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writing for godot

The Republican Party's Turn Toward Fascism

Written by David Starr   
Monday, 30 August 2021 04:30

Historically, the meaning of being a "true American" often entailed privileges for those who were white and male.

In turn, the consequences were racism and white supremacy. And these things still exist today, although sometimes in a subtle form with dog whistles and code words or in a more overt form with outright racist words and actions.

Nowadays the "true American" caricature is embraced by those in the Republican Party itself. So are the words "freedom" and "choice." But these words have been used by those on the right as convenient disguises for racism and white supremacy, and for the objectives of the GOP's agenda. After all, to not use them would be a political liability.

Given the Jan. 6 riot, with the participation of white supremacists, and the Republican leaders who supported the it; given that the Republican Party has become more entwined with corporate interests (Corporate Democrats also are entwined with corporate interests but differ on certain policies.); given that the "N" word has been used by Trump supporters emboldened by Donald Trump's messages of hate; given that racism, greed, ultra-nationalism, militarism, arrogance, hypocrisy and Orwellian double-speak have been used by members of the right in full measure, the Republican Party has turned toward fascism.

Donald Trump in particular has made the Republican Party veer further to the right. "The more it has become apparent that the 45th president and his adulatory followers do not represent a temporary phenomenon, the more tempting it has become to compare Trumpism to right-wing authoritarian movements antagonistic to democracy, which go by the term fascism," wrote Ed Kilgore in the Intelligencer (07/14/2021). Kilgore goes on to write that Trump's defiance in refusing to concede the 2020 presidential election has made "the MAGA movement more anti-democratic and insurrectionist." I would add more reactionary.

Ryan O'Connell, writing in The Globalist (05/14/2021), mentions that the Republican Party isn't fascist yet, but in comparing it to 1930s Germany, it's looking more and more similar. "Like many Germans of that era, large numbers of Republican voters and politicians have abandoned democratic values. In particular, they no longer believe that government policies should reflect the will of the majority." Then there's Trump supporters believing in the Big Lie, that Democrats stole the election, even though they have no proof to show for it. And they don't care.

"True Americans," calling themselves "patriots," have heavily armed themselves and organized into more threatening militias. They have used intimidation and have flaunted their weaponry in public. O'Connell found that 30% of Republicans thought it appropriate to use violence to achieve their objective for the sake of "saving" the country. And the police, those who are fascist and racist, are pretty much standing by. With the mostly white militias having sympathizers in the police departments, a crack down would be unlikely. There's no need to say what the police would do if, e.g., Black Lives Matters protesters got out of hand. And conservatives say that racism doesn't exist today in the USA.

One writer wrote that the Republican Party has already turned fascist. Patrick Cockburn in the Independent, (06/23/2021), a British newspaper, makes no bones about it. He called the Republican Party the most dangerous threat in the world. Given its particular agenda and the scourge of Trumpism, the Republican Party has the capacity to wreak havoc worldwide if it fully gets back into power, controlling both Congress and the White House.

What's happening in Republican-controlled state legislatures makes this scenario more of a threat. Voter suppression has been on the rise, with state legislatures in places like Texas, Florida, and Georgia imposing "laws" to combat "fraud," that is of course, in reality, disenfranchising people of color and others who vote Democratic.

Cockburn wrote that "Trump himself possesses all the classic features of a fascist leader." Trump has behaved like he's the supreme leader in a cult. He has an intolerance for being criticized, has a macho ego, will lie consistently, is part of the far right establishment, has support from the "Proud Boys" (a neo-Nazi entity), treats women as second class, and has racist tendencies.

But there shouldn't be a strict focus on just Trump. He is a symptom of the current system. There also should be a focus on the issues, and how a Left/Progressive agenda can be implemented (which of course will be a struggle).

If being a "true American" means embracing fascism, then the United States is in bad shape. That makes it all the more imperative to fight back against Trump and the Republican Party. your social media marketing partner
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