Trump’s Fascist Take-Over Ambitions
If you kill me now, I will come back at the head of a far more powerful nation in need of a leader, and you will feel the arm! Benito Mussolini moments before his death on April 28, 1945, in Giuliano, Italy.
Under Donald Trump, America is creeping closer and closer toward becoming a fascist, totalitarian state. Surprisingly, many Americans don’t seem to have a problem with this. Fascism is a form of governance we typically associate with the murderous dictatorships of Italy’s Mussolini and Adolf Hitler. It is a Far-right movement grounded in the idea of dictatorial Power, the supremacy of the State over the individual, and the pummeling of opposition. It maintains total control through the subordination of individual liberties such as free speech, and privacy rights, to the will of the State. Fascism demonizes an “Other,” typically minorities and immigrants.
Why is Trump seeking to transform America, the world’s longest-running Democracy, into a fascist State you might ask? It is grounded in our President’s worship of dictators and the Power they yield. It flows from his desire for greater power and control. Term limits, our republics built-in checks and balances, and the American Free press are problematic for Trump. As we will explore, there is a mountain of evidence to establish this.
President Trump identifies with Mussolini, who was the founder of Fascism. The two slogans most identified with Trump, “Make America Great again,” and the ubiquitous, “Draining the swamp,” were first coined by the Italian dictator. In fact, When Confronted by this in 2016, Trump acknowledged frequently quoting Mussolini. Moreover, during his Presidency, Trump has regularly heaped praise on dictators, most notably Vladimir Putin and Kim Jong-Un. He displays a morbid fascination with the unbridled authority dictators yield. Of the two, Putin stands to benefit the most from Trump’s power grab. Note that Trump took no steps to secure our electoral processes after various investigations revealed that the Russians interfered in the 2016 Campaign on his behalf. Recent reports suggest that they may be at it again. (https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/2020/05/17/russia-is-interfering-our-elections.)
We see the fingerprints of Mussolini on just about every aspect of Trump’s Presidency.
Mussolini is echoed in Trump’s disdain for the “Liberal Media.” The boisterous Demands of Mussolini can be heard in Trump’s demands for absolute loyalty from the Republican-dominated Senate. Witness Trump’s vitriolic attacks on Senator Romney after Romney defied Trump by voting for his Impeachment.
Mussolini first coined the term fascism. Its original meaning was a bundle of sticks wrapped together. This bundle of wrapped sticks was a Roman symbol; it meant strength in unity under one rule. For Mussolini, Fascism was a sort of alphabet soup of “isms.” coming together under one tent, subject to his complete domination and control.
The word “Fascist” has morphed into a convenient catch-word used to describe anyone with whose politics we disagree. In ‘Orwell And the Politics of Despair,’ Rai noted that Fascism is a word that has evolved to describe any political movement one dislikes. That said, Trump seeks membership in the elite club of old school fascist, the real McCoy Fascist, The Mussolini, Hitler Brand of old school fascist.
Donald Trump’s fascination with Mussolini has a second source. One closer to home, actually Trump’s own home. The Home he grew up in. Fred Trump, Donald Trump’s father was reputed to be a member of the Ku Klux Klan . He was arrested in 1927 at a Klan parade in New York city. The parade took place without a permit. This resulted in a clash between the police and marchers. Newspaper accounts reveal that many of the arrestees were wearing Klan robes.
Interestingly, 1927 was the same Year that Mussolini visited the United States. It was during this 1927 visit that Mussolini exhorted Italian Immigrants to “Make America Great.” Mussolini’s visit to the United States was in part motivated by the growing fascist movement in America during that time. According to Charles Edward Jefferson, the noted clergy and author, The klan Movement was a part of that Movement. Jefferson wrote that the 1920's Klan Movement was “The Mussolini of America movement.” These events appear to be the origins of the Trump family fascination with dictatorial power.
While it is arguably still true that the United States President remains the most powerful man in the world. There are structural limitations on the President’s Power within the Republic. The impediments Trump finds most vexing are the house of representatives, specifically, Nancy Pelosi, and the free press. Whether or not the courts continue to be an obstacle remains to be seen. Trump’s use of dictatorial power has not gone unnoticed.
