The Schadenfreude Is Over: The GOP Must Operate On Its Fascist Trump Cancer
Trump is the nominee… yikes. Conservatives are doing a fascism, and American conservatism’s fascist tendencies have habit-formed into a hyper-partisan attitude of nativist nationalism.
It began in 2002 with the idea to invade Iraq, and from then on Republicans’ guy George W. Bush bumbled from one debacle to another. Then Democrats’ guy Barack Obama got elected and administrated successfully much of his agenda no matter how hard Republicans tried to keep him a one-term president.
Over the past two presidencies, conservative media has perfected purposefully faux news, and existential partisanship has brought our government to a halt. With Pavlovian obstinacy, Republicans have incapacitated Congress and renounced its responsibility to legislate, and have ignored the executive branch’s legitimacy, which in turn has incapacitated the judicial branch since Republicans have revoked the executive’s constitutional duty to replace a Supreme Court justice. The whole government is messed up.
Republicans have always blamed the government for America’s problems, yet unequivocally the GOP has torn apart the government’s capacity to solve them. In recent years, Republicans have physically shut down the government, forced the country off the GOP-carved fiscal cliff, wasted Congressional time failing repeatedly to repeal Obamacare, and stonewalled democratically-elected liberal trends.
When the Republican Party is not actively hurting the American people, Republican Congress people are threatening them. Republicans call for allowing the US to default on its debt, and for warmongering against foreign governments while the President works toward peace. Donald Trump has been given the nomination for threatening to forcibly deport ethnically minority people who contribute to our society without getting the social benefits of ethnically majority people. The Republican Party’s politics is morally repugnant.
Some Republicans have realized that Trump’s establishment mutiny has pulled the right into real radicalism, and they must commit to the #NeverTrump movement. Responsible Republicans should not settle for a terrible candidate just to see Democrats lose. America’s problems are no longer avoidable, and they are problems that Trump will, at best, exacerbate, or, at worst, economically and authoritatively benefit from.
Much political commentary suggests that Donald Trump is some kind of a populist figure, but, if so, Republican populists are very politically confused. Populist leaders typically work to improve the lives of a disadvantaged citizenry. Trump’s life-long combination of socio-economic privilege and unashamed narcissism negates any claim to genuine populism.
Another intrinsic irony of the GOP’s faux populists is that populist leaders typically seek to corral majority power in a democracy, but Trump is intensely focused on a voter base that will likely lose its sixth out of seven elections this November. Trump’s primary base is increasingly irrelevant in presidential elections, so it’s no wonder these faux populists are angry.
Meanwhile, President Obama’s poll numbers are rising, and a new wave of red states are turning purple as purple states are turning solid blue. Trump and his fascism are a desperate last gasp of manipulated authoritarians metaphorically suffocating in their right wing echo chamber. Neuron hallucinations about the economy being worse in 2016 than it was in 2009 reveal the fiction in Trump’s populism.
Yet we cannot blame the average Trump voter too maliciously for the wannabe fascist they have unleashed. Trump’s supporters have passion for real populism, they just have bad information: Obama is not a Muslim, he is not the Biblical anti-christ, affordable healthcare did not destroy America, no one’s children are being forced to read Arabic in school, the terrorists are not winning, the economy is not in ruins, homosexuality is not contagious, America is not less safe with international cooperation, etc. People literally believe this stuff—I have been listening to it my entire adult life—and our social media news feeds are a cornucopia of mistruths shared too easily by people who get their news and critical thought in too shallow a medium.
Election 2016’s greatest truth, however, is that economic inequality is a real emergency, and this makes many Americans susceptive to Donald Trump’s cliché-at-this-point fascist promise to Make America Great Again. If fascism is the id of political egotism, Trump has trademarked his narcissism with nativist and monetary social Darwinism.
He’s a winner! he swears, neglecting to mention his inheritance, debt, fake hair, fake tan, or his bankruptcies in Trump Airlines, the United States Football League, Trump Steaks, Trump vodka, Trump Ice, Trump: The Game, Trump Magazine, GoTrump.com, and Trump Mortgage. What an impressively embarrassing list of diverse industries in which Trump has proven he had no idea what he was doing.
To ice the cake, Trump created a scam of a university for which he will be testifying in court, though conveniently after the election. Education and student debt are big election issues in 2016, and Trump is part of the problem. In fact, Trump is part of many of our political problems. He is a benefactor of our country’s economic inequality and the crippling tax cuts for the wealthy that are untying our safety net. He boasts of a long career gaming our political system with quid pro quo corruption. He outsources jobs to other countries, and his lack of income transparency suggests his money isn’t here either or being taxed. Trump has devoted his life contributing to our nation’s problems. I cannot repeat enough that Trump’s populism is a sham.
In a way, though, Trump is rather open about his con work. Trump’s interviews and speeches do little to conceal the impression that he has no idea what he is doing in government or public service. His success comes from Republican voters who see experiential ignorance as a desirable resume qualification for a government they wish did not exist. Trump waxed poetic in one of the earliest GOP debates about how the Trans-Pacific Partnership would allow China to continue winning against America until Rand Paul explained soberly that China was not involved in the TPP deal. If Trump has no political advisers beyond his 3am Twitter feed, he should maybe go to sleep early and read a book when he wakes up.
Trump’s information vein and attention span are reflexive rather than cognitive, and the Trump movement is an evolution of the thoughtlessly anti-government Nobama Tea Party. Sarah Palin truly was a trailblazer—to Trump—and, like Palin, Trump belongs nowhere near the White House. Trump is clearly not running for president because he has an interest in public policy, and his rationale for running is probably as simple as that people laughed at him a few years ago for buying into the Obama birth certificate conspiracy theory.
Unfortunately, Trump hasn’t had to do much beyond repeating “Trust me” to channel the Tea Party’s mutiny against the GOP establishment, and Trump has articulated little vision for America save that its people should be less brown. Somehow that has turned into a faux populist movement that thinks the abstractly meaningless goal of taking back America from the “them” in a scapegoated American Us vs. Them is possible. It’s a classic fascist scam from a fascist who has identified a power vacuum in an unraveling political party.
The Republican Party’s deconstruction has always been inevitable, if Trump’s specific Republican campaign was not, due to the GOP’s unnatural and hypocritical fusion of theocratic fundamentalists, über-capitalists, and libertarians into the contemporary Republican Party. No longer is the GOP a functional gestalt, and the straw-haired man that broke the elephant’s back has virtually nothing to do with public service or the Republican Party, yet he is the nominee. Usually, fascists at least put in the time rising up through the ranks of a political party before trying to take over.
If the GOP boat is sinking, Republican chairman Reince Priebus is a captain going down with the ship, and we can at least respect that he hasn’t broken character in his Sisyphean struggle with Trump’s preposterous candidacy. Critically speaking, though, the Republican National Committee has neither exercised its political power, nor fulfilled its responsibility, to ensure that the party nominates a qualified leader for president.
Reince Priebus has contorted his political role in order to exert no gravitational pull in the Republican primary, and it begs the question of why is he employed? The Republican Party’s brand is being dragged through the various muds of racism, nativism and bigotry, and life-long Republicans are burning their registration cards. Perhaps this is the point where Priebus should be do something?
Since Republicans have given in to fake populism and given Trump their nomination the schadenfreude is over: the GOP needs to start being a real political party and operate on it’s fascist cancer. Kicking Donald Trump out of the GOP and extinguishing his fascism is both good politics and the serious thing to do. #NeverFascism.