Trump Isn't Our Biggest Problem: It's the Authoritarian Fascist Movement He's Launched

Thom plus logo Pundits across the American political spectrum are wringing their hands about the fate and future of the "dirty dozen" Republican senators challenging Biden's election.

One of the most widespread stories about their motivation is that they're "afraid of Trump" or are "worried about being primaried." Both ideas are wrong.

These people are not taking Trump's side because they're afraid. They're not motivated by what they might lose. Instead, they're looking to what they might gain in the future.

They're doing it because Trump has launched an authoritarian fascist movement, with the help and encouragement of a few American and foreign billionaires, and they're competing with each other to be the next leader or a major player in the senior levels of that movement.

The big mistake so many political observers make is assuming that Trumpism is all about Trump. It's not. It's all about a 21st century American version of authoritarian fascism.

There's always been a strain of authoritarian fascism in American politics, just like in every time of political crisis around the world. Here in the United States it reached a peak in the deep South in 1860, leading to secession and Civil War, and was defeated by Abraham Lincoln.

It came back in a big way in the 1930s with the America First movement, who's most prominent spokesperson was Charles Lindbergh. In Congress over 100 members of that movement, almost all Republicans, gave speeches praising Adolf Hitler or offering legislation or resolutions to prevent President Roosevelt from challenging Germany.

The nation's #1 best-selling author at the time, Nero Wolfe creator Rex Stout, compiled their speeches into a book titled The Illustrious Dunderheads. That movement largely vanished after World War II when a new generation of Americans discovered the horrors of authoritarian fascism.

And now, here it is again.

Arnold Toynbee, it is said, argued that every 80 years or so America repeats its greatest political mistakes, and must learn that lesson through mass death because 80 years is the rough span of human life.

"When the last man who remembers the horrors of the last great war dies," he's often quoted as saying, "the next great war becomes inevitable."

Similarly, when the last Americans who fought fascism die out, the next authoritarian fascist movement is certain to emerge, leading us to the next war.

In the 1770s, Americans fought and died in the Revolutionary War against British oligarchs and their colonialism policy, that generation's version of authoritarian fascism.

Eighty years later, as that generation died out in the 1850s, the new authoritarian fascism of the Confederate South rose up and declared another war in America. Over 600,000 Americans died to defeat fascism that time.

Eighty years after the Civil War, Americans again defeated fascism, both overseas and here at home, losing almost a half-million American lives but winning World War II and reaffirming the values of American democracy.

In both cases, politicians and newspapers who'd spotted the rise of authoritarian fascism in the old South and in the America First movement tried to warn the country about the dangers of rising fascism. In both cases they failed and war broke out.

And now, roughly 80 years after World War II, here we are again.

The question this time is whether, in an era of mass media and the internet, that infrastructure will be used to strengthen and spread today's new fascism, or will succeed in awakening and alerting the American people. It isn't about Republican versus Democrat; it's about authoritarian fascism versus democracy in our republic.

The stakes are much bigger than the political futures of a dozen senators or even the Republican Party. If authoritarian fascism isn't defeated now, it will certainly tear America apart, will accelerate the growth of fascism around the world, and thus may well provoke World War III.

-Thom

First published at Medium.com.

Comments

deepspace's picture
deepspace 2 weeks 3 days ago
#1

Well, today, let's hope Georgians put McConnell in his place where he belongs -- in the minority. And, tomorrow, let the Republican shitshow commence.

I have a dream (apologies to MLK)...

It's a world where authoritarian fascism backfires on Republicans and becomes their worst nightmare. Their votes are all deemed fraudulent and never counted -- you know, just because. They can't have guns, own huge gas-guzzling pickups, display huge gaudy flags, log on to the internet, or attend all-white churches. They can only earn the minimum wage, can't have affordable insurance, affordable housing, food stamps, welfare, or education past high school -- just enough "ejukashun" to work ditch-digging jobs till they drop dead since they're also banned from ever retiring. And in congressional debates, they just have to STFU! (WARNING: very crude and offensive link; apologies to Teletubbies.)

When there's a pandemic, they get rounded up and put in crowded cages far away from other human beings, where they're forbidden from wearing facemasks, can't get inoculated, or have access to doctors, nurses, or ICU beds, and their deaths are recorded as nothing more than from the "common flu."

Oh yeah, and when there's a neocon greedy corporate resource war to fight, guess who gets drafted first and finds themselves in a foxhole on the front lines with substandard weapons, armor, artillery backup, and air support because of rampant corruption in the privatized "defense" industry.

Fortunately (because I'm a liberal and think all people must be treated fairly and equally regardless of race, ethnicity, religion, sex, sexual orientation, politics, etc.), my karmic fantasy should never be realized. But we can always make fun of the stupid-fckng-lying-hypocritical bastards -- you know, all that free-speech stuff. 🤣

How Much Better Off would America be If 6 Republican Presidents Hadn't Stolen The White House?

Thom plus logo It's about time the last one, Trump, is held accountable

Trump's impeachment trial is coming up in the Senate, and already his allies are trying to throw up procedural roadblocks to exhaust the effort to hold him accountable. Should America "move beyond" Trump? No friggin' way.
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