The Widdershins

Activist Monday: Toxic Meme Alert: Right-Wing Populism is Fascism

Posted on: December 26, 2016

Good Boxing Day, all. I hope you had a mostly politics-free holiday. We managed to avoid it at the party we go to every year, which was good – I am pretty sure at least one of the attendees voted for Drumpf. (Ugh!!!)

And now, unfortunately, it’s time to return to the ever-scarier world that is being forced down our throats by an antiquated, racist electoral system that disenfranchised millions of voters, and a weak-willed incumbent President who is too afraid of appearing “partisan” to do anything to stop Drumpf’s takeover of our democracy. It’s a disgraceful end to his historic presidency. Tragically, he was even too afraid of seeming “partisan” to stop James Comey’s torpedoing of Hillary Clinton in the final days of the Worst Election Ever. I thought he was playing eleven-dimensional chess on Pluto, brogressives – could he not have foreseen that if Hillary did not win, his entire legacy, and indeed, our entire country as we know it, would not survive?

A slight digression here: I admit, I still don’t get the terror Obama evinces at being called “partisan.” This country has two political parties, the platforms of which are polar opposites to each other. If Americans didn’t want a Democrat in office, they wouldn’t have elected Barack Obama twice. But, instead of labeling all of the good things he did as the direct result of Democratic action and Democratic policies, Obama accrued all the glory to himself and his awesomeness. He never made the argument for Democrats versus Republicans; never made that clear case that Republicans want to trash the middle class, and their policies do so; and Democrats want to build up the middle class, and their policies do so.

Even my stepmother, who worked very hard to swing Virginia to Obama in 2008, is chastened at how empty Obama has left the Democratic bench and how eviscerated Democratic organizations are in the states. In 2012, he spent almost $1 billion of Democratic money to get himself elected, but the Senate and House were left very vulnerable indeed, and due to many factors, including throwing 5-6 million Democratic voters off the rolls, the gutting of the Voting Rights Act and unethical voting practices in states with Republican governors, we are now moving towards a one-party government – and it’s the really, really bad party. May I just pause for a moment and yell:

WE. TOLD. YOU. SO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I’ll stop digressing now and get to the point of the post. The media seems to have collectively decided to cloak the emerging world-wide fervor for white, male, Christian supremacy in the family-friendly term “populism.” Hey, how bad could populism be, right? It’s true that some stories and headlines will prefix that positive adjective with the mildly negative descriptor “right-wing;” but for those on the right, it’s flattering, and for those on the left or in the center, we tend to dismiss it a bit. “Oh, it’s just those wingnuts again, foaming at the mouth about the victimization of white people. Nothing to see here, folks.” This is a mistake we can’t afford to make, and this is why I have revived our “Toxic Meme Reference Guide” and begun updating it with this first one: “Right-Wing Populism.” It’s just another name for fascism.

“But maybe Drumpf isn’t fascist! We don’t KNOW what he’s going to do! He’s a wild card! Give him a chaaaaance!” chorus the media and many “hopeful” friends and colleagues. Okay, yes, I agree that we need hope, and it’s true that we don’t specifically know what he’s going to do or how. But we should not confuse hope with delusion: it’s becoming more and more clear that fascism is exactly what Drumpf, and those running him (Pence, Bannon, Conway and Priebus), are trying to accomplish. Enticing the ignorant to vote against their interests by using racist, sexist and xenophobic statements as dogwhistles, Republicans have been moving to institute fascism in America since the advent of Raygun. Why? Because they’re the party of the rich, and rich people are greedy. That’s how they become richer and richer. It really is that simple.

  1. Fascism, often capitalized :  a political philosophy, movement, or regime (as that of the Fascisti) that exalts nation and often race above the individual and that stands for a centralized autocratic government headed by a dictatorial leader, severe economic and social regimentation, and forcible suppression of opposition

Here are some ways in which der Trumperer has shown he is a fascist. These are just a few of many, which I’m sure you can all link to and write about as we go forward.

