While the run-up to the midterms has our all out attention the real story begins the morning after the election … no matter who wins.
By Mark L. Taylor
The Commoner Call (10/29/18)
Even in the light of almost two years of Trumpian excess, duplicity and mendacity, the past week of right wing violence was stunning. There was the gunning down of two African American innocents at a suburban Louisville, Kentucky grocery store by a white shooter who had earlier tried to get into a nearby predominantly African American church and told a white witness, “Don’t shoot me. I won’t shoot you. Whites don’t shoot whites.”
Then there were the attempted postal bombings of prominent democratic leaders and supporters that if it had succeeded would have been an assassination spree worthy of a Third World coup. Then on Saturday morning we awoke to the news of the mass shooting at the Tree of Life Synagogue in suburban Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, leaving 11 dead and six wounded, including four law enforcement officers.
Last weekend the New York Metropolitan Republican Club feted the fascist Proud Boys street gang triggering violence and arrests in the streets afterward. (See below.)
We are not immune; it’s happening here
Until the election of our Hater In Chief, such a week would have been news limited to despotic regimes elsewhere. Now the despotism and the violence have been layered on top of a growing tally of travesties including the kidnapping and incarceration of children in remote desert concentration camps (notice how nobody talks about that anymore), official appeasement and chin scrapping to the ruling Saud family and praise for various White House absurdities from Vladimir Putin and the U.S. ditching membership in the United Nations Human Rights Council.
Any naive illusions we have had that by virtue of our birthplace we are immune from the kind of capricious fascist violence we have often bent to our national and corporate benefit in other countries has been blistered away by the parade of brutal events since the 2016 election.
As Dorothy observed in the Wizard of Oz: “Toto, I have a feeling we aren’t in Kansas anymore.”Well, friends, we are no longer in the United States of America anymore. It’s a whole new game and the tired old Republican/Democrat, liberal/conservative political game plan is — at least for now and perhaps forever — gone.
It’s not over when it’s over
While the run-up to the midterms has our all out attention the real story begins the morning after the election … no matter who wins. If the GOP can hold the House of Representatives or have enough quisling Blue Dog dems to conspire with, the Age of Trump takes off with a roar. If the dems gain a workable, united majority in the House the question is can they actually hang tight and exercise the power they have gained? Their past dismal record provides fodder for reasonable concern. And if they do exercise that hard-earned power you can expect Trump and his Black Shirt thugs and supine Republican congressional apparatchiks and wholly-owned Supreme Court subsidiary to do whatever they can to block, intimidate and — literally — beat down democratic opposition.
As exhausting as the midterm campaign has been, it is prelude to the big story. But, hey, whoever said freedom was free, right?
Time for fundamental change
If they win the House and pick-up some governorships and tip a few statehouses the challenge for the Democratic Party will be to not be the same old dithering party that greased the way for Trump. If the arthritic, failed leadership remains locked in place and we are fed the stale ‘business for business sake’ neoliberal republican lite gruel the dems have been serving up since Bill Clinton, Trump wins in 2020 and all bets are off. The republican party is not my father’s republican party and the democratic party cannot remain what it has been since the days of corporate-owned Clinton and Obama.
The democrats need to learn how to fight. Unless they do, Steve Bannon is right. As he told Michael Moore: “Our side, we go for the head wound. Your side, you like to have pillow fights. And that’s why we’ll win.”
Make no mistake, we are in a fight against brutish domestic fascism and right now they have the upper hand. Our institutions are tottering. The sooner we all accept the reality of the fascist threat and respond to it the better. The window of opportunity is rapidly closing and the democrats need to get that their past complacent business as usual will not meet the challenges in this new world we now confront.
For a deeper understanding of where we are consider reading these two short books:
(Commoner Call cartoon by Mark L. Taylor, 2018. Open source and free for non-derivative use with link to www.thecommonercall.org )
Former GOP Strategist Reveals The Covert Fascist Message Trump Signaled To Neo-Nazis When Declaring Himself A ‘Nationalist’
By Cody Fenwick
The Raw Story (10/26/18)
The SPLC is the premier U.S. non-profit organization monitoring the activities of domestic hate groups and other extremists – including the Ku Klux Klan, the neo-Nazi movement, neo-Confederates, racist skinheads, black separatists, antigovernment militias, Christian Identity adherents and others.
We’re currently tracking more than 1,600 extremist groups operating across the country. We publish investigative reports, train law enforcement officers and share key intelligence, and offer expert analysis to the media and public.
“When Donald Trump declares himself a ‘nationalist,’ the nationalists understand exactly what he means,” said Schmidt. “By the way, let’s stop calling them ‘white nationalists’ and call them by their names, which are ‘neo-Nazis’ and ‘Klansmen.’”…
- Wow, This Is On Forbes.com? “How Trump’s Psychology Of Hate Unleashed The MAGABomber” — Those of us on the Left who have been paying close attention have realized how President Donald Trump’s hateful words and encouragement of violence could incite violence not just at his rallies but across the nation. The horrible violence by the Nazis and White Nationalists in Charlottesville showed us what the logical outcome of racists emboldened by Trump’s words and deeds would be. Now, apparently, writers at even more traditionally Conservative places like Forbes.com realize it too … Read the Rest
Devil’s Bargain: Republicans Openly Court The Existential Danger Of The Fascist ‘Proud Boys’ Gang
The Proud Boys’ acceptance at Republican club looks a lot like the courtship between conservatives and fascists before WWII.
