Will America Embrace or Reject Fascism in 2020?

Thom plus logo Fascists build walls, like they did around East Germany. Donald Trump is building a new, unscalable wall around the White House today, and the Republican party has spent the past four years celebrating a wall on our southern border.

Fascists divide and imprison people based on ideology and race. Trump and the Republicans have put children in cages after tearing them away from their mothers, and built out a private for-profit prison system to hold refugees of color.

Fascists don't believe in free and fair elections, and Donald Trump and the Republican party have spent years fighting to make it harder for Americans to vote and have their vote counted. Right now, they are launching hundreds of lawsuits and other efforts across our nation to prevent people from voting or to block already-cast votes from being counted.

Fascists support the power of very wealthy people and the corporations that make them rich; after all, the definition of fascism is "the merger of corporate and state interests." Trump and the Republican Party have shoveled over 3 trillion dollars to the wealthiest Americans, and work every day to gut protective regulations.

Fascists use threats and intimidation to get their way politically, and Trump and his Republican allies are openly encouraging the American Taliban to harass Democratic politicians and voters on our roads and highways, in our cities, and at our polling places.

Fascist use the power of government to corruptly reward their friends and twist the law to punish their enemies. Trump and the Republicans he's put in charge of the Justice Department and DHS have openly pursued politically motivated investigations, while giving giant corporations a pass and trying to block prosecutions and convictions of Trump's criminal cronies.

Fascist pervert the justice systems of their nations by packing their court systems with rightwing ideologues. Trump and the Republicans have spent four years packing our federal court system with often-openly-unqualified rightwing lawyers. The world is watching, as the Republican Party has spent the last 20 years pushing America in an openly fascistic direction.

Last week, a group of more than 80 of America's and the world's top scholars and experts on authoritarianism and fascism wrote an open letter to the American public, saying, "We have seen all of these patterns in our study of the past, and we recognize the signs of a crisis of democracy... We need to turn away from the rule by entrenched elites and return to the rule of law. We must replace the politics of 'internal enemies' with a politics of adversaries in a healthy, democratic marketplace of ideas."

They warn that "[I]f we don't, we will indeed face dark days ahead."It's a cliché to point out that after the Constitutional Convention in 1787 Ben Franklin said that they had created "a republic, if you can keep it," but he was right.




RepubliCult's picture
RepubliCult 3 years 32 weeks ago

IMHO, we need to expect more from voting in American democracy:

NO taxation without PROOF of representation! ...

Every voter deserves to know that their vote has been counted correctly in the final tabulation.

The government demands we prove our income to the penny every year, we pay taxes from our paychecks twice a month. It's reasonable to demand that just once every 2 years, that we each get proof that our vote has been counted correctly. That's not too much to ask, or demand in our voting and from our government. Consider this: No one reading this knows for sure if their vote has been counted correctly, ever. There is no way to know this with any of the current voting systems. But it is possible. If voting were as sacred as money in this country, we could know our votes were counted correctly, and most importantly, all votes would be respected. Our banking systems are able to process billions of dollars every day, the transactions are secure, private, accurate, verifiable, auditable, and accurate to the penny - every day. The life blood of our economy is money, and we handle it effectively every day.

We can and must have the same process for our sacred votes - the life blood of democracy. It is time to put "teeth" into our voting process. Require the governent to prove to an individual that their vote has been counted correctly in the final tabulation. Failure by the government to do so causes a penalty to the government - that individual does NOT have to pay taxes until the next election. This "get tough behind our voting" would make governments shape up, and would also substantially boost voter participation. So, we have the technology to meet and exceed all issues in our voting, as we see the banks do all of this every day, with no fraud, suppression, intimidation, plus accuracy to the penny and private information known only to the account holder and the bank's computer.

Time to do this - for the life blood of our democracy.

Worn out door knobs's picture
Worn out door knobs 3 years 32 weeks ago

Jump on the Trump Train


deepspace's picture
deepspace 3 years 32 weeks ago

The Trump Train jumped the tracks.

Betty Bennett's picture
Betty Bennett 3 years 32 weeks ago

Sorry but you have taught me too well. What is the source of the open letter, may I read it for myself, do those who wrote it have credentials other than opinion?

Hephaestus's picture
Hephaestus 3 years 32 weeks ago

Betty, try this link https://www.theguardian.com/world/2020/nov/01/democracy-fascism-global-trump-biden-election

No fan of the Guardian I'm afraid

alis volat's picture
alis volat 3 years 32 weeks ago

The more disgusting and stupid Trump acts, it seems the more his supporters identify with him. Clearly a portion of society thinks this is how you insult their version of the "elites". There are also those who vote only their pocketbooks or the abortion issue. There is no critical thinking involved, and when you add these folks together you have maybe 40% of the voters.