  1. Autocratic: As a typical fascist will do, Drumpf has shown a complete disregard for our Constitution and any pesky laws that might keep him from using the National Treasury as his personal bank account. He has not divested himself of his company; at this point, I doubt he’ll even go through the motions of transferring it to his kids, which, in any case, means exactly jack sh*t legally. As long as he is profiting from foreign or domestic moneys coming in to his company, he is receiving emoluments, which is illegal. Period, end of story. He’s already done it and is doing it. Not a peep from the Rethug Congress critters who pretend to be so outraged by him. Are they waiting until he’s gained office to start impeachment hearings? Perhaps. I wouldn’t hold my breath. For those of you keeping score: Autocratic is the exact opposite of populist. Just sayin’.
  2. Severe economic and social regimentation: This is a polite way of saying “YUGE income inequality, people. Rich white men will benefit. Bigly!” To show just how much he cares about the working and middle class dumb f*cks uh, people who voted for him, the Donald has taken great care to nominate a Cabinet of tireless warriors for social justice. JUST KIDDING! His Cabinet is made up of wealthy donors and CEOs who have zero government experience, and who have spent their lives dodging any government regulations they don’t want to follow (just like their President!). It is a Cabinet that will immediately get to work helping the GOP Congress to dismantle the social safety net and destroy the middle class that is the backbone of a democracy. Unfortunately, a lot of this work was already done by Dubya and his tax cuts for the wealthy, which Obama didn’t do anything about until his second term.In fact, the rich still got mondo rich under Obama, which, in my mind, clears up any mystery about why he was permitted to win two elections without a horrifying tsunami of right-wing crap pouring down on him every day, the way it did for Hillary when she ran in 2008 and 2016. The elites truly knew that she would bring about social change and make the argument for Democratic policies, whereas they understood that if they let Obama do his thing, they would only be helped with their racist base, the Democrats would be fatally weakened, and their wallets, the only thing they care about, would only get fuller. (Did I mention WE TOLD YOU SO?!)
  3. Forcible suppression of opposition. He hasn’t gone there yet, but he clearly wants to. He has retweeted fascist quotes by Mussolini and famously admires Putin’s “strong leadership.” He has moved to block the women’s march on Washington from moving anywhere close to the White House (I’m not even sure he’ll be there, given that he prefers to live in his own crappy, gaudy buildings, but whatevah). He doesn’t do his brand any favors with this behavior, but this is where Kreepy Kellyanne is his most effective representative in the press, cloaking her calls to give up free speech and simply obey Dear Leader in friendly-sounding “patriotism.” You’ve got to give it to her – this woman is really good at her job. Too bad she uses her powers for eeeeevil instead of good. “I was raised the way you were raised. Very humble beginnings. But, most importantly, we were raised to respect the office of the presidency and current occupant and the flag,” the New Jersey native said to Hannity.

So this call to action is an important one, I think. Let’s call things by their true names, and act, with hope, in accordance with reality. We see your fascism, Drumpf, and we raise it with “Love Trumps Hate.” So may it be.

This is an open thread. (Yes, I know we officially hate Tim Robbins and Susan Sarandon, but it’s hard not to admit, especially now, that “Bob Roberts” was a work of genius. If you haven’t seen it, please do. It’s terrifying in its prescience.)

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36 Responses to "Activist Monday: Toxic Meme Alert: Right-Wing Populism is Fascism"

Great post Madamab! What is really scaring me now is that the corporate media controls what we hear, what we see and what we read. Anyone telling or showing us the truth gets lost in the chatter and chaos, ostracized or neutralized. I don’t think Trump is smart enough to be among the masterminds weaving our future, but someone is pulling his strings. I hate to think those tin foil rumors about a global cabal striving for one government over only two classes of citizens (rich and poor) are close to the mark….

Well here’s some good news: A friend of mine back home in nola has a son-in-law who is very gravely ill. He’s been sick now for well over a year. Drs. could not figure out what was going on. They thought possibly Cushing’s disease and other possibilities. Turns out it is his liver and he needs a transplant. His condition had gotten so serious he got moved to the top of the transplant list. Cut to the chase and they have found one for him. My friend just texted that he’s going to have surgery at 6:30 but I don’t know if that’s tonight or in the morning. But nevertheless, it looks promising for him. 😄

Well kudos to our outgoing Prez. He says he could have beat Trump. Really? With the Bernie-bros sniping and nipping at your heels? If he had been in the same, exact situation with all of the crap Hillary had thrown at her, I doubt he would have done any better than she did.

