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Have we crosssed another Rubicon?


The first occurred when the tape where Trump boasted of sexual predation didn't matter. There have been others since. But now I read in the NYTimes (would they lie? who took the poll &c) that 90% of Republicans are now behind Trump, more than ever since the outcry against his imprisoning immigrants of whatever stripe and snatching their children from them. There has been reporting on what these camp prisons are: death camps, no medical help,
deeply abusive. No desire at all to return these children to their kin. People applying legally for asylum in shackeles. The democrats have engineered the recent elections so centrists (who will do nothing to upset the corporate running of gov'ts or stop these outside-the-US direct slaughers) won. Maybe Trump does not need to be openly a dictator? I read today about the first years of Mussolini in power: they resembles Trump & his regime with a colluded election. Is there any reason or event that you can cite that suggests otherwise?

Is there anything he could do of which these people would not approve and move still closer to him? open fire on immigrants? he doesn't need to. Extermination camps? he's got mass incarceration and an utterly politicized deeply unjust criminal injustice system. That he and his regime are intent on purging voters, stopping people from voting is the one hope left. You cannot vote for a truly progressive candidate but you can vote for someone who would stop Trump from enacting his agenda using laws.

I see maybe I and others who think and feel like me may have been missing something, have to turn our kaleidoscope around differently. We have been seeing these mass slaughters by white men armed with frantically effective automatic guns as aberations. Maybe they are precisely what is wanted by those who put Trump in office -- the young white people in that privileged high school were ridiculed, jeered at for protesting their murder. Called communists. The pro-gun people truly don't mind the slaughters. They don't even regard it as a price. The young man who murdered 9 black people in a church was not declared insane. He said he told them he regretted it was necessary to kill them before he slaughtered them; these loyal Trump people agree it's regretful to cage children, but one must do what one must ....

The US as a gov't has a long history of doing separating non-white children from their families: a form of state terror and erasure: yes this has been and is us. In effect this morning the NYTimes shrugged.


They're coming to get the children now ...

Miss Drake


( 6 comments — Leave a comment )
Jun. 24th, 2018 08:02 pm (UTC)
"I don't really care. Do u?"
I couldn't agree with you more on the Democrats being no real help to us, and I do unf. think we are on the road to dictatorship if not already there. (How does one actually know? Do you know?) I saw the 90 percent figure—shocking. I also saw an interview with a prominent evangelical on the NYT website—I can’t remember which one—but he made a very coherent case for why the evangelicals support Trump: he is delivering everything they want: a conservative Supreme Court justice, moving the capital of Israel to Jerusalem, moving to shut Planned Parenthood clinics, stopping the so-called gov’t “harassment” of religious groups, etc. Of course, all of these goals are odious to the rest of us (religious harassment being code for letting the churches do what they want, such as maintain tax exempt status while openly supporting political candidates). Trump knows exactly what he is doing. And enough people to my amazement want this that he’ll get it. Everyone shakes their heads in public but what do they really think? And for all the people who are sending money to help the immigrants, I will bet there are as many who agree with Melania’s coat: I don’t really care. Do u? That’s the real sentiment. The supporters don’t care what happens to these children because they feel it is the parents’ “fault” for bringing them. The Basement book becomes all the more relevant—rape/violence as pedagogy: we have to “teach” these people. How dare they want the same things we do? And the scary part is that I believe Trump and his cohort think that of all of the rest of us—how dare we all the stuff of this country when it is theirs? So we need to stand by the immigrants for humanitarian reasons but for our own sakes as well. I wish I knew how—effectively that is. I just hope this man doesn’t get us into WWIII. I have to say he is ever revealing himself to be worse than I expected, which is saying a lot and the people who could stop it are morally bankrupt weaklings who won’t do what they need to do.
Jun. 24th, 2018 08:03 pm (UTC)
"I don't really care. Do u?"
On that jacket: I felt irritated and it should be beneath to discuss it. But in it I saw a version of the perverse sense of humor I've seen among the rich and well-to-do: a friend who was very conservative told me long ago, it's not enough to make more money, you have to see the other make less; that's part of the kick. I remember as Occupy Wall Street was destroyed by military a party going on where the aspiring CEOS and sexed up women were laughing away at these people's open vulnerability. Imitating it. GW Bush parodying the woman who asked for mercy in Florida. Assad is said to make fun in this way..

