How the US went Fascist: Mass media Makes excuses for Trump Voters

By Juan Cole | (Informed Comment) | – –

The rise of Donald Trump to the presumptive Republican standard bearer for president in 2016 is an indictment of, and a profound danger to the American republic.

The Founding Fathers were afraid of the excitability of the voters and their vulnerability to the appeal of demagogues. That is the reason for a senate (which was originally appointed), intended to check those notorious hotheads in the House of Representatives, who are elected from districts every two years.

But it isn’t only the checks and balances in government that are necessary to keep the republic. It is the Fourth Estate, i.e. the press, it is the country’s leaders, and the general public who stand between the republic and the rise of a Mussolini.

The notables have been shown to be useless. Donald Trump should have been kicked out of the Republican Party the moment he began talking about violating the Constitution. The first time he hinted about assaulting the journalists covering his rallies, he should have been shown the door. When he openly advocated torture (‘worse than waterboarding’), he should have been ushered away. When he began speaking of closing houses of worship, he should have been expelled. He has solemnly pledged to violate the 1st, 4th and 8th Amendments of the Constitution, at the least. If someone’s platform is unconstitutional, it boggles the mind that a major American party would put him or her up for president. How can he take the oath of office with a straight face? The party leaders were afraid he’d mount a third-party campaign. But who knows how that would have turned out? Someone with power needs to say that Trump is unacceptable and to define him out of respectable politics, the same way David Duke is treated (Trump routinely retweets Duke fellow-travellers).

Then there is the mass media. As Amy Goodman has pointed out, corporate television has routinely pumped Trump into our living rooms. They have virtually blacked out Bernie Sanders. Trump seems to have connived to have 10 or 15 minutes at 7:20 every evening on the magazine shows, such as Chris Matthews’ Hardball, who obligingly cut away to Il Duce II’s rants and gave away his show to him on a nightly basis.

Not long ago, extremely powerful television personalities and sportscasters were abruptly fired for saying things less offensive than Trump’s bromides. Don Imus was history for abusive language toward women basketball players. But Trump’s strident attack on Megyn Kelly as a menstruating harridan was just allowed to pass. Jimmy ‘the Greek’ Snyder was fired by CBS for saying African-Americans were ‘bred’ to be better athletes. But Trump issued a blanket characterization of undocumented Mexican labor migrants as rapists, thieves and drug dealers. Of course this allegation is untrue.

I watched the Nevada caucus coverage on MSNBC and was appalled at the discourse. One reporter tried to assure us that Trump voters were not actually voting for racism and bullying politics, they were just upset. But polling in South Carolina demonstrated that Trump voters were significantly to the right of most Republicans on some issues. In SC, 38% of Trump voters wished the South had won the Civil War, presumably suggesting that they regretted the end of slavery.

Another MSNBC reporter helpfully explained that Trump voters feel that ‘political correctness’ has gone too far. But what does Trump mean by ‘political correctness’? He means sexism and racism. So what is really being said is that Trump supporters resent that sexist and racist discourse and policies have been banned from the public sphere. There is ample proof that Trump’s use of ‘political correctness’ identifies it with sexist and racist remarks and actions.

Yet another asserted that ‘some of’ Trump’s positions ‘are not that extreme.’ Exhibit A was his praise for Planned Parenthood. But he wants to outlaw abortion, i.e. overturn the current law of the land, which is extreme. (A majority of Americans support the right to choose, so he is in a minority).

Chris Matthews explained to us that people hoped he would do something for the country rather than for the government.

But Trump has made it very clear that he is not interested in a significant proportion of the people in the country. He is a white nationalist, and his message is that he will stand up for white Christian people against the Chinese, the Mexicans, and the Muslims. Just as Adolph Hitler hoped for an alliance with Anglo-Saxon Britain on racial grounds (much preferring it to the less white Italy), the only foreign leader Trump likes is the ‘white’ Vladimir Putin. That he won the evangelical vote again in Nevada is helpful for us in seeing that American evangelicalism itself is in some part a form of white male chauvinist nationalism and only secondarily about religion.