Hey DYB, if you see this, check your email.

Got the following email from Hillary:

Before this year ends, I want to thank you again for your support of our campaign. While we didn’t achieve the outcome we sought, I’m proud of the vision and values we fought for and the nearly 66 million people who voted for them.

I believe it is our responsibility to keep doing our part to build a better, stronger, and fairer future for our country and the world.

The holidays are a time to be thankful for our blessings. So let us rejoice in this season and look forward with renewed hope and determination.

I wish you and your family health, happiness, and continued strength for the New Year and the work ahead.

I look forward to staying in touch in 2017. Onward! (Bolding mine)

With deep appreciation and warm wishes, I am,

Yours,

Hillary

I hope we keep hearing from her. Don’t know what’s planned but I’m with her!!

Brilliant post, MB!

Fredster, sending good thoughts for your friend. Agree with you about Obama. Not happy with him lately.

Fredster, that is good news about your friend!

As for Obama, what an arrogant sh*t. Didn’t take him long to give up and then blame the woman for his epic fail.

I’m with Hillary too. I can’t wait to see what she comes up with.

@mb and annie: Yep, happy for my friend, her daughter and son-in-law. Got another txt from her and surgery is for 6:30 tonight.

And abt Obama…supposedly Biden had some things to say also. Well, fuck ’em all. Neither of them could have handled what she’s dealt with through all these years. 👹

Yes, Obama and Biden are showing their bro colors at this point. That’s what Hillary gets for being a good soldier and giving her whole life to the Democratic Party. Women are not allowed to.fail, and when they do, it is always their fault. I learned that from reading “Feminist Fight Club.” What a great book!

@9: Yeah it’s pretty disgusting that they can do a postmortem like this. Biden even said something like Hillary really didn’t even know why she as running! WTF? 😠

Biden opens mouth, inserts foot again.

Obama is delusional. Hillary won the majority of votes, nearly 3 million more than the Usurper, if that slipped Obama’s mind. And between the Putin-backed coup, the (bought?) MSM, voting-machine shenanigans, and the gutting of the Voting Rights Act, any Dem candidate was going to lose.

Fredster, hoping all the best for your friend.

I’m STILL with Hill! You don’t mind a shout-out for her, do you? 🙂

@11: No we don’t mind shout-outs at all!

NW Luna, we are and always will be a pro-Hillary blog. We support her 100%, even if we disagree with her. So shout away, please!

Interesting POV from the Krug. He says Drumpf is an elitist, but the right wing populists in Europe are actually populists. He also doesn’t call Der Trumperer a fascist. Come on Paul, you can do it.

Reality Show Populism

@14, Well, he didn’t bring up fascism at all, just comparing populism with eliteism:

“Europe’s populist parties are actually populist; they pursue policies that really do help workers, as long as those workers are the right color and ethnicity. . .Trump, however, is different. He said lots of things on the campaign trail, but his personnel choices indicate that in practice he’s going to be a standard hard-line economic-right Republican. His Congressional allies are revving up to dismantle Obamacare, privatize Medicare, and raise the retirement age. His pick for Labor Secretary is a fast-food tycoon who loathes minimum wage hikes. And his pick for top economic advisor is the king of trickle-down.”

The best part of the article is the end, where he gives the Democratic Party some advice that I hope and pray they will heed:

“And the indicated political strategy is clear: make Trump and company own all the hardship they’re about to inflict. No cooperation in devising an Obamacare replacement; no votes for Medicare privatization and increasing the retirement age. No bipartisan cover for the end of the TV illusion and the coming of plain old, ugly reality.”

Yes, make the rethug fascists OWN every evil thing they do. No going along with some ridiculous bill that has one tiny thing they want in it. And we all need to hold their feet to the fire.

@11, well said!

Fredster, hope your friends transplant went well.