John Brennan, former Director of the Central Intelligence agency, Stated: “Donald Trump’s propaganda and disinformation machine, which operates in accordance with the despot’s playbook, is the most aggressive and odious in history, it far surpasses Russia’s ability to trample the truth, harm United States security & undermine America’s reputation worldwide.”
Trump’s ambitions for absolute Power have pushed Democracy to its limits. There is no more room for Trump to dominate within the structure of our system of government. He is accountable to Congress; he is accountable to the courts; he is accountable to the Free press. Lastly, he is accountable to our electoral processes. For Trump, these limitations are not workable. Trump, therefor, seeks to weaken institutional limitations to yield greater power . His criticism of the courts weaken the courts; his criticism of the free press weaken the Press ;his criticism of our intelligence agencies weaken them. He does this in an effort to gain greater control.
Hitler and Mussolini used financial crises in their respective countries to replace Democracies with fascist dictatorships.
The strategies used by the fascist leader to gain and maintain Power include the use of propaganda and media manipulation; demonizing an “Other,” and undermining institutions. The would be fascist leader demands absolute authority; he blurs the lines between fact and fiction in a fashion that diminishes the value of truth. Notably, he endorses the idea of racial superiority. Genocide and other extreme measures are always a part of the fascist leader’s tool kit. The ultimate goal of the fascist leader is absolute control. The fascist leader seeks to eliminate the kinds of checks and balances that we are accustomed to seeing in our Democracy. Fascism is a system of one-party control. It demands absolute loyalty in addition to unquestioned obedience to the leader of that party.
There is a close relationship between Fascism and Totalitarianism. Totalitarianism likewise, demands obedience to the leader. Like fascism, it thrives on the distortion of facts; it displays moment to moment flexibility on truth. Objective reality has no place in either totalitarian or fascists ideologies. Fascism was the original “Double Think” of Orwell’s masterpiece, “1984”.
The entire Presidency of Trump has been a spiral into the nether regions of distortion. On May 14,2020 for example, Trump, uncomfortable with the fact that the United States leads all nations in the number of coronavirus deaths, directed the Center for disease control to change the methods of counting the dead.
On May 15, 2020, Trump said that “if we didn’t do any testing, we would have fewer cases.” Our President seems to believe testing for the virus causes it to occur.
If you find yourself doubting that Trump’s America is at risk of becoming a single-party rule, fascist state, consider the following. On February 27, 2018, in an interview with Fox News, Donald Trump stated that the United States will become a one-party state with him as its leader.
On at least six different occasions (most recently June 18, 2019), Trump has “Joked” about becoming President for life. When Trump speaks, he speaks to a national, if not a worldwide audience. Who tells the same “Joke” six different times to the same audience?
During a reception for his donors, held at his south Florida hotel in July 2019, Trump remarked that China’s Xi Jinping can keep his Presidency for life. He expressed his desire to have America follow suit.
All rights in a one-party State are sacrificed for the good of The State. A one-party state is a state without checks and balances. A State without checks and balances is a fascist state. A fascist state is a State without a free press.
So, When the President of the United States announces that our Republic will become a one-party state, he should be taken seriously. Conscientious Police don’t ignore death threats, and conscientious citizens should not ignore threats to our Republic. Like the self indulgent criminal ,Despots always tell us what they are going to do. Historically, fascist take-overs follow a familiar pattern. The process of taking power involves either manufacturing a crisis or exploiting an existential one . Fascist States do not come about as the result of being overwhelmed by outside forces. Take-overs occur through the acts of the insidious incumbent grabbing more power than that allotted to him.
Mussolini first converted Italy from the inside. He was placed into power after marching on Rome . Hitler told the world of his plans in his book Mein Kampf . Nobody listened . Hitler after being made Chancellor, following the blueprint drawn up by Mussolini, took power legally. Both these men converted Democracies, in crisis, to fascist States. Trump’s actions reveal that he, too, is following this same Blueprint.
The current COVID -19 crisis and the attendant economic downturn has created conditions that have rendered America vulnerable to a radical change in its form and structure . As of this writing, Eighteen percent of Americans are out of work. Close to 1.5 million people have contracted the coronavirus and there are close to one Hundred thousand deaths in America alone. There is no end in sight and our President has failed to coordinate a national response . We are Americans, and we will of course pull through this crisis . But as we collectively bend over gasping for the breath that has been knocked out of us , our form of Government is at risk.
