Posts Tagged ‘David Duke’

Donald Trump Predicted in Stephen Baxter’s 1995 Novel ‘Titan’

July 16, 2017

I’ve been making my way through Stephen Baxter’s SF novel, Titan, these last few weeks. Baxter’s a British SF writer, with degrees in maths and engineering. He applied to be an astronaut on the Anglo-Soviet mission to Mir in the 1980s, which went to Helen Sharman. He’s probably best known for his Xelee-sequence books. These are set in a universe dominated by the extremely advanced, but mysterious Xelee, who are engaged in a war across the entire universe with the Photino Birds, dark matter creatures determined to age and extinguish the universe of ordinary matter. He has also written other novels about a variety of parthenogenic humans, descended from a lost troop of Romans, a catastrophic flood in the Bronze Age, and the books The Long Earth and The Long War, about parallel worlds, with the late, great Terry Pratchett. His novel, Voyage, an alternative history in which NASA launches a final manned expedition to Mars, was adapted for Radio 4 by Audio Movies in the 1990s. He was also the scientific advisor for the 1990s BBC SF series, Invasion Earth, about aliens from the higher physical dimensions invading the planet.

Titan is also about a last, crewed NASA mission. This time its put together by a team of astronauts, space scientists and ground control crew as the Agency’s last, great space expedition before it is closed down following a shuttle disaster. It’s set in what was then the near future – 2004 onwards – in America increasingly falling into right-wing extremism, irrationalism and Christian fundamentalism. The leading politician and subsequent president, is Xavier Maclachlan, a Texan with standing on an aggressively anti-science platform. Here’s the description of the man and his policies on pages 284-5.

Hadamard was in Washington during the inauguration of Xavier Maclachlan, after his wafer-thin win in the 2008 election.

Maclachlan called it a ‘liberation of the capital’.

Armed militia bands came in from Idaho and Arizona and Oklahoma and Montana, to fire off black-powder salutes to the nationalist-populist who promised to repeal all gun control laws. In the crowd, Hadamard saw a couple of Ku Klux Klan constumes, a sight he though had gone into an unholy past. Come to that, there was a rumour that a former Klan leader was being made ready to become a future White House chief of staff. And in his speech Maclachlan appealed to the people to end what he called the ‘Israeli occupation of Congress’…

And so on.

As soon as Maclachlan lifted his hand from the Bible, US peacekeeping troops in the Balkans and Africa started to board their planes to leave. Foreign aid stopped. The UN was being thrown out of New York, and there was a rumour that Maclachlan was planning some military adventure to take back the canal from Panama.

Army engineers – set in place during the handover from the last Administration – started to build a wall, two thousand miles of it, along the Mexican border, to exclude illegal immigrants. White it was being built, troops brought home from peacekeeping abroad were operating a shoot-to-kill policy.

There was chaos in the financial markets. Machlachlan had withdrawn the US from the North American Free Trade Treaty, from the World Trade Organisation, from GATT. Reviews of the country’s membership of the World Bank and the IMF had started – arms of an incipient world government, Maclachlan said, designed to let in the Russians. He had raised tariffs – ten per cent against Japan, fifty per cent against the Chinese – and world trade collapsed.

The Chinese, particularly, screamed. And so Maclachlan sent the Seventh Fleet to a new station just off the coast of Taiwan.

Meanwhile all the strategic arms treaties with Russia were torn up, as Maclachlan orderd his technicians to dig out the blueprints for Reagan’s old dream of SDI. In fact, Maclachlan wanted to go further. He was inviting ideas for what he called his ‘da Vinci brains trust’. The press was full of schemes for fantastic new weapons: smart remote sensors; dream mines that could shoot at passing traffic; smart armour that would use explosive tiles to deflect incoming projectiles; maybe even an electrical battlefield in which electricity-propelled shells would be zapped in by low-flying aircraft.

And back home, Machlachlan had cut off any remaining programs which benefited blacks and other minorities, and any funding that appeared to support abortion, which had been made illegal in any form.