By the way, the idea that Trump won the Latino vote in Nevada is nonsense. In one of a number of fine interventions at MSNBC, Lawrence O’Donnell pointed out that something on the order of 1800 Latinos voted in the Nevada GOP caucuses, of whom perhaps 800 voted for Trump, i.e. 44% of this tiny group. Trump lost the vote of even this small group of hard right Latinos, since 56% of them voted for someone else.

There are 800,000 Latinos in the state of Nevada (pop. 2.8 million). In 2012, 70 percent of Latinos voted for Barack Obama, while Mitt Romney got 25%. My guess is that Trump can’t do as well among them as Romney did.

It has been a dreadful performance by the press and by party leaders. They are speaking in such a way as to naturalize the creepy, weird and completely un-American positions Trump has taken.

This is how the dictators came to power in the 1920s and 1930s. Good people remained silent or acquiesced. People expressed hope that something good would come of it. Mussolini would wring the laziness out of Italy and make the trains run on time.

When Benjamin Franklin was asked by a lady after the Constitutional Convention what sort of government the US had, he said, “A Republic, Madame, if you can keep it.”

You have to wonder if we can keep it.


Related video:

CNN projects: Donald Trump wins Nevada caucuses

60 Responses

  1. Yes…I agree with you; however, the other so called Republicans are just as bad.

  2. The US mass media promote fascism, as they did in Germany and Italy in the 1930s, because it is the choice of the business bully-boy who controls the media. The solution to this is to get money power out of mass media and elections, which requires long-overdue amendments to the Constitution. It does not have this protection of the institutions of democracy from economic concentrations because those did not exist when it was written, apart from small ships and large plantations owned by families.

    The business bully-boy must also be removed from control of large businesses, by regulations requiring broad ownership of corporations. The wealthy must be prevented from acquiring power in any form, because those who gain great wealth do so by selfishness and lack of ethics, which disqualify them from power.

    But now that gold controls public opinion, there is no way to restore democracy or resist demagoguery, without an uprising of patriots as in 1776. Yet simple revolution is also prevented by gold: it is really another form of democratic institution destroyed by gold.

    When the Czars of Russia had such control of mass media and public opinion, the result was the secretive insurgency of communism. In the Mideast the result was secretive religious extremism: AlQaeda/Isis. The force that overthrows totalitarianism is usually not inclusive, and not much better for many generations. It seldom works until the government is inflicting poverty and outrages upon a majority.

    • Fascism is the second choice of the business bully-boys. Their first choice is pure aristocracy, but this is failing (notice that Jeb Bush couldn’t win any support).

      They will do *anything* to prevent socialism, which is what’s actually popular.

    • If Trump’s 44% is more than any other candidate got, than he can legitimately say he won the group.
      the point here is that the two “Latino candidates”, Rubio and Cruz, are not attracting Hispanic voters to any degree. The polls in Florida show Trump crushing Mr. Establishment Senator in his own home state.

  3. Dear Southern Poverty Law Center:

    I bring to your attention a hate group that you should perhaps start to monitor. It’s called the GOP, and it has been around for many years, and in the course of that time flirted with some dangerous ideas that it was able to sugarcoat with coded language and front groups, allowing plausible deniability to some of its more prominent members. One of its members some decades ago, by way of example, never openly used epithets but made reference to “welfare queens driving cadillacs” as a way to attack social programs that helped people of color. Not long after, another prominent member implied, in order to appear “tough on crime” during an election, that African-American men were coming to rape white women.

    Over time this group has metastasized like a cancer on the body politic into further front groups. These include more talk radio haters than you can count, a propaganda front group known as Fox, and other front groups, including the Tea Party, CNN, MSNBC, CNBC, ABC, CBS, NBC (none of whom have ever called out this group for its hate or racism), Fred Hiatt’s WaPo editorial page, the WSJ’s editorial page, the Cato Institute, the American Enterprise Institute, the Project for a New American Century, and local militias (one of which recently took over a wildlife refuge in Oregon). Note, this is only a partial and small list.

    Lately this front group has been taken over a number of state legislatures, governorships, even the Congress. Some of the members of these legislatures – such as Issa of California – rather ominously have vocally supported militias against their own government. Also of late, members of the front group have assessed the situation and decided that they don’t like how brown and progressive the country is becoming (one suspects a president of African descent particularly exacerbated them) and so are openly throwing off their cover as purported political or news organizations and advocating a number of policies that appear genuinely quite dangerous for the continuity of two centuries of free governance here in the US.

