Politics and elections have always been dirty, but it was mostly behind the scenes and not publicly open. Donald Trump has changed all that, taking his election campaign to the lowest-of-low, slinking to gutter-level tactics, disgusting personal attacks, and even threats of retaliation on the media that opposes him and to jail his opponent if he is elected. He will say anything, anywhere, to rile up his followers.
His depiction of America is one of despair, full of crime in the streets; Mexican illegals are all rapists; all foreign refugees from war are ISIS terrorists that are here to kill Americans; and African-Americans are at rock bottom with no hope and nowhere to go. The American dream is dead and only he can save it.
A leading authority on the history of fascism, Robert Paxton, has compared Trump’s campaign themes to fascism:
- The use of ethnic stereotypes and exploitation of fear of foreigners is directly out of a fascist’s recipe book.
- “Making the country great again” sounds exactly like the fascist movements.
- Concern about national decline, that was one of the most prominent emotional states evoked in fascist discourse, and Trump is using that full-blast, quite illegitimately, because the country isn’t in serious decline, but he’s able to persuade his followers that it is. That is a fascist stroke.
- An aggressive foreign policy to arrest the supposed decline. That’s another fascist stroke.
- Then, there’s his level of style and technique. He even looks like Mussolini in the way he sticks his lower jaw out, and also the bluster, the skill at sensing the mood of the crowd, the skillful use of media.
After years of religious fundamentalism and political propaganda, the Republican base automatically reacts to trigger points which have been fed to them by conservative right-wing media (FOX news) and hyper-conservative “talking heads” (Rush Limbaugh). These trigger points: Obama, ObamaCare, abortion, 2nd Amendment, jobs, Benghazi, Clinton, Muslims, terrorists, big government, family values, etc. will throw them into a frenzy.
The GOP knows this. They can do whatever they want, no matter how immoral or horrible it is. If you are a Republican running for office, just use the trigger words and the Republican base and right-wing media will fall in line for you, even when their Republican representatives are voting against their best interests or the best interest of the country. Example: Prior to the midterm elections in 2010, their mantra was “Jobs, Jobs, Jobs”, until they won the seats in Congress they wanted, then proceeded to do absolutely NOTHING about jobs for the past six years, to the point of even voting against numerous job bills submitted by President Obama. Another example: Trump screams that our jobs and manufacturing have gone overseas and that only he can bring them back to America. Yet, he has his ties and items for his hotels made overseas so he can get them cheaper.
This is how Donald Trump has made it so far. When he started his campaign he used the trigger points as the core for his speeches and played to the already deep prejudices and fears of the Republican base. Then he went beyond all boundaries of decency and professionalism expected of a presidential candidate. He now openly invokes outright racism, bigotry, misogyny, hatred, mockery of others, heaps praises on foreign leaders like Putin and asks his help in uncovering Hillary’s missing emails. He continually goes off topic and starts blurting outrageous lies and accusations against anybody that disagrees with him.
All this with very little rebuke from his fellow Republicans, because he is keeping the base stirred up and willing to vote for them. However, as more factual information about Trump’s seemingly unending personal biases and questionable business dealings have come to light, some Republicans and even the RNC have started abandoning him and pulling their support. In typical Trump behavior, he is now attacking his own party for not supporting him. He squawks to his followers that this is great, because now he is on his own, unfettered and free to run campaign his way. He truly believes that he knows more than anyone else, on every topic, and has refused advice from anyone that tried to reign him in.
Whatever the outcome of the election, historians will look back on how the Republican Party sat back and allowed Donald Trump to become their candidate. The answer to this one is simple:
Donald Trump is the true face of the Republican Party. He is all that the GOP truly represents, but has never said out loud. The Republican Party owns Donald Trump – lot, stock and barrel!
The GOP has been riding this wave of discourse since the 1990’s and benefitting greatly from it. Now Donald Trump has pulled the band aid off and revealed the true nature of the GOP. And it is ugly! They are close to getting a Fascist and “dictator wannabe” elected to the presidency of the United States. Democracy is under attack by Donald Trump and the GOP.
Donald Trump and the Republican Party are a disgrace and an embarrassment to America.