Another Rant About Fascism and Trump.
I run my columns about politics both on this website and on my Medium site. And yesterday I received a comment from a Medium reader who felt that by dismissing the idea of Trump as a fascist, I was understating the degree to which Trump and his gang represent a threat to our democratic system. So, here’s my response.
Want to argue about whether Trump is really going to try and undermine democracy and impose some kind of autocratic regime? Fine. Just don’t call it fascism. Call it something else and evaluate what’s happening today on its own terms, not by borrowing language and definitions from an event that took place ninety years ago.
That being said, what does Trump and the attempt to throw out the results of the 2020 election really mean, and how should we respond to both in terms of what we say and what we do?
First of all, and this must be where the conversation begins, it’s important to realize just how much Trump’s 2016 victory was a fluke in every sense of the word. In fact, he won the election because he flipped three blue states – MI, PA, WI – by 2/10ths of one percent of the total votes cast in those three states. And this margin wasn’t because Trump got do many backwoods voters to some out for him. It was because fat-ass Hillary didn’t make a single appearance in any of those states after Labor Day, the time when campaigns are either lost or won.
In 2018, Trump appeared at nearly 60 big rallies and told the crowds that the off-year election was a plebiscite on him. Know what happened that year? The GOP got their collective asses kicked in.
In 2020, Trump started revving up the election ‘fraud’ issue when every other attempt to discredit Joe completely and totally failed. His son’s screwing around with an energy company in Ukraine went nowhere, ditto the so-called Chinese ‘millions’ that the Biden family allegedly stole.
In April, at the beginning of the 2020 campaign, the first head-to-head polls showed Biden with a 7-point lead. This margin never changed, polls didn’t show the slightest wiggle over the next six months and pundits on both sides remarked that the unchanging nature of the pre-election polls were something they had never previously seen.
What about all the polls today which show that a majority of GOP-ers believe that the 2020 election was stolen from Trump? If I had voted for Trump in 2020, I would have wanted my guy to win. Why wouldn’t I say the outcome was rigged? If Joe had lost last year, people like me would now be saying that the election was stolen by the other side, particularly if Joe was going around yapping about election ‘fraud.’
I think that a lot of what will happen in 2024 will be based on what happens when the votes are counted this year on November 8th. If the GOP regains one or both chambers on The Hill, this will certainly spark a much more aggressive attempt to limit voting which seems to be the penultimate liberal proof that our democratic system is on the point of collapse.
There’s only a small problem with this Armageddon-like version of how the franchise is about to be dismantled, actually two problems. First, and most important, of the 19 states which have passed new voting laws, the Democrats need only to capture one of those states – New York – to maintain control, and the New York law actually makes it easier for state residents to register and vote.
Second, the CNN map showing the 19 states which have passed new voting laws shows New Hampshire as being one of those states where a GOP-dominated legislature passed a law in 2017 that would have made it more difficult to vote. Except back in July, the New Hampshire Supreme Court threw out the law. Oh well, oh well.
Hold the presses! Trump just announced he’s cancelling the press conference on Thursday night where he was going to give marching orders to all his loyal followers, you know, that’s the gang that’s about to take over the government and institute a fascist state. Unfortunately, most of those putzes are trying to figure out how to roll over and keep themselves from going to jail for the way they behaved on January 6th.
Trump better hope that he isn’t served a subpoena during what he claims will be a rally in Arizona on July 16th. Of course, he can always refuse to accept the service and join his good buddy, the intellectual Steve Bannon who will be sitting in jail writing an updated version of Mein Kampf.