Wednesday, December 23, 2015

More Than, Or Different Than, A Racist

Addressing Hillary Clinton's "brief  disappearance during Saturday's Democratic debate while she was using the lavatory" (video below), Think Progress has reported, Donald

Trump told the crowd, “Where did Hillary go? They had to start the debate without her. Phase two. Why? I know where she went. It’s disgusting. I don’t want to talk about it. It’s too disgusting. Don’t say it, it’s disgusting. We want to be very, very straight up.”

We're so glad he wants "to be very, very straight up" but wants no one to "say it, it's disgusting."   Despite appearances, the disgusting comments about another individual's bathroom comments were not the worst remark Trump made.

Despite concern that Trump is a "fascist," Dylan Matthews argues

"Fascism" has been an all-purpose insult for many years now, but it has a real definition, and according to scholars of historical fascism, Trump doesn't qualify. Rather, he's a right-wing populist, or perhaps an "apartheid liberal" in the words of Roger Griffin, author of The Nature of Fascism. He doesn't want to overthrow the existing democratic system. He doesn't want to scrap the Constitution. He doesn't romanticize violence itself as a vital cleansing agent of society. He's simply a racist who wants to keep the current system but deny its benefits to groups he's interested in oppressing.

"To be blunt," Matthews writes, "Donald Trump is not a fascist." To be blunt: You, Dylan, are singularly unconvincing.  We learn from Politico that the speech in Michigan

was interrupted by more than a dozen scattered outbursts from protesters, eliciting a range of responses from the businessman.

“I’ll tell you they’re nice guys, very noncombative,” he remarked of one group of protesters, before questioning the judgment of young people who break out in protests in front of “9,000 maniacs who want to kill them.”

He also opined that if someone sat down young protesters and explained Trump’s message to them, he believed they would respond positively. During other outbursts, Trump was less conciliatory.

“You’re so brave,” a sarcastic Trump told one long-haired young man as security removed him from the arena. “He’s holding up his hands like he’s Mike Tyson. He never threw a punch — so brave.”

“You are a loser,” Trump told another protester. “You really are a loser.”

Not content merely to criticize  a disruptive protester removed by security, Trump sarcastically charged "he's holding up his hands like he's Mike Tyson. He never threw a punch- so brave." When the supporters attacked a Black Lives protestor at a Trump rally in November, Trump contended “Maybe he should have been roughed up. It was disgusting what he was doing.”

If he "doesn't romanticize violence," the Philadelphia 76ers are well on their way to an NBA title. University of Missouri administrators who resigned under pressure from Black Lives Matter are "weak, ineffective people." Marco Rubio is "totally weak on immigration."  Bernie Sanders "showed such weakness" in responding to a Black Lives Matter protest and Martin O'Malley acted like a "disgusting, little, weak, pathetic baby."  the USA has "a bunch of losers" as displomats. John Ellis Bush is a "low-energy person" and "unhappy person" who is "way down in the polls." He's a loser.

Donald Trump,this writer believes, probably "just makes it up as he goes along, speaking from his gut, just like Uncle Harry at Thanksgiving dinner, just like two guys at the bar during last call."

However, the essence of Trump and his appeal was better captured four months ago by a Peter Wood, who a few months ago explained that we have been

persuading ourselves that authenticity to oneself is more important than respect for others. We are living in the midst of what I call “new anger,” the anger of people who are proud of being angry and congratulate themselves on it. Compare Mr. Trump with the episode in 1968 when William F. Buckley Jr. responded to a taunt by Gore Vidal on ABC in televised commentary on the Democratic Convention in Chicago. The famous exchange — Vidal calls Buckley a “crypto-Nazi” and Buckley responds by calling Vidal a “queer” — is receiving fresh attention in the documentary Best of Enemies. Buckley, in the words of Hendrik Hertzberg writing in The New Yorker, “immediately regretted” the slur, “and eventually wrote that he had returned to his dressing room in a state of despair.” But “Vidal had no such regrets about calling his opponent a crypto-Nazi. He knew he had triumphed.” 

Buckley, the man of traditional values, despairs because his flash of verbal anger is a failure of self-control. Vidal, a man of the new era, exults because his taunt succeeded in breaking his opponent’s reserve. Today, Trump plays the part of Vidal, sneering at those over whom he would triumph. We are living in the midst of what I call ‘new anger,’ the anger of people who are proud of being angry and congratulate themselves on it. 

Donald Trump is an authoritarian with an easy acceptance of violence by his supporters.  Racist or not, the candidate himself- as well as the rabid following he has amassed- cannot, and should not, be written off as "simply being a racist."

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