Very interesting article by Adam Gopnik in the New Yorker on what Donald Trump brings to our politics.
Wouldn’t surprise me if, as in so many moments during the 1990’s and at the present time, the deliberate manipulation of language by the Right isn’t responsible for what we think know. It’s an old trick. Propaganda.
Gopnik points out that Donald Trump presents us with “a candidate for President who is the announced enemy of the openness that America has traditionally stood for and that drew persecuted émigrés … to America as to a golden land…”…Gopnik,NYer
Then (again) we’re confronted with the F-word: “fascist.”
Then a candidate who embraces the mottos and rhetoric of the pro-fascist groups of that same wretched time, has taken over one of our most venerable political parties, and he seems still in the ascendancy. His language remains not merely sloppy or incendiary but openly hostile to the simplest standards of truth and decency that have governed American politics. …Gopnik,NYer
No. I don’t think “Fascist” is an exaggeration. The parallels with Germany in the 1930’s is eerie.
What all forms of fascism have in common is the glorification of the nation, and the exaggeration of its humiliations, with violence promised to its enemies, at home and abroad; the worship of power wherever it appears and whoever holds it; contempt for the rule of law and for reason; unashamed employment of repeated lies as a rhetorical strategy; and a promise of vengeance for those who feel themselves disempowered by history. It promises to turn back time and take no prisoners. That it can appeal to those who do not understand its consequences is doubtless true. But the first job of those who do understand is to state what those consequences invariably are. Those who think that the underlying institutions of American government are immunized against it fail to understand history. In every historical situation where a leader of Trump’s kind comes to power, normal safeguards collapse. Ours are older and therefore stronger? Watching the rapid collapse of the Republican Party is not an encouraging rehearsal. Donald Trump has a chance to seize power. …Gopnik,NYer
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