    These include but are not limited to: open incitement to violence; open calls to violence; boasting about acts of violence; advocating racism and bigotry to the point that some members are calling not just for a wall on our southern but also northern border; the ethnic cleansing of the US through mass deportation; the open use of nuclear weapons; the elimination of rights for women and LGBTs; the closing of places of worship of entire groups, specifically (but ultimately not limited to) mosques.

    This front group has been particularly adept at exploiting tribalism. Taken collectively it is extremely powerful, controlling virtually the entire media, corporate, and military sectors of our society, and many – far too many- of the political and judicial offices. So as you attempt to investigate, legally persecute, check, arrest and imprison its members, you will have a great deal of work on your hands. I would recommend class action against it, since it’s responsible not just for the toxic environment in our politics, but has also been complicit in all manner of illegal activity. This includes active participation in gun deaths (e.g. it is a big supporter of the gun industry), cancers of all sorts (it’s a big fan of environmental degradation), wrongful death and imprisonment of minorities (choose here any number of policies you care to cite – say indifference to police violence against blacks, or drug enforcement that is designed only to help the prison industry and hurt minorities), torture and war crimes (see Iraq, Afghanistan, and Gitmo), and the loss or damage of American cities and infrastructure to human driven climate change which it denies (see Katrina, 2005).

    Perhaps doing something dramatic – say going on to Morning Joe and arresting one of its hosts on air for complicity in treason for helping a candidate who wants to willfully overturn parts of our constitution – would give the country the wake up call it needs before we head any further the way of Italy in the 1920s. I would recommend, if you can get the country’s attention that way, that you could maybe then start to arrest more of its members and supporters, and perhaps start a movement that, as in post-war Germany, would then outlaw the party, its affiliates, and then, as was the case in Germany, move the country to a more free, egalitarian, and socially progressive place.


    Herr Weisse Rose

    • You left out the judiciary which has been co-opted and had a major role in bringing this about. From Bush v. Gore, to Citizens United, and so many other cases, when the law has not existed to aid in this coup, they have created law out of whole cloth in order to aid and abet in this effort.

  4. The question is: why dothe people go for Trump? Is he convening the need to regain sovereignty to the USA?

    • Nel, not meaning to offend you, but your … parroting of some … ignoramus’ assumption that the U.S. has lost soverereignty is ridiculous. The only sovereignty threatened is that illegal and unfair advantage held within the U.S. by white male bullies including rich ones like Trump since the inception of this country…

      • Sorry Larry, name-calling does not work any more. The people are not ignorant, they want their country back.

        • In the 1930s many Germans who supported the National Socialist Party that wasn’t socialist thought they were getting their country back from the bogeymen presented to them.

        • Yeah, the rapidly dwindling minority of white patriarchs want it back all for themselves. The rest of us dissenters have some notion that getting it back means everybody getting it back. I would say that one of those two groups is ignorant.

        • You mean back from the majority who voted for Obama twice? GOP talking points are either non-sensical or delusional.

    • It’s a good question. And the media simply saying his followers are “just” upset or angry is just wrong. They are, not exactly ignorant, nor unintelligent (though that may be debatable), they are *uneducated* and (perhaps because of it), more so to be swayed by fear and to look up to someone appearing to take a “strong” stance against that which they (have been “taught” to) fear.

      Trump’s words are like a drug to a great many people. I wouldn’t call all his followers upset or angry, but frustrated. Frustrated by the very bad – extremely poor – media that titillates them more than educates them. Media is good at “pushing buttons” more than anything else. (They care about ratings, not anything akin to truth telling.)

      (The MSM is just horrible. Most of our “Pundits” are extreme frauds. It’s disgusting. For example, why are not people like Juan Cole *ever seen on Cable “news”*?)

      Oh… about your sovereignty question… (Sorry, I got a little carried away…)

      Trump’s motto, “Make America great again,” is really a “propaganda con” causing those vulnerable to his schtick to think that “America’s sovereignty” is at stake. It’s a great con. And apparently many people follow it *even though he has never explained what it means*!

      Nor has *anyone in the media asked or debated what it means*!