Governance is not of primary concern for people who are without food to eat. Poverty, Pandemic ,and unemployment combine to create ideal conditions for a radical alteration of this country.
Current efforts by Congress to stabilize our now fragile economy by subsidizing citizens with stipends, face significant Senate opposition. On top of this, Epidemiologists have predicted that Trump’s failure to coordinate a response to COVID -19 here centrally will result in a more severe outbreak in the fall. Trump responds, not by addressing the crisis, but by cooking the numbers.
Trump’s approval ratings are at an all-time low; many predict that he may not be re-elected. Several of his key Senators, likewise, face risky reelection prospects. Unless something happens soon, desperate Americans will find themselves governed by an equally desperate President. One who will stop at nothing to maintain Power. All this amid the worst crisis in close to one hundred years. Have Americans been duped? Surely our President would not tolerate the loss of lives to maintain Power! How might a resurgence of COVID 19 in the fall impact the Presidential election? The so-called ‘hots spots’ tend to concentrate in major cities. Areas that have historically been unfriendly to Trump and his fellow Republicans. If Trump declared, “ A State of emergency” around the fall election, it could make available the tools he needs to change the outcome of the election. Six-hour long lines for people trying to vote in cities like Philadelphia, Cleveland, Detroit, and Tampa might be enough to swing the election for Trump. Is there anyone out there who believes the Republicans are above using dirty tricks to maintain Power.
Is there anyone out there who believes Attorney General, William Barr, Senators, Mitch McConnel, or Lindsay Graham will oppose a suspiciously timed Declared State of emergency by Trump.
In 1933, six days before Germany’s election, the German Reichstag building burned down under suspicious circumstances. Hitler blamed the communists and narrowly won a close election. After winning the election, he declared a state of emergency, giving him total Power.
Professor emeritus Robert Paxton in his book, The Anatomy of Fascism, wrote the characteristic features of Fascism include the following:
1) Allegiance to the core belief in the previous Grandeur of the country. An understanding that the country could be made stronger or Greater.
2) A belief in racial superiority, and the idea that the country owes its past success to that superior race.
3) grand gestures grounded in propaganda such as Parades;
4) demonization of other groups;
5) belief that one group is the victim;
6) individual self-esteem tied up in the Grandeur of the group- a devotion to violence. Authorization of unlimited police powers;
7) cynicism about government; Elite use of Power and attempts to take property.
Make America Great Again
Although many Presidential candidates run on the idea of “ Americans Should be sad, but just don’t realize it, “ Under Trump American dissatisfaction and Paranoia is being ratcheted to new highs. His slogan “Make America Great Again,” Signals “They’’ have taken your country, your Jobs, and they are raping and murdering your Women, and they should be ‘’ethnically cleansed”? (Samantha Power, former United States Ambassador to the United Nations, noted “Our President, has endorsed Ethnic Cleansing).
MAGA” Is emblazoned on the front of the ubiquitous red hats that his supporters wear. His campaign slogan “Make America Great Again” is typically attributed to Ronald Regan. And, While Reagan used the slogan, under Trump, it has implications that are Vastly more sinister. It seeks to advance the ambitions of the originator of the Phrase, Benito Mussolini, which were Total control and absolute obedience. For Mussolini, of course, the slogan was, “Make Italy Great Again.” Mussolini’s first use of the slogan in the 1920s was a reference to the good ole days of the Roman empire.
In “Trump speech,” Make America great again is typically followed up By the Catchphrase, “Drain the swamp.” Drain the swamp, for the most part, is a reference to rooting out corruption. Ruth Ben-Ghiat, the Historian and noted author of ‘Italian fascism,’ reveals that both catchphrases were Benito Mussolini coined slogans.
Like, make America Great Again, in “Trump speech,” Draining the swamp takes on a more sinister secondary meaning. Rooting out becomes a reference to getting rid of those who don’t display absolute loyalty to the State, or in Trump’s case, Donald Trump.
