Trump is patently semi-fascist. His devouring ethnocentrism (American Greatness) and xenophobia (Anti-Immigrant, Anti-Muslim) confirms a structural-ideological process at work of social Nazification underpinned by his dedication to wealth and amorphous quest for power.
In this respect he is the easy target of liberals and progressives, both Democrats as a whole and a moderate segment of Republicans, as well as the “responsible” media like The New York Times.
No argument there. If it were possible to stand alone, abstracting all circumstances and reality, the foregoing would hold, true in and of itself, without qualification.
Yet I do not detract from this indictment of Trump, an absolute menace to democratic thought and practice, when I say it is only half the story. The other half is America itself, particularly those who portray him as a monster. They do not have clean hands, Obama and Clinton on down, including most of what we commonly think of as the Left.
Trump is America. I am not a social scientist, ie one who, as Barrington Moore pointed out, could carry societal propositions through to the fourth decimal place and certify their validity. I am frankly impressionistic here, but I estimate that between half and two-thirds of all Americans deep down think as Trump does – and the record of American history since World War II tends to confirm that.
The leopard cannot change its spots, except at election time, when it behooves one side to appear more enlightened than the other, submerging gut (and thought out) positions to the smug declaration of liberalism and human rights.
Every position he has thus far announced, as so many nails in his political coffin and immediately pounced on for disclosure and condemnation, is actually what the vast majority of Americans believe. It is not simply that Trump is semi-fascist traveling the path to a fulsome actualization, but that America also is: ethnocentric, xenophobic, and worse, blood-thirsty in its pursuit of National Security and the triumphalism of monopoly capital.
Anti-immigrant, anti-Muslim, of course, though not admitted for public consumption. Deference to wealth and the wealthy – so what else is new?
In other words, criticism of Trump is misleading and self-serving. No one really cares about his fascistic policy stands, his insults, his broad-based defamations of character, because they are ours as well, the Mighty Fortress of Purity nicknamed Exceptionalism. What we care about are his references to Putin and Russia. There he goes too far.
Every think-tank intellectual and defense “expert” is up-in-arms (literally) at this manifest betrayal of Cold War moral truths about America’s place in the world. If Trump had played it straight, as expected by both parties and the general electorate, Pentagon jargon at the ready, anticommunism in tow, Free World rhetoric freshly minted for the occasion, we would have a very different presidential contest.
Hypocrisy is running rampant (which he may or may not sense). Clinton is just as ideologically and politically rotten as he, rotten – a strong term I use unapologetically (it signifies putridity, moral corruption) – on both domestic and foreign policy. If anything, Trump and Clinton are a step behind the nation’s fascist tendencies, which is why they have been thrust up to the political roles they now enjoy.
This article has been excerpted from: ‘America and the Trump Conundrum’.