      • “Nor has *anyone in the media asked or debated what it means*!”. Right: The elephant, the emperor’s new clothes. The willful blindness is pandemic.

  5. To paraphrase Lewis’ book title: American Journalism: Fascism Can, Has, and Does Happen Here.

  6. Thank you, Professor Cole, for speaking the truth that all of the major news organizations have papered over.

  7. The notables have been shown to be useless. Donald Trump should have been kicked out of the Republican Party the moment he began talking about violating the Constitution. The first time he hinted about assaulting the journalists covering his rallies, he should have been shown the door. “When he openly advocated torture (‘worse than waterboarding’), he should have been ushered away. When he began speaking of closing houses of worship, he should have been expelled.” -J. Cole

    By whom?

    • Good question. How exactly does one go about kicking Trump or anyone else out of a political party in the US? Pass a law barring Trump from getting on primary ballots? Make it illegal to mention Trump in newscasts? Throw him in Guantanamo until the day after Election Day? All good, provided you wind up blowing your nose in the Constitution you supposedly want to uphold.
      It’s not exactly been a state secret that the GOP has made a devil’s bargain with the Extreme Right and that the mainstream media has been too craven to point that out. That’s been pretty obvious for the past 25 years at least. What future historians will be puzzling over is why no genuine alternative emerged over the past several decades. Bernie Sanders is a pretty poor and belated substitute for an alternative, even if his heart is in the right place.

      • If a Grand Wizard of the Klu Klux Klan announced a GOP run, the Republican National Committee would kick him out immediately.

        • It is not that easy, state law and party rules establish who can get on the ballot.

          David Duke ran for president as a Democrat in 1988 in several primaries and dropped out after finishing poorly. He later finished the campaign by being the Populist Party presidential nominee.

          He later made runs for state representative, governor and U.S. senator in Louisiana – much to the chagrin of the GOP hierarchy who could do little other than to denounce his candidacy.

          In Michigan, a number of declared white supremacists were elected as Republican Party precinct delegates but party officials explained there was nothing that could be done to keep them off the ballot.

        • As Mark Koroi points out, you have a short memory and you have forgotten David Duke, who *was* a Grand Wizard of the KKK.

    • Trump’s actually less dangerous than the other Republicans.

      Cruz is a *theocrat*. His father told him that he was *prophesied* to rule the “political realm” as part of the process of bringing about the Second Coming. He is the candidate most likely to start WWIII.

      Rubio, Bush, and Kasich are all deeply corrupt scam artists in the pay of a few aristocrats who have demonstrated that their highest and top priorities are *preventing people from voting* and giving more money to their backers.

      Compared to *THAT*, fascism is actually an *improvement*. And that’s why Trump is winning the Republican nomination.

  8. Hillary if she wins the Democrates nomination, will have a low voter turn out. This may enable the Republican reality TV star to gain entry into the Oval Office. All this due to a nation starved of receiving honest and objective news coverage. Instead a nation fed and bred on senseless reality TV shows suddenly starts believing in this scripted made for TV reality. The mix of a out of control Atwater/Rovian GOP along with a Reality TV star is all we need, to finally declare this nation as crazy.

    • There used to be this thing called the General Strike. This was a shutdown of the entire economy, a self-boycott to blackmail the rulers into making important concessions. It was a hard thing for our ancestors to do, but they were poorer than us.

      And bubble-ridden modern capitalism is very vulnerable to shocks, as 9/11 proved. Do we have the guts to play chicken with the 1%?

  9. MSNBC has become the Donald Trump Network. I suspect it has something to do with Joe Scarborough being mentioned as a possible running mate for Trumpf. I knew Joey the Scar had a lot of influence over there, but this is ridiculous.

  10. If someone’s platform is unconstitutional, it boggles the mind that a major American party would put him or her up for president.

    No surprise there. The major parties and their courtesans have little interest in the Constitution. They apply it when it suits their agendas and ignore it when it is politically expedient to do so. Consider Senator Byrd on the Rush to War Ignores the U.S. Constitution – link to Seventy-some percent of senators and representatives in Congress ignored Byrd’s point they would be violating their oaths to uphold the Constitution. And Washington is rampant with elected and appointed officials who also ignore their oaths to uphold the Constitution and the laws of the United States.

