Tuesday, May 31, 2016
Epitaph to the Unknown: From Adolf Hitler, Benito Mussolini to Donald Trump?
Keywords or Terms: Fascism; Nationalism; Immigrants; Muslims; and, “First they came for the Jews and I did not speak out because I was not a Jew; Then they came for the Communists and I did not speak out because I was not a Communist; Then they came for the trade unionists and I did not speak out because I was not a trade unionist; Then they came for me and there was no one left to speak out for me” - Pastor Niemoller
Anyone who is not hopelessly blinded by illusion of the heroism of Hitler or the far-right nationalists in some parts of Europe or now, America, must by now recognize the similarity of the campaign launched by Donald Trump for 2016 White House oval office and the rise of global fascism. One could point to the similarity of the impassioned campaign for the ouster of immigrants and Muslims from America, the building of a ‘huge’ wall against the immigrants and the assignment of a register for Muslims until “we” know what is going on, as proclaimed by Mr. Trump in his campaign for 2016 White House. Are these not uncomfortable and ingesting a airy feeling of disbelief and concern by many across America and the world? The symptomatic exclusions of the “Jews” in Germany prior to the Second World War, exclusions of refugees to emigrate into some parts of Europe, now substituted for the “immigrants and refugees” in America of 2016, is probably a precursor to the rise of fascism in America, the leader of the free world, whichever way you define it.
How about the get him out of here authoritarian leadership preaching at Trump’s rally to supporters; and, the manhandling of opponents of his brand of unconventional campaign? How about the dismissal of the principles of governance delineated in US Constitution, which Businessman Trump does not seem to share or care about in his campaign for the US Presidency? How do you understand his intolerance for the Democratic process, rejection of divergence of opinions and accommodation of violence against minorities, especially Mexicans, Females and blacks? Would his narcissistic brand of campaigning qualify for nationalism or fascism; or is his boastful approach of discontenting his opponents not grounds enough to race a red flag of fascism; and or its gestation?
Peter Baker’s New York Times article of May 28th, 2016 on: “the Rise of Donald Trump Tracks Growing Debate”, articulated rather well the similarity of Donald Trump’s campaign for the 2016 White House oval office to the ills and miseries that destroyed European Jews during the second world war; one that lends to the sub-theme of the movie of the bands of brotherhood in US; a reflection on America’s Incursion to the second world war in order to halt the spread of fascism; and multiple mysteries that attenuated the psyche of dissidents, descendants and survivors of the inhumane annihilation of innocent people across Europe from the brown shirts? An American expenditure to fight similar brand of campaign being launched by Donald Trump in his 2016 White House bid is for now expedient and no longer funny? An expenditure war that made some great men in the fury and miseries of the battle of war, offer premature act of final contrition, in anticipation of the last call of the trumpet, the very last order of the Catholic faithful before the final roll call. An accentuated call for the communion of saints, forgiveness of sins, and the resurrection of the body, in an imminent moment of destruction of innocent souls, as foretold in the use of the atomic bomb; a nightmare better forgotten, so the world may move ahead. To those who proclaim that we need not worry about Donald Trump 2016 Campaign for White House oval office rising up to the level of fascism, I say: think again!
Unwittingly, and probably not to be construed of a betrayal of American nationalistic feelings, a few among us are supporting the 2016 fascist campaign for the highest office in the land, we are fanning the flame of hate, a replica of Adolf Hitler’s and Benito Mussolini’s brand of fascism, and denying the obvious. What is now seen as unfortunate characterization of immigrants and minorities by level headed Americans and reflective survivors of the holocaust, are being termed overreaction to campaign by a prominent far-right nationalist attempting to assuage the “perceived” fleecing of America by undocumented immigrants and the world. Trump’s unconventional campaign supporters insist his campaign is nothing more than a man showing true love for America, a genuine love that has no place for being politically correct; one to which they remain unapologetic, and for this and other reasons, they claim outsiders are unnecessarily fastidious, insisting further that Trump’s campaign is only seeking to correct the excesses of the federal government on issues of trade, immigration and environmental protection that have prevented America to be number one in all things and realm.
Critics of Trump’s brand of campaign insist that his effort leaves to be desired, principles of democracy, respect for freedom, individuality and peoples’ differences in a growing multicultural society. They maintain that Trump’s supporters for 2016 White House ambition fail to recognize that racist rants are exemplary of fascisms and likening to the nemesis of the same; and the nature of his campaign can be traced to the genesis of same in prior world’s political movement experience. Touting that Trump’s campaign for the White House does not match a textbook definition of fascism is hardly comforting or consoling, after fifteen months of the same far-right pronouncements and carefree derogation of physically challenged and or opponents: “when it looks like a duck, swims like a duck and quacks like a duck, no one needs to redefine it for the outsider to his campaign, it is as ducky as a fascist!” Shortsightedness and ignorance is not an excuse in the realm of challenge here; and America’s and world’s experience of fascism of the past, demand a quick alert of the wave of change about to delude the society.
