Yesterday I received quite a few emails from readers who objected to my efforts to downplay and/or dismiss Trump as a fascist ‘threat.’ They seem to think that just because the situation is different in the United States today than it was back in Germany after World War I, that Trump is just as intent on abolishing our democratic political structures as Hitler was intent on destroying the Weimer democracy prior to 1933.
But I still hold to the idea, first put out there by Eric Hobsbawm, that you don’t explain or understand the present by understanding the past – every period and every national history must be explained and understood on its own times.
To label Trump as a ‘fascist’ doesn’t just mean that he’s trying to reverse an exercise in democratic behavior which is what last year’s Presidential election represents. To be consistent and historically correct, you would also have to assume that the social, economic, and cultural conditions which allowed Hitler to abolish Weimar democracy in 1933 are the same conditions which exist today.
Nothing could be further from reality or from the truth.
In early 1930’s Germany, the middle class was wiped out. Not just made slightly smaller or slightly less financially secure but wiped…fucking…out. There were still foreign troops occupying German national soil. The government monetary system had collapsed due to an inflation caused by printing money to wipe out debts imposed by the countries that defeated Germany in World War I.
On Tuesday, when I filled up my gas tank, the purchase of 11 gallons of gas cost me $35 bucks. A week earlier that same purchase would have run me $33.99. And we call that inflation? In Germany, between 1919 and 1923, the price of a gallon of gasoline would have gone up by four thousand percent! Except you couldn’t find any gasoline, okay?
Let me give you just one, funny example of how much Trump represents fascism in today’s United States. One of the characteristics of fascist politics is the degree to which the leader of a fascist party or fascist movement becomes larger than life. A country moving towards fascism doesn’t elect its political leader – the leader represents a personality ‘cult’ that transcends and then eliminates normal or traditional methods for determining who the leader will happen to be.
Trump is such a transcendent figure that he couldn’t fill any of the four halls where he and Bill O’Reilly staged their ‘history tour’ even when he gave away the tickets for free. Last week, Trump’s good buddy Roger Stone, began auctioning off items from his personal collection of Trump memorabilia to cover his legal bills [thanks Paula]. For a $20,000 bid you get the original cover of a now-defunct real estate magazine autographed by Trump – it’s the picture above.
As of this morning, there’s been one bid for $1,100. Stone better find another way to come up with the dough he needs to keep himself out of jail this time around.
Of course, there’s always a chance that Trump himself will wind up behind bars. I can see it now – there’s Trump sitting in the Manhattan Correctional Center writing (dictating) his version of Mein Kampf. Frankly, I’m surprised it’s not out there already and available on Trump’s website where his online store featured a MAGA hat as a Christmas tree ornament this week.
I hate to break it to all my friends in the liberal, op-ed world who have spent the last five years warning us about the threat to our democratic system represented by a fascist named Trump backed up by his own armed force known as the Proud Boys or the Freedom Militia, or whatever those schmucks want to call themselves while they go out on the rifle range and guzzle down their pizza and beer.
Trump’s not a fascist. He’s a con artist and huckster who managed to sell thousands of MAGA t-shirts, baseball hats and lawn signs and became 45th President only because Hillary ran such a lousy and fucked up campaign.
Right now you can buy two ‘Don’t Blame Me – I Voted for Trump’ bumper stickers for $12 bucks.
Meanwhile, for all the liberal noisemaking about the supply-chain ‘crisis and the inflation ‘crisis’ and every other crisis, I notice that consumer spending is right back to where it was before the pandemic was declared in March, 2020.
I’m going to put up a website and declare the existence of a new political party. I’ll call it Grifter – USA and I’ll nominate Trump to be the party’s standard-bearer in 2024. Of course, the website will also allow visitors to make donations which I’ll split with Trump on a 50-50 basis.
Except knowing Trump, he’ll want the split to be 75-25 which is okay with me. At least I will have done my part to protect America from a Trump-led, fascist coup d’êtat.