Saturday, February 04, 2017

Who's A Fascist? Oh, Him! Maybe Not....

That utterly deplorable man. Ensconced as the most powerful man on the globe. His presidential prerogatives send shivers down the spines of most foreigners. But this is the man whom enough American citizens voted for to be elected as President of the United States of America. His election has horrified people within the United States and those outside of that country. His frank, unadorned speaking style reflects a disordered mind, but one that enough voters felt sufficiently invested in to bring to the presidency. There are those, needless to say, who rejoice in their choice.

Others wince, while others still are behaving like hooligans in the very same destructive-of-civility manner that they charge the Trump supporters engage in. Since assuming the presidency, Donald Trump has methodically set about upturning and reversing many of the initiatives undertaken by his predecessor, Barack Obama, leaving that man's legacy in shreds. President Obama was calm and considered in his speech whereas Donald Trump is rude and crude and mean-tempered, a man whose megalomania is repulsive beyond words.

He is a man who glorifies himself in saying what he means and meaning what he says. His words like his thoughts may appear garbled and uninformed quite frequently, and that is mostly because they are, just that. How can America have fallen so spectacularly far, so incredibly quickly? An onlooker could get whiplash just from considering the polarization that has taken place in American politics, attention driven to the Republican versus the Democratic positions. Both claim to have the interests of the nation uppermost in mind, but their partisan divide is deeper than the Grand Canyon and more dizzying.
Trump: job growth is going to continue 'big league'

President Trump has been labelled a new-generation fascist. It has been pointed out by those whose study it is, that fascism can arise as readily from the left, as from the right. And we've seen more than adequate representations of just that, to more than adequately prove that this is correct. Any ideology taken to extremes might qualify. Each of those qualifying ideologies as they arise, claim to tell the truth as reality has it, and their truth is weighted by dire warning engendering fear and hysteria. Control is the name of that game.
"Fascism is a religion of the state It assumes the organic unity of the body politic and longs for a national leader attuned to the will of the people. It is totalitarian in that it views everything as political and that any action by the state is justified to achieve the common good. It takes responsibility for all aspects of life, including our health and well-being, and seeks to impose uniformity of thought and action, whether by force or by regulations and social pressure."
"Everything, including the economy and religion, must be aligned with its objectives. Any rival 'identity' is part of the 'problem' and therefore defined as the enemy."
Jonah Goldberg, Liberal Fascism
In Canada, we have a smiley-face egocentric as our new prime minister. Justin Trudeau set about immediately on taking office, on reconstructing the laws and initiatives taken by his predecessor, Stephen Harper, a man who won two minority and one majority elections and who governed as a moderate, who was not beloved of the people, albeit an excellent administrator, because his smile was not infectious. Mr. Trudeau daintily emotes and fastidiously proclaims his friendly affection toward all. He is a man of principle with a generous heart and goes to great lengths to impress that upon his admirers.

Whereas Stephen Harper as prime minister expressed no great love for the failure that the United Nations has become, and did not go into mourning mode when Canada was bypassed on his watch for a seat on the revolving UN Security Council, Mr. Trudeau hankers after that prestigious position on his own watch. When Russia, China, Cuba and Saudi Arabia sought re-election to the human rights council of the UN, our-then Minister of Global Affairs deigned not to divulge how Canada voted; so much for principle.
A majority of Americans disapprove of Donald Trump's travel ban in a new CBS poll

In contrast, though Mr. Trump doesn't talk about principle per se, he has his and he exercises what he feels to be instances of such with no fanfare and much vulgarity, for that is his style. If America now has a fascist leader as has been claimed, how does he compare with previous American leaders who were not in their time called fascist? Take Woodrow Wilson an admirer of Mussolini, whom Mr. Trump also quoted to great alarm. This former president of Princeton University, an intellectual and idealist, a elitist leftist progressive was quite the president in his time.

He won 42 percent of the popular vote in 1912, and according to author Jonah Goldberg represented "the twentieth century's first fascist dictator". Evidently Mr. Wilson was all for eugenics, just like Adolf Hitler. Chancellor Hitler, it should be recalled, was obsessed with good health and hygiene and took steps to impress upon the German population that smoking was bad for one's health, as was drinking alcohol. Mr. Wilson felt that allowing blacks to vote represented "the foundation of every evil in this country".

He brought the Sedition Act into law suppressing dissent with American war politics; "writing, printing, writing or publishing any disloyal, profane, scurrilous or abusive language about the United States government or the military" was strictly banned under punishment of law. By 1928 over 400 publications had been denied postal privileges. "Some 174,000 Americans were arrested for failing to demonstrate their patriotism in one way or another", wrote Mr. Goldberg. Including a man who spoke in his own home explaining his failure to buy Liberty Bonds.

President Donald Trump is one-of-a-kind, and perhaps for that alone, the world should be grateful, since his presidency will not last forever. He has heated disagreements with just about anyone who doesn't genuflect in his august presence. So he spars verbally on Twitter with the press, with his critics, and they are legion, and titillates and entertains his supporters via the very same medium to which he appears addicted. Certainly he delights in exciting people and goes out of his way to do that, too.

But he has no dictatorial impulses, other than to feel his personality is not sufficiently appreciated. He makes no effort to suppress freedom of speech from any source. He is unimpressively assertive, but then he walks away and things simmer down. He mocks those who fail to regard him as the Second Coming, but then he shrugs and looks elsewhere; his short attention span in full display constantly, without end. Like Canada's Stephen Harper he does not support abortion rights, but it doesn't seem likely he will act on his impulse there.

One positive thing; his commitment to defer to his Cabinet on issues of disagreement on the basis of his having turned authority over to them based on the theory that he selected them specifically for their purported expertise in the areas they now have responsibility for representing. So there may be some positive things in his presidency, though one must look carefully for them. And in the process become accustomed to his incendiary nature, flaming up from the always--present embers.

Think about it; if we could accustom ourselves to the never-ending disquisitions and lectures delivered courtesy of his predecessor, surely we can accustom ourselves not to shrink inwardly each time that undisciplined mind discloses the chaos that shoves aside reasonable introspection in those dark recesses of Donald Trump's brain.

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