    It is the Fourth Estate, i.e. the press, it is the country’s leaders, and the general public who stand between the republic and the rise of a Mussolini.

    Unfortunately, many of these supposed guardians have betrayed the Republic and its citizens.

  11. Thank you Juan for this piece. It should appear in every main stream newspaper. The cable news has succumbed to the worst non journalism as it unwittingly supports this most dangerous candidate. The Republican party is a disgrace and the dysfunction of congress with its obstructionists have pave the way for the extreme nationalistic views that speak to disenfranchised folks who need to follow and obey a “strong” leader. Brings to mind Germany in the 1930’s .

  12. Yes, I agree this is another great piece from Professor Cole. He clears away the cobwebs and calls things by their name. Particularly helpful is his unambiguous claim that Trump represents the rise of American fascism. I agree with that. But one disagreement: I don’t think of Trump as so much a white nationalist but rather as a politician of the “charismatic” type, as discussed by Max Weber. He writes: [Legitimation can rest upon] “charismatic grounds–resting on devotion to the specific and exceptional sanctity, heroism or exemplary character of an individual person, and of the normative patterns or order revealed or ordained by him.”

  13. George W. Bush already dealt a great blow to international human rights and the idea of American leadership therein. If Trump got elected there would be another severe blow. Unsavoury nationalism is also on the rise in Europe-I write this finding myself unfortunately in the same bistro as Jean Marie le Pen-so all of us who care about human rights need to get ready for a fight.

  14. Quoting media @$$¢10w≠ “I’d like to punch him in the face.” Donald Trump – who is currently lowering our country in the eyes of the world merely running for office.

    Imagine what this accidentally wealthy, spoiled, totally unqualified, amp-medicated entertainer will do if allowed to actually gain a high position of power, trust and authority as our President?

    Created by corporate-owned and controlled media, Trump and the late squirrel glued to his head make acceptable distraction for the imposed 24/7 news cycle. Oozing from the corporate media petri dish, he is a racist, bigot “frankenbaby” unfit for public office.

    Consider an “I’d like to punch him in the face.” Donald Trump with the “Nuclear Football?”

  15. $$$$$ is supreme for FOX, MSNBC Fear is here. White supremacists anger is here. Racism has been here for a long time as most USA counties voted agains Obama (see the map where portions of the East and West coast were blue; I remember it). Will this be another Goldwater debacle for Trump? Who knows! But believe me, if HRC is nominated I and millions who support Sanders will not vote for her!!! Never as I didn’t vote for Obama in 2012 because? Killing lists and drone killings to begin with. No need for more reasons!!

    • Count me in as someone who will NEVER vote for HIllary if she is the nominee. At this point it’s Bernie or bust. He is the only sane and honest one left. He has developed a terrific narrative and when people who otherwise weren’t paying attention get a chance to listen to one of his full speeches, the threads all start to come together and people begin to understand how the system has been rigged against them for way too long.

      If it’s Hillary vs. Trump, we are in serious, serious trouble.

  16. We lost our “democracy” many years ago. Nixon’s treason behind the Paris peace talks in 1968, Reagan’s collusion with the Ayatollah in 1980 (and well after), the 2000 selection (RIP Antonin Scalia) are some of the data points.

    If we want a democracy, we have to build it ourselves. Out of the smashed bits that just might be left.

  17. It isn’t just the US media: “Lying Press? Germans Lose Faith in the Fourth Estate: Germans are losing faith in their media. Nowhere is this more apparent than in mistrust of refugee crisis media coverage. Where did journalists go wrong? And how much of this skepticism reflects a preference for rumors over facts? By SPIEGEL Staff” – link to

    Elsewhere the British media have been on the receiving end of well-deserved criticism.

  18. The Mussolini comparisons are spookier than you think. Go to YouTube and do a search. You don’t have to speak Italian. The facial expressions, the gestures, the jutting lower lip — it’s Trump.

    Still, I’m not panicking until I start seeing brownshirts.

    • Remember, Mussolini became “Il Duce” because the King of Italy refused to allow the *socialists* to run the government, and appointed Mussolini instead.

      Basically, socialists are the only alternative to fascism. People will not tolerate the status quo any more.

