Trump’s Tweet Attacks, Nazi Rallies, and Deadly Assault on Truth
December 12, 2016 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us
» On December 7, Donald Trump sent out tweets attacking Chuck Jones, a Steelworkers Union local official in Indiana, who had said Trump was “lying his ass off” about his grandiose claims about saving jobs at the Carrier air conditioning plant. Within hours Jones began receiving death threats on his phone, including those directed at his kids.
» On December 4, a white man fired an assault rifle inside a pizza joint in Washington, DC. He said he was taking action because of “news” he’d seen on Facebook and elsewhere on the web claiming the restaurant was involved in a child sex-slave ring run by Hillary Clinton. This is a totally false story, unhinged from any actual facts—typical of the huge “fake news” phenomenon. That didn’t stop a member of Trump’s transition team and son of retired Lt. General Michael T. Flynn (Trump’s appointee as national security adviser) from sending out tweets that tried to keep alive the lie about the pizza restaurant.
» Trump has been going around the country on a “victory tour”—something no other U.S. president-elect has done. In front of crowds chanting “USA, USA, USA,” Trump has been making rabid declarations like threatening to jail and strip citizenship from people burning American flags, a constitutionally protected form of political speech.
» In a recent meeting with Time magazine reporters, Trump railed against what he claimed were “illegal” immigrant gang members on Long Island, New York, claiming that they were “killing and raping everybody out there” and declaring that “they’re finished.” A reporter told Trump that he sounded like Philippine President Duterte, who has been heading a campaign of terror resulting in extra-judicial police executions of at least 2,000 people labeled as “drug dealers,” with vigilantes murdering thousands more. Trump, according to Time, made “no objection to the comparison.”
Anybody thinking that things like these come from Trump not acting “presidential” or his being “thin skinned” about criticism—or people around him being “out of control”—are totally off the mark. Such illusions are harmful because they only serve to minimize and normalize what must NOT be minimized and normalized.
When Trump tweeted out attacks on the union leader, he was deliberately inciting a cyber lynch mob. His “victory rallies” are like the “Nuremburg rallies” that Hitler held to rile up his supporters. The reactionary gunman in DC—as well as the racist, anti-immigrant, and anti-LGBT assaults taking place around the country where perpetrators shout “Trump, Trump, Trump”—point to the direction his fascist incitement is quickly heading. And Trump’s favorable view of Duterte’s bloody reign of terror is a sign of horrific new leaps this could take.
Trump is taking the “art of the lie” to a whole new level, and this has real, dangerous consequences. His claims about Mexican immigrants being “rapists” and “criminals,” millions of Black and Latino people “voting illegally,” and other lies are outlandish. But this serves to confirm and whip up the fears and hatreds of his followers. And Trump is training people to think about the world in a certain way, and to proceed from a certain epistemology (theory of how people acquire knowledge and how they know what is true or not).
This is how a fascist fighting force is organized and directed in the age of internet and social media—all done in a way that enables Trump to shrug off responsibility.
Any notion that Trump will tone down or drop all this is the kind of wishful thinking that leads to lynch mobs, Kristallnachts,* and even to the concentration camps and ovens. Once Trump is in office, with the stakes of every decision he makes higher, he will almost certainly rely even more on this means of summoning and directing the hatred of his followers. The Trump/Pence fascists MUST BE STOPPED from carrying out even more monstrous crimes.
* After Hitler and the Nazis came to power in Germany in 1933, laws were passed depriving Jews of civil rights. Then there was a pause that some people took as a sign that the worst was over. The illusion was shattered by Kristallnacht (Night of Broken Glass) on November 9-10, 1938, when Nazi paramilitary forces and mobs attacked Jewish businesses and homes while the official police stood by. [back]
If you like this article, subscribe, donate to and sustain Revolution newspaper.