Sunday, December 11, 2016

Election: Trump Derangement Syndrome

Fascist Mussolini                               "Fascist" Trump
“You know, to just be grossly generalistic, you could put half of Trump’s supporters into what I call the basket of deplorables. Right? They’re racist, sexist, homophobic, xenophobic, Islamophobic—you name it.   .   . They are irredeemable, but thankfully they are not America.”

Hillary Clinton

Why do progressives, in response to the Trump phenomenon, insist on “going low” and matching Trump’s name calling?

In his Washington Post article titled, “Donald Trump is actually a fascist,” progressive Michael Kinsley argues that Trump is:
a fascist[, n]ot in the sense of an all-purpose bad guy, but in the sense of somebody who sincerely believes that the toxic combination of strong government and strong corporations.   .   . “Nazism” and “fascism” — are now beyond all respectability. [“Fascist”] means, roughly, combining the power of the state with the power of corporations.  .  . At its most toxic, it is concentration camps.
Set aside the fact that progressives complaining about big government and big business working hand-in-hand is the pot calling the kettle black.  Also, please set aside the fact that, last year, this blog itself compared Trump to the fascist Italian dictator Benito Mussolini.  But that was long before Trump secured the Republican nomination, much less the presidency, and was based partly upon the facial resemblance of the Donald to il Duce (picture). 

Kinsley is calling the person who will be inaugurated in less than six weeks in a nation bound by the U.S. Constitution someone who might put Americans into “concentration camps.”  What is going on?

Here is another example of a mainstream progressive going off the rails — former Atlantic editor James Fallows writing in his old publication of his “Despair .  .  . in the Age of Trump”:
through its cycle of struggle and renewal, the United States is in a continual process of becoming a better version of itself. What I have seen directly over the past decade.   .   .  has reinforced my sense that our current era has been another one of painful but remarkable reinvention, in which the United States is doing more than most other societies to position itself, despite technological and economic challenges, for a new era of prosperity, opportunity, and hope.

And now we have Donald Trump.   .   .  I view Trump’s election as the most grievous blow that the American idea has suffered in my lifetime. The Kennedy and King assassinations and the 9/11 attacks were crimes and tragedies. The wars in Vietnam and Iraq were disastrous mistakes. But the country recovered. For a democratic process to elevate a man expressing total disregard for democratic norms and institutions is worse.
How can Fallows seriously compare today to the terrible years between 1965 and 1974 — assassinations, Vietnam, 58,000 victims of the draft dead, massive unrest throughout the country over war and civil rights, the Democrats torn apart, two presidents driven from office, Watergate -- a constitutional crisis lasting nearly two years?  Fallows lived those years. 

Today, someone “expressing total disregard for democratic norms and institutions is worse.”  Really, worse? Trump is checked by the Constitution, the separation of powers, U.S. Senate’s filibuster rule, the courts, and Fallows’ own media.

“Progressive” means “moving forward or onward:  advancing.”  Fallows’ most significant sentence may be, “the United States is in a continual process of becoming a better version of itself.”  That’s the progressive religion.  The near civil war that was 1960’s America was o.k., because we became “a better version” of ourselves (in progressive eyes at least).  Trump is an appalling step backward, returning to Kinsley’s 1930's fascism, if not exactly the caveman era.

Both Kinsley and Fallows supported Hillary Clinton, who called one-fourth of American voters — not Trump himself — in an election where she needed every vote she could get, “racist, sexist, homophobic, xenophobic, Islamophobic—you name it” “irredeemable" “deplorables.” 

We documented how divided is America by where people live — either in mostly coastal big cities or elsewhere — and progressive support is particularly concentrated in “the Capitol” (in “Hunger Games” terms) — that combination of wealth and power where both Fallows and Kinsley reside; the “swamp” Trump hopes to “drain”.

No doubt the fact that the “people”, in the form of popular votes cast, supported Clinton over Trump by 2.8 million votes (2.1%) helps explain why progressives are exploding as Trump’s inauguration approaches.  But as the progressive Will Marshall wrote in the “Daily Beast”:
There’s no point in whining about the Electoral College. Team Clinton knew the terrain on which the race would be decided.

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