Thursday, March 03, 2016

The Rise of Fascism American Style

Love him or hate him (and I don’t think there is any in between), Donald Trump has stirred up the normally stagnant political waters like no one in my lifetime. For those of us appalled by the idea of an unhinged, racist real estate mogul sitting in the Oval Office, it feels like we’re watching an out of control train careening down a mountainside to its inevitable explosive demise. Even Republicans like Mitt Romney are starting to panic, although, as others have pointed out, Trump is the monster the Republican Party built and there’s no way they’re going to get him back in the lab to take him apart.

The most frightening aspect of the Donald’s run is how his message of hate, exclusion, racism and violence resonates with so many Republicans. I’m sure intellectuals and leftists in Germany during the thirties were thinking the same thing. “How can so many German’s find Hitler and his policies appealing?”

Although the lion’s share of blame for Trump rests with the Republican Party, Democrats have to shoulder some responsibility as well. Over the past thirty years, Democrats have failed to offer a clear alternative vision to an American public growing  more and more disillusioned with politics and politicians. The problem exists on both the left and right, and it is manifesting itself in support for the non-establishment politicians, Trump and Sanders. Our government is dysfunctional, and Americans are slowly realizing that they can’t count on the government to heal itself, and are opting for true outsiders. The problem is, it’s left the door open for a guy like Trump with his fascist tendencies and racist appeal, a charismatic strong man promising to fix things in Washington and make America great again.

What Democrats know and now some Republicans are starting to realize is that the ego-driven Trump is playing a very dangerous game, and playing the conservative base for suckers. The only one who wants to see Donald Trump become President is Donald Trump’s ego.

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