The Bigly 2016 US Presidential Election Thread, Part XV - Page 43 - U2 Feedback

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Old 11-04-2016, 09:08 PM   #841
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Sigh.

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A Donald Trump supporter in Michigan pointed a gun at six kids he suspected of destroying a yard sign favoring the Republican presidential candidate.

Allen Park officers found the children, aged 12 to 14, on the grass Saturday with 56-year-old Michael Kubek standing over them "cursing and yelling." They said a gun had been pointed at them.
Trump supporter points gun at 6 kids after his sign is destroyed - NY Daily News
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Old 11-04-2016, 09:23 PM   #842
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Great .
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Old 11-04-2016, 09:25 PM   #843
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I know I'm kind of hanging on the edge of your guys' conversation here, but I don't think it's *preposterous*. There are some little check marks that are suggestive. I just think its legitimizing Donald Trump [as a fascist]. He's politically illegitimate, and has never had a political ideology. It's shortsighted to suggest he has one now.
I used to agree that Trump was not a fascist, but I think it's inarguable that he has fascistic tendencies. Is he consciously a fascist? No; I agree with you that he lacks any stable political ideology. But do a lot of his statements and behaviours line up with those of fascists, or legitimise fascist tendencies? I think so.

Dave brought up the relationship between fascism and democracy, and of course Trump has not openly embraced the anti-democracy of many fascists. But those very fascists often used democratic systems, and Trump's consistent undermining of the peaceful functioning of the electoral system - calling the result rigged, promoting voter intimidation, suggesting his rival's candidacy is illegitimate, proposing to throw said rival in prison - is straight out of the fascist playbook.

And, of course, fascism itself is a rather nebulous ideology that often lacks a consistent policy basis from movement to movement, period to period. I'd say three of its defining qualities are the idealisation of a traditional past ("Make America Great Again"!), violently exclusionary rhetoric against multiple out groups, and a self-aggrandising, ego-driven lust for power as an end in itself. Recall numerous fascists keeping their actual policy under their hats, or making it up on the fly, as they worked to attain power and then came to grips with using it. It can be hard to distinguish some expressions of fascism from other forms of authoritarianism and populism.

I also think there is too great a tendency to see fascism solely through the lens of Nazism (and for many people to reduce Nazism to a few specific events/outcomes/individuals, which is why it is so hard now to raise relevant comparisons to Nazism when they occur), when in fact its expressions in Britain, Spain, Italy, and Romania, to pick some examples, were quite distinct from that. Romanian fascism really is quite something, by the way.

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Crooked Hillary
Crooked Hillary is not just obsessed with money, BUT IS ON ACTUAL MONEY!!!! BIG BIZNEZZ!!!! PAY TO PLAY!!!!!!
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Old 11-04-2016, 09:25 PM   #844
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Old 11-04-2016, 09:38 PM   #845
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God Bless America
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Old 11-04-2016, 09:46 PM   #846
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Dale is a great reporter for the Toronto Star, who was sent to Washington to cover US politics about a year ago. He's been publishing a daily list of Trump lies. He also had a very famous run-in with Rob Ford a few years ago.
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Old 11-04-2016, 09:59 PM   #847
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As it turns out, Melania Trump worked in the US without a work visa.


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Old 11-04-2016, 10:16 PM   #848
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Dave brought up the relationship between fascism and democracy, and of course Trump has not openly embraced the anti-democracy of many fascists. But those very fascists often used democratic systems, and Trump's consistent undermining of the peaceful functioning of the electoral system - calling the result rigged, promoting voter intimidation, suggesting his rival's candidacy is illegitimate, proposing to throw said rival in prison - is straight out of the fascist playbook.
you're right that fascists have no issue working within the democratic system in order to gain power (as seen in both germany and italy), but in every case in history it has also been with the help of a strong paramilitary force. even before the election of 1933 there were brownshirts marching around with guns in the streets all over germany.

that's another fundamental part of fascism - military style organisation and hierarchy down to the most basic levels of society, with the goal of being able to mobilize the entire population, military and civilian, like a massive state army. where everyone has to join the party and go to military training for a month or two a year, send their kids on weekends to hitler youth camp, that kind of stuff. don't wanna do that? maybe your family gets followed around and everything you do snitched out by your loyal (and handsomely rewarded) neighbours, and you all disappear some day.

surely nobody thinks donald trump either wants that or is even capable of having such influence on american society to even come close to changing it that much. any modern version of something that would militarize america to this kind of point would necessarily be a completely new and absolutely nightmarish ideology in itself, brought about by changes in america that somebody as brainless as trump could never dream of making.

