Our government has been broken for a long time. The GOP has told us we cannot expect accountability at the top, so it’s time to go after those who follow illegal orders.
It did not start with Trump. I think most of us are aware that special interest groups have been pushing things in the favor of business for a very long time. Regardless of best intentions, the government has been helping the rich squeeze the poor for decades through business friendly policies.
“Santa Cruz StepItUp” by Rainforest Action Network is licensed under CC BY-NC 2.0
Trump recognized that, and used it to do what he believed he had to do. To take down established power.
Trump is a predator by nature. He sees things through that lens. He assumes politicians are doing what is in their own best interest, rather than being necessary in order to get in power.
The Obama administration sold a bank full of distressed assets to Steve Mnuchin and his business partners. Trump blamed Obama and thinks highly enough of Steve Mnuchin to put him a key government position.
When Putin took Crimea from Ukraine, Trump blamed Obama for his weakness in allowing to happen. He continued to praise and support Vladimir Putin.
ONEWEST FINALLY PUT the house up for bid on April 17, 2013, and sold it in front of a county government building in suburban Pomona, two weeks after it disposed of the Hickerson family home at a similar auction an hour’s drive up the coast. The purchase price this time was $180,000, or about half what the bank had demanded from the Butlers. That difference didn’t matter to OneWest: because the loan was insured by the government, Steve Mnuchin’s bank could simply bill the taxpayers for the $148,000 difference. On top of that, the bank could have the government pay its attorneys’ fees, property inspections, appraisal costs, and any other expenses related to the foreclosure process.
— Alan Glantz “Homewreckers: How a Gang of Wall Street Kingpins, Hedge Fund Magnates, Crooked Banks, and Vulture Capitalists Suckered Millions Out of Their Homes and Demolished the American Dream”
Robert O Paxton, the author of “Anatomy of Fascism” paints a picture of what Fascism is in it’s essence, and it looks very much like the Trump Administration.
He describes Fascism as a compound, in the chemical sense of the word. It’s a group of corrupt individuals willing to work together to achieve their goals. A conspiracy of zealots. Trump’s compound has many similar elements to Mussolini’s.
“Fascism in power is a compound, a powerful amalgam of different but marriageable conservative, national-socialist and radical Right ingredients, bonded together by common enemies and common passions for a regenerated, energized, and purified nation at whatever cost to free institutions and the rule of law…Fascism in action looks much more like a network of relationships than a fixed essence.
They are not all necessarily on the far right, but they’re willing enough to work with them. Comfortable enough with the path to achieved the desired destination. As if bad ideas applied by force weren’t just disasters. But they won’t see it that way. It’s hard to see the flaws in your own plan when you spent all of your time conspiring to get and keep unearned power.
The biggest force in this compound are those with profit margins.
“Fascism is the open, terroristic dictatorship of the most reactionary, most chauvinist and most imperialist elements of finance capital”
— Communist International
I view the Trump administration as the worst of rich taking direct power of our country with the support of an alienated working class directed by media to exclusively blame Government and anyone who supports government.
In my opinion we are making a big mistake by focusing on issues in the moment and not ensuring that the rules of our government continue to operate as defined by law. Donald Trump was impeached, but not removed, because one of our parties was willing to put partisan politics over the rule of law.
They are currently arguing that the President is above the law. That he cannot be held accountable for any crimes, even shooting someone on 5th avenue, because he is president.
Rex Tillerson claims he quit because he was unwilling to follow unlawful orders.
Gary Sonderland on the other hand admitted to congress he extorted Ukranian officials on Trump’s behalf.
Mr. Giuliani’s requests were a quid pro quo for arranging a White House visit for President Zelenskiy. Mr. Giuliani demanded that Ukraine make a public statement announcing investigations of the 2016 election/DNC server and Burisma. Mr. Giuliani was expressing the desires of the president of the United States, and we knew that these investigations were important to the president.
— Gary Sondland
Let’s count the ways that this is wrong
- A corrupt act by a government official
- Political in nature since it focused on optics, not results. They wanted an announcement, not an investigation
- Achieved secretly through a non-government back channel
- Extorting an ally
- Leaving them vulnerable to *our enemy* that they were invaded by.
Any definition of an enemy that doesn’t include a country attacking our elections is incomplete, in my opinion.
Regardless of “collusion”, Trump has been giving aid and comfort to a country that interfered in our elections on his behalf. That’s an extreme conflict of interest, and I would argue it’s treason.
If the GOP will sacrifice their continued existence as an organization in order to avoid holding Trump accountable, then we hold accountable anyone willing to follow an illegal order.
“Just following orders” didn’t work last time, and we can’t let it work this time either.
How long will we wait until we demand the Constitution matter?
From Umberto Eco’s Eternal Fascism: Fourteen Ways of Looking at a Blackshirt
- The cult of tradition. “One has only to look at the syllabus of every fascist movement to find the major traditionalist thinkers. The Nazi gnosis was nourished by traditionalist, syncretistic, occult elements.”
- The rejection of modernism. “The Enlightenment, the Age of Reason, is seen as the beginning of modern depravity. In this sense Ur-Fascism can be defined as irrationalism.”
- The cult of action for action’s sake. “Action being beautiful in itself, it must be taken before, or without, any previous reflection. Thinking is a form of emasculation.”
- Disagreement is treason. “The critical spirit makes distinctions, and to distinguish is a sign of modernism. In modern culture the scientific community praises disagreement as a way to improve knowledge.”
- Fear of difference. “The first appeal of a fascist or prematurely fascist movement is an appeal against the intruders. Thus Ur-Fascism is racist by definition.”
- Appeal to social frustration. “One of the most typical features of the historical fascism was the appeal to a frustrated middle class, a class suffering from an economic crisis or feelings of political humiliation, and frightened by the pressure of lower social groups.”
- The obsession with a plot. “The followers must feel besieged. The easiest way to solve the plot is the appeal to xenophobia.”
- The enemy is both strong and weak. “By a continuous shifting of rhetorical focus, the enemies are at the same time too strong and too weak.”
- Pacifism is trafficking with the enemy. “For Ur-Fascism there is no struggle for life but, rather, life is lived for struggle.”
- Contempt for the weak. “Elitism is a typical aspect of any reactionary ideology.”
- Everybody is educated to become a hero. “In Ur-Fascist ideology, heroism is the norm. This cult of heroism is strictly linked with the cult of death.”
- Machismo and weaponry. “Machismo implies both disdain for women and intolerance and condemnation of nonstandard sexual habits, from chastity to homosexuality.”
- Selective populism. “There is in our future a TV or Internet populism, in which the emotional response of a selected group of citizens can be presented and accepted as the Voice of the People.”
- Ur-Fascism speaks Newspeak. “All the Nazi or Fascist schoolbooks made use of an impoverished vocabulary, and an elementary syntax, in order to limit the instruments for complex and critical reasoning.”