From the pages of The Daily Drivel
Is The Donald a neo-Fascist as Carl Bernstein claimed on CNN today, or is he merely an opportunist? It didn’t help that The Donald didn’t immediately disavow David Duke, former leader of the KKK, in an interview this morning claiming that he didn’t know who Duke was (although he’s spoken of him in the past). His refusal sounds like Political Correctness to me. It didn’t help that he quoted Mussolini. And it certainly didn’t help that he recently stated his intention to go after the media in general and news people in particular when he becomes president. So yes, I think The Donald is a Fascist (never mind the neo- part), and an opportunist as well.
I’ll speculate here on the outcome of a perhaps unlikely but frighteningly possible event; what happens if The Donald becomes The President, either by winning outright, or by default because two opposing candidates (e.g., Clinton and Bloomberg) dilute the vote. This probably goes against an unwritten rule of blogging, and I may come to regret it, but I feel I have to get this out; it’s one of those itches writers occasionally and desperately need to scratch—otherwise it festers and leads to fevers, chills, and bad dreams.
If The Donald wins the presidency, here is the way it will play out: He’s made a lot of promises—simplistic, unrealistic promises such as building a wall and making Mexico pay for it—that he won’t be able to keep. Because he would never be able to admit failure, being the narcissist that he is, he will blame those failures on scapegoats. The scapegoats will be whomever is convenient. One of them is the mainstream media (which he’s already bashing). Another may be aliens, gays, Muslims, and possibly even blacks, Hispanics, and Jews—or perhaps all of these—anyone who his followers now perceive, or can be made to perceive, as the roots of their problems.
He will continue to demonize the mainstream media and mold it into his own self-serving propaganda media much as Vladimir Putin—a man that The Donald apparently admires—has done, a little at a time. He’ll begin to systematically exclude those reporters who irritate him from press conferences, and he’ll deny interviews to outlets that question him too much. Eventually, he’ll develop a body of sycophant reporters and outlets that will only reflect his views. Essentially he’ll develop a state-controlled media very much like Putin has done, gradually, until finally there will be no public voice to dispute him.
Perhaps simultaneously with this, or perhaps only after he’s crafted his state-controlled media, he will begin demonizing populations. It’s harder to see who this will be, or how it will play out, but it will look at least something like what strong-men of the past—Hitler, Mussolini, and Stalin—did, and what Putin is doing now. It will lead to even more polarization and intimidation.
That’s about as far as my prognostication takes me at the moment. The Donald’s success at becoming a dictator will depend on how many dedicated followers he can eventually control. Note that he doesn’t need a majority, he only needs to get enough of a radicalized, pumped-up, gun-toting portion of our population to strike fear into the rest of us. Intimidation is part of his character. Whether he can do that or not is the main uncertainty as to whether our country abandons its rule of law, as Russia has done, and becomes a cult-following dictatorship, or remains, at diminished level, a democracy.
Or, perhaps the path leads to civil war. Not the relatively “civil” civil war that we all know and love, but the really nasty kind like Spain had, not partitioned so much by geography, North versus South, as by ideology, right versus left, neighbor versus neighbor, tribe versus ideological tribe. That would be the really bad kind, much to be avoided, but our currently increasing polarization and incivility seem to point in that direction.
I feel like a messenger. I feel like a navigator, plumbing the question “Where are we and where are we going?” So far I’m not liking the answer. We need a mid-course correction.