Among the enemies to be rooted out is “The Deep State. “Trump never really tells us who the Deep State operatives are. Still, he makes it clear that the “they” secretly run the country and are conspiring to undermine his administration.
Clearly, Trump is not using the phrase to refer to corruption. Estimates show that Trump travels to his properties, one out of every three or four days, taking his large entourage with him. They stay at his properties at government expense. Recent government reports reveal that the Government paid close to one million dollars to Trump-owned properties. The secret service recently signed a contract to Pay Trump $179,000 to rent golf carts this summer .
In 2018, Trump Announced that the Fall 2020, G8 summit was going to be held at his Mar-a-logo Club and Hotel in Florida. After the media and some government officials, complained, He capitulated. As a result of the Pandemic, The G8 summit will take place via video conferencing.
Trump has sucked up all the power of our Republic; he now pukes on those who dare attempt to restrain him.
Abuse of Power and conflicts of interest
Financial conflicts of interest have been rampant during the Trump administration. Trump spent weeks touting an unproven treatment for the COVID -19 virus. Later, studies revealed the treatment had properties rendering it potentially harmful to people using it. Weeks later, journalists discovered that Trump had a financial investment in a firm selling the purported treatment.
Several of Trump’s close associates have been indicted and are serving jail time for criminal acts committed in connection with the Trump campaign. His non -profit charity lost its New York license after the New York State Attorney General determined that the charity had engaged in a “shocking pattern of illegality.’’ A judge ordered the President to pay Two million dollars to charities. In a different matter, Trump University entered into an out of court settlement of twenty-five million dollars to pay damages arising out of Trump University’s Fraudulent practices.
It is the responsibility of the Inspector Generals to Police the activities of the units of government they are positioned to oversee. Inspector Generals are independent and serve as government watchdogs. Several high-profile complaints against Trump have been filed with these watchdogs. Trump’s response to this problem was to fire four of them. On May 16, 2020, the United States Senator Mitt Romney tweeted,
“The firings of multiple Inspector Generals are unprecedented; doing so without good cause chills the independence essential to their purpose. It is a threat to accountable Democracy and a fissure in the constitutional balance of power.
As of May 2020, a whopping eighty-six percent of Trump hires have either been fired or voluntarily left government employment. Many of the terminations were of individuals who testified during Trump’s impeachment hearings. The hearings arose out of the quid pro quo arrangements Trump allegedly sought with the President of Ukraine. The above makes it highly unlikely that Trump has any real interest in rooting out corruption.
The belief in a Master Race
As I mentioned, Fascism is a far-right Movement.
When we talk about the far right, we are talking about a philosophy that wholly rejects the principals of liberty, equality, and fraternity. The core belief of the far right is Nationalism, specifically white Nationalism, to understand this, Think Adolf Hitler, and his belief in a superior race. Many Neo-Nazi leaders have been quoted saying that Donald Trump is the real deal. To be fair, however, no one should be defined entirely by the unflattering things said about them. We have all had bad things said about us. The fair question is, what do Trump’s actions say about him? For answers, we need to look no further than the people he appointed to administer his policies.
Steve Miller and Steve Bannon are two very frightening people; they were among Trump’s first appointments after his election to the Presidency. In November of 2019, the Southern Poverty Law Center revealed that just before the 2016 Presidential election a series of emails were distributed by Steve Miller, a close advisor to Trump. The emails Promoted White Nationalism and white supremacy. Miller has advocated a total ban on minorities entering the country. The emails announced Millers intentions.
Trump’s former chief strategist, Steve Bannon, was the former editor of Breitbart News, a publication that openly promotes White Nationalists ideologies. Since leaving the White House, Mr. Bannon Has Been promoting White Nationalism in Europe. He is Quoted advising white Nationalist groups to “ Wear your Racism as a badge of Honor.”
Recall Trump’s statements after the neo-Nazi march in Charlottesville, Virginia, in August of 2017. Shortly thereafter, in a press conference, Trump noted [referring to neo-Nazis, who praised Adolf Hitler and his actions] That there were some ‘’Very fine people on both sides.”
3) The assertion of Dictatorial Power
In an interview done in connection with the COVID -19 Pandemic, the President said, the Federal Government has absolute authority over the State. Meaning he has absolute power over the States. He announced that whether or not he will use that authority remains to be seen.