edit: i'm beating this horse to death. that's enough. fascism sucks. donald trump sucks. wayyy different things though.
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Old 11-04-2016, 10:28 PM   #849
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Fascism was strongly against individualism whereas Trump's agenda privileges the individual above all. That's probably the most fundamental difference between the ideologies.
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Old 11-04-2016, 10:44 PM   #850
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Crazy eyes.
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Old 11-04-2016, 10:45 PM   #851
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you're right that fascists have no issue working within the democratic system in order to gain power (as seen in both germany and italy), but in every case in history it has also been with the help of a strong paramilitary force. even before the election of 1933 there were brownshirts marching around with guns in the streets all over germany.

that's another fundamental part of fascism - military style organisation and hierarchy down to the most basic levels of society, with the goal of being able to mobilize the entire population, military and civilian, like a massive state army. where everyone has to join the party and go to military training for a month or two a year, send their kids on weekends to hitler youth camp, that kind of stuff. don't wanna do that? maybe your family gets followed around and everything you do snitched out by your loyal (and handsomely rewarded) neighbours, and you all disappear some day.

surely nobody thinks donald trump either wants that or is even capable of having such influence on american society to even come close to changing it that much. any modern version of something that would militarize america to this kind of point would necessarily be a completely new and absolutely nightmarish ideology in itself, brought about by changes in america that somebody as brainless as trump could never dream of making.

edit: i'm beating this horse to death. that's enough. fascism sucks. donald trump sucks. wayyy different things though.
This is a good point. I would contend, however, that the role of militia in the US provides something of an echo or twist on this pattern. It obviously lacks the same degree of influence or penetration into society, and exists without formal connections to Trump or large-scale co-ordination by anyone, but it's also not as if there are heavily-armed groups coming out to support anybody else. The suggestions - even if they are hyperbole - of uprisings or insurrections if Trump doesn't win, and the promotion of the second amendment out of militaristic fantasies fits into a narrative of a form of American neo-fascism, even if this is unconscious on behalf of Trump. I don't think we should expect 2010s (neo-)fascism to perfectly resemble 1920s-30s fascism, in the same way as 2010s socialism or liberalism do not perfectly resemble their counterparts of eighty, ninety years ago.

I also worry that there is a risk in constantly portraying Trump as a buffoon; other authoritarian and fascist leaders were similarly seen as figures of fun/stupidity by their rivals.

In any case, I think we agree more than we disagree, but I definitely would not say Trump and fascism are "wayyy different". I think it's valid and accurate to say he demonstrates fascistic qualities and tendencies; even if he is not a full-blown or self-conscious fascist, he is essentially a fellow traveller with those who are fascists, much like his relationship with white nationalists.
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Old 11-04-2016, 10:51 PM   #852
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Fascism was strongly against individualism whereas Trump's agenda privileges the individual above all. That's probably the most fundamental difference between the ideologies.
Trump's rhetoric is so damn incoherent that he jumps effortlessly from greed-is-good individualism to vast sweeping collective statements and pitting groups against each other. It's quite something.
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Old 11-04-2016, 11:06 PM   #853
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Fascism was strongly against individualism whereas Trump's agenda privileges the individual above all.

Explain this further if you don't mind...


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Old 11-04-2016, 11:19 PM   #854
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Fascism was strongly against individualism whereas Trump's agenda privileges the individual above all. That's probably the most fundamental difference between the ideologies.


Or, could be the difference between European 20th century fascism and a 21st century American style new-fascism. I think there are important differences that have been pointed out, but I also don't think it's a static thing -- it can morph and mutate in order to fit different cultures.

Or, Trump's explicitly white nationalist sympathies may snowball into something much more culturally cohesive further down the road.
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Old 11-04-2016, 11:20 PM   #855
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in a doctrinal sense, the individualist, especially a very rich one (who isn't so easy to eliminate) is quite literally the enemy of the state. someone in it to make money for themselves should be eliminated immediately and their wealth used by the state to advance its interests alone. that person's only other option is to use their wealth to become a part of the ruling council, again strictly in the interests of the state above all.
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Old 11-04-2016, 11:20 PM   #856
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This is a good point. I would contend, however, that the role of militia in the US provides something of an echo or twist on this pattern. It obviously lacks the same degree of influence or penetration into society, and exists without formal connections to Trump or large-scale co-ordination by anyone, but it's also not as if there are heavily-armed groups coming out to support anybody else. The suggestions - even if they are hyperbole - of uprisings or insurrections if Trump doesn't win, and the promotion of the second amendment out of militaristic fantasies fits into a narrative of a form of American neo-fascism, even if this is unconscious on behalf of Trump. I don't think we should expect 2010s (neo-)fascism to perfectly resemble 1920s-30s fascism, in the same way as 2010s socialism or liberalism do not perfectly resemble their counterparts of eighty, ninety years ago.