Xavier Maclachlan was a busy man, and he was fulfilling his campaign promises.

Clearly, much of this is an extrapolation from the policies and attitudes of the Republican party and the American extreme Right in the 1980s and 1990s. Reagan had brought right-wing Christian fundamentalists into the Republican party, who had previously stood aloof from politics as part of a corrupt, fallen secular order. He had also begun to wind up government welfare programmes, particularly those aimed at benefiting minorities, such as Black Americans. Fears of an imminent apocalypse, social breakdown and Russian invasion, even after the collapse of Communism, had resulted in the emergence of the survivalist and then Militia movements, armed right-wing paramilitary groups. These had a bitter resentment of the federal government, which culminated in McViegh’s bombing of the Federal Building in Oklahoma. They also tended to be bitterly racist and anti-Semitic. They believed and still believe in stupid Nazi conspiracy theories that claim that the Jews are trying to destroy the White race through racial intermixing and that America is covertly controlled by the Jews through the ‘Zionist Occupation Government’, or ZOG. These groups and right-wing American fundamentalist organisations also believed that there was a secret, Illuminati conspiracy to create a one world Satanic superstate centred on the UN. Phyllis Schlafly, who was actually a Democrat, regularly denounced the UN as well as women’s rights. And one leading figure in the militias – I think it may have been Bo Gritz, who supposedly served as the model for ‘Rambo’ – stated that the way they would clear America’s international debt would be by minting a single coin with the legend ‘1 Trillion Dollars’. As for the Klan, there were a series of scandals in which senior Republican politicos were revealed as having links to or membership in the White racist terrorist group. The most notorious of these was David Duke in Louisiana, who is unfortunately still around and blaming the Jews for everything even today.

And political scientists and economists were predicting the rise of China and the other ‘tiger economies’, which would dominate the ‘Pacific Century’ even then.

Of course, there are things Baxter failed to predict, like 9/11 and the invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq. He also takes the conventional view that the various free trade agreements and UN organisations, like the IMF and the World Bank, are nice, liberal, benefificial institutions, rather than the way corporate America imposes its own neoliberal policies on the rest of the world, particularly the developing nations.

Not that the Democrats have been much different. Counterpunch has reported that Obama was considering removing the ‘No first strike’ policy towards a nuclear confrontation, and Killary has been every bit as aggressive in her stance towards Russia and China as the Republicans, perhaps even more so.

As for the White extremist and racist groups supporting the new president, all that’s different is that the Klan has been largely replaced, or subsumed, into the internet-based Alt Right. But the hysterical fear of gun legislation, promoted and lavishly funded by the gun manufacturers and the NRA, against the desires of the majority of Americans, and even the NRA’s own rank and file membership, remains strong.

It shows how long the attitudes held by the American right, and which led to the election of Donald Trump, have been around. Since his election, left-wing news sites such as The Young Turks, Secular Talk and the David Pakman Show have reported that Americans have become increasingly dissatisfied with Trump. Sixty per cent of the American public want him impeached. This dissatisfaction even extends to Republican voters.

Trump, however, in his racism, his isolationism, aggressive nationalism and hatred of the welfare state and women’s rights, is very much in line with the general political stance of post-Reaganite right-wing American politicians. Indeed, he’s so much a part of this political trend that, with caveats, his election – or rather, the election of someone like him – was predicted by Baxter over two decades ago.

No wonder an increasing number of young Americans are looking to progressive politicos like Bernie Sanders for leadership and the redemption of their country against a corrupt political elite and the military-industrial complex. And I fervently hope they win, and that humanity will continue to reach out to the cosmos in a spirit of genuine exploration and wonder, and not as another arena for warfare.

David Pakman on Anti-Semitic and Racist Republican Candidate Escorted Offstage at Kentucky University

February 23, 2017

In my last post, I discussed the rise in racism in this country and America, as reported in Mike’s recent post about the fall in immigration and rise in hate crime following Brexit, and the anti-Semitic desecration of a Jewish cemetery near St. Louis. This incident has had a more positive sequel, in that a Muslim organisation has so far raised $71,000 to be spent on repairing the cemetery and other Jewish communities, that have suffered similar attacks.