In a press conference the President gave on April 13, 2020, Trump noted,
“ When somebody is the President of the United States, He has Absolute authority, and that is the way it’s got to be. It’s total, “ The question is when does Trump plan to invoke the absolute authority he believes he has.
So far, the Roberts led Supreme court, and the republican controlled Senate have been unwilling to stand up to him. The Republican Senate has displayed cult-like obedience to the President. As Senators, their role in an impeachment trial is akin to the role a Juror would play in a criminal trial, Weighing the evidence and rendering a verdict. Still, Republican Senators regularly met the President during the impeachment proceedings. Senate leaders met with him and helped Trump’s attorneys coordinate the President’s defense. They refused requests to call witnesses. This, while our Nation’s chief Justice Roberts who presided over the hearings, sat by idly and did nothing.
It is reasonable, then, to assume that the U. S Senate would cede to that Power if the President invoked absolute authority. Trump has already interfered with ongoing criminal investigations, he refused to allow White House employees to respond to subpoenas issued by Congress. He retaliated against many who did. What’s next?
The President claims that he has absolute authority, even in the absence of a declaration of an emergency. There is nothing in the constitution that gives the President total power even in an emergency. The President stated that he is a wartime President. Only Congress has the power to declare war.
Trump, has breached long establish protocols by commenting on ongoing criminal prosecutions of individuals connected with his campaign for the Presidency. Trump’s comments have the impact of undermining American’s confidence in the Justice system. Trump’s attacks on the Press have had a similar impact. Once American’s confidence in important institutions is eroded, the next step is to eliminate or severely restrict those institutions. Once this happens, Democracy is dead.
To the surprise of many, in February of 2019, the President ordered the Pentagon to put on a military parade. At the time, critics of the President compared the President’s wishes to those of third-world dictators. The parade, however, went forward. Trump’s lies about the number of people at his inaugural was another form of the grand gesture.
During his campaign, Trump made broad statements to his supporters about building a wall to separate the United States from Mexico. He often brazenly stated that he was going to build the wall and have the Mexicans pay for it. This is a form of taking property , there are others.
The demonization of other groups
Our President has a long history of demonizing minorities. He once took out a full-page ad in a New York newspaper calling for the restoration of the death penalty for five young blacks, and one Latino man accused, and all later exonerated for raping a white woman in central park.
The President openly engaged in birtherism, he accused Barack Obama of having been born In Kenya. He once called all immigrants coming to the United States from Mexico Murders and rapists. He stated that the 15,000 immigrants from Haiti had aids.
In 2017 Trump attempted to limit the immigration of people from Muslim countries. The President signed executive order 13769 protecting the Nation from foreign terrorists entering the United States on January 2, 2017; the executive order was greeted with widespread protests and condemnation by the public.
Victimization by other groups/cynicism about Government
During the later stage of the 2016 presidential campaign, Trump tweeted, “Today Hillary Clinton meets in secret with international banks to plot the destruction of United States Sovereignty.” This was a muted reference to Jews.
Attacks against the Press
Trump’s constant complaint is that he is a victim of the liberal media. He has programed the public to hate The Press, this hatred has led to attacks. While some applaud these attacks, the truth is they undermine Democracy. His perennial complaint is that the press conspire to spread what he calls Faux news. He has openly called for limitations on freedom of the Press. He has blacklisted members of the Press from entire news agencies from some of his campaign events. Is there any who believe that Trump would not use his emergency powers to limit the Press if given a Chance. When tyrants take control, significant restrictions of the free press typically follow. Independent press are replaced by a State-run press . Of course, the State Press is not a press at all; it is a propaganda machine used to report State sanitized news.
The question posed by all this is whether the country is vulnerable to the dictates of Fascism.
One of the distinct features of Fascism is the persecution of “OTHERS.” Has Donald Trump openly advocated the use of violence? I previously mentioned Trump’s endorsement of Ethnic Cleansing. If he will endorse its use against foreign soil enemies, what’s to prevent him from doing it here. Immorality does not respect jurisdictional boundaries.
