By Brigitte L. Nacos
The true character of authoritarian rulers reveals itself well before they come to power. Even those who compete in the legitimate electoral process whip up the masses by the most ugly demagoguery and explosive attacks on the enemies responsible for all the ills of the nation.
Note, what Adolf Hitler’s chief propagandist Joseph Goebbels wrote five years before the Nazis took over Germany’s government:
“International high finance has taken command of the sovereign rights of the German people and is now making itself at home in our former realms of power. They now own our currency and control by far the greatest part of German production, our transportation system, and as a result of their military and diplomatic capacities, Germany’s borders.
The press is almost entirely in their hands; they thus control public opinion and determine the parliament and government.
Our life is in danger. Any means is appropriate to stop the enemy.”
Once in power, the Nazis wasted no time to move swiftly against the enemy of the German people.
Now note what then GOP candidate Donald Trump told enthusiastic Floridians on October 11 last year sounded as if it was taken from the Nazi Party’s playbook:
This election will determine whether we are a free nation or whether we have only the illusion of democracy, but are in fact controlled by a small handful of global special interests rigging the system, and our system is rigged…
Hillary Clinton meets in secret with international banks to plot the destruction of U.S. sovereignty in order to enrich these global financial powers…
The establishment and their media enablers will control over this nation through means that are very well known
This is our moment of reckoning as a society and as a civilization itself…
Since in the White House, President Trump and his ideological brain Stephen Bannon plus a like-minded supporting cast have wasted no time to move against the “enemies of the American people”—the non-compliant news media, the “Nazi-style” U.S. intelligence community, Mexicans and other Hispanics, Muslims, Islam...
There is no doubt that Trump and his circle include everyone who does not support their dangerous mission in their enemy list. That’s the most likely reason why even those Republicans are running for cover who do not have any illusions about Mr. Trump’s destructive agenda, his campaign’s more than suspicious interactions with Russian officials, his admiration for Vladimir Putin and other authoritarian rulers, and, most of all, his disregards for our democratic institutions and processes.
Even the voices of Republican Senators John McCain and Lindsay Graham seem to have fallen silent of late.
But the voices of President Trump and most influential side-kick Bannon are louder and shriller and more hateful than ever.
In his appearance at this week’s CPAC conference the former Breitbart boss revealed at least part of his blueprint for the new order in Washington and America. The president’s less organized but equally divisive and threatening remarks echoed Bannon’s scary script for our future:
Following the destruction of the old political order Bannon envisions a new political order that rests of several major pillars:
- The National Security State--presumably marked by strong borders and enhanced military power.
- Economic Nationalism—according to Bannon—not “an economy just in some global marketplace with open borders…
- Deconstruction of the “administrative state”—presumably via radical deregulation including in the areas of civil rights, civil liberties, environmental protection, etc.
- Cultural Nationalism. Bannon did not call it this way at the CPAC gathering but he said pointedly, “…we are a nation with a culture and a—reason for being.” The term culture, here, can only be understood as a code word for white Christian supremacy.
So, the goal of the just started work of the Trump White House is the complete remaking of American politics and governance. To push this revolutionary plan through Trump himself remains the public propagandist tasked to whipping up the fears and hopes of the masses with whatever lies it takes, whatever attacks on “fake news” that actually reports on his wrongdoings, the FBI, the leakers, the alien criminals, and so on…
At the CPAC conference the organization’s executive director Dan Schneider condemned the so-called alt-right calling it a "hate-filled left-wing fascist group" that “is actually more akin to socialism” and “want big government.”
“They are anti-Semites. They are racist. They are sexist. They hate the Constitution,” he said. They hate free markets. They hate pluralism. They hate everything and despise everything we believe in.”
What Schneider and everyone else at the assembly of conservatives did not want or dared to say was that Stephen Bannon shares values of the alt-right’s orthodoxy and that he made the Breitbart platform available to spread its fascist propaganda.
Instead, the CPAC audience celebrated Bannon and even more so Trump.
At the end, there was no doubt: The Conservative Political Action Committee had become Trump’s Conservative Action Committee.