Discussing the American attacks, Ben Mankiewicz and Ana Kasparian of The Young Turks made the point that they were part of the wave of hate that has been unleashed by Trump’s bigoted rhetoric and campaigning. While Trump has a Jewish son-in-law, whom his daughter converted to Judaism to marry, and denies that he is anti-Semitic, his supporters include Steve Bannon of Breitbart, an anti-Semite and White supremacist, and Richard Spencer, the leader of the Alt-Right, which comprises anti-Semites, White Supremacists and other far-right bigots.

Unfortunately, there has been a racist strain in the Republican party for a very long time. Ever since, in fact, Richard Nixon devised the ‘Southern Strategy’ to keep hold of the South by playing on the racist fears of White voters after desegregation. One of the leading Republican politicos is David Duke, a former leader of the Ku Klux Klan. And I can remember how Joe Queenan on the BBC Radio 4 programme, Postcard from Gotham, greeted the electoral victory of Pat Buchanan in New Hampshire with the statement that the only thing you could now in that state were cries of ‘Duce! Duce!’ after Mussolini.

In this piece from 2014, David Pakman reports on a speech at Kentucky University’s ‘Constitution Day’, which resulted in the speaker being escorted off stage by university staff. This was Robert Edward Rensdell, a rising Republican candidate for the senate with appalling anti-Semitic and White separatist views. Rensdell had previously put placards up with his slogan ‘With Jews we lose’ all over Cincinnati. He has also called Blacks ‘savages’ and looked back to the racist past as a time when ‘Blacks knew better’ than to pick on White people, particularly women and children.

Instead of the speech on the American Constitution they were no doubt expecting, the university’s students got a racist rant.

Pakman himself also warns about treating Rensdell and his antics too lightly, as if he represented no more of a threat than a few tasteless comments. He talks about how he had on his programme Frasier Glen Miller another racist Republican senator ten years before. Miller was openly anti-Semitic on his show, insulting Pakman personally with remarks about his Jewish heritage. Miller has since been convicted of the murder of two Jewish people at different Jewish community centres. Pakman points out that the racism expressed and promoted by people like Rensdell and Miller has terrible real world consequences, and can very quickly turn to violence.

Muslims Come to the Aid of Vandalised Jewish Cemetery

February 23, 2017

The election of Donald Trump in America and the Brexit vote in Britain last year has led to a massive growth in racial bigotry and intolerance in both countries. Mike has put up on his blog today a critique of the government’s statement that migration to the UK has gone down. He points out that this is hardly surprising, given that hate crime has risen by 41 per cent. This includes assaults, arson attacks and canine excrement thrown at doors or shoved through letter boxes. He wonders if any of the Tory and UKIP politicos – David Cameron, Nigel Farage, Boris Johnson or Michael Gove are really worried about this. It is, after all, not them or their class that’s being attacked, but Johnny Foreigner. Mike reminds us that Jo Cox, a politician, was murdered in a racist attack by Thomas Mair, and notes that the Commons yesterday cheered a move to commemorate the anniversary of her murder with the Great Get-Together, an initiative intended to bring communities together.

But he also remarks that there’s a bit of hypocrisy in their support for it, saying that

It would be hypocritical for them to applaud a drop in net migration fuelled by the same hate that ended Mrs Cox’s life.

The fact that violence is the real reason net migration has fallen means this is not a success for the United Kingdom and Theresa May.

As a nation, we should be ashamed.