The words fascist as well as socialist have been bandied about in so many iterations, I question how useful it is use them anymore. I am for less labels and intellectual discussion and more for what was in the letter described above: "We must encourage coalitions organized across differences of race, class, gender, religion and caste, while respecting the perspectives and experiences of others. We need to reveal and denounce any and all connections between those in power and those vigilante and militia forces using political violence to destabilize our democracies." Once we coalesce further and win enough seats, we can try to control the corporations and balance the American equation. It is time; the climate, health, and unequal justice crises won't wait.

DavidinAlabackwards's picture
DavidinAlabackwards 3 years 32 weeks ago

Why do we use nice intellectual names for Trump? He is a Dictator!

Legend 3 years 32 weeks ago

Well, Trumpster's you have had 4 years to see the light. You are now officially the biggest losers. It is bad enough, that you were stupid enough to elect him. But you believed daily blatant lies for 4 years. You watched as 52 Senators voted against impeachment (the only remedy for a sitting POTUS that has comitted crimes) although they admitted that he had committed crimes. Then you believed him when he claimed that the Mueller Report had exonerated him. Which even the redacted version (only one released by his Toddy Bill Barr) did not. Trump has lied to you every day. Yesterday he said that our Covid numbers were so low (in fact, highest in the world) because his wall had stopped the Mexicans. He has added 3 miles to a 1950 mile border. The Mexicans no longer want to come here, have closed the border and the only way that you can go there is by illegally crossing. The economy is in the tank. He has destroyed the Social Security funding. The Pandemic is totally out of control. Foreign relations are a joke. His medical plan is still coming, So is infrastructure week. Plus the check from Mexico for the wall. By the way, no other countries will let us in so you are stuck here. But he has made tons of money with his resorts. Where he does not just collect off of our government (your tax dollars). Corporations and foreign countries funnel bribes to Trump through his resorts. If he should win, you have given him a get out of jail for free card. It will take years, but if he loses he will be in courts for the rest of his life. Hopefully jail, but our judicial system is hopelessly broken. Do not feel too bad if he loses, you always have Don Jr running in 2024, with Ivanka as VP. Then Eric, followed by Baron. Putin will still be around to help you get them elected.

Obama vs Trump economy.

SueN's picture
SueN 3 years 32 weeks ago

Betty, if Thom has ranted on the subject of his blog during the show, which he usually does, I try and find sources and put them in the stack in the newsletter and at https://www.thomhartmann.com/radio/sues-daily-summaries

avn013's picture
avn013 3 years 32 weeks ago

I agree that a "win" by a large margin in terms of crisis is preferable to a narrow win, which is more likely to be accompanied by a difference of opinion between electorate and popular vote and clearly will "describe" a divided or split society. Historically, societies that are divided in times of (real) crisis are already in the path of collapsing. Collapse has been some times quick (a decade or two) or other times slow (a couple of centuries).

I consider the new senate an d the new house, far more important than the WH. Senate and house combined can enforce good policies of a presidency and can postpone bad ones for ever. They can even impeach (successfully) if required.

Ironically, technology (traditionally funded by the State) has made us wealthy beyond the imagination of our parents. Ironically, the economy has evolved to a consumers' economy, which means the poor contribute to the economy much more than the few super rich, who tend to take their money out if the economy and into secure tax paradises. Taxing the poor (directly or indirectly) basically destroys the economy in the long term. In addition, economic injustice (a "black-and-white" issue) reinforces the image of social injustice (a "colored" issue). How can a country progress under such feelings? Not only, progress becomes impeded, but chances of collapse increase.

The idea that each American is entitled to a "freedom dividend" (i.e. a fair share of technology) seems radical, because it clashes with the deeply entrenched superstition that "Arbeit macht frei". While, this superstition worked well in the past, times have changed radically, and radical changes are required for the "fittest". USA is one of the exceptions where it is easier for a working person to get a high pay-rise rather than an extra paid day vacation. Much poorer countries have achieved the annual 4-week paid leave (for the employed ones, that is), but to the best of my knowledge this is still double of what USA has achieved. (https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_minimum_annual_leave_by_country). Time is not simply money. Time is all we have left before we give up all our money.

karlmarx1947's picture
karlmarx1947 3 years 31 weeks ago

Barrington Moore Jr. now desceased pointed out in his study of modernizing societies, "Social Origins of Dictatorship and Democracy" from Japan, and Germany and Spain and Italy that its a weak and declining middle class that leads to Fascist governments as opposed to England and the U.S. where democracies evolved. Hense Trump now. We should be concerned about U.S. evolution toward Facism. We are also lucky that Trump has not decided to declare war on the rest of the World. We should pay much more attention to the social origins of fascism and less to the cult of the "leader" who evolves. Indeed we have been lucky that Trump has been so unwarlike compared say to Hitler. A new more fascistic leader may be in order given the U.S. evolution into a plutocracy

karlmarx1947's picture
karlmarx1947 3 years 31 weeks ago

The rhetoric sounds nice but you fail to explain how the ballot can remain secret: i.e. election officials do not know who voted for whom. Without a secret ballot the state can persecute anyone who doesn't vote for the leader in power.

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