”—Carson) or multi-front bellicosity (Trump) [Paul Rosenberg, “This is the entire GOP plan: Credibility destroyed after Bush debacle, their only strategy is to scare us,” Salon, 2015.11.27].

    But the Kleinian psychology Rosenberg explains—wow! How very useful for understanding conservatives’ dogged resistance to plain fact!

  53. bearcreekbat 2015-11-28

    Cory, I also found the psychological analysis fascinating, although a bit unsettling.

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