  19. It is not a big jump from an oligarchy run by a small elite to a fascist government. Trump, it seems to me, is a result of 20 to 25 years of right wing media brainwashing people into the view that the government can’t do anything right, that no government is better than any government, that all politicians are liars and can’t be trusted, and so on. And then when Republicans come into power they show that government doesn’t work at all. When Democrats show the opposite, this is ignored or lies are spread (death panels, anyone). You now have a GOP that doesn’t trust its own party or party leaders. They don’t believe anything but Fox News, so truth does not matter. Trump is the result of all this and is the devil spawn of right wing media who have succeeded in destroying all faith in our major institutions by the Republican base. The only good news is that 59% of the total population views Trump negatively, while 29% views him favorably.

  20. As a Brit, I am waiting patiently for your voters to wake up. It is the power of the press/TV that is the scariest part – they are responsible for presenting Trump as a legitimate choice.

    • Sorry, but it is not up to the media to decide who is or is not a “legitimate choice”. The foundational democratic ideal is that the demos gets to decide who is legitimate, not media mandarins or boomer academics. Trump announced his run, announced his ideas, and the people (or at least a sizable number of them) like them. It’s amazing how many putative liberals are willing to crush the democratic impulse the moment they don’t get their way. I thought such petty authoritarianism was solely the purview of right wingers, but apparently it isn’t.

  21. America, like so many other places, appears to have been taken over by a so-called ideology which is basically subservient shilling for the super elite. If anything it is neoliberals that you need to take you country back from.

  22. “This is how the dictators came to power in the 1920s and 1930s. Good people remained silent or acquiesced. ”
    And shan’t we forget that more recently it’s how we plunged foolishly to war in the Middle East

  23. “If someone’s platform is unconstitutional, it boggles the mind that a major American party would put him or her up for president.”

    Yeah we’re a few decades too late on that one.

  24. Interesting article but I don’t understand why you give the impression that Trump is the first republican for whom the Constitution is of little more significance than a roll of TP. It seems to be news to you that a president might ignore certain provisions of the that constitution although this has been going on for many years. You seem to believe that media bias was invented just for Sanders/Trump issues. The media has been defaulting on it’s responsibilities in favor of monetizing it’s privileges for at least 40 years. You also seem to give Trump credit for inventing racism. As far as I can tell, the major difference between Trump and the other fascists of the GOP is only in that he says out loud and in clear language what the rest of the GOP has been thinking and “dog-whistling” for ages.

  25. The US itself was White Nationalist until 1965. The Founders themselves limited naturalization to ‘free white persons’. The generation that won the Civil War thought nothing of greatly limiting Chinese immigration. Later American politicians reached the ‘Gentlemen’s Agreement’ with Japan to limit immigration from that country. (It should be said that at each and every turn, the American who wanted to restrict immigration were fought by the cheap labor lobby).

    In the early 1900s, culminating in 1924, the Congress passed a system of immigration that would ensure ethnic balance in the country (overwhelmingly white at the time). The GOP president that liberals and ‘progressives’ so love to praise, Ike, had hundreds of thousands of Mexican illegal immigrants deported (and further hundreds and thousands went home when they saw ‘Operation Wetback’ in action). Even when the spectacularly ill conceived 1965 immigration law was passed, basing our immigration system on nepotism, the proponents of the law lied and told the public that it wouldn’t change the demographic balance, that we wouldn’t see large scale immigration from Asia.

    So, up until 1965, America was essentially White Nationalist in the terms Juan Cole represents White Nationalism, and because White Nationalist, fascist.

    Now whites are being driven into minority status, we are just playing the game like any other group in the US. ‘Latinos’ have no trouble pressing for ‘Latino’ interests, such as open borders and amnesty, whether or not it is good for the polity as a whole. Asians similarly pursue their interest. The NAACP has long since transitioned from being a Civil Rights organization to one pursuing the racial/ethnic interests of blacks. The ADL and CAIR are similar.

    Well, white Americans with deep roots in this county aren’t going to be left out of the game. We will pursue our interests. Trump is just the beginning.

    • Well, Native Americans with even deeper roots in this county aren’t going to be left out of the game. We will pursue our interests.