Turning away and pretending it is not happening is not going to stop this evil. Trump’s demagoguery that fascinates a rapid growing crowd of supporters across the nation, is more of a modern day version of the Nuremberg rallies; and if one erroneous discountenance this type of movement, denying it is as good as denying the existence of fascism and hate in Trump’s use of campaign messaging; or absolving Mr. Trump of conscious pitting of growing number of rank and file Republicans against the American intelligentsia – scientists who have been alarming us of the difficulties and repercussions of Climate Change. The fact that proactive parliamentary groups, brown jackets or a standing military force are not currently attenuating Donald Trump’s campaign, is no reason not to raise cautionary notes and apprehension of the growing tentacles of Trump’s supporters for the White House; especially when all you see and hear about Trump’s rallies are disorderly conduct and unusual militancy that make you stop and think.
Trump’s current campaign for the White House is a debauchery, an ideology laden “isms” based on erroneous beliefs rather than a system of political philosophy, a perfect case of extreme nationalism; the rise again of the far-right philosophy of the past decade in Western Europe and far East Asia. It would have been an easy matter for outsiders to his campaign to fail to acknowledge the militancy and avoid raising cautionary note, were it not for current Donald Trump’s machination or manipulating of mass media communication, using Television, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, or what have you, in his pursuit of the White House. It goes without saying that these modern-day medium of mass communication, may propel him into a psychic cautiousness of voter that prevents them from making objective assessment of the credibility of his candidacy; ultimately creating irreparable blunder or creeping into the minds of voters to doubt the efficacy of our Democracy, or one man one vote. Yes, even in a thriving democracy, mass media has been used to create blunders to the psyche of the populace, by the lone shouting and intimidating voice that bullies others, just the way many minorities and opponents of Mr. Trump’s campaign for 2016 White House, now laments.
For close to eight years, since the last recession and the ascendancy of the first African-American President in US History, a huge number of Republican far-right nationalists, who perceive themselves as disenfranchised middle income Anglo-Saxons, some say perceived victims of globalization of commerce, associate their deepest fear of losing grounds from the long-standing economical privileges that appear to be fleeing, as mostly fault of American government for entering into foreign trade pacts as the TPP and NAFTA. For this group, their stagnated wages, inability to create a balance between home and professional life, because of uncertainties associated with not having lasting employment, health care and comfortable retirement packages, are creating deeper fear among them and having the potential of ruining American households and families. Donald Trump has craftily tapped into these discontents to label every other opponent of his in the 2016 White House race, as part of the “grand scheme” that has prevented this people from attaining their lofty heights, or quickly achieving the American dream.
To this group, most of whom form the basis of Donald Trump’s support for the White House, this is a blunder that has been allowed to fester for far too long under too many White House Administrations, Republicans and Democrats. Further, this blunder is one, if radical reforms are not instituted, including deportation of undocumented immigrants living in America, roll back of tenets of signed international trade pacts, sending minorities and women back to “where they belong”, correcting perceived marginalization of America’s interests, it is going to be difficult, if not infeasible to get back to equilibrium or a buoyant American economy. Finally, to achieve this new equilibrium or buoyancy, it is better to rely on an outsider to mainstream American Political Party politics and experience, even if that “savior” is a racist, quixotic and probably slanderous office seeker, who is probably ignorant of the difficult terrain of the legislative wheeling and dealing process that leads to bills being passed in US Congress to address the perceived blunder.
Unfortunately, supporters of this kind of reasoning and dogma, are short sighted and fail to understand or appreciate the democratic process. They fail to understand that anti-establishment politics, filled with angry drivel and irate pronouncements have the potential of undermining the same processes needed to correct whatever grievances they have; and or economic and political shortcomings. Launching on to Nationalist ranting, spewing hateful messages and aggressively antagonizing other minority groups within the society, a precursor to what the World experienced in Europe and Japan of 1930’s, is the first step to slippery slope of fascism. To put it bluntly, this how the ‘Germany First’ ideology that led to the mayhem of the second world war began. If Donald Trump’s campaign for the White House defaults to the ‘America First’ missive, there is hardly any difference between what happened in Germany in 1930s, and some say, is coming back in countries like Austria, who narrowly nearly elected a far-right ultra-nationalist as the country’s prime minister in 2016; and would ultimately reach America with the ascendancy of Donald Trump to the Office of the US Presidency.
