While You Were Being Led to Fixate on Pennsylvania’s Election, Trump’s Fascist Juggernaut Barreled Ahead

March 19, 2018 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us


While MSNBC, CNN, top Democrats and the non-fascist media more generally focused people’s attention on a congressional election in Pennsylvania and various White House scandals this past week, an “emboldened” Donald Trump and his regime barreled ahead, pushing the U.S. closer to full-on fascism and the world closer to war. Here are nine examples.

1. Trump names warmonger Mike Pompeo his secretary of state

On Tuesday, Trump fired Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and nominated a fanatical warmonger to take his place: Mike Pompeo, now CIA director. Pompeo is a Christian fundamentalist who has advocated waging a preemptive war on North Korea and mocked negotiations. He wants to aggressively confront Iran, including tearing up the nuclear accord the U.S. and other powers signed with it. This could happen as early as mid-May, at which point Trump must either renew or void the treaty. Pompeo has even argued that a military attack on Iran would be relatively easy to do. The president of the liberal National Iranian American Council called Pompeo’s appointment “a recipe for war.”1

2. Trump nominates hands-on torturer to head CIA

That same day, Trump nominated Gina Haspel to head the CIA. In 2002, Haspel personally ran the interrogation program at a secret prison—or “black site”—in Thailand, set up for the express purpose of torturing those the U.S. claimed were “terrorists.” Haspel oversaw “interrogations” during which people the U.S. had snatched were stripped naked, beaten, slammed against walls, starved, and kept awake for days on end. Sometimes they were locked in coffin-like boxes for hours. She supervised the waterboarding of Abd al-Rahim al-Nashiri, bringing him to the brink of drowning three different times—a terrorizing form of abuse almost universally condemned as torture. In 2005, Haspel tried to cover up these crimes by ordering the destruction of 92 videotapes documenting these gruesome “interrogations.”

With these moves Trump has now put in place a “war cabinet” at a time when major events—the renewal of the Iran treaty and the proposed May summit meeting with North Korea—directly loom.


3. Trump travels to California, escalates Nazi campaign against immigrants

Trump used his first trip as president to California to step up his genocidal assault on immigrants. Trump went straight to an area near the border with Mexico to highlight prototypes of his wall. Trump vowed to “re-establish law and order” and justified his venomous “America First”  campaign against those crossing the border to escape the devastation U.S. imperialism has visited upon their homelands with racist, dehumanizing lies, painting them as animals who burden America with “crime, drug flow, welfare fraud, and burdens on schools and hospitals.”

4. Trump goes after California officials

Trump also used his trip to take aim at the state’s liberal policies and Democratic officials. Trump blasted Governor Jerry Brown for doing a “terrible” job, claiming the state was “out of control.” He demagogically smeared sanctuary cities, which give immigrants some degree of protection against the fascist regime’s anti-immigrant, “Make America White Again” agenda: “Sanctuary cities are protecting a horrible group of people, in many cases—criminals. And what happened ... in Oakland [whose mayor warned immigrants of coming ICE raids] was a disgrace to our nation. And we just can’t let that happen.” This comes on top of the previous week’s threats to prosecute and imprison the mayor of Oakland. This isn’t simply a political dispute between Democrats and Republicans, but part of the Trump/Pence regime’s broader agenda of crushing opposition from any quarter of society and imposing its total domination and control—full-on fascism.2

5. Trump’s KKK Kampaign rally

 “She’s a low IQ individual...” That’s what Trump said about California congressperson Maxine Waters, one of the country’s most prominent Black officials, at one of his KKK-like rallies in western Pennsylvania on March 10. “Did you ever see her? Did you ever see her?” Trump went on as if he was talking about a circus animal rather than a Black woman. At the rally Trump also claimed 52 percent of women voted for him. Actually, 52 percent of white women voted for Trump—his comment showed who counts as a human being and “legitimate voter” in his mind. Trump’s racist, misogynist venom has become so dangerously normalized it barely made a ripple in the media landscape.3