On July 28, 2017, Trump told officers attending the international association of police chiefs not to be kind to arrestees. Trump openly advocated abusing people being arrested. He told officers not to worry about injuring them. Trump’s open endorsement of violence resulted in many police leaders writing letters condemning the President’s statements.
In another setting, Trump not only endorsed violence against protesters, but he also promised he would pay expenses for those arrested for [violence to others] occurring during his campaign speeches.
As of the writing of this article, close to one hundred thousand Americans have died of the COVID -19 virus. The number of infected in the United States approaches 1.4 million. Despite these numbers, the White House has failed to coordinate a response to this Pandemic. The President has left the responsibility to the various state governors. Federal stockpiles of materials and equipment needed to respond to this crisis are often distributed based on party affiliation. On February 7, 2020 Trump shipped 18 tons of masks and other medical supplies to China while denying that America was at risk. When supply shortages here at home became apparent, Trump blamed the Obama administration for “leaving the shelves empty.” We are now buying back those same medical supplies from China to address the crisis.
Major Power Grab
Other than the information already outlined in this article, there are three (3) seemingly unrelated but significant developments that Americans need to pay very close attention to.
First, on Tuesday, May 12, 2020, there were three cases argued before the United States Supreme court. Trump was a party to all three.
Although separate, they collectively address whether the President is immune from criminal investigations, either by Congress or Grand Jurys. If the court rules in the President’s favor on the matters, Trump Will have close to absolute unchecked Power. It would mean he literally could shoot someone on the steps of the Washington monument and not be subject to criminal investigation or Prosecution while he remains in office. These cases have the power to eliminate Congressional investigations into Presidential misconduct. The Congressional authority to subpoena witnesses and documents is also in Jeopardy. The outcome could change the trajectory of our system of checks and balances. We will have to wait to see what the courts do.
Trump sought to confirm absolute /emergency powers when on March 22,2020 his Attorney General, William Barr sought from Congress a set of authorities including the power to arrest a detain indefinitely without hearing.
Next, many of the architects of the President’s rise to Power are either in Jail or are awaiting criminal sentencing right now. Two of the President’s key Players are Michael Flynn and Paul Manafort. Paul Manafort its currently serving a seven-year prison sentence after pleading guilty to all manner of criminal activity, including tax fraud and illegal foreign lobbying. All presumably done to advance the President’s agenda. Today he was released from Prison on home detention because of coronavirus concerns.
Interestingly, there are no reported cases of coronavirus in the western Pennsylvania prison where he was incarcerated. The Bureau of prisons is under the Jurisdiction of William Barr. The same William Bar, who lied to the public about the Mueller report’s results, and then refused to release the report for weeks.
After pleading guilty to charges of lying to federal investigators Michael Flynn, was scheduled to be sentenced by a Federal District Court Judge. However, after spending months prosecuting Flynn, the Department of Justice decided to drop his case. This came out of nowhere. After the decision By Attorney General Barr to drop the charges, an open letter signed by two thousand former federal prosecutors was sent demanding Bar’s resignation.
I mention this because Flynn and Manafort are critical to the President’s plans. So, two of the primary architects of the President’s ascension to Power are suddenly miraculously out of Prison, and in Flynn’s case out of harms way, just in time to orchestrate the President’s Campaign.
Lastly, the son in law of the President, one of his chief advisors, Jared Kushner, suggested in and interview on May 13, 2020, that he could not commit to holding the Presidential election this November. This unconstitutional tampering with the Presidential election, if it occurs, will signal the end of our Republic. Taken together, this cluster of seemingly random events seem almost too random.
Facts reveal that Trump was encouraged by members of his administration to address the coronavirus as early as January 2020. The President refused to act. To date, a large percentage of those dying from the virus are elderly and minorities concentrated in large metropolitan areas. Recently, Neo Nazis advocated weaponizing the virus to eliminate non-white people.
Shortly after this Nazi announcement, President Trump coincidently put a halt to nearly all-white House efforts to address this deadly virus.
So, when was America Great, according to Trump’s hero Benito Mussolini?
In 1927, a news outlet filmed Benito Mussolini congratulating Italian Americans for Making America Great. Shortly thereafter, Americans witnessed the stock market crash and the rise of two of the worst tyrants the world has ever known. What is to follow under Trump?
Patrick B. Cage