Donald Trump’s candidacy and now, presidency, have resurrected a public discourse not heard in this country since the Great Depression — an anxious discourse about the possible triumph in America of a fascist-tinged authoritarian regime over liberal democracy. It’s a fear Sinclair Lewis turned into a 1935 bestselling novel, It Can’t Happen Here — although, as Lewis told it, it sure as hell could happen here.
Of course it can- remember the supreme court along with Jeb decided that his brother needed to be installed?
FDR got a lot of good accomplished because the Great Depression had everyone desperate. Domestically, LBJ accomplished an amazing amount of wonderful stuff, but conservatives got very worried and it's been tough ever since. We do not have anything remotely like the Great Depression at the moment, so it is difficult to get the mobilization to truly swing back to a progressive agenda. What we do have is huge wealth saying the status quo is best (with lower taxes on the wealthy and less regulations, of course). And don't forget, we are but one nation. Wealth can and will move wherever they can get the best "deal." We need World Trade Agreements that are truly fair to all, but very difficult to actually accomplish.
That is why PNAC said what we need is a "New Pearl Harbor" so the people will get behind us.
Of course they got that on 9/11 and the bad guys DID get everything they wanted (patriot act et al) - and no one was held accountable.
So things ARE happening. They are just in the wrong direction and the power brokers are reeling in the cash.
Americans have long had a unique and particular hatred and paranoid fear of Government, but since the US as a constitutional republic is less of a democracy than other developed democracies, and has the most corrupt political system in the developed world, there is perhaps good reason for the fear.
Yes, there is, and these billionaires are so ungrateful all they smell is money. They do not even care about their own families.
Yes it can happen here and as Argentina, Chile, Colombia among other nations in this hemisphere in the 1970s and 1980s shows, a vigorous grassroots pushback from the left that actually threatens the capitalist's power will only speed up the coming of violent plutocratic totalitarianism.
I don't think we have had 40 years of creeping authoritarianism. The only time may have been for the one or two years after 9/11. There was a fear of voicing opinions that might be taken as patriotic and the nationalists driving around with American flags on their cars created a sense of authoritarianism as did the all the security people walking around with weapons. But that has passed and America returned to its normal chaotic self. What has made the rise of white nationalism possible now seems to be that the forces of darkness as Steve Bannon might called them have mastered what you might call mind control or brainwashing using the Internet and particularly social media. We have heard a lot of the story it appears there appears to be much more. The most vulnerable people appear to be those who are very active on social media, particularly Facebook and Twitter, use news feeds to get the news rather than search for news on the sites of regular news outlets, and did not go to college or did so only briefly. They have been manipulated by "fake news," interacting with very sophisticated bots, and a overwhelming number of comments favoring Trump. Even search engines like Google were cleverly game so that the top of the list of searches anything remotely political or using terms that could be political were right wing web sites.
Also Ohio 2004. Same voter disenfranchisement techniques (voter roll purges) and more (wrong thickness paper, 200,000 untabulated provisional ballots).
The flaws in our electoral system are numerous.
- difficult registration in many states
- skewed voting machine allocation purposely makes it hard to vote for many groups
- electoral college
- ex-cons can't vote in many states
- machines that can be hacked
- lack of preference voting
- media focus on personalities rather than issues and policies
- gerrymandered districts
- Debate commission is a bi-partison group that does not allow 3rd party candidates to debate
Heck, give me an hour and I can come up with several more that were not on the tip of my mind.
Here's a 10th for the list:
10: Introduce federal and state statuary independent non-partisan electoral authorities to administer voter registration, elections and the proportioning of electorates.
In one of world's more retarded attempts at democracy (the U.S.A), you have such things as New York State Board of Elections -
"The State Board of Elections was established in the Executive Department June 1, 1974 as a bipartisan agency vested with the responsibility for administration and enforcement of all laws relating to elections in New York State. "
Which means equal representation of Democrats and Republicans in the administration of the Board. Other parties? Conducting elections that might allow for other parties to have a chance? Forget it.
