WASHINGTON – In the wake of Donald Trump’s calls to ban Muslims from entering the U.S. and to register all those who reside here, observers, political leaders and even other right-wing Republicans are labelling him as a hate-mongering fascist.
The label is accurate. But it would be a mistake to use it to belittle the danger Trump poses to America.
He is appealing to and galvanizing the xenophobic fear that exists in American culture side by side with generosity, compassion and the conviction that in times of crisis Americans of all faiths, races and ethnic groups must pull together.
Trump continues to be the front runner among GOP presidential wannabes. Even if his campaign peters out, the tsunami of hatred he has unleased could very well continue sweeping across America.
At a rally at the U.S.S. Yorktown in South Carolina last night, tens of thousands cheered Trump as he outlined his idea for barring non-citizen Muslims from entering the U.S. He said all visitors should be asked about their religion and turned away if their faith is Islam.
The South Carolina crowd also cheered Trump’s proposal to put limits on internet usage.
He has been using the murders in San Bernardino, California, to gain personal political advantage. He is coming up with fantasy plans he says would prevent the reoccurrence of such tragedies.
“[Even] without looking at the various polling data, it is obvious to anybody the hatred [of Muslims] is beyond comprehension,” Trump said in a statement he released to the press and then re-stated in his South Carolina speech. “Until we are able to determine and understand this problem and the dangerous threat it poses, our country cannot be the victims of horrendous attacks by people that [sic] believe only in Jihad and have no sense of reason or respect for human life.”
Using the Big Lie
Trump quoted a poll by the Center for Security Policy, whose president and founder, Frank Gaffney, has claimed that President Obama is aligned with the Muslim Brotherhood and that agents of the Muslim Brotherhood have infiltrated the U.S. government, the Republican Party and conservative political organizations. He has written that noted right-winger Grover Norquist, “has been working with the enemy for over a decade.”
Even the American Conservative Union has condemned Gafney and banned him from its Conservative Political Action Conference.
Barring non-citizen Muslims from the United States has drawn support from organizations like the Society of Americans for National Existence and the Daily Stormer, which the Southern Poverty Law Center has described as hate groups.
The fact is that the husband and wife shooters in San Bernardino were U.S. citizens.
However, lack of facts to back up his statements has not stopped Trump from making them.
In the wake of the terrorist attacks in Paris, Trump called for all Muslims in America to be registered. The fact that this is not only counter to everything America stands for, would be impossible to carry out and does not address the circumstances that led to the tragedy did not stop Trump from coming up with this plan.
Moreover, he continues to insist he saw “thousands of thousands” of Muslims celebrating in New Jersey immediately after the 9/11 attacks, although the New Jersey police and New Jersey Governor Chris Christie say this never happened.
By repeating his hallucinatory claim, Trump is demonstrating the Big Lie theory perfected by the Nazis: if you tell a lie that’s big enough often enough, people will begin to believe it.
Condemned as “fascistic”
Ever since Trump called for Muslims to be forced to register, conservatives and right-wingers have been trying to distance themselves from Trump by calling him and his plans “fascistic.” For example, Max Boot, a conservative fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations and a Marco Rubio advisor, tweeted “Trump is a fascist. And that’s not a term I use loosely or often. But he’s earned it.”
And Jeb Bush‘s national security adviser John Noonan wrote on Twitter, “Forced federal registration of U.S. citizens, based on religious identity, is fascism. Period. Nothing else to call it.”
The list goes on and on. Right wingers are vying with each other to see who can abandon Trump’s ship the fastest.
However, as former Vermont Governor Howard Dean said in a recent TV interview, right wingers are now reaping what they have sown.
For a long time, now, Dean said, “the Republican party has been authoritarian. Its programs support forcing women to give up control over their reproductive health, for instance.”
Dean said that now the Republicans have a candidate on their hands who is articulating additional authoritarian programs. They have, in effect, created a Frankenstein’s monster.
Trump scares right wing Republicans, but not because of the substance of what he’s saying. They’re scared because he’s being too outspoken.
Historically, fascist governments are those that control national economies for the purpose of gaining great wealth for corporations at the expense of working people. Militaristic, authoritarian measures are needed because otherwise people might rise up.
For the same reason, to take power in the first place, the Nazis in Germany and the Fascists in Italy had to lie to people about their real objectives.
Right wingers support corporation-based governments, but they know they must be devious in order to gain power.
Trump is blowing their cover too soon and too loudly.
Photo: Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights of Los Angeles (CHIRLA), CHIRLA Action Fund Facebook.