For the past year much has been written about Donald Trump. He may be the most widely despised candidate for president to ever seek the office. The animosity directed at him comes from all across the political spectrum and many Republicans even now refuse to support his candidacy.
That said, I can’t recall reading a more damning critique of The Donald than the one that appeared this week in the Washington Post. It was written by Robert Kagan, a former official in Ronald Reagan’s State Department, so this is no left-wing hit piece. It lays out a devastating account of why Trump would be a disastrous choice for leader of the free world, beginning with the headline: “This Is How Fascism Comes To America.” It gets worse from there. And the best way to convey the sentiment of this article is to simply let it speak for itself with a some choice excerpts. Therefore…
“The Republican Party’s attempt to treat Donald Trump as a normal political candidate would be laughable were it not so perilous to the republic.”
“His incoherent and contradictory utterances have one thing in common: They provoke and play on feelings of resentment and disdain, intermingled with bits of fear, hatred and anger. His public discourse consists of attacking or ridiculing a wide range of “others” — Muslims, Hispanics, women, Chinese, Mexicans, Europeans, Arabs, immigrants, refugees — whom he depicts either as threats or as objects of derision.”
“Trump himself is simply and quite literally an egomaniac. But the phenomenon he has created and now leads has become something larger than him, and something far more dangerous.”
“As Alexander Hamilton watched the French Revolution unfold, he feared in America what he saw play out in France — that the unleashing of popular passions would lead not to greater democracy but to the arrival of a tyrant, riding to power on the shoulders of the people.”
“This phenomenon has arisen in other democratic and quasi-democratic countries over the past century, and it has generally been called “fascism.” Fascist movements, too, had no coherent ideology, no clear set of prescriptions for what ailed society.”
“Successful fascism was not about policies but about the strongman, the leader (Il Duce, Der Führer), in whom could be entrusted the fate of the nation. Whatever the problem, he could fix it. Whatever the threat, internal or external, he could vanquish it, and it was unnecessary for him to explain how.”
“To understand how such movements take over a democracy, one only has to watch the Republican Party today. These movements play on all the fears, vanities, ambitions and insecurities that make up the human psyche.”
“If someone criticizes or opposes the leader, it doesn’t matter how popular or admired that person has been. He might be a famous war hero, but if the leader derides and ridicules his heroism, the followers laugh and jeer.”
“What these people do not or will not see is that, once in power, Trump will owe them and their party nothing. […] Imagine the power he would wield then. In addition to all that comes from being the leader of a mass following, he would also have the immense powers of the American presidency at his command: the Justice Department, the FBI, the intelligence services, the military. Who would dare to oppose him then?”
“[I]s a man like Trump, with infinitely greater power in his hands, likely to become more humble, more judicious, more generous, less vengeful than he is today, than he has been his whole life? Does vast power un-corrupt?”
“This is how fascism comes to America, not with jackboots and salutes (although there have been salutes, and a whiff of violence) but with a television huckster, a phony billionaire, a textbook egomaniac “tapping into” popular resentments and insecurities, and with an entire national political party — out of ambition or blind party loyalty, or simply out of fear — falling into line behind him.”
That pretty much sums it up. Kagan has captured perfectly what Trump represents as a candidate. He is all bluster and ego without a hint of intellect, experience, or judgment. And sadly, his glassy-eyed followers dance to his calliope like well-trained circus geeks. It’s shocking that whatever level-headed Republicans remain aren’t bellowing from rooftops the warnings that are embedded in this article. they are not only sacrificing themselves and their party, they are putting America’s head on the chopping block. And they don’t seem to give a damn.
How Fox News Deceives and Controls Their Flock:
Fox Nation vs. Reality: The Fox News Cult of Ignorance.
Available now at Amazon.