And centrist democrats are shrugging in effect: we need to get democrats in. Turning away. It makes me try to imagine what an enslaved child's life is like -- how little most people in truth value children who are not their own or not rich and privileged
Jul. 1st, 2018 11:44 am (UTC)
Mussolini and Trump
In reponse to others: Lauren, Cynthia Nixon was outspent.

Diane Kendig: I recently learned (unless I had learned and had forgotten) that Hitler was actually elected to office in the beginning. That was the most chilling similarity after the many I've witnessed since the election.

Me: Mussolini was elected by collusion and bribery with other powerful people both in Italy and abroad -- he was accused of taking bribes and there was supposed to be a trial but the lawyer seeking this was assassinated and the corrupt courts in other places put a stop to the investigation. Sound familiar?

Edited at 2018-07-01 11:45 am (UTC)
Jul. 1st, 2018 11:51 am (UTC)
How far along the road to fascism or a disguised dictatorship
Bryan No, I don't think fascism is the right model here.
-there's no party mechanism. (The GOP is unchanged)
-there's no censorship nor state propaganda (Fox is private and also unchanged)
-no militarization of culture
-no reorganization of politics
-no brawls between political factions in the streets

I really need to finish writing this up...

Me: I don't want to take your time up but I'd say our cullture is thoroughly militarized; that the GOP has been hollowed out of the kind of person who once was predominant and is now filled with reactionary types and the ALEC and other organizations have re-organized the GOP. Trump is aiming for censorship and setting courts up who might approve. So it's coming slowly.

Bryan Alexander: My dear, you have the full and total right to take up as much time as you like.

Bryan : To your points:
-militarized culture: that's one reason I don't see Trump as a fascist. We already have that kind of culture.
And yet we don't. We've socialized the military to be staffed by the lower classes, ignored by the middle and elite. It's also largely a regional thing.
-ALEC: are they more libertarian or culture warriors?

Me: Let me think a bit and then come back. This is a good conversation -- as all you do is.

Bryan: You are so kind!

Me: I'm back now with a bit of time, having read your two pieces on civil unrest. My reply was it's already begun and with the Trump Regime's confrontational approach it will only get worse -- unless he truly goes for the jugular and starts shooting people. Not so out of sight: the decimation of the numerous Occupy wall Street encampments was achieved by violence. The police claimed it was defensive, but they would say that, wouldn't they? and their response was ferocious: people maimed for life. I think you're playing games with language: the military has become more socialized because they've entered every aspect of US life. Civilian police are armed like armies ready to go to war with citizenry as enemies/criminals. The standing army is not volunteer and whether working class and white or middling does not matter: it does not represent the people and so will not identify with them. The monopoly of violence owned by Trump can be inflicted on the people as there is no identification (certainly not between police and black people). ALEC is a money warrier. And to revert to Johnsonians, if this be not a fascist culture, I don't know where fascist culture is to be found. Strong marks are everywhere: macho males, putting down of women (now depriving them of health care, curtailing their rights to choose what kind they will have through defunding), religious intolerance becoming a right, corporations running essential elements of life as monopolies, guns everywhere and I suggest that these massacres please the gun lovers and Trump's regime. He was pleased to see what happened at that Gazette; the gay man's night club: it cows the ordinary person. I don't mourn Kennedy: he just gave a long gift to Trump: his votes on economics and corporations (including ACA) were strictly for the wealthy and powerful, against unions; he was for some individual rights on grounds of a severe individualism. Yes he is not Thomas or Gorluch or Scaglia. Yes we have crossed another Rubicon with the setting up of semi-permanent detention camps, a central sign of a dictatorship.

Julie Taddeo: The neoNazi rally in DC in August will be another proof of where this president stands. It will be ugly and once again the defenders of democracy will be painted as the bad guys. I’m getting tired of articles that nitpick tiny details to say no we are not fascists like Hitler. Once we let kids be in cages and recessed Congress with them STILL in cages we are there. The new SCOTUS will be final nail in coffin. White men wont feel it as minorities and our daughters will. Arguing about how bad it is or not is a luxury

Bryan Alexander: Julie Taddeo Good point about the August rally.

