|credit: Adam Zyglis, Buffalo News|
credit: John Cole, Scranton Times-Tribune
Wackydoodle sez: I hear he shot a 68 on his card!
|credit: Adam Zyglis, Buffalo News|
|credit: M. Botejue|
|credit: Mike Luckovich|
Wackydoodle sez: Comin' from him, its a compliment!
BC Idonwanna sez: Him big tax geek!
|an endangered Heritiera longipetiolata tree|
|endangered fadang cyclad, credit S. Hiebert|
|credit: New York Times|
1. The cult of tradition: He demands professional football players stand for the anthem. He embraces religious fundamentalism. He knows what he knows and there is no higher truth.
2. Rejection of modernism: He rejects science which he describes as a hoax. He denies the conclusion of his own intelligence establishment about Russian espionage and goes with his "gut", or his bank account, as the case may be.
3. The cult of action: See the quote from Mussolini above regarding the necessity of appearing to be "doing something" all time. The appearance of constant heroic action maintains the personality cult that supports the dictator. The fact that he is a failed businessman who inherited his initial wealth ($413 million) is unimportant to his idolizing base. Governance is converted into a circus show in which Trump is the ring master; legislating is now replaced by rants from the Internet. The border wall and related government shutdown is a costly example of this "action for action's sake" that achieves little of lasting significance.
4. Disagreement is treason: In modern culture disagreement is one way new knowledge is obtained, but not in fascist culture. The leader knows what's best and no disagreement is tolerated. How many of Don Veto's staff have quit or been fired? He committed obstruction of justice attempting to get his way over staff objections, and he has surrounded himself with yes-men like Robert Barr. He suggests former Secretary of State John Kerry should be prosecuted for talking to Iran. 5. Fear of difference:He infamously labeled immigrants "rapists" and "drug-dealers", fanning the hate of white supremacy. He illegally banned Muslim travel to the US for fear of the other.
6. Appeal to frustrated middle classes: Trump won the presidency by concentrating his efforts in Rust Belt swing states where white voters had lost jobs and economic status to globalization.
7. Obsession with plots: Trump constantly complains about the opposition of the shadowy "deep state" and neoliberal political establishment plotting against him. Thus a legitimate investigation into foreign election meddling becomes a "witch hunt" or "hoax".
8. Enemies are weak and powerful at the same time:Enemies are portrayed as powerful to engender support from his followers, but at the same time are derided as weak, deceitful or decadent. He complains about the power of the press, yet derides it as producing "fake news". ISIS is defeated, yet still requires foreign intervention by the United States.Trump poses a clear and present danger to our form of coordinate, representative democracy. His stonewall defense against obstruction of justice and other crimes is stressing our political institutions in an unprecedented manner. If our elected representatives refuse to admit that he is a danger, and do not take effective action to remove him from office for his crimes, then Sinclair Lewis' dire prediction from the depths of the Great Depression will be fulfilled in our lifetimes. Then the pagan Benito Mussolini will truly rise from the dead.
9. Life is permanent warfare: Trump sees himself as constantly besieged by enemies, as is the nation. Only he, a virile man of action, can save the nation from immigration, terrorism, and bad trade deals. Disagreement with him over state policy is treason. Trump once quoted Mussolini in a tweet, “It is better to live one day as a lion than 100 years as a sheep.”
10. Contempt for the weak: He is infamous for mistreating his employees and contractors. As long as you agree with him, a person is all right. If you disagree with him, a person incurs his wrath. Thus Steve Bannon is closest political advisor is “my Steve” when he agrees with Trump, but “Sloppy Steve” and someone who has “lost his mind” when he disagrees with Trump or criticizes him. Socialist Bernie Sanders is dismissed as "crazy".
11. The cult of death: Eco says that a fascist leader embraces death, but more frequently he rushes others to their end instead of himself. Trump has exhibited his willingness to expend other lives in his harsh treatment of children immigrants at the border.
12. Machismo: sublimates the work of permanent war and heroic action into the sexual sphere. Don Veto has publicly boasted about his claimed sexual prowess with women. He also made illegal payments to silence women with which he had sexual relations. What other president in our history is so blatant about his sexual activity?
13. Selective populism: Only Trump can "make America great again" because only he can discern and define the "popular will". However, his interest in the welfare of the people appears to be limited to his white supremacist supporters. The people become an audience whose only role is to applaud the pronouncements of the ultimate leader, who delegitimizes existing democratic institutions. Thus, congressional constitutional oversight becomes partisan vendetta.
14. Speech using impoverished vocabulary to limit reasoning: Mussolini was a teacher and journalist before becoming a politician. He knew the power of the written word, so when he achieved office he imposed strict state censorship of media. Trump has institutionalized 140 word "tweeting" as an instrument of policy. His attacks on the established press and journalists not aligned with him are well known; he calls them the "enemy of the people". The Internet, with its compressed form of communication, is facilitating a "post-truth" social environment, that allows "spin", denial, and vilification by a plutocratic fraud to replace reasoned, deliberative discourse. How else could the greatest constitutional crisis since the Civil War be reduced to a partisan "witch hunt" against an innocent victim in the public mind?
|credit: Patrick Chappette|
Wackydoodle sez: He's yuge!
|credit John Cole|
BC Idonwanna sez; Operators are standing by!
|Brunt Ice Shelf (BRU) is on the east coast of the Weddell Sea|
|credit: R. Bolling|
BC Idonwanna sez: Flying monkeys bad medicine!
|credit: M Streeter, Savannah Morning News|
Wackydoiodle sez: His hands were in his pockets at the time!