See: http://voxpoliticalonline.com/2017/02/23/of-course-immigration-fell-after-the-brexit-vote-hate-crime-has-increased-dramatically/

The Young Turks on Tuesday reported the anti-Semitic desecration of about 200 graves in a Jewish cemetery in University City near St. Louis. One elderly lady from the community states that she no longer feels safe after the attack. This is not the only Jewish community has been attacked. So far 54 Jewish community centres have been threatened this year, including 11 in the past week. Discussing the incident, the two presenters, Ben Mankiewicz and Ana Kasparian, make the point that this hate has partly been unleashed by Donald Trump and his rhetoric and campaigns against Muslims and other groups, with Kasparian mentioning the misogyny in his speeches. They make the point that it is no accident that Trump’s cabinet includes Breitbart’s Steve Bannon, an anti-Semite and White supremacist, and his supporters include Richard Spencer, the leader of the Alt-Right. Spencer was interviewed by the left-wing news host, David Pakman, on his show. While Spencer denies being a Nazi, he refused to denounce Adolf Hitler. He said instead that he wasn’t ‘going to play those games’. He did state that the Third Reich was a failure. Which is something, but not the same as condemning it or Nazism. They also note that in his speech for Holocaust Remembrance Day, Trump somehow forgot to mention the Jews. Despite his own denial that he is anti-Semitic, Trump was very reluctant to disavow the support of David Duke, a former leader of the Ku Klux Klan. Mankiewicz and Kasparian make the point that the people listening to Trump’s hate, and who feel emboldened and encouraged by it, aren’t going to limit their own hatred and attacks merely to the groups he’s selected. So even though Trump has denied that he is anti-Semitic, pointing out that his son-in-law is Jewish, and his daughter converted to Judaism to marry him, Trump’s own racist campaigning is responsible for encouraging these attacks on Jewish communities.

Trump’s daughter, Ivanka Trump, has drawn fire for her father’s opponents, as she has tweeted a statement condemning the attack, which points out, quite rightly, that America was founded on religious toleration, and that we need to defend each others houses of worship.

There have also been an attempt by one right-wing journalist to blame the Left for the attack. Wolf Blitzer claimed that the cemetery was desecrated by Progressives. This seems to me to be complete and utter bilge. The Left, by and large, is very anti-racist. This accusation just seems to me to come from that part of the Republican and Libertarian ideologies that think that the Nazis were Socialists, ’cause Hitler put ‘Socialism’ in their name. He did, but only to draw some supporters away from the parties of the Left, such as the Social Democrats, the German equivalent of the Labour party, by making it appear that they were socialists. See the appropriate page in Joachim C. Fest’s biography of the nauseating little man, Hitler. And Hitler had to overcome the resistance of the other, founding members of the Nazi party, who bitterly despised Socialism and very definitely did not want their party to be associated with it. It also seems to me that the smear also owes something to continuing attempts to attack the BDS campaign against the Israeli occupation of Palestine. This is an anti-racist campaign, supported by very many Jews as well as gentiles. But the Zionist lobby have always responded to criticism of Israeli imperialism and racism by smearing their opponents as anti-Semites. Many progressives as doubtless involved in the BDS movement as part of their general campaign against all forms of racism. But for the Israel lobby and their journalistic supporters, the progressives involved in the BDS campaign and similar movements must be anti-Semites. And from their it’s only a short leap to claiming that Progressives must somehow be responsible for this and similar attacks.

More positively, a Muslim organisation has come forward and raised money for the cemetery’s repair. Linda Sarsour, a Muslim activist, and one of the four principal organisers of the Women’s March on Washington, set up a website to raise the money. She wanted to get $20,000. Instead she raised $71,000. This is more than is needed for the cemetery in St. Louis, so the money will also be used to help other Jewish communities that have suffered attacks. The website states that it was set up to send a clear message from the Muslim and Jewish communities against such intolerance.

The programme’s hosts, Cenk Uygur and Ana Kasparian state that this shows the best of America, and that people are coming together to defend other victims of intolerance, whether it is over skin colour or religion. Kasparian states that she feels that there isn’t enough coverage of movements and events like this, as quite often the focus is dominated by the negative things now happening. But this makes her feel more positive and hopeful.