I also worry that there is a risk in constantly portraying Trump as a buffoon; other authoritarian and fascist leaders were similarly seen as figures of fun/stupidity by their rivals.

In any case, I think we agree more than we disagree, but I definitely would not say Trump and fascism are "wayyy different". I think it's valid and accurate to say he demonstrates fascistic qualities and tendencies; even if he is not a full-blown or self-conscious fascist, he is essentially a fellow traveller with those who are fascists, much like his relationship with white nationalists.



This is all really well said.
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Old 11-04-2016, 11:21 PM   #857
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I used to agree that Trump was not a fascist, but I think it's inarguable that he has fascistic tendencies. Is he consciously a fascist? No; I agree with you that he lacks any stable political ideology. But do a lot of his statements and behaviours line up with those of fascists, or legitimise fascist tendencies? I think so.

Dave brought up the relationship between fascism and democracy, and of course Trump has not openly embraced the anti-democracy of many fascists. But those very fascists often used democratic systems, and Trump's consistent undermining of the peaceful functioning of the electoral system - calling the result rigged, promoting voter intimidation, suggesting his rival's candidacy is illegitimate, proposing to throw said rival in prison - is straight out of the fascist playbook.
I don't really think that labeling Trump in one way or another is a productive exercise, but I absolutely agree that his consistent efforts to cast doubt on the democratic process are reminiscent of some worrying 20th century examples - most notably the claim of a rigged election.

Forgive me if this has been mentioned and I overlooked it, but a major characteristic of 20th century authoritarianism/fascism IMO was the use of cult of personality to manipulate government institutions toward personal ends rather than collective ones - something that is at the core of Trump's entire campaign.
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Old 11-04-2016, 11:23 PM   #858
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in a doctrinal sense, the individualist, especially a very rich one (who isn't so easy to eliminate) is quite literally the enemy of the state. someone in it to make money for themselves should be eliminated immediately and their wealth used by the state to advance its interests alone. that person's only other option is to use their wealth to become a part of the ruling council, again strictly in the interests of the state above all.



Hasn't this, in a twisted way, become part of Trump's message? That he games the system, as a tycoon, so he alone is best positioned to stop others from gaming the system? That he doesn't pay taxes, and as a tycoon would be stupid to pay taxes, so he alone is best positioned to make sure others always pay? That he buys off politicians so he can move forward with his business projects, so he alone knows best how to help the state stop individuals such as himself from undermining what's good for the white working classes?
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Old 11-04-2016, 11:29 PM   #859
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Forgive me if this has been mentioned and I overlooked it, but a major characteristic of 20th century authoritarianism/fascism IMO was the use of cult of personality to manipulate government institutions toward personal ends rather than collective ones - something that is at the core of Trump's entire campaign.
that's a very good point, although historically successful authoritarian movements took this to far greater extremes before they actually took power.

i keep referencing history like it's a sure thing to repeat (and 90% of the time it is), but i do definitely acknowledge - to my chagrin - that we could always be on the edge of something completely unprecedented.

if you asked someone in paris in 1788 what it would be like 15 years later, not a single person would have predicted it correctly. not to draw real parallels, other than to say nobody knows what the fuck is coming, really.
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Old 11-05-2016, 12:41 AM   #860
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i keep referencing history like it's a sure thing to repeat (and 90% of the time it is), but i do definitely acknowledge - to my chagrin - that we could always be on the edge of something completely unprecedented.

if you asked someone in paris in 1788 what it would be like 15 years later, not a single person would have predicted it correctly. not to draw real parallels, other than to say nobody knows what the fuck is coming, really.
Yep. The "logical" developments and progressions only appear so in hindsight. On a more mundane level, if you'd told me in 2007 where Australian and global politics would be in 2016, I'd have just not believed you. Back then things felt fairly optimistic.

This has been a good discussion, the sort of thing of which we need more in this thread rather than the shitposting of some pages ago. In terms of finding appropriate terminology, I suspect that the sort of discontent underpinning or unleashed by movements such as those for Trump and Brexit will in the fullness of time acquire its own distinctive label rather than shoehorning "fascism", "populism", "authoritarianism", etc.
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