The TrumpenReich Cometh
We don’t know whether the election of Trump is an American echo of the winter of 1932-33 in Germany, when a fragile democracy collapsed into tyranny and an infamous demagogue rose to power on a promise of economic renewal and restored national pride, with an unmistakable racial subtext.
It’s an inflated comparison in many ways: Trump is too lazy and stupid to be a good Führer, and lacks any semblance of a consistent ideology; his true believers are nowhere near a majority, and are unlikely to participate in any form of mass mobilization that involves leaving the sofa. Kristallnacht is more likely to come back as a hashtag than a physical event.snip
At the very least the Trump election is a moment of unprecedented national emergency, and a critical symptom of how badly American political life has decayed. The whole scenario remains deeply ludicrous, although it long ago stopped being funny. It more closely resembles a plot twist in an Alan Moore graphic novel than anything any of us expected to see in the real world: A reality TV star and real estate salesman with the demeanor and intellect of a petulant child has been elected president with a minority of the vote, thanks to a flukey electoral system, a severely divided and demoralized electorate, a beleaguered and overconfident opponent and a concatenation of other circumstances too strange for fiction.snip
That’s before we get to all the vile things Trump has said and done to galvanize the most ignorant and jingoistic tendencies in the American public, and the incoherent and/or vile list of things he has said he will do in the future. Those are also aspects of the emergency. Then there’s the fact that President-elect Trump has so far served as a channel for the most retrograde elements of the hard right: He has appointed an old-line white Southerner with clear links to Jim Crow-style racism as his attorney general (Jeff Sessions), a defrocked general given to paranoid anti-Islamic tirades as his national security adviser (Michael Flynn), and a millionaire zealot who wants to defund public schools as his secretary of education (Betsy DeVos).
Never mind the “alt-right,” an increasingly meaningless term that describes a basket of miscellaneous deplorables. Mike Pence or Steve Bannon or whoever is orchestrating things behind the scenes is installing a right-wing dream team that would have been too extreme for Dick Cheney.
Those who try to assure us that the emergency is not an emergency, or to insist that the enduring institutions of democracy will surely triumph over this mass hallucination, are either cowardly or stupid or have their heads buried somewhere that isn’t the sand. Furthermore, they are steadfastly refusing to learn anything from recent experience: Aren’t these the same responsible grownups who understood how things worked in the real world, and who felt sure that Jeb Bush would be the Republican nominee,and then that Hillary Clinton would win the election in a historic landslide?
At some point, clinging to your broken idols while barbarians ransack the temple just becomes pathetic. To be more charitable, the “normalizers” are just afraid. Which is understandable; we should all be afraid. We have good reason to be afraid if we are Muslim, if we are gay or lesbian or trans, if we are black, if we are recent immigrants with or without papers. We have good reason to be afraid if people in those communities are our neighbors, our family members, our friends, our loved ones. We have reason to be afraid if we are Americans who do not define that nationality by looking backward to an imaginary past. The question now is how we respond to that fear. What we do with it.snip
It took years for American politics to deteriorate badly enough that Donald Trump could be elected dogcatcher, let alone president. There’s plenty of blame to go around. None of us did enough to stop it from happening, quite obviously. So now we confront a national emergency that must not be denied and an old question out of the history textbooks that cannot be avoided: Whose side are you on?
Or as this guy says-- Winter is Coming:
Basically, IMHO, white nationalism (or any sort of race-based nationalism) is a primitive, tribal instinct, a reaction to a complex world that is hard to adapt to for some people. It is not a good philosophy or a worthwhile expression of humanity.