Last weekend, the fancy Metropolitan Republican Club, on Manhattan’s Upper East Side, hosted the Proud Boys’ Gavin McInnes. The ex-founder of Vice magazine, failed stand-up comic, and current leader of the far-right “Western chauvinist” group gave what was, according to a witness, a bizarre and disjointed speech.* McInnes dressed up as a Japanese assassin who killed a Socialist politician with a sword during a political rally in 1960, re-enacting the event with the help of a fellow Proud Boy.
“The German elites who opened the way to Hitler and the Nazis gravely misunderstood and underestimated the force with which they were flirting.”
Afterward, the Proud Boys clashed with antifascist protesters on the street in several fistfights that were caught on video. The NYPD arrested several antifascists, but for days failed to detain any Proud Boys, finally announcing on Monday following public protest that they would seek charges for some members of the group. The club, for its part, issued a statement defending their decision to invite McInnes, saying that his speech celebrating the murder of a socialist was not meant to incite violence.
Some argue that the best way to deal with groups like the Proud Boys, which thrive off the oxygen of publicity, might be to ignore them. But was last weekend’s incident a turning point in the relationship between establishment Republicanism and far-right neofascists?* Shouldn’t we be paying attention on those grounds alone? …
- A Week Of American Hate: Bombs Mailed, Black People Executed, Jews Slaughtered — A man executed two black people at a grocery store, but didn’t engage a white man outside because “whites don’t shoot whites.” A Donald Trump supporter and apparent anti-Semite who looked up to white supremacists sent bombs in the mail to the president’s opposition. An avowed anti-Semite walked into a synagogue and killed 11 people after screaming, “All Jews must die!” This was one week in American hate. … Read the Rest
Targeting Of Trump Critics Reveals America’s Rotting Core
This was violence of the people, by the people, for the government.
By Andrew Gawthorpe
The Guardian (10/26/18)
Political violence in the United States has tended to come in two forms. The first consists of simply unhinged acts, like John Hinckley Jr shooting Ronald Reagan in the hope of impressing the actress Jodie Foster, or Timothy McVeigh hoping to bring down the government with a bomb. The second is more systematic and sinister: the violence used to keep down groups who threaten the social and political order. This is the violence of strikebreakers and the KKK. It is the violence that killed Emmett Till, an African-American teenager who was lynched in Mississippi in 1955 after allegedly wolf-whistling at a white woman.
A key feature of the second type of violence is that it has often been perpetrated by private individuals while serving the interests of public authorities. This is why the authorities encourage it. Till’s killers walked free because Mississippi’s court system would not convict them, understanding that their act reinforced white supremacy at a time when it was under threat from desegregation. This was violence of the people, by the people, for the government.
The question of whether the conservative movement will play with fire in order to gain power is no longer in doubt; they will and they are. The question now is whether they can get away with it.
This is the correct context in which to understand the bomb scares that have recently affected Barack Obama, the Clintons, Eric Holder, George Soros and others. We don’t yet know the state of mind of those responsible. But the identity of the targets chosen (primarily women, African Americans and a Jew) and the fact they are all known enemies of the president of the United States tells us something deeply disturbing about the state of America today.
Threats and acts violence
Unhinged threats and acts of violence have been on the rise in American politics recently, such as the shooting last year of Republican congressman Steve Scalise. But most notable of all and influential for the culture has been the rise of a president who talks frequently and vividly about the desirability of violence being done to his opponents, and supporters who revel in it.
The nationalism that fuels Trump’s movement is based on the idea that the country can be divided into two groups. …
- The Midterm Elections Expose The Rot At The Very Top End Of Elite Conservatism — Trump’s demagoguery comes straight from the conservative movement. … the rabble didn’t teach Republicans how to hate. Conservative professionals and professional conservatives have had it down for years. … Read the Rest
- From A Democrat Who Attended The Houston Trump/Cruz Rally: My top 10 Takeaways from a Trump Rally in Houston … Read the Rest
Trump Era Unique For Violent Extremists Inspired By US President
Rachel Maddow looks at the violent, racist, extremist groups that seek out street violence in the name of supporting Donald Trump, and wonders what will happen when Trump-inspired extremists collide with Trump-pressured law enforcement.
- Check Out The Pro-Trump Stickers On Registered Republican Mail Bomb Suspect’s Van — At the arrest scene of mail bomb suspect Cesar Sayoc, a van was towed away to Miramar, Florida, where an FBI field office is located, a law enforcement official said. The van’s exterior features images of President Donald Trump and Vice President Mike Pence, a “CNN Sucks” sticker and various democrats with snipe scope cross hair images video footage shows. Link to 4-Minute Video
Authoritarianism: The Political Science That Explains Trump & Republican Party