I don’t think this is the only incident in which the members of one religion have reached out to aid those from others, which are in need. There have been cases like it in this country, one of the most recent examples being the decision of some Asian restaurants and takeaways in Britain to stay open on Christmas Day to supply meals for the homeless. The Get-Together campaign cheered in the Commons yesterday is only the latest and most prominent of these events and movements. And there will undoubtedly be more of them, as more people come together to tackle the intolerance and Fascism unleashed by Trump and Brexit.

TYT Interviews Young Nazi at Trump Rally

November 3, 2016

In my last piece, I discussed a documentary on the daft conspiracy theories Trump believes in, or at least has promoted, on BBC 2 tonight, 9.00 pm, 3rd November 2016. In this clip from The Young Turks, their reporter Eric Byler interviews a young man leaving one of Trump’s rallies, who believes in one of the oldest and nastiest conspiracy theories of all: that the world is secretly run by the Jews. The young man says he’s very impressed with Trump, as he will end immigration and ‘Zionism’. He wants immigration from the Middle East stopped, as its bringing radical Islam and crime into America. He goes on to claim that Zionism is the ‘biggest problem in this country, and around the globe’. When asked to explain what Zionism is, he states its all about ‘a certain group of people’ amassing the world’s wealth for themselves, and controlling everyone through the education system. When Byler asks him whether Zionism is just religious, he replies that it’s not just religious, but also a political ideology. ‘It’s when a few people at the top, from a certain religious group, control the masses.’ He then says that he is not talking about Judaism, but Zionism. He states that he is also against a Christian or Muslim trying to take over the world, but returns to his comments about ‘them’ controlling all the money, all the businesses and the politicians, who do not look out for the people’s interests. But Trump will save them from all this, as he represents the people and the Constitution, and so will bring about America’s freedom.

When asked if he has any final comments, he states that the truth lies with Alex Jones’ Infowars programme, and David Duke, and urges people to follow them.

Remember the fuss the other year when some emancipated women and male supporters went around wearing T-shirts saying ‘This Is What A Feminist Looks Like’? Watching this I felt that the lad ought to have a sign round him saying, ‘This Is What A Real Anti-Semite Looks Like’. Yes, I realise that he makes a distinction between Jews and ‘Zionists’, but it’s a hollow one the real Nazis have been making for at least a couple of decades in order to try to hide their anti-Semitism. I even heard Ernst Zundl, a Canadian Nazi, being interviewed on Channel 4, claiming not to be an anti-Semite, and to have Jewish friends. This doesn’t stop Zundl himself being a Nazi, purveyor of Third Reich paraphernalia, and Holocaust Denier. Alex Jones is the very well-known conspiracy theorist, who believes that the globalist elites are in control of everything and doing what they can to enslave the world and America. And David Duke is a notorious high ranking member of the KKK. Who will also claim he’s not anti-Semitic, and then in his next breath denounce the Jews for all manner of stupid conspiracies which really exist only in his mind and those of his fellow Klansmen and White supremacists.

But I also felt this needed to be put up to show the difference between a genuine anti-Semite, even if he claims not to be such, and the people, who have been smeared as such in the Labour party. This young fellow uses the term ‘Zionism’ to cover the old anti-Semitic conspiracy theories that have been at the heart of Nazism the world over ever since the Tsar’s Okhrana concocted The Protocols of the Elders of Zion. In Britain this was taken up and printed by Arnold Leese’s The Britons extreme nationalist group.

The people, who’ve been smeared as anti-Semites in the Labour party, by contrast, did not use the term as a code word or euphemism for these poisonous conspiracy theories. When they discussed Zionism, they meant precisely that – Israeli nationalism and the crimes that Israel has perpetrated against the Palestinians, including a decades-long campaign of massacre, oppression and dispossession. These are very real offences, not the diseased imaginings of hate-filled minds. The people campaigning against this in the Labour party are not racists, anti-Semites or self-hating Jews, despite the slanders hurled at them from the Israel lobby. They include Jews and non-Jews, who have personal histories of standing up against all forms of racism, including anti-Semitism, as a couple of recent articles in some of the papers have shown. Those campaigning against the brutal maltreatment of the Palestinians also include very many immensely courageous Israelis, including rabbis, who risk vilification and death threats for doing so. These have included members of the armed forces, who have refused to continue serving because they feel the missions they are required to fight are unjust and too brutal. I don’t know, but I feel sure that these men and women probably don’t think they’re anti-patriotic. I think they probably feel that they’re patriotic Israelis trying to put into practice the concerns for the poor and social justice that lies in much of the Bible, and which has motivated many religious Jews elsewhere around the world to join similar campaign in solidarity with the Palestinians.