      Cherokee People, will return, will return, will return, will return

  26. Look up Doug Coe, Abram Vereide, New Order of Cincinnatus, Smith-Connally Act, Sen Tom Coburn, Sen Jim Inhofe,S end Jim DeMint, Sam Brownback, Chuck Grassley, C Street, God’s Chosen, This power grab in the name of christianity has been going on a very long time–since the 1930s. These people have a very long view of managing a political takeover. The Chinese also are very patient people and take the long view., unlike the majority of americans who hardly remember the most recent outrage from the “Right”

  27. I’m so glad you’re on top of this, Juan. People seem to be getting complacent about what a radical threat Donald Trump is, as he appears on our TV screens on a nightly basis. Once he has the imprimatur of being the Republican nominee, there will be even more tendency to shrug off the reality of what a sociopath Trump is.

    It will be increasingly up to people like you, who don’t profit from Trump’s ratings bonanzas, to to remind people of the danger.

    In that vein, it is important that you don’t pull your punches. You refer to MSNBC reporters who were telling us that Trump voters aren’t such a bad bunch – but you didn’t name names. It was Chris Hayes, who is smart enough to know better. But even he seems to bowing to network pressure to domesticate Trump for public consumption. Very, very dangerous. At the rate things are going, the media is going to turn Trump into an avuncular, aw-shucks Ronald Reagan character by the time of the election.

    But to give this man power would be a deadly mistake. His psychology is more akin to the pissed-off gunmen who kill their co-workers than it is to a statesman.

    Trump is a gun nut – on steroids. Giving him power would be like giving an AK-47 to a psycho-killer.

    • True enough Ben!

      We have been stewed and marinated in a supine press for years, and, what is worse, a media wedded to not informing but entertaining. The current situation has not arisen suddenly; it has been coming for four or five decades now, and the GOP, despite “establishment” protestation, has laid the foundation to it brick by brick. So we go, for example, from Republicans and Democrats all agreeing in the 70s that fluorocarbons were a danger that needed stopping to a GOP frontrunner who dismisses the overwhelming evidence for climate change as a hoax, and the party goes with him.

      Only now, for a variety of reasons, the process has been accelerated, to the point where in a matter of months we get used to a degenerate vulgarian carnival barker spouting patent mendacity about race, gender, Muslims – hell, everything is simply a bald-faced lie, wrapped up in obfuscating ramblings. And there is no follow up from the media, no challenge to him, even though he advocates policies that constitute war crimes. Say what you will about Reagan, Bushes I and II, and Bill’s sexual peccadillos, (and I despised all of these guys), at least they had a modicum of dignity and decorum.

      Time to implement Cheney’s 1% plan, but to do it our way: if there is even a 1% indication that an American presidential candidate indicates that he/she will rule by fascism and the unscrupulous use of violence, then he/she is ineligible to appear on any ballot, period, end of report.

      And as always, pars Republicana delenda est!

  28. If Trump wins the Republican nomination, it will be because of looters’ logic.

    When people get angry enough to go on a rampage, they will burn down the only grocery store in the neighborhood, along with the only bank and the only gas station. Out of frustration, they will hurt themselves. There is no logic behind a temper tantrum. What we are seeing is a “Trumper tantrum” where some people are voting for Donald Trump and rationalizing it with the logic of the looter: “Burn it all down!”

    It shouldn’t be a surprise. American citizens have been lied to and mistreated. They’ve lost their sons and daughters to illegal wars, their savings and homes to banking fraud, and their jobs to greed. And the government has failed to defend them.

    That’s why this election is not about selecting the best person for the job. A number of angry voters care only about selecting the best person to burn the Republic to the ground.

    • HMReader nailed it. I certainly feel the rage as well, but I can take a deep breath and try to solve this thing rationally. Many others cannot do this. They are susceptible to their emotions, stoked as a mob.

  29. The current government is run by *aristocrats*. People are completely fed up with that, which is why aristocratic candidates like Rubio and Kasich and Bush are losing, and why Hillary Clinton will also lose.

    The alternative to aristocracy are socialism, and fascism.

    When the socialists are suppressed, the fascists win — as we saw in Italy in the 1920s and Germany in the 1930s.

    Our biggest problem is that the aristocrats prefer fascists to socialists, so they’ll do anything to sabotage socialists.

    Bascially, vote Bernie; if we nominate Hillary, we get Trump.

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