Statement of Intent to Establish a Fascist Dictatorship:
“The President Has Enormous Powers ... and Will Not Be Questioned”
February 20, 2017 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us
From a reader:
On February 12, the Trump White House sent Stephen Miller to make the rounds on the major Sunday morning network talk shows: This Week, Meet the Press, and Face the Nation. After a week of outrageous executive orders attacking immigrants, refugees, and others, of massive protest in response, and of mounting turmoil even within the ruling class, the Trump regime clearly saw this as a time to “reset terms” as to how things will go—for both the masses of people and their ruling class critics—in their new order. And it was UGLY!
Even if you spoke no English, Miller’s tone and body language screamed “fascist bully,” as he arrogantly talked down, talked over, and talked at the people interviewing him. The sense was that Miller was tolerating the journalists, for now.
Miller’s hostility to journalists is bound up with the fascistic insistence that the news media echo whatever lies the regime spews forth, no matter how ridiculous. He told George Stephanopoulos on This Week, “George, it is a fact and you will not deny it, that there are massive numbers of non-citizens in this country who are registered to vote,” [emphasis added], even though this is blatantly not a fact. He said adamantly that press secretary Sean Spicer, the official mouthpiece and front-line defender of Trump’s constant stream of lies, “as always, is 100 percent correct,” and that Trump too is “100 percent correct.”
And Miller got visibly angry when pressed for evidence or substance. “Asked and answered” (that is, “I’m not going to answer you”), he repeated to Chuck Todd on Meet the Press when asked a question about national security adviser Michael Flynn getting caught publicly lying about his conversations with Russian diplomats. (Note: This was two days before Flynn was forced out of his post after admitting to lying.)
But this went way beyond tone, and beyond the attitude towards the press. Miller reveled in the massive power that the Trump cabal now has in its hands, and explicitly threatened and menaced the regime’s foes with it.
Speaking about North Korea, but also clearly more than North Korea, Miller said on Face the Nation that “we’re going to be sending another signal very soon, and that signal is when we begin a great rebuilding of the armed forces of the United States.” Though U.S. armed forces are already far and away the largest in the history of the world, and the U.S. spends more on its military than the next seven or eight countries combined, Trump’s aim is to build that up so that “we will have unquestioned military strength beyond anything anyone can imagine.” Note the word “unquestioned” here—what this means is power so vast, coupled with a demonstrated willingness to unleash terrible destruction, that no one on the planet would dare say no to any demand of the U.S.
And this insistence on absolute submission to the regime’s authority—the insistence that what they say goes, period—also applies to their foes within the U.S.
On Face the Nation, Miller was asked about the executive order that banned anyone from seven Muslim-majority nations from entering the U.S. This ban was met by fierce mass protest and resistance as well as opposition from sections of the U.S. bourgeoisie; and has been temporarily stayed by two federal courts on grounds that it violates basic tenets of the U.S. Constitution. Miller argued directly against the principle (which is fundamental to the bourgeois constitutional democracy established in the U.S. in the 18th century) that the courts have authority to rule on whether executive actions are constitutional or not. He insisted that, with respect to “national security” (which in their view is pretty much every possible issue), “the president has enormous powers” that cannot be checked by the courts, and “he’s going to use that authority to keep us safe.”
Then he was asked, “What have you all learned from this experience with the executive order?”
[W]e have a judiciary that has taken far too much power and become in many cases a supreme branch of government. ... The end result of this, though, is that our opponents, the media and the whole world will soon see, as we begin to take further actions, that the powers of the president to protect our country are very substantial and will not be questioned. [emphasis added]
Now put this together with Trump’s statement that the judges who stayed his executive order will be responsible for any terrorist attack that occurs while the stay is in effect. Add to that Miller’s comment on Sunday that Democratic congressmen who insist on at least going through the motions of hearings for Trump’s cabinet appointees are “jeopardizing national security” and “public safety.” And then think about how, on This Week, Miller spoke enthusiastically of having “the power to prevent crime before it happens by removing people who pose a threat” [emphasis added]
All of these things amount to a statement of intent to consolidate a straight-up fascist regime, where the authority of the infallible and beloved Führer (German for “leader”)—Trump—is carried out unquestioningly by all in a society where disobedience to authority, or even questioning it, will be extremely dangerous. Miller’s intent is to lay down the rules, and signal that this is coming very fast, that resistance is not only futile, but you will pay later for whatever you do now.
This should be taken extremely seriously for what it is. People who are saying that Miller (and/or Bannon or Trump himself) are just loud-mouthed hotheads who don’t truly mean what they’re saying; people who say that we should ride this out and set our sights on the 2018 elections; people who are thinking that these hard-core fascists who have been striving, in many cases, for decades to set up a regime and reorganize the whole world and who now wield vast power with which to do it... that these fascists will calmly walk away if it turns out that the majority of people don’t care for what they are doing; all these people really do have to wake up and confront the reality of what we are up against.
Writing in his diary as Hitler’s appointment as chancellor of Germany came within reach in 1933, the Nazi leader Joseph Goebbels wrote: “Once we have the power we will never give it up. They will have to carry our dead bodies out of the ministries.” And he meant it, and humanity paid an almost unfathomable price.
This is exactly the outlook of the cabal that now holds power in the U.S.
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