6. DeVos says “individual kids”—i.e., Black and Brown youths—are the problem; Trump regime rolls back students’ civil rights protections

If you’re a Black or Brown student in America—even in elementary school—you’re hit with much harsher discipline than white students. This has been proven in numerous studies. You can find video after video online of students—especially Black students—being tackled, beaten, even shackled for minor offenses, sometimes in grade schools! But Trump’s secretary of education Betsy DeVos denies there’s any racism at all! On 60 Minutes, she claimed that harsh discipline disproportionately affecting youth of color isn’t racism—it “comes down to individual kids”—in other words, Black and Brown youths are the problem. And now the Trump/Pence regime is moving to rescind Department of Education guidance that had begun to address racist disciplinary practices. The regime’s excuse: the guidelines relaxed discipline and led to school shootings—a lie. The reality: they’re hell-bent on re-imposing open racism and white supremacy in schools and throughout society.4

7. Slashes women’s access to birth control

The Trump/Pence regime isn’t just attacking the right to abortion; it’s going after the right to access birth control. Its Department of Health and Human Services’ Office of Population Affairs recently announced it was slashing funding for family planning services that millions of poor women rely on for access to contraceptives. Instead it would promote and fund unscientific, unreliable methods of birth control like the so-called rhythm method, and abstinence until marriage. This is nothing less than forcing women to become incubators, unable to prevent unwanted pregnancies. Re-imposing the brutal shackles of patriarchy and forcing especially white women to have more babies is crucial in the eyes of the white supremacists to keeping America a predominately white country. This goes hand in hand with the Trump/Pence regime’s “Make America White Again” program.5

8. Trump’s “America First” tariffs—upending the global order and preparing for war

Trump announced steep tariffs (taxes) on imported steel and aluminum—shredding long-standing agreements among international powers and upending existing economic and trade relations. He justified it as “a matter of necessity for our security.” This further escalates the U.S.’s increasing competition with China and other world powers to dominate international trade. And it is part of a larger geopolitical competition as to which power will dominate... one that greatly heightens the danger of inter-imperialist war. This went along with other trade and economic measures last week. Securing steel and aluminum production is also essential for the massive expansion of the U.S. military Trump has initiated, especially for its nuclear capacity.6

9. Names fascist, capitalist soul mate as chief economic advisor

Trump also hired as his chief economic advisor Larry Kudlow. Kudlow perfectly mirrored the fascist and capitalist mentality that is the soul of Trump in a remark after a huge earthquake and tsunami hit Japan in 2011, killing approximately 20,000 people. On the cable channel CNBC, Kudlow took note of the fact that financial markets in the U.S. didn’t seem affected: “The human toll here looks to be much worse than the economic toll and we can be grateful for that.”7

Trump: “I’m really at a point where we’re getting very close to having the Cabinet and other things that I want.”

The turmoil within the Trump/Pence regime and the firings and resignations of different high officials do not mainly point to “chaos” and “disorganization” in the White House or that the Trump/Pence regime is falling apart. They are part of a very sharp struggle at the top of the U.S. ruling class over whether to rule in traditional ways or to go to all-out fascism (including, it seems, whether to move toward wars with North Korea and Iran). And this past week, Trump and those fighting to consolidate fascism made huge advances. “Trump feels emboldened to throw off the shackles that have thus far constrained him,” Vanity Fair reported. He’s hell-bent on getting rid of anyone not fully onboard with his fascist program. After firing Tillerson, he said, “I’m really at a point where we’re getting very close to having the Cabinet and other things that I want.”8

All this is extremely ominous, yet the Democrats announced they wouldn’t oppose the lunatic warmonger Pompeo or the torturer Haspel—so long as they “start toughening up our policies towards Russia and Putin.”9

This underscores again, that in the fight against Trump/Pence fascism, the Democrats are part of the problem, not part of the solution. Stopping this grave, potentially existential threat to millions—perhaps billions—is on us, and this calls ever more urgently for redoubled efforts to organize thousands and ultimately millions to drive this fascist regime from power through mass, nonviolent political protest and resistance.


