Trumpers in a Nut Shell
The issue of racism and police brutality toward Blacks in America is critical and must be addressed, and my new novel Blood on Their Hands does just that, rendering in the microcosm of personal dramatization the racial bigotry that pervades American society. But this issue is only part of a broader problem that is deeply entrenched, like a decayed tooth, which requires radical, usually painful, measures to root out.
A new essay by John Feffer reveals abundant insight and foresight into the miasma facing the nation even if Donald Trump is defeated in the upcoming election. Feffer is director of Foreign Policy In Focus at the Institute for Policy Studies, and the author of the dystopian novel series Splinterlands, which is the title of the first, and Frostlands.
Feffer encapsulates to, well, a T, the basic emotions and rationale that brought about the worship of Trump by a significant portion of the American populace. “Trumpism,” he writes, almost as an aside, “lies at the intersections of racial and sexual anxiety, hatred of government and the expert class, and opposition to cosmopolitan internationalism.”
That’s it, in a nutshell. That’s what’s behind the seemingly inscrutable worship of this unprecedentedly incompetent and pathetically insecure sociopath that we have for a president. I’ve never seen it expressed in terms at once so succinct and comprehensive.
Feffer begins by giving us the willies with a presentation of all of the ways that place the odds of Trump’s victory in November in a range of feasible to probable. It’s possible the economy could recover, and the Republican Party has a huge reservoir to fund ads galore and voter suppression. “And if all that isn’t enough, the president could borrow a tactic from the dictators he so admires and cancel the election outright out of concern over the coronavirus or some fabricated emergency.”
President Barack Obama
Meanwhile, he has an abundant cornucopia of supporters who wouldn’t abandon him even if he shot somebody on Manhattan’s Fifth Avenue (he’s already killed 100,000 people by his negligence in the coronavirus pandemic). He has the support of loyal government and other institutional officials, and GOP members of Congress. He appointed about 200 judges whose mindset is in synch with Trump’s authoritarianism. Plus, 80 billionaires assure him of having adequate funding to continue his nefarious campaign for re-election.
Late Sen. Barry Goldwater
But, Feffer writes, “If their candidate loses in November, Trumpists will dig in their heels just as their predecessors did after Barack Obama’s 2008 victory.” Indeed, “Drawing heavily on American traditions of Know-Nothing-ism, America-First-ism, and Goldwater Republicanism, Trump’s essential worldview will survive the 2020 election.”
Our country would do well to evaluate the ways in which Reconstruction after the Civil War, denazification of Germany after World War II, and the restoration of Iraq after the defeat of Saddam Hussein were accomplished, Feffer says. Doing this “might help us avoid repeating the mistakes of history as we try to drive a stake through the heart of Trumpism.”
He points to high-profile people on both sides of the ideological divide who see the possibility of a civil war looming. Even if Trump is defeated, “a post-election insurrection is not out of the question. During the lame-duck period, a defeated Trump might call on his supporters — gun owners, militia members, active-service military — to serve as a Praetorian guard to keep him in office.”
Yes, he says, “It’s essential to ensure that the November 3rd election is free and fair, but if Trump loses, then the bigger problems are likely to begin.”
After the Civil War, the Democrats resisted Reconstruction and civil rights, Feffer notes. “So the Confederacy continued to live on not only in the hearts and minds of defeated Southern whites but also in the racist policies that elected officials in both parts of the country would resurrect.”
Drawing a parallel with today’s Republicans, “they cannot be allowed to persist in their current incarnation as a vehicle for Trumpism. A thorough thumping at the polls in November is a necessary but insufficient response to what they’ve become. Gaining a congressional majority, in other words, is not enough. The Democrats and chastened Republicans would have to work to make that party a far less extreme force in American politics, abandoning Trump and reclaiming Lincoln.
“To avoid a Reconstruction-like fiasco, the next administration would have to drain the swamp Trump created, bring criminal charges against the former president and his key followers, and launch a serious campaign to change the hearts and minds of Americans who have been drawn to this president’s agenda.”
Senator Sheldon Whitehouse
He explains, “The judges Trump appointed will do their best to block all attempts to deconstruct Trumpism,” and the best way to combat them would be to go after the ultraconservative Federalist Society, which all but eight of the 200 appointees were members of. Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse of Rhode Island proposes a law banning judges’ membership in the society, which is, he has said, “at the center of a network of dark-money-funded conservative organizations whose purpose is to influence court composition and outcomes.”
Then, Feffer proposes, “federal prosecutors should label Donald Trump and his top associates an ongoing criminal organization and begin the process of bringing them to justice under the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations (RICO) Act … Getting read the RICO Act could leave him facing years in prison and the Trump Organization would be liable for treble damages as compensation for victims. Putting Trump on trial would not only remove him from the political equation but could effectively delegitimize Trumpism and prevent a second round of it from occurring.”
Along with that, however, “a second American Revolution would need to address the root causes of Trumpism, especially political corruption, deep-seated racism, and extreme economic inequality.
“Otherwise, even if The Donald loses this election, the political creature he represents will rise from the ashes and eventually return to power.”
For the complete article, go to: https://www.commondreams.org/views/2020/06/26/what-will-it-take-defeat-trumpism.
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