THIS is Fascism
Fascism has direction and momentum. Dissent is piece by piece criminalized. The truth is bludgeoned. Group after group is demonized and targeted along a trajectory that leads to real horrors. Fascism is a qualitative change in how society is governed. (From the Refuse Fascism Call to Action).
11/7/17: Important warning in Salon:
“I’m the only one that matters”: Trump’s chilling imperial power-grab
Trump has never understood, or respected, the limits on presidential power. Now he’s trying to make them disappear…
In just the last few days the Trump/Pence regime:
Took a trip to Asia and hypocritically demanded “the total de-nuclearization of the Korean peninsula” – while Trump’s itchy finger rests on the trigger of a U.S. arsenal of 10,000 nuclear weapons! Thousands of people in Seoul, largely youth, protested against Trump’s state visit and threats of war. source
Met with Philippine tyrant Duterte in Manila, Duterte’s answer to the drug crisis in the Philippines is to gun down thousands of people in the streets, a tactic Trump has praised. Protests against both fascist leaders were put down with water canons and riot police source
Escalated and opened another front in its war on immigrants by ending Temporary Protected Status for 2,500 Nicaraguans. This is a springboard for ending Temporary Protected Status for much larger groups of people whose TPS is due to expire next year, including 57,000 Hondurans, 50,000 Haitians, and 200,000 Salvadorans. TPS protects people from certain countries that have been devastated by war, natural disasters, or health epidemics from being deported. These countries have also been devastated by decades of U.S. government intervention, creating desperate conditions that spark mass migrations. source
This story of an Ugandan asylum-seeker gives a small glimpse of the cruel consequences of these “hardline” immigration policies, where vulnerable people are now trapped in a cycle of terror and torture. source
Taking on the myth that the Trump regime has not accomplished anything, here is a reality check on how fast the regime is moving to remake the judiciary by packing their judges into the lower appeals courts. “… the 12 regional appeals courts wield profound influence over Americans’ lives, getting the final word on about 60,000 cases a year that are not among the roughly 80 the Supreme Court hears.” source
Earlier… the Trump/Pence Regime:
Illegally and outrageously blocked a 17-year-old woman, “Jane Doe,” from obtaining an abortion she desires and has the right to acquire. Right now, she is on the verge of being forced to bear a child against her will (source).
- Stripped all references to climate in revised EPA websites that had previously provided crucial information about climate change. Some of these resources had been taken down in April to be “reflect EPA’s priorities under the leadership of President Trump and Administrator Pruitt.” The websites that have been put back up have been purged of essential knowledge and research – a further assault on the truth, science, and the planet. source
- Put a new face on its war on the media with Chief of Staff John Kelly, who used his own son’s death to elevate military service as the ultimate moral service, made a personal connection with military families a prerequisite for journalists asking questions, and evoked nostalgia for a time (pre-civil rights) when four things were sacred: women (in their traditional roles as wives and mothers), religion, “life,” and military families. source Here is one veteran calling this out for the bullshit it is. Veteran Answers John Kelly: No Blind Obedience to the War Machine.
Key parts of the Trump/Pence regime’s fascist base also made their own advances:
- Richard Spencer, determined to normalize white supremacist terror under the guise of free speech, forced an appearance the University of Florida Gainesville. The college paid $500,000 for security and Florida declared a state of emergency to lock down the campus, but protesters righteously resisted both inside and outside of Spencer’s talk. The Neo-Nazi website Daily Stormer encouraged flash mobs to intimidate Jewish and non-white institutions in the Gainesville area. Three were charged with attempted murder after open firing into a crowd. source
- Georgia lawmaker Betty Price, wife of former Trump cabinet member Tom Price, made a “provocative and rhetorical comment” — she asked if people with HIV should be quarantined. These provocative and rhetorical comments are how genocidal ideas gain legitimacy. source
- Former White House strategist and Breitbart fascist Steve Bannon gave a disturbing speech at the California GOP convention that laid out a strategy for a fascist take-over of California, the bluest of blue states. He outlined a united front of libertarians, “populists” (fascists), economic nationalists (America first xenophobes), and evangelical Christians was necessary for defeating liberalism, and decried a lack of urgency for fully consolidating fascism.((source)
And for further reading, why comparing a lying Trump to a lying Hitler is absolutely appropriate, this column by Charles Blow: Trump Isn’t Hitler but the Lying
- Threatened to pull aid out of Puerto Rico and blamed Puerto Ricans for structural problems caused by brutal imperialist exploitation (source).The ongoing neglect of Puerto Rico in the aftermath of Hurricane Maria, and these latest threats, would lead to a genocide of Puerto Rican people (source). The actual numbers of storm-related deaths in Puerto Rico are likely much higher than the official reports (source).
