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Donald Trump: The Dress Rehearsal for Fascism


Donald Trump: The Dress Rehearsal for Fascism

Chris Hedges

Americans are not offered major-party candidates who have opposing political ideologies or ideas. We are presented only with manufactured political personalities. We vote for the candidate who makes us “feel” good about him or her. Campaigns are entertainment and commercial vehicles to raise billions in advertising revenue for corporations. The candidate who can provide the best show gets the most coverage. The personal brand is paramount. It takes precedence over ideas, truth, integrity and the common good.


I would agree with Chomsky and others on the left who advocate a vote for Clinton in the battleground states. Both corporate candidates are obnoxious (as usual); I just believe Trump represents a greater danger to our country and world. That is not to underestimate the grave danger we are in, particularly as we drift perilously close to not just a proxy war with Russia but a direct conflict. And Clinton does NOT give me any consolation for my concerns. I am fortunate to live in California, where I can cast a "throw-away" vote for someone who actually represents my values (Stein), without increasing the prospect of a Trump presidency.


I would add that, notwithstanding the New Age nostrums about fear, there is nothing wrong with fear. If someone points a gun at your head and says give me your money, it is both natural and wise to react out of fear and surrender one's wallet.

If one is not a little anxious, fearful, nervous, or concerned about the insane, war-mongering path the US government is on in this world, then there is something wrong with one--most likely, one is not getting the information necessary to informed judgment; or, one has just turned off of politics altogether and chosen a path of ignoring it.

It seems a lot of people in the U.S. are in that state, or a combination of both: insufficient information that is flecked with disinformation and misinformation from the corporate media; and an attitude of escapism toward politics. A dangerous combination.


"There is nothing wrong with fear" indeed, as long as fear is one component of the decision making process that includes more than fear.

Unfortunately US voters' fear buttons have been pushed harder than ever in election 2016 to the extent that there is no decsion making PROCESS. just fear.


The 1964 POTUS election was the first one where lesser evilism was pervasive in my lifetime.

The big difference was that FDR's New Deal was still on an expansion track during that era and LBJ, the lesser evil had a guns and butter track record that assured that at least none of the New Deal crumbs would be withdrawn from the 99% and there might even be a few additional crumbs forthcoming.

We are now nearly four decades into an era of the New Deal being dismantled, so the lesser evil candidate has zero incentive to include any butter with the guns when POTUS and every incentive to withdraw from the 99% what little remains of the New Deal.


Or we could all become poor, by choice.

But poor needs definition.

Money and the ability to amass it in staggering inequalities is, I think, the root of the problem.

The economy does not yet exist - it is a system of chrematistics - i.e., the accumulation of wealth, and simply lifting the poorer half slightly higher in this system has no future - it would merely delay the inevitable unsustainable chrematistic system (from the Greek), better known as modern neoliberal capitalism.

Poor in my definition: Living day to day with only the necessities, which are enough.


What would you call people who can barely afford that, if at all then?


Oh, so the mere mention of Chomsky means I think he's a "god"? Hardly. I have definite differences with him over various subjects. And yes, he is all-too-human. I just happen to think he's right that Clinton would be a less dangerous president than Trump.

Voting for president is an instrumental act, it is not an act that is going to start a revolution or usher us into a political paradise. You can feel superior and talk about "lesser evilism" all you want, but Stein is not going to be the next president. It looks like the Trump campaign is in a death spiral, so this is probably all water under the bridge anyway.

Hillary will choose fairer Supreme Court justices who will preserve Roe v. Wade (unlike Trump, who has stated their opposition to Roe v. Wade is a precondition for him nominating them). She will preserve the gains made by LGBT folks, and she won't bar all Muslims from entering the country, or attempt to do something lame like build a wall on the border with Mexico. She will also not tear up the nuclear deal with Iran, something Trump has pledged to do, and that would radically destabilize an already perilously destabilized region.

The danger of WW III or major war(s) will persist whoever is our next president, because the Military Industrial Security Complex is out of control. But look, I'm not going to argue this: I'm voting Stein, because I'm in California and can afford the luxury of voting my conscience.


There is a very big difference between being willingly poor and unwillingly poor. In the former, you can leave anytime it gets too difficult. In the latter it is always difficult.


Still though poor implies that a person lack privileges that better income people have, being "willingly poor" is in itself a form of privilege since you can leave any time you want.


Tom, like you, I get really irritated when anyone brings up the name of Chomsky - or anyone else for that matter - to impose their position on me expecting me to obediently fall in line with their way of thinking.

Guess what? I was born with a brain and I have the intellect to research and study all sides of an issue and develop my own position/opinion based on what I determine is right. I don't need anyone else doing my thinking for me. Right or wrong, I will be responsible and accountable for my own actions based on my beliefs developed from research and study.

Likewise, I don't need anyone's support (as a means of confirmation) of my beliefs or opinions. Quite frankly, I don't give a flying f**k what anyone else thinks of my ideas, beliefs and opinions as I am the one who must ultimately be held accountable for the results of my actions based on my personal beliefs.