So if there’s anyone who’s confused about how you can tell a real anti-Semite, who tries to cloak their Jew-hatred in rhetoric about Zionism, and genuine anti-racists, who attack Zionism or simply the Israeli state, listen to what this young fellow is saying and note the difference.

As for the young man speaking here, he is young and so I hope there’s still time for him to learn better, and see through the poisonous lies peddled by Duke and Jones. Yes, the world’s elites are nasty and corrupt, but that’s because of the corrupt nature of society and the global economy, and the personal character of the members of the elite themselves. It’s not because they’re Jews, or members of any other religious or ethnic group.

Hail, Trump? Trump Gets Followers to Raise Right Hands and Swear Personal Allegiance

March 6, 2016

This is extremely ominous. Yesterday at a meeting in Orlando, Florida, Trump got his supporters to raise their right hands and swear their personal allegiance to him. This was reported in the Hill. Mike in his report on it notes the similarity to the oath every German citizen was required to swear to Adolf Hitler. The strangeness of the scene was also not lost on a columnist for Bloomberg. Mike states

The scene is reminiscent of Hitler in 1930s Germany – the crowd with their right hands raised echoing the Nazi salute, and the oath echoing the oaths of personal loyalty to the Nazi leader that Germans were ordered to swear.

Bloomberg’s Steven Dennis tweeted: “I’ve never seen someone swear allegiance to a politician in America, until today. To the Constitution, many times. To the flag, daily.”

See http://voxpoliticalonline.com/2016/03/06/whats-worse-donald-trump-what-this-looks-like-or-what-it-really-is/

Trump Allegiance

I don’t know, but I can kind of guess what Trump would say about this in his defence. He’d probably argue that it’s no different to raising your right hand to swear on oath in the church or in court. Many evangelical Christians raise their right hand during church services when they’re carried away with the worship. German evangelical Christians, obviously, very definitely do not. They raise both hands, just to make it very clear that they are not saluting the Fuehrer and the horror of the Third Reich.

But I don’t think the parallels with swearing oaths in court, or ecstatic gestures during Christian worship, really hold. It is far more like the mass oaths the citizens of the Fascist tyrannies were expected to swear to their dictators – to Hitler, Mussolini and the other goose-steppers. And Mike goes on to make the comment that its unacceptable either way whether or not Trump is ignorant of the historical comparison.

It’s frightening that Trump has the support of David Duke and the Klan, that he’s invited the White supremacist National Cesspool to his rallies; that he intends to deport 11-12 million illegal immigrants, build a wall with Mexico and ban Muslims from entering the US. Let alone his intention to resume torture and kill civilians in the War on Terror. Or is that the War for Terror?

Hitler claimed to be sent from God, and you can hear the same rhetoric around several of the Republican candidates. They claim that they are called by God, or their supporters claim that God has meant them to run for president. It all recalls the line in the oath to Adolf, ‘Oh my Fuehrer sent from God’. To their credit, the Jehovah’s Witnesses would not comply with these claims. They saw Hitler as a secular messiah, and so refused to swear loyalty to him. The only messiah for Christians is Jesus. And they paid for that with internment in the concentration camps.

Nuremberg Rally

The Wehrmacht at the Nuremberg Rally: Trump’s model for the Florida meeting?