As Gore Vidal said, "America has a one-party system with two Right wings."
NAFTA and CAFTA, which were both signed into law and enacted by Bill Clinton, however, are not examples of fair trade policies.
Yes, the media invented Trump- spoke about him more than important issues including wars in the middle east!
"a fascist-tinged authoritarian regime". Such a thing might resemble Franco's Spain where the radical elements of the social corporatist (Fascist/National Socialist) Falange was soon marginalised as Spain became a more standard military dictatorship backed by the conservative interests of the Church, the propertied classes, and monarchists (Franco ruled as a life-time 'regent' pending the restoration of the monarchy). By the end of Franco's life there was no 'fascist' movement to continue the regime and King Juan Carlos pressed for change immediately upon taking the throne, including the legalization of political parties. The first post-Franco elections were held in June 1977, and, except for an 18-hour-long coup attempt in 1981, Spain has remained democratic ever since.
The situation in the U.S. is markedly different. There is no social corporatist movement advocating the 'totality' of the state in all aspects of social and economic life. (Although some of Trump's noises about this country 'first' and autarky were elements of historic Fascism.) What is present is a Congress controlled by members beholden to business interests big and small that realizes political capital in the electorate from promoting conservative social 'values' and has a rhetoric of 'small government'. And an Office of President that constitutionally has authoritarian powers unseen in modern democracies. You don't need 'fascist tinges' to be authoritarian* and American plutocratic tendencies have nothing to do with Fascist ideology.
Does anyone remember the Rajneeshees in Antelope Oregon? The cult and their followers moved into the area and were able to overpower the local residents for control of the local government at the ballot box which made the local residents a minority, pretty much subservient to the Rajneeshees. It didn't last too long, but you can see a similar thing going on most everywhere else now with the nearly total and absolute control of government by Trump and the Repubnicans.
Will we survive long enough to see a reversal of total Repub control, or will we lose total control as our system goes through an uncontrollable meltdown?
Another accomplishment of LBJ was the tremendous escalation of the Vietnam War.
LBJ was frequently called a "guns and butter POTUS". meaning that in exchange for us tolerating his pandering to the military industrial media infotainment complex (MIMIC) we would get some New Deal like "domestic" legislation and programs.
Nixon, Ford and Carter applied this same model, although the first noticeable cracks in the New Deal started appearing during their reigns..
Saint Ron's revolution and the concurrent formation of the Democratic Leadership Council (DLC) not only took any new butter out of the equation but accelerated the demise of the New Deal and LBJ's butter while producing blank checks for guns and ever expanding corporate welfare, a model that persists with no end in sight.
Too bad Sinclair Lewis is deceased, the author could write a sequel to: IT CAN'T HAPPEN HERE CALLED: IT HAS HAPPENED HERE!
I don't know why we always fixate on the fire-breathing dragon. "Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain!" - the Wizard of Oz
If we pull back the curtain, we will see Robert Mercer (cousin of bush?), a computer scientist who made his fortune in suspicious trading with computers and saved Trump's campaign at the last second with funding and computer help in all the swing states he needed, (is my suspicion.) Mercer funded Ted Cruise, Marco Rubio, and Trump's campaigns. Poppy bush then, had nearly all the Republican candidates in his pocket.
Robert Leroy Mercer (born July 11, 1946) is an American computer scientist and co-CEO of Renaissance Technologies, a hedge fund. He is a major donor to conservative political causes. Mercer has donated to Super PACs affiliated with Freedom Partners, Club for Growth Action, and John R. Bolton. He is the principal benefactor of the Make America Number 1 Super PAC....
...In 2015, the Washington Post called Mercer one of the ten most influential billionaires in politics. Mercer was a major financial supporter of the 2016 presidential campaign of Ted Cruz, contributing $11 million to a super PAC associated with the candidate. Reporter Zachary Mider, writing for Bloomberg in January 2016, called Mercer "the biggest single donor" in the 2016 U.S. presidential race.