The singularity of the return of de facto fascisms to Europe, which is synonymous of what is gradually happening in America; and or, symptomatic of Donald Trump’s campaign for 2016 America’s White House, is a spread of an old age plague that not only damaged people, nearly extinct a race and crippled former bustling societies; but, also created fear and mistrust among citizens of some nations. It is a plague that must be talked about and referenced, so it is not allowed to once again, raise its ugly head in the world and probably, America. Fascism cannot be the ultimate answer to disequilibrium economic apparatus or undocumented or illegal immigrants; there are better and superior answers out there; and many of us are wise enough to have learned from the experience of history. We just need the right person to lead us to the promised land; and Donald Trump does not fit that bill or person, as many of us conceive him or her.
Succumbing to a rhetoric of hate in a campaign for political office is a bad omen for everyone. To some doubters of the trending fascism in America Presidential Campaign Experience, a few political philosophers understand Donald Trump’s campaign for the White House oval office in the context of fascism; using derogative languages and not-so much obvious and understood epithets of political extremism, nationalistic sympathizers of the swastika in American Presidential Campaign experience, similar to what the Bones at Yale could have informed us about the American German Cultural Society, a Nazi front in America intelligentsias of the 40’s, as documented in history books. If fascism entails outright rejection of democracy and a harsher definition of order, plus an ultra-right party followership as referenced in Peter Baker’s essay in the New York Times of May 28th, 2016, maybe that is probably where the Tea party and supporters of Donald Trump’s campaign are drawing their strengths, or probably heading, if he ever ends up winning the US Presidency. The anti-deregulation rhetoric and get-off my back, rugged individualism as advocated by Mr. Trump and his supporters are pedestrian to a fascist society in a very near future, if we all fall asleep at the switch.
Diligent observers of many presidential campaign experiences, see nothing more than hate and misery in 2016 Donald Trump’s White House bid and campaign messaging. They visualize what his leadership of the US Presidency and by default, the free-world, can lead; and, admonish the possible convergence of misery in trolls of coffins of returning military brotherhood that may enlist in his prospective parliamentary hate enforcing groups, who will end up fighting wars, here and abroad, and probably one day arrive at Dover Air Force base, Delaware, under a sad and remorseful rendition of the Star Spangle Banner. For those who forgot, this is the receiving port of America’s fallen heroes, that was kept away from many in the society during those turbulent wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. For those families who experienced grief, who celebrated aguishly and reflect deeply during our memorial days, a day set aside for reflections and remembering America’s heroes and those who served selflessly in the company of heroes, who once sacrificed themselves in the fields and mines of Europe and Asia, maybe it is time for all of us to speak out against hate and fascism; maybe it is time to tell those hawkish leaders and budding dictators, who delight in building up our military at the expense of good public health, decent and safe neighborhoods, and clear and even handed justice system, it is time to quit; it is time to stop spreading hate and xenophobia in their broadcasted messages in the quest for the White House oval office.
Finally, I know there is something really wrong with the extreme wave of winds of nationalism and fascism that encompass the campaign of Mr. Trump for the 2016 White House oval office. When you hear a man who does not know what he was doing or where he was going when he entered the race for US Presidency, who once or twice took a buy on enlistment because of his parental affluence, promising to use the atomic bomb or use interrogation tactics worse than water boarding, cuddling the worst of the dark side of the human minds, screaming to build a wall against other unfortunate souls, in his campaign for US Presidency, you know you’ve met a de factor nominee that must step aside so a more prudent and seasoned person take the mantle of the office from the current incumbent, so that another American soul is not wasted in another manufactured misery in a foreign land. Heroes never want to be afraid of deaths, even lesser mortals that are trained tough and hardy, bemoan belatedly wounds of war. Men and women who were prepared for wars, gone through the maneuvering and training of how to parachute in the midst of pandemonium, who were quarantined by military marshals, debriefed of ghostly commission with little unforgiven excuses, men and women who really know what to do when the trains and trucks of ambulances and ammunitions are lined up in sequence of military protocols, see their brothers and sisters fall to the ground on the battle fields, the most miserable place ever described, men and women who tell us war stinks to kingdom come, are today admonished by a fascist political neophyte? How are the mighty fallen and weapons of the war perish!
Main reading room, the New York Public Library, c. 1910. (Photo: Library of Congress/LC-DIG-det-4a24347)