Monday, November 7, 2016

Will the US slip into Fascism?

Well, we survived another long American political campaign and tomorrow it will (we hope) all be over. I believe it is pretty simple, people who are voting for Trump are crazy and/or stupid. At this point I really don't know how to sugarcoat it. This is a racist, misogynistic, profoundly crooked, tax evading, violence inciting, serial lying, sexual predator, with the attention span of a gnat, and an anger management problem, who has actually called for nuclear proliferation. And if anyone thinks, at this point, that Hillary Clinton's faults are even vaguely comparable to Trump's they are deeply delusional.

Make no mistake, Trump could turn the United States into a fascist bloodbath. The scenario could play out multiple ways - here's one way: Trump comes to office and actually believes that he can deport the 30 million or more undocumented immigrants. He starts the process and it becomes clear fairly quickly that the US is not logistically prepared to undertake such a massive effort. To complete such a task the federal government would literally need hundreds of thousands of INS officers working around the clock, and even then it is not clear it could be done. In his frustration (an emotion that he seems to have in the same abundance as a three year old), Trump makes an off the cuff remark, maybe on twitter, that the government needs the help of patriots to complete the task. Armed vigilante groups appear overnight all over the country, but especially in the southwest. In their patriotic fervor they begin rounding up anyone who looks vaguely like they are from south of the boarder. In an effort to defend themselves, racialized people begin to band together in groups, some of them armed. Sporadic violence begins to break out. Many law enforcement agencies who clearly side with Trump and the vigilantes refuse to act in their roles as police. The violence quickly escalates and spins out of control. When it becomes clear that it is out of control, bang, Trump calls out the national guard and declares martial law under the NDAA. Now, provided that the military was willing to stand with him, this would be the beginning of a de facto fascist government.

If you have spent any time in the US, you know that this is not a wildly far fetched scenario, particularly given Trump's rhetoric so far. It's not complicated. It's fairly simple. It is already clear that Trump says that he will do things that he clearly has no right to do under the Constitution. You can't, for example, restrict people from entering the country based on religion. The president has no authority to build a wall on the border of Mexico. The president certainly has no authority to restrict press freedoms, as well as no authority to put opponents in jail on a whim.

I'm not saying that this is exactly what would happen if Trump were elected president. I'm saying that this is a perfectly believable scenario given what we know so far about him and the people he has empowered.

I don't know how the vote will go tomorrow, but I hope calmer heads will prevail. And even if Trump loses, it is clear that the US is teetering on the brink of disaster and the next decade or so will be a make or break point for the nation and maybe the world.


The Mound of Sound said...

Kirby, I fear Trump can do more damage if he loses than should he become president. In the Oval Office he would be easier to restrain. As a loser he can whip up the horde of his supporters, feed them endless conspiracy theories, stoke their sense of grievance, and foment unrest. I think he would be capable of skirting the bounds of sedition.

No, nothing will be "over" tomorrow. The path ahead will be difficult and ugly.

Anonymous said...

Guess you would consider John Pilger, an Aussie filmmaker/journalist who has won a top British journalistic award TWICE, delusional because he considers Hillary more dangerous to the world than Trump:

And there are also other very credible journalists who consider both Hillary and Trump unfit for the office, for example, Eric Margolis:

And Chris Hedges, a Pulitzer Prize winning journalist, has been publicly saying that both Hillary and Trump will not solve the important issues in the country (e.g. climate change, wealth gap, etc.) so he is voting for Jill Stein.

Are they all delusional?

Kirby Evans said...