- Solicited proposals from private prison companies for a new 1000-bed detention facility in South Texas “Detention Alley.” “Trump’s promised expansion of the detention system represents a boon to the private prison industry … and portends a continued focus on interior actions such as the ICE raids in Austin in February that sparked controversy because more than half of the 53 immigrants arrested had no criminal history.” (Source).
- Signed an executive order scrapping subsidies to ACA providers that help low-income people afford healthcare. In the eyes of this fascist regime, those who can’t afford healthcare don’t deserve to live. In effect, this isn’t much different from the eugenics programs of the Nazis. (Source)
- Joined and saluted leaders of white supremacist and Christian fascist hate groups at the Values Voter Summit in Washington D.C. (source) and rallied around myths of Western Christian victimhood and a supposed war on Christmas (source).
- “Joked” about Mike Pence wanting to hang all gay people. This was reported in a New Yorker article aptly titled “The Danger of President Pence.” We agree that the Christian fascist Pence is just as dangerous as the White Supremacist fascist Trump, which is why the whole regime needs to go ( source).
- Made “hard-line” demands for a DACA deal with Democrats, essentially using 800,000 Dreamers as a bargaining chip in an overall package of ethnic cleansing of immigrants – building the border wall, deportations of children, penalties for sanctuary cities, new immigration laws limiting asylum or family reunification. (Source)
- Staged an incident to escalate the vitriol and threats against NFL players taking a knee. Mike Pence walked out of a Colts-49’ers game after several players kneeled during the National Anthem. (Source) ESPN caved to pressure from Trump and suspended commentator Jemele Hill for posting on her own Twitter account that Donald Trump is a white supremacist. Jemele Hill has defended the right of players to protest. (Source).
- Escalated the level of U.S. threats on North Korea and Iran, ratcheted up lies about Iran, and continued personal insults aimed at North Korea’s ruler (and Trump’s own Secretary of State) to the point that right wing Republican Senator Bob Corker said Trump is setting the United States “on the path to World War III.” When asked about that by a reporter, Trump didn’t deny this but replied “We’re on the path right now, believe me.” (Source). And Trump unleashed a furious set of rants, personal insults and threats against Corker.
- In Charlottesville, white supremacists emboldened by Trump’s embrace of them as “fine people,” after one of them murdered an anti-fascist protester, held another Klan-style torchlight rally. (Source).
- Instituted an even worse travel ban, which now indefinitely bars most travel from 6 Muslim majority countries along with North Korea and Venezuela. (Source). Protests to Muslim Ban 1.0 were righteous, but if Muslim Ban 2.0 and now 3.0 are at least as bad (and they are!), how is that tolerable? Relying on just fighting these bans through the courts has turned out to be a disastrous strategy.
- Issued an FBI report that invents the term “Black Identity Extremism”, and says this “extremism” has “spurred an increase in premediated, retaliatory lethal violence against law enforcement and will very likely serve as justification for such violence.” These lies have ominous implications. (Source).
- Threatened to revoke NBC’s broadcast license for reporting that Donald Trump told several leading members of his national security team that he wants a nearly tenfold increase in the U.S. nuclear arsenal, and for revealing that Trump’s Secretary of State called him a “moron.” NBC is standing by their story. Trump tweeted “With all of the Fake News coming out of NBC and the Networks, at what point is it appropriate to challenge their License? Bad for country!” (Source).
Updated Oct 5, 2017
In just the past few days, the Trump/Pence fascist regime has:
- Rescinded a policy that protects transgender people from discrimination.
This is the wake of reversing guidance that protects transgender students… arguing at the Supreme Court in favor of a Christian baker who refused a wedding cake to a gay couple… and arguing in court against protections against discrimination against gay workers. https://www.buzzfeed.com/dominicholden/jeff-sessions-just-reversed-a-policy-that-protects
- Gutted the requirement that employers pay for birth control. “The Trump Administration is forcing women to pay for their boss’s religious beliefs,” said ACLU senior staff attorney Brigitte Amiri, in a statement.
- Lied about fetal development to advance a federal abortion ban. The bill, which refers to the fetus as “unborn child,” reads as a piece of pro-life propaganda…
- Threatened that this may be the “calm before the storm” ominously threatening military action against North Korea or Iran… or beyond.
- In state after state, Republicans are moving rapidly and radicially to disenfranchize people of color, immigrants, students and others to lock in a permanent Republican majority in congress and choosing a president. In Florida, officials moved 46,000+ voters in Tampa alone to “inactive” status in the first six months of this year (Tampa is the key swing district in the state). In Alabama, they’ve re-instated what is in effect a poll tax – the infamous tool used for decades to deny Black people the right to vote in the South…