1. For more on Pompeo, see “Trump’s CIA Pick: Mike Pompeo—Advocate of Torture & Tearing Up Rule of Law,” revcom.us, November 21, 2016. Rex Tillerson, the former head of ExxonMobil, is a world-class predator, but he wanted to run the empire in more traditional ways, including staying in the Iran nuclear deal and the Paris climate agreement negotiated by the Obama administration. And Tillerson argued for negotiations with North Korea and was reportedly working with defense secretary Mattis to “slow-walk the delivery of military options to the president, apparently out of fear that the president might actually act on them.” (Emphasis added.) See “Tillerson’s insubordination meant he had to go,” Washington Post, March 13, 2018. For more on the Iran nuclear agreement, see “Trump Says Iran Violating Nuclear Deal: An Ominous Move, A Gangster Escalation,” revcom.us, October 16, 2017. For more on the Paris climate accord, see “Trump/Pence Regime Withdraws from Paris Climate Accord: Putting ‘America First’—Torching Humanity’s Future,” revcom.us, June 5, 2017.

It’s rumored that Trump will soon fire national security advisor McMaster and replace him with the bloodthirsty John Bolton, who recently wrote an op-ed titled “The Legal Case for Striking North Korea First,” and says Trump should issue a disarm-or-else ultimatum at his meeting with North Korea’s Kim Jong-un.  [back]

2. “Trump, Sessions Escalate Attacks on Sanctuary for Immigrants—This Is Intolerable! This Must Be Stopped,” revcom.us, March 12, 2018; “The ‘Memo Affair’—An Act Towards a Fascist America,” revcom.us, February 5, 2018.  [back]

3. “Trump again questions Maxine Waters’ intelligence, says she’s ‘very low IQ’,” CNN, March 11, 2018; see also, Eugene Scott, “Trump’s repeat attacks on Maxine Waters’s IQ are familiar,” Washington Post, March 11, 2018.  [back]

4. “Black Students More Likely to Be Arrested at School,” Education Week, January 24, 2017; “Police Assault on Black Students in Kentucky Sparks Calls for Reform,” ACLU Racial Justice Program, November 21, 2017; Michelle Goldberg, “Will Betsy DeVos Expand the School-to-Prison Pipeline?” New York Times, March 12, 2018.  [back]

5. “The Trump Administration’s Backward Attitude Toward Birth Control,” New York Times, March 8, 2018.  [back]

6. In January, Trump’s Commerce Department issued two reports that concluded the U.S. needs to expand and protect domestic steel and aluminum production. The report said that steel is being imported to the U.S. “in such quantities ... and under such circumstances” that it “threatens to impair national security.” By “national security” it meant, first and foremost, the ability of the U.S. to retain the capacity to produce massive amounts of modern, nuclear-armed weapons in the event of international conflict and disruption of global trade. But it also meant that the domestic steel industry is essential to developing a “stronger domestic economy” that enables the U.S. to compete and win internationally in economic contention, and recommended tariffs on steel from Russia, China, and several other countries.  [back]

7. “The most insensitive comment about Japan earthquake on TV?” Chicago Tribune, March 18, 2018,  [back]

8. “‘Trump Is Going for a Clean Reset’: Fuming in the West Wing, Trump Prepares to Defenestrate Cuck Allies and Go Full MAGA,” Vanity Fair, March 9, 2018; “,Trump Wants Them Out of There,: After Swinging the Axe at Tillerson, Trump Mulls What to Do With McMaster, Sessions, Jared, And Ivanka,” Vanity Fair, March 14, 2018.  [back]

9. “Despite Torture-Loving Pasts, Schumer Not Pushing Democrats to Oppose Pompeo or Haspel,” Common Dreams, March 14, 2018.  [back]


Volunteers Needed... for revcom.us and Revolution

Send us your comments.

If you like this article, subscribe, donate to and sustain Revolution newspaper.