This isn't arrogance ... it's being responsible and accountable for your own life! I simply think that people should develop their own intelligent ideas, opinions and beliefs based on their own research and study of the issues instead of looking to others as having "superior insight" on any given issue.

I apologize for the negativity. I just get really irritated at people always looking for a "leader" instead of being responsible for their own lives and beliefs.


Anybody voting in Minnesota or any other state that has been reliably blue for the past quarter century need not be concerned about "spoiling" the race for Clinton. Clinton would lose in many marginally blue states before she will lose in any of the reliable ones. so voters in the reliably blue states need to vote for the candidate sharing their values as none of the reliably blue states are "in play".

It is inaccurate to include President Carter in any discussion of the SCOTUS seeing how Carter is the only full term POTUS in history to have no opportunity to nominate a SCOTUS judge.


and Chomsky won't face 9/11 reality.


Chomsky is intelligent, but his conclusions can be wrong. He stands against the Palestinian BDS movement even as he opposes the Occupation! The lesser-of-two-evils approach is wrong in Election 2016 because the two candidates are equally evil; I cannot and will not give my vote to either Trump or Clinton. I'm with you, Tom: it's time to get the good people on the political map: Stein and Baraka.


Tom, I would encourage you to read Adolph Reed's article on CD. He has a good analysis of lesser-evilism. I believe he is spot on. I do disagree with him on one point: Hillary is not the same as Obama. On foreign policy, she is more hawkish. But he correctly states lesser evilism is not an individual problem; it is a structural one.

And I reject your "I'm more radical than you" posture. Stop attacking your allies. Voting Stein (as I plan to do) will make no appreciable difference in the outcome. Hillary will win, and the machinery of US imperialism will go on.



Part of the problem is words - which mean different things to different people in different places.

If you don't have a car - or perhaps running water - or a condo or a suburban home - depending on the country and time - you might be considered poor.

If you don't have enough to eat, a safe place to go to sleep - then you are desperate.


Agreed. Neither will virtually the entire left intelligentsia.


I would personally count that as the desperate category if you lack that. Water is an essential human need.


The White Rose was a group of young people dedicated to the defeat of the Nazis inside Germany.

One could argue they made no difference as the nation of Germany marched off to war and instituted its pogroms against various peoples in spite of the actions of this group. That they made no difference does not translate to their actions as being futile. They stood up for what they believed in and any failing was of the people around them and not the members of The White Rose.

So it is with those who choose to vote Green over Clinton.


I am fascinated to have this as an area of disagreement with Chris Hedges, who writes brilliant analysis, and who is again quite interesting here.


Rhetoric is not unimportant, but fascism is not a rhetorical style. Fascism, the convergence of centralized autocracy and centralized corporate power, is the governmental form native to capitalism--so yes, Hedges puts it well: capitalism functions fine in a fascistic setting. Fascism is not a feature universal to capitalism, but that may be temporary. Democracy arose from the slower dissolution of rural monarchies in a pre-capitalistic and pre-manufacturing mercantile structure. It also evolved in non-capitalistic and pre-agrarian societies.

While Donald Trump may be a dress rehearsal for some sort of fascism, Hillary Clinton is our most clearly verifiable fascist. Trump's loud bigotry is not better, not good, and not neutral, but it is also not a call to form of government. I do not doubt that he would be happy to run a fascistic government as long as that did not get in the way of being a star, hands, and grabbing--but all that is speculation. On the other hand, so to speak, the Clinton, Obama, and DNC collusion with major media and corporate entities to derail the election in favor of a fiat government by the corporations and for the corporations is classical fascism as it was described by Benito Mussolini and Carl Schmidt. This is no dress rehearsal. While Trump is prancing around howling and flashing his teeth, our fascists are doing their best to wear sheeps' clothing.

OK. To an extent the following remains a thought exercise--for the moment. But now, post-Guccifer but perhaps still before the last of our October surprises, we do know a few things:

  • The Clinton camp financed part of the Trump candidacy, and apparently those of several other Republicans
  • The Clinton camp colluded with Obama to sell the services of the presidency for contributions towards the Clinton candidacy
  • The Clinton camp colluded with the DNC to manipulate details of press and election and so forth to defeat Bernie Sanders and install Clinton as the candidate
  • The Clinton camp and the DNC have colluded with major commercial media to defraud the public with respect to the nomination.

Why do we not believe that the Clinton camp or some entity or entities therewith associated may have included Donald Trump on the payroll? In the Podesta emails, we find that the strategic thinking that would be fundamental to such a move was front and center in the Clinton camp from well before the nomination. So if they did not bribe the Donald, it was not from lack of imagination. Are we to imagine that Trump refused an offer? I suppose it is conceivable, but does it not involve imagining him as an ideologue of some sort, with some sort of principles. That does not seem like the man who sold "Trump steak" for hundreds of dollars a pound at some point, I think in the 90s or maybe a bit after.

So we have motive and ability, and it fits the MO. We know that less effective ways to accomplish the same thing were definitely engaged.

I am curious. Clearly, this is not something of which we have proof at this point, and I assume some among us will find it unlikely. Other than the fact that it is insulting to both candidates, I wonder why. Is it not plausible? Whyever would Clinton not have engaged Trump?