They just announced that Carrie Fisher died. I hate this fucking year.

Oh no, Annie. Gawd d*mmit.

I’m so bummed about Carrie Fisher. Supposedly all of her scenes for Star Wars 8 had already been filmed, so we’ll get one more movie with her.

I’ve been keeping a low profile over the last week or so. Trying to avoid the news. I wish I could just tune out for the next 4 years….

Republicans will not impeach Drumps. If they do, I’ll eat a shoe.

Another great quote about fascism in America.

Dorothy Thompson, who judged Hitler a man of “startling insignificance” in 1928, realized her mistake by mid-decade when she […] began raising the alarm.

“No people ever recognize their dictator in advance,” she reflected in 1935. “He never stands for election on the platform of dictatorship. He always represents himself as the instrument [of] the Incorporated National Will.” Applying the lesson to the U.S., she wrote, “When our dictator turns up you can depend on it that he will be one of the boys, and he will stand for everything traditionally American.”

http://www.smithsonianmag.com/history/how-journalists-covered-rise-mussolini-hitler-180961407/#Kljb2vZH2IwH2SDJ.01

@21 Speaking of eating a shoe, remember this?

Just thinking about all the women who voted for Trump makes me sick. What will it take to snap them out of their denial? I guess it’s too late anyway.

Trump’s victory has obliterated this narrative. In many ways it was a fluke; had a few thousand votes in a few Rust Belt states gone another way, we’d be talking about Clinton’s popular vote landslide and the decisive defeat of Trumpian reaction. However freakishly contingent his triumph, it forecloses the future feminists imagined at least for a long while. We’re going be blown backward so far that this irredeemably shitty year may someday look like a lost feminist golden age. The very idea that women are equal citizens, that barriers to their full human flourishing should be identified and removed, is now up for grabs. A pastor warming up the crowd at a post-election Trump rally in Louisiana promised that with Trump in office, the White House would be a place “where men know who men are, women know who women are.” The massive power of the American state is about to be marshaled to put women in their place.

http://www.slate.com/articles/double_x/doublex/2016/12/_2016_was_the_year_the_feminist_bubble_burst.html

@29, one of the few cases in which I’d be happy to eat a shoe.

with Trump in office, the White House would be a place “where men know who men are, women know who women are.

@24, that poor confused pastor! Since when do Americans need a POTUS to tell them who they are?

Wait — I think that pastor is having a gender-identity crisis!
/s

@16 We lost Prince & now our Princess. Damn. I lost a cousin today too – 4 years my junior at 54. She was a complete angel of a person. Damn you 2016. Fredster – we need a good report. Pulling for your friend. Prolix, hope you’re on the mend. We need to stick together. I sure hope Hills has a=some good plans.

Contrask, I am so sorry to hear of your loss. That’s terrible — there’s already so much tragedy and foreboding now, and then to lose someone close to you. Gentle hugs for you.

@27: I was just getting ready to update y’all: My friend’s son-in-law has had some setbacks. This is informal non-medical info: she says his spleen ducts were bleeding from pressure of the new liver working and making up for lost time pushing toxins through. Having a hard time controlling it and his blood is not clotting well. She says the docs think they have it under control but have to watch it the next few ays. If they can’t stop it (the bleeding?) they may have to remove his spleen.

I was typing that from reading the txt I got from her. I did reply that the good thing is that you can live w/out a spleen.

To add to all of the losses, Richard Adams, author of Watership Down passed away and also the adopted son of Zsa Zsa Gabor and Prince what’s-his-name also died. 😮

This has just been such awful year with all of the deaths and everything else and I really don’t see 2017 being any better at all. ☹️

Contrask so sorry for your loss. ☹️

Just got another text and she said they have the bleeding stopped and he is sleeping now in ICU. 🤞

Good news about the bleeding under control!

@33: Yeah that had me concerned in the event they had to go back in for a splenectomy. The young man has been through a helluva lot and having to endure another surgery just didn’t sound like a good thing to me.

Jesus, Joseph and Mary! will this crap ever stop ???

@35, emailsemailsemailsemailsemailemailsemailsPutinemailemailsemailsemails!

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