Trump’s certainly Fascistic, but I don’t know whether he really is a Nazi. It could be that Trump is deliberately pushing the Far Right aspects of his campaign, both in style and substance, as far as they’ll go on the grounds that there’s no such thing as bad publicity. He’s getting talked about, and extensive media coverage. And the more sober media commenters or the Left note the similarities between him and the Fascists, the more popular he seems to become. He seems to be determined to push it as far as possible, until it rebounds.

Or until it’s too late. For America. For freedom. And for millions of innocents around the world.

A line from an old Space Opera I used to watch on TV comes to mind, a prediction given by a departing mage to a fiercely ambitious alien politicians: I see a hand reaching out of the stars. It is your hand. And I hear a billion voices calling your name.’
‘My followers?’
‘No. Your victims.’

The Daily Show’s Trevor Noah on Donald Trump’s Fascist Week

March 5, 2016

This is a piece of excellent satire – it makes you laugh, but like Bremner, Bird and Fortune and The Last Leg, there’s a deadly serious point to the jolly japes.

In this clip from The Daily Show, Trevor Noah goes through a list of the features of Fascism from the New York Times to show how they fit the attitudes and comments of Donald Trump.

Those features are:

* A cult of action.
* A celebration of aggressive masculinity
* an intolerance of criticism
* a fear of difference and outsiders
* Intense nationalism
* Resentment of national humiliation.

The Cult of Action
Trump: ‘I get things done. Better than anybody’.

Intolerance of Criticism
‘For those guys back there, the media, they are the worst’.

The Celebration of Aggressive Masculinity
‘Big hi-fives, smiling, laughing, I’d like to punch him in the face.’                                              
‘I could stand in the middle of Fifth Avenue and shoot somebody and I wouldn’t lose any voters.’

Resentment of National Humiliation
‘We never win. We just don’t win’.

Intense Nationalism
‘I’m going to make America great again!’

Fear of Outsiders
‘A complete shutdown of all Muslims from the United States’.

Trump also retweeted a quote from the Fascist Italian dictator, Benito Mussolini ‘It is better to live one day as a lion, than 100 years as a sheep’. Noah points out that the quote itself isn’t particular offensive. You could probably find similar comments posted up all over gyms across America. But it’s acceptability changes once you find out the source of the quote. Trump was asked by one of the news anchors if he was disturbed by it coming from il Duce. He said that was all right, it was from Mussolini, but it was still a good quote. Did he want to be associated with Fascists? No, he said, he wanted to be associated with good quotes. But Noah says he had to think a long time about that one.

He points out that Trump’s statement that if he gets in, he’ll pass new libel laws so that they can sue critical journalists ‘and win lots of money’ is one of the key features of Fascism. It violates the principle that journalists cannot be sued for accurately reporting the bad actions and attitudes of politicians. If that happened, then the media could never report on his dodgy business dealings, shady policies or the fact that he wants to bang his daughter.

He also comments on Trump’s refusal during an interview to distance himself from David Duke, a former grand wizard of the KKK. Noah asks the question how he could possibly state that he was ignorant of the KKK, and plays a clip from an interview when he was running for the Reform Party, where he denounced Duke as a racist and a bigot and said he didn’t want him in his party. Noah ends by saying, ‘There’s a lot of Republicans saying that now too.’

He also makes a good point when he says, ‘It almost stops being funny the more you get into it.’ Totally. It looks funny, because we’re so used to comedians making fun of democratic politicians by comparing them to Nazis. But the laughter fades when you realise that with Trump, the comparison isn’t just superficial, but real. Noah says he’s not calling Trump a Fascist, but he is saying he has had a Fascist week. He’s right. Trump is Fascistic.

And that’s no laughing matter.

Secular Talk: Trump Cuddles Up to White Nationalists

March 3, 2016

More real Fascism from Donald Trump. In this piece from Secular Talk, Kyle Kulinski discusses a report from Media Matters that Trump has given press passes to his rallies to the White Nationalist radio show The Political Cesspool. The Political Cesspool also boasts that it will soon hold an interview with Donald Trump junior.

