Trump and Fascism

To my friends and followers who disagree with or don’t understand the strong reactions Trump gets from across the political spectrum, I offer this:

After WWII, there emerged a liberal consensus in America that has dominated politics and journalism. By “liberal” I don’t mean “Democratic”, I mean the broader understanding that tolerance of differences among Americans was an essential component of the American fabric. Until recently, even the most conservative Republicans understood that speaking out in explicit contradiction of this consensus was political suicide. When liberals warn of the dangers of “normalizing Trump”, they aren’t just talking about his behavior and tone; they also mean his regular, even gleeful violations of this consensus.

These values were imparted to me and many of my generation (and the next) by my parents’ generation, and onto them by the American reaction to the rise and fall of fascism, especially its most evil and visible manifestation in Europe. Certainly some of this came from the inevitable vilification of our wartime enemies, but it was largely justified by the horrors revealed by the post-war occupation of Germany. Family lore is that my maternal grandfather was one of the officers that led American forces through Germany after VE day, and gave ordinary Germans tours of the concentration camps.

This video has been making the rounds, and I encourage you to watch it with this mindset. It is a propaganda video produced by the US government in 1943 in an attempt to inoculate America against the tactics the Nazis used to take control of Germany. Its parallels to recent events are eerie (so eerie I at first suspected that it was an elaborate hoax, but it appears to be genuine, having been used as part of the effort to desegregate the armed forces.)

Today’s left will find much to fault in the video (it is, after all, almost 75 years old) but I’m not offering it as a guide to how you should think. I’m offering it as a good example for the foundational values that many Americans find violated by Trump, and why the analogies to fascist Europe are not made hyperbolically. Trump’s rhetoric and actions are literally, exactly what we were raised to be on guard against.

6 thoughts on “Trump and Fascism

  1. Dryson

    With the allegations of Russia hacking not only in the U.S. but also in Europe as well, Trump wanting to withdrawal the U.S. from the United Nations and defund the United Nations if not a smaller impact of the allegations of Obama Wire Tapping Trump Towers during the campaign it is obvious that Trump views himself as the Destroyer and the Delivery of death and life.

    With all of the offices that he has appointed people to that hate the offices that they have been appointed to such appointments would cause a collapse of social services during time of catastrophe. Withdrawing the U.S. and defunding the U.N. will cause worldwide catastrophe’s where the lack of oversight of the U.N. would allow for small faction warfare to start in places that had formerly protected by U.S. assets.But because of Trump’s greed in wanting countries to pay for security those countries unable to pay the extortion fees of Trump those countries would collapse under tribal and terrorist warfare as well as larger nations such as Japan or Italy making land grabs for territory that had been protected by U.S. but was now left unprotected.

    The U.S. leaving the United Nations would signal worldwide panic which would at first boost the economies and markets of the world to buy survival items which would show to the small percentage of Trump supporters and his media that he was keeping his promise on boosting economies.

    But once the nations realized that the U.S. would not come to aid them regardless of their calls for help those countries would realize that Trump had conned them into his Ponzi scheme of being a Globalist even though he had campaigned on ending the U.S. “globalism” which keeps a catastrophe from taking place such as the breakdown of all social services due to world wide panic in the U.S. not protecting smaller countries from attacks and invasions.

    The goal of creating worldwide fear and panic can be seen albeit as it might seem through Sean Spicer’s recent turning the flag on his lapel upside down that was seen during a recent press conference. In that moment conspiracy theorists and the paranoid and delusional took the message of the flag being upside down as a sign that the U.S. was under duress causing such people to further spread the paranoia of fear that would boost markets once again with people buying survival gear.

    Eventually those types of people will snap due to the fear and paranoia that with the GOP ending the law stating that those with mental health issues are now able to own firearms that more murders would be created that would slowly trickle down into full blown paranoia and more people simply shooting others because of the fear and paranoia.

    All the while Trump sits in his Tower of Fools Gold laughing and taking in millions. Then it happens. A nation like North Korea launches missiles towards Japan, like it recently did about two weeks ago, that actually impact Japan and start a war.

    Trump is not only a fascist who the media believes and thrives on the false allegations of wire tapping’s and foreign hacking but Trump is an end of the world type of President. He has already put his glass fail safes into place and is just waiting for someone else to make the first move to break the glass so he can say that he was the Redeemer of all Things even though its obvious that he is the Destroyer first.

  2. drkitsy

    Dr. Wright,
    I respect and appreciate your decision to speak your mind. Thank you for posting your statement and the video. I enjoy your website and have learned a lot from it. Keep up the good work!

  3. jtw13 Post author

    EricSECT:

    No.

    My expertise is astrophysics, as you say, so that is where most of my posts will be. And I do generally (not completely) separate my personal and professional life, using social media for the professional side (I’ll never post my lunch to Twitter, and you’ll rarely see my kids). But politics crosses these boundaries, and has direct effects on my job, my colleagues, and my science, so it is not out of place here.

    I do try, though, not to alienate my readers. The few times I do wade in to partisan politics, I hope it will be to promote real dialogue and understanding, and not to parrot talking points. This post was written in an attempt to move things forward, not to earn kudos from my liberal readers or to take a dig at the conservative ones.

    I’m not a celebrity, but since you used the analogy: I think it’s not only appropriate for everyone from Ted Nugent to Robert Redford to use their celebrity to make the world a better place (as they see it), I think it’s a moral imperative. Those who would stay silent as the world burns just to remain popular (or to make money) are complicit in the evils they see: “Silence in the face of evil is itself evil: God will not hold us guiltless.” (Bonhoeffer)

    Thanks for posting.

  4. EricSECT

    This is your blog, Jason. It’s title is “Astronomy and meta-Astronomy by Jason Wright”. As it is YOUR blog, you post what you see fit. But I urge you not to wade into the politics of the situation. Similar to the various Hollywood actors and sports stars, both pro and con Trump, they have their expertise, acting and sports. You have your expertise, astro-physics. Open a FaceBook account and sound off on politics, but not here. Your opinions and theirs carry no more weight than mine, a lay person, we are all opinionated and even biased.

  5. jtw13 Post author

    I think I get your perspective zzzzZZZZZ. From your response though, I’m pretty sure you don’t get mine, which is disappointing because that was the goal of my post.

    If you don’t see how many Americans would see Trump’s rhetoric presaged in that video then I don’t know what to say except I hope you try again.

    I know some conservatives dismissed those parts of his campaign as empty bluster, but most Americans can’t take that chance (though maybe most white men feel they can).

  6. zzzzZZZZ

    Jason – I find that liberal people don’t get their points challenged these days, because of their overwhelming presence in academia and media. In academia most conservatives need to stay quiet about their views, because of fear of backlash and in the media… well tell me which papers or cable channels have any articulate conservative commentator on their rolls. This resulted in a degree of hysteria regarding Trump. I don’t know anyone who rooted for him during the primaries, but his flaws are by no means Hitleresque. In my view, the democrats lost because they didn’t have any skin in the decision making game. The tendency of resorting to experts instead of elected officials… I’m veering off-course, but let me just say that the values you mention – for me at least – are mostly found on the right these days. Thanks for your post and for letting me comment anonymously.

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