Friday, December 11, 2015

Goose-Steppers in the Republican Party

I honestly try to not post about Donald Trump everyday, but it is near impossible given Trump's continued outrageous racist statements, the rest of the GOP political hierarchy's failure to fully repudiate his agenda, and the ugliness of the party base that is perhaps finally being made open to public view.  When Neo-Nazi extremists are applauding and major party candidate and rallying around him, you realize that the party in question may be past the point of no return.  I have long criticized the GOP for welcoming in Christofascists who have turned the party into a sectarian lunatic asylum.  But to now welcome in Neo-Nazi's and white supremacist extremists confirms that the party has completely succumbed to swamp fever.  A column in the New York Times looks at this disturbing phenomenon.  Here are highlights:
Well, he’s got the Hitler vote. The neo-Nazi website, Daily Stormer, was out and proud earlier this week: “Heil Donald Trump — the Ultimate Savior.” After endorsing the Republican presidential front-runner earlier this year for his call to deport 11 million Mexican immigrants, the fomenters of American fascism have now added an apt twist to his slogan, one not far from the truth of the campaign: “Make America White Again.”
Nazis — I hate these guys. Oh, but they’re a tiny minority of pink-faced malcontents living in basements with the widows taped up. Everybody hates them. Add to that supporters of the Ku Klux Klan, who’ve thrown in with Trump as well. David Duke, a former grand wizard of the Klan, liked everything he heard from Trump this week, embracing him for standing up for white nationalism.

It’s a very ugly political moment, but there it is: The Republican Party is now home to millions of people who would throw out the Constitution, welcome a police state against Latinos and Muslims, and enforce a religious test for entry into a country built by people fleeing religious persecution. This stuff polls well in their party, even if the Bill of Rights does not.

Trump’s proposal — “a total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States” — is not just flotsam from the lunatic fringe. Well, it is. But the fringe is huge: Early polls show a plurality of Republican voters agree with Trump on banning all Muslims. And many would go even further.

Trump himself doesn’t seem to care about comparisons to the buffoonish (Mussolini), the truly scary (the evil one admired by the Daily Stormer) or the fictional — worse than Voldemort, as J. K. Rowling tweeted.

He sloughed off the fascism talk by associating his proposal with the internment in America of the Japanese during World War II. There’s a winning thought. I was wondering when he was going to get around to alienating Asian-Americans, the highest-earning, best-educated and fastest-growing racial group in the United States, according to Pew.

To review: He started with “the blacks,” through his smear campaign on the citizenship of the nation’s first African-American president. Moved on to Mexicans, war veterans, women who look less than flawless in middle age, the disabled, all Muslims and now people whose grandparents were rousted from their American homes and put in camps.

His supporters, most of them, do not see the shadow of the Reich when they look in the mirror. They are white, lower middle class, with little education beyond high school. The global economy has run them over. They don’t recognize their country. And they need a villain.

Trump has no solutions for the desperate angst of his followers. Tearing up trade agreements is not going to happen. Deporting workers who pick our fruit and hang sheetrock is not going to lift the fortunes of those who will no longer do those jobs. Barring all Muslims will not make us safer.

What he’s done is to give marginalized Americans permission to hate. He doesn’t use dog whistles or code. His bigotry is overt. But the table was set by years of dog whistles and code. The very “un-American” sentiment that Republican elders now claim to despise has been a mainstay of conservative media for at least a decade.

[I]t’s hard to take seriously House Speaker Paul Ryan’s rare objection to a lunatic suggestion from his party’s presidential front-runner when he says he would also back Trump should he be the nominee. . . . the only way to get rid of the goose-steppers drawn to the G.O.P. is to vow to never support the man giving them something to march to.
Many of us thought a Trump campaign would provide entertainment.  Now, it is becoming something frightening.  What's most frightening is Trumps supporters and the levels of hatred they harbor.

1 comment:

Stephen said...

In 1932, many Germans thought that Hitler was a buffoon with no chance of ruling the country... "Heightening the contradictions" is always a dangerous tactic.