Civil Rights groups have attacked The Political Cesspool for its support for anti-Semites, Holocaust-deniers and White Supremacists, like David Duke, a grand wizard of the KKK. The Political Cesspool on its website says that it is a ‘pro-White group’, which seeks to raise the White birth rate above replacement level, denounces racial intermarriage as ‘White genocide’, and declares that ‘slavery is the best thing that happened to African-Americans’. The programme’s host, James Edwards, has declared that MLK’s dream ‘is our nightmare’. Kulinski recounts that they had Joshua Turner, a former Neo-Nazi skinhead on his show. Turner is reformed, and now fights against and helps others to fight Neo-Nazism. Turner said they way White supremacists hook the young and impressionable is by saying they’re not anti-anything, they’re just pro-White.

Kulinski makes the point that you could defend Trump granting press passes to Edwards and his fellow storm troopers on the general grounds of press freedom. Everyone should be able to come to these events and ask questions, even those from the viler end of the political spectrum. But Trump does not support press freedom. One the Young Turks’ reporters, Jordan Cheridan, was bounced from a Trump rally because the guards recognised him, and threw him out. And its happened to others.

Kulinski also points out that Trump retweeted Neo-Nazis twice, because he agreed with the sentiments. He thought the statistic, that Blacks were killing Whites, was true. It’s also obvious from his other policies that Trump is a White Nationalist. He statement that he’ll build a wall with Mexico, repatriate 11-12 million immigrants, despite the fact that many have made a life in America and are productive citizens, his proposed ban on Muslims, his support for torture ‘even if it doesn’t work’, and intention to attack and kill civilians. These should have already convinced people that Trump is a White Supremacist, and this latest news should clinch it.

The Young Turks: Trump Refuses to Disavow Klan Support, Then Says He Did

March 1, 2016

In this piece from the Young Turks, Cenk Uygur and Ana Kasparian discuss Donald Trump, and the way the Realtor Fuehrer tied himself up in knots when asked if he disavowed the endorsement he was given by David Duke, a former Grant Wizard of the Klu Klux Klan.

When first asked that question, Trump pleads ignorance. He states that he doesn’t know who Duke is, or what the other racist groups that have endorsed him are. He requests the interviewer to send him a list, as these groups might be fine. He doesn’t want to wrongly disavow those groups that he doesn’t know, and which may be perfectly OK. When pressed, he continues to claim that he doesn’t know who Duke is.

Uygur and Kasparian point out that he certainly does know who Duke is, as in 2000 he was due to go on an electoral platform with the Reform Party. He pulled out, however, when he found out that he would be sharing it with David Duke, stating that Duke’s company was not one he wanted to keep.

The anchors point out that much of Trump’s support comes from Southern racists. Not all of it, certainly, but a fair portion. They also argue that Trump goes crowd-surfing, throwing policies out to his supporters, and seeing what’s popular. They discuss whether or not Trump will actually retreat when he finds out that he’s metaphorically in the wrong room with the KKK and other racist groups. They also point out that Trump by and large hasn’t been asked tough questions before by the media, and so he’s thrown when somebody actually does their job and asks him a tough question, like the support he’s getting from the Klan.

Later on Trump appeared on CNN’s State of the Union, where he was asked by Jake Tapper whether he was happy with the endorsement from the Grand Wizard. Trump huffed and puffed again, claiming that he was stuck at home with a faulty earpiece and didn’t hear the question correctly when it was first asked, and that the interviewer had mentioned other groups, which he didn’t know about, and which he didn’t want to disavow before he examined them. But he did then claim to disavow Duke’s endorsement. He had, he claimed two days before then disavowed the Klan and its support for him, including on Facebook.

Hmmm.

Uygur and Kasparian state that there are two aspects to the Klan’s endorsement of Trump. It either harms him, which is all well and good. But if it doesn’t harm him, then that fact will certainly harm the Republican party. There’s no way they can come out of that looking at all good, if Trump remains popular despite, or because of, support from the KKK.