The problem with Trump is he has no knowledge of history but likes to pretend he has and is building on the past glories of America.
Unfortunately what he is really doing is building on the past failings of Nazi Germany.
It may seem far-fetched to call Trump a fascist, after all, fascist regimes are, for the most part, defined by their violence towards internal “others”. Jews, homosexuals, Romany and disabled, for example in Nazi Germany. Whilst Trump uses words of violence but offers little in actual physical actions, but his intentions are in the mould of fascism. To define his internal enemies as “others”, those outside the “mainstream” of American life. To demonise them, to make them the objects of hatred, ridicule and somehow less than those on the “inside”. Literally to make them considered to be untermenschen. Worth less than his supporters, worthless indeed.
He defines his battle as making America great again and removing from American life those he considers to be dragging it down.
Us and them.
A classic fascist trope. America was built on the backs of immigrants. America was made great on the backs of immigrants.
Trump, himself, is the offspring of immigrants. But his immigrants were white. Not Hispanic, not black, not Asian. When Trump calls for America to be great again, he means white again. He means led by whites, ruled by whites, where people of colour and people of minorities know their place.
America has always made a great claim of being the “Land of the free” but that claim holds little water unless you are white. From the unyielding clinging to slavery of the Confederate states in the nineteenth century to the unending fight even NOW for full voting rights for minorities especially still in the American South.
This is the America that Trump appeals to, the America that has and does cling to that notion of a demonised “other”, from the Negro of the slavery era, to antipathy to Mexicans of the Alamo era, to the Reds under the bed of the Cold War and now Trump’s calls against Central and Southern American refugees and Muslims fleeing the chaos caused by America’s own “War on Terror”, America is a land for the white elite free, not the land to be free.
America is great but it is so insular in it’s thinking. So few of its people ever leave its shores, the percentage of people with passports is one of the smallest in the developed world. This leads to a lack of knowledge about the world in general. A lack of understanding of America’s place in the world and of how it’s actions and behaviours can be seen by others. Even it’s President now seems to bathe in a belief that NOT knowing about international norms and international protocol is a positive and not the drawback that it truly is.
Building better relations and understanding between different cultures and races is the key to improving the lives of us all, from the poorest nations to the most developed. If we understand each other then we can work together and can empathise with someone else’s viewpoint and that prevents conflicts from arising.
Trump is set on the opposite cause, even this weekend calling the EU, the home of some of America’s staunchest allies for decades, if not centuries, of being America’s foe. He doesn’t want friendly relations and to work toward the common good, but to drive division and to cause friction, why? Because he is a businessman, not a politician and it’s good for business.
America is great. It is the world’s only superpower. It’s economy and currency drive the world’s economy. We saw that with the financial crash of 2007-2009. It’s failings drove down half of Europe, caused Greece to virtually cease to exist as an independent country and nearly bankrupted the UK banking system en masse.
America recovered a lot quicker than most and without the need for the failed Tory policy of austerity. Why? Because America is great. It continues to be great. Trump’s campaign and victory were based on making people believe America had somehow failed. That those pesky “others” had stolen from us.
Our jobs, our hopes, our dreams.
Once in power he is trying to do exactly what the Nazis did, alter their jurisprudence to “fit” their hopes, actions and behaviours. So as Hitler drove through the Nuremberg laws to drive Jews from German life, so Trump enforces bans on Muslims travelling to America, so Trump intends to build a wall.
Fascism doesn’t come in as a massive jolt to national political life, fascism doesn’t seize power in a sudden revolution. Fascism creeps. It gradually invades the rhetoric of our political discourse. It makes street violence seem normal and that it is coming to “save” us from it. It defines itself as our national saviour. It defines itself as the only way to make our nation great again, to restore our nation to its position of greatness, the one that backstabbers and fifth columnists had taken from us. It defines itself as upholding law and order, whilst provoking and engaging in violent actions and illegality.
I see fascism creeping. I see it in Stephen Yaxley-Lennon and his fight against “Muslim” grooming gangs, whilst ignoring white grooming gangs and not condemning his EDL friends Paedophile charges. I see it in the thugs on EDL demos. I see it in Farage/Trump and their battles to “take our country back/make America great again. I see it in all those invidious articles in the Daily Mail. Fascism doesn’t come with a bang or a bomb, it creeps in like a mist, unseen and unconcerned.
We cannot let it become unseen. We must fight. We must not let any one of our friends and neighbours become or be defined as an “other”. We must ensure that everyone in our societies are us. The only them are those who seek to divide us. Those who seek division to entrench their power, their privilege, their profits.
Fascism is evil and we must stop it now.