I have to disagree about arguing over what the Trump admin is is a luxury. Words matter. Our models matter, especially as they shape our actions.

Jul. 1st, 2018 11:52 am (UTC)
Re: How far along the road to fascism or a disguised dictatorship
Bryan: Hm.
About the military: it being generally non-representative is important for a lot of reasons, starting with how it helps indicate our escalating economic inequality.
I'm not sure how that suits it for domestic operations.

(In some ways we're not militarized enough. Lest that sound perverse, I mean the ways we don't think about the war on terror - it has little media coverage (clearly a sign of imperial practice), next to no academic discussion, and little political conversation (beyond bipartisan agreement). We're outsourced and ignored America's longest war, which is astonishing. Just think of where the Korean, Vietnam, or Civil Wars were just two years in, and compare to this one *at 17*)

But back to your point.
Guns, I agree. We have an awful lot of very well armed civilians. Not to mention police. And thanks to the militarization of police we've come to accept something like a garrison state, especially around the war on drugs. It's a nation of tinder, easily set ablaze.

Detention camps for immigrants - Trump's expansion of this preexisting policy is awful, of course. I'm heartened by the widespread outrage, but not sure it'll translate to anything.
NB: this is about immigrants, not citizens. Americans have a long and present habit of generally caring little about the former.

Religious intolerance - I think the model here is Italy, Spain, and Portugal in the 30s, or Croatia in the 1990s, if you're looking for fascist antecedents. Thing is, this would be very hard to implement in the US, given our strong religious diversity, both within Christianity and beyond it. I can see lots of local tyrannies (several years on a regional ACLU prepared me for this).

The gender aspect is very fluid. Women's rights have advanced hugely over the past 50 years. I don't know if America would actually countenance retreating on them, especially at the national level. I'm not seeing calls for women to exit professions or education. And you know I've been tracking the birth dearth and its responses (very, very few calls for American women to produce more children).

There's more, if we want to continue on fascism.
Certain key things are still lacking:
-propaganda (Fox is unchanged; freedom of speech remains about where it was a few years ago, which is to say higher than just about any time in American history; Trump's tweets aren't propaganda)
-the mobilized, military party (the GOP is unchanged, ungrowing)
-mobilization for external war
-" against internal enemies - ICE is a professional entity; calls for civilian assistance are the same as they've been for the war on terror since 2001

Me: Thank you. You are thorough. Yes all elements of a fascist state are not in place -- or we'd be very miserable and also not talking like this in public. Yes there is a great deal of real diversity even among US white citizenry. One "saving" factor thus far is the large size of the US and also its history as at least an oligarchic republic (not a military state or absolute monarchy or czarist prison state). Too many living people have a lifetime experience of rights (for me that includes the right to vote and to speak my view in public when I can get to) and their parents and grandparents before them. One area these arch reactionaries have been successful with against women is control over women's bodies in this sense: it's not established as a right as health is not yet established as a right. But the religious intolerance of a sizable minority is intruding into the public sphere and being given fangs by the supreme court. White Americans may care little of who is in prison or how long (as they didn't who was lynched -- maybe both as long as the people are black) but if they end up in detention camps on grounds of their politics this may change. The spread of private detention camps and prisons is very worrying. The criminal injustice system -- the SPLC has taught me much about that. The continuing horrifying wars spread huge sums and the worst of values (to be cont'd)
Jul. 1st, 2018 11:52 am (UTC)
Re: How far along the road to fascism or a disguised dictatorship
Finally this determined attempt to stop the majority from voting and how brilliant ALEC and other organizations have become in winning elections, so that (I read this) in a city where the mayor and a majority of the population wanted to invest in public transportation held an election and it lost: the Koch bros got to the right people, got everyone to the polls, and destroyed this attempt at answering a crying need. In Seattle they were set to take a tax hike and apply it to building housing, huge majority for this and 7 out of 2 on key council vote against it -- the corporations got to them with bribes and personal threats. So on the whole we are not there yet, but the road is being built before us. That's where I differ; unless we see a real turnaround we are going in the direction we are saying is not fulfilled as yet
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