According to the Center for Responsive Politics Mercer is currently ranked the #1 donor to federal candidates in the 2016 election cycle, ahead of Renaissance founder James Harris Simons who is ranked #5 and generally donates to Democrats. By June, Mercer had donated $13.5 million to Ted Cruz’s super PAC, $2 million to John R. Bolton’s super PAC, and $668,000 directly to the Republican National Committee. Since 2006, Mercer has donated about $34.9 million to federal campaigns. Since 1990, Renaissance Technologies has contributed $59,081,152 to federal campaigns and since 2001, has spent $3,730,000 on lobbying.
Mercer has given $750,000 to the Club for Growth, $2 million to American Crossroads, and $2.5 million to Freedom Partners Action Fund. In 2010, Mercer financially supported Art Robinson's efforts to unseat Peter DeFazio in Oregon's 4th congressional district. In the 2013-2014 election cycle, Mercer donated the fourth largest amount of money among individual donors, and the second most among Republican donors. Mercer joined the Koch brothers conservative political donor network after the 2010 Citizens United v. FEC, but Mercer and his daughter, Rebekah Mercer, decided to establish their own political foundation. The Mercer Family Foundation, run by Rebekah, has donated to a variety of conservative causes.
Mercer was a major supporter of Donald Trump's 2016 campaign for president. Mercer and his daughter played a role in the elevation of Stephen Bannon and Kellyanne Conway into senior roles in the Trump campaign. The Mercers had worked with Bannon previously on Breitbart.com, Reclaim New York and the Government Accountability Institute (GAI) funding and investments, and Rebekah had worked with Conway on the Cruz Super-PAC Keep the Promise in the 2016 Republican primaries. Mercer also financed a Super PAC, Make America Number One, which supported Trump's campaign.
Rebekah was one of the members of Donald Trump's Presidential Transition Team Executive Committee.
In addition to the money he has spent on political campaigns, estimated at $32 million as of 2016, Mercer has invested millions of dollars in the Heritage Foundation, the media outlet Breitbart.com ($10 million for initial 50% stake in 2011), Cambridge Analytica, the Cato Institute, the Media Research Center, Reclaim New York and GAI. In 2013, Mercer was shown data by former Jimmy Carter pollster Patrick Caddell, who has been critical of top Democrats, and commissioned more research from Caddell that showed "voters were becoming alienated from both political parties and mainstream candidates". Mercer was the main financial backer of the Jackson Hole Summit, a conference that took place in Wyoming in August 2015 to advocate for the gold standard. He has also supported Doctors for Disaster Preparedness and Fred Kelly Grant, an Idaho activist who encourages legal challenges to environmental laws. Mercer has supported a campaign for the death penalty in Nebraska and funded ads in New York critical of the so-called "ground-zero mosque". According to associates interviewed by Bloomberg, Mercer is concerned with the monetary and banking systems of the United States, which he believes are in danger from government meddling.
Mercer played a key role in the campaign to pull the United Kingdom out of the European Union, also known as Brexit. According to Andy Wigmore, communications director of Leave.eu, Mercer donated the services of his data-analytics firm Cambridge Analytica to the head of the United Kingdom Independence Party (UKIP), Nigel Farage. The firm was able to advise Leave.eu through its ability to harvest data from people's Facebook profiles in order to target them with individualized persuasive messages to vote for Brexit. However, Leave.eu did not inform the UK electoral commission of the donation, contrary to the law which demands that all donations valued over £7,500 must be reported.
Also there's this:
Egads, he even looks like bush.
Yes, which he willingly began only DAYS after President Kennedy was murdered in Dallas, by the CIA, Military and FBI, reversing JFK's documented plans to end our involvement in Viet Nam, without so much as a fact finding commission or study group to justify it.