Dear Anonymous - As Newt Gingrich so expertly demonstrates, you can be intelligent and informed and still be deeply delusional. I agree with a great deal of what John Pilger says, but as far as the question of international nuclear security, he is simply speculating about what would happen. Furthermore, if you read my post again, you will find that I was specifically talking about domestic issues and didn't address this issue at all, thus your critique in this regard is simply misplaced. All the US presidents since the war have been guilty of nuclear proliferation. To suggest that Clinton would be more dangerous in this regard than Trump ignores two factors: One is the fact that Trump, unlike any presidential candidate since Goldwater, has actually talked about using nuclear weapons as well as advocating for their proliferation to more nations, and Two, history demonstrates that Trumps is significantly unpredictable and thin-skinned. Thus to sum up, though I hadn't even made this an issue (only you did), I still think the preponderance of evidence suggests that Pillger is wrong.

As for the next issue - Eric Margolis is, indeed, deeply delusional and a rightwinger of very long standing. His delusions extend to his 1950s style anti-communist paranoia. HIs identification as an Eisenhower Conservative should be enough to demonstrate the level of his delusions, and if that's not enough his support of Gary Johnson should do it.

As for Chis Hedges, he is certainly right that neither Clinton nor Trump will solve the country's problems. But again, if you read my blog more closely (or even vaguely) you would have noticed that I never argued that Clinton would solve the nation's problems. What I did illustrate was a way in which the US could fall into Fascism under Trump and I not only stand by it, I think Mr. Hedges doesn't really understand the nature of armed, rightwing, American, militants. I was raised among them, I know what they are capable of. Furthermore, I would point out that all the fascist governments that came to power in Europe in the 1930s did so against a backdrop of a significant portion of the left in those countries underestimating the fascists and failing to unite behind a moderate and instead deeply splitting the vote (or in Spain, literally fighting amongst themselves). Those in Italy, Spain, and Germany who stood on principle and refused to unite in common cause against the fascists might have felt righteous at the time, until they perished at the barrel of a gun.

Anonymous said...

You cannot be serious that Eric Margolis is a rightwinger and is deeply delusional.

Obviously you have not read his book, American Raj: Liberation or Domination because anyone who has read that book would have come away with the impression that he is anything but a right winger. He is very critical of the neverending wars that the U.S. had visited upon the middle east. The neverending wars are something which the right wing warmongers like Wolfowitz, Kagan, Morell, and even Bush support. And they all are all now publicly supporting Hillary. Margolis had been publicly very critical of these right, and also, moderate DINO (Dem. in name only) warmongers like Hillary. Just read the Margolis article that I had linked to above.

I would debate you on the other points too but I have to go running outside as this nice weather will not last. :)

Kirby Evans said...

Margolis has identified himself as a conservative many many times. I guess it the difference in opinion are a matter of how one sees "rightwing." I agree that the one bright spot for him has been his critical attitude toward US adventurism. But that, in itself, hardly makes him liberal in any sense. Lots of rightwingers have been critical of the war culture in the US, Gary Johnson and Jessie Ventura are two good examples. I have heard him speak in person and his strange paranoid attitude toward communists made him sound like Sen. Joseph McCarthy.

Bur really Margolis's opinions are neither here nor there. We obviously have a different take on his attitudes. But again, and I don't know how to stress this again, my intention was to demonstrate how the US could fall into fascism under Trump and I stand by that. I will put my experience and knowledge of the rightwing fringe in the US up against any of the people you mentioned. I know what they can do, and I have seen in action the kind of things that Trump says publicly that has empowered them, it is all there for the record. Bush may support Clinton, but then practically every white supremacist in the country has endorsed Trump. There is a good reason for that. And again, I have never defended Clinton in any significant way, nor have I said that she is some kind of peacenik. But fascism comes to governments through racists and xenophobia. It is clear that Trump has empowered those people. And as Sinclair Lewis so well demonstrated so many years ago, it can happen here.

Kirby Evans said...

BTW, in the blog I criticized those who are voting for Trump, I didn't criticize people who aren't voting for Clinton, Those are different things. Furthermore, when I compared Clinton and Trump, my main intention was to meant to imply that the corruption allegations were not comparable, Trump's are incomparably worse in my mind. That wasn't meant to be a policy discussion of Clinton's platform. Rereading, I think I should have made that more clear.