It had to come to this. Donald Trump’s affinity for Nazis was always just beneath the diseased skin of his repulsive rhetoric. Now, after months of promulgating brazenly racist views, advocating policies that are indistinguishable from those of history’s fascists, and promising to commit war crimes if elected, will anybody be surprised by it bubbling to the surface? Trump’s true face was exposed today when he was asked a simple question on Good Morning America:
George Stephanopoulos: You’re increasingly compared to Hitler. Does that bother you?
Donald Trump: No, what I’m doing is no different from FDR.
So there you have it. Donald Trump is not bothered by comparisons to Adolf Hitler. And why should he be? He has been running on the platform of the Nazi Party since he announced his candidacy. What’s more, he justifies his comfort with the association by positively referencing the Japanese internment camps built during the FDR administration, which are universally condemned as one of America’s most shameful actions.
When asked about those concentration camps by Michael Scherer of Time, Trump refused to say he would have opposed them. Instead, he said that he “would have had to be there at the time to tell you, to give you a proper answer.” The rest of the civilized world world doesn’t need to be there to know that it was a horrific violation of human rights. Would Trump have had to be there during slavery to give a proper answer?
Trump’s fascist tendencies are apparent in his signature issue, a border wall to keep out those inferior foreigners. And he goes even further by suggesting that foreigners already in the country be rounded up, herded into boxcars, and deported using the deadly model from the 1950’s charmingly called “Operation Wetback.” He wants to create a database of American citizens based on their religion and require Muslims to wear identifying badges. He uses the media (mostly, but not exclusively, Fox News) to stir up irrational fears based on an ever-expanding catalog of lies (See the Trump Bullshitopedia). And, sadly, the media sheepishly complies with his campaign of propaganda.
The question now is: Where does the Republican Party go from here? With an avowed fascist currently leading their primary for president, the GOP has to decide which side they’re on. They simply cannot abide a candidate espousing Third Reich doctrine and expect to be taken seriously. Some of the other GOP contenders have distanced themselves from Trump’s most recent comments, and RNC chairman Reince Priebus even made a public statement of disapproval, an almost unheard of move for a party boss.
But that’s hardly enough. Earlier this year the Republican Party made all their candidates sign loyalty oaths promising to support the Party’s nominee regardless of who it is. But given the grotesque course of Trump’s campaign, that would mean pledging to support America’s foremost fascist. Anyone who honors a pledge to support Herr Trump for president is unfit for public service in a free nation. This sentiment was boldly expressed today by President Obama’s press Secretary, Josh Earnest (video below) who said that Trump’s proposal to ban all Muslims…
“…disqualifies him from being president. And for Republican candidates to stand by their pledge to support Mr. Trump, that in and of itself is disqualifying.”
So far, none of the other GOP candidates has had the integrity (guts?) to publicly declare that they would not support Trump if he is the nominee. That is partly due to their innate cowardice, as they do not want to alienate Trump’s current constituency of fascist-friendly voters. Why they want those voters in their corner is a sick mystery. But a part of it is also due to their fear that Trump might ditch the GOP and run as a Third (Reich) Party candidate. A recent poll shows that 68% of his glassy-eyed disciples would vote for him were he to run as an independent. And Trump is reminding his Republican pals of this in his twitter feed.
So Trump is wrapping his GOP peers around his middle finger. But how much sway does he really have? He can’t possibly win as an independent. While more than two-thirds is a significant chunk of his base, it is a tiny slice of the electorate. Do the math: About 30% of the American people identify as Republican. Trump has about 30% support within the Republican Party. So that’s about 9% of the population at large. Those who would follow him to a third party reduces that by 30%. So Trump would get a measly 6% of the national vote from Republicans, plus whatever independents and Democrats would crossover. In short, he would lose in a landslide.
The problem for the GOP is that, in a close race, that 6% could swing the election to the Democrat. And that’s why Republicans are running scared and failing to show the character to renounce Trump. However, if they don’t renounce Trump they are doing serious damage to their reputation which could cost them more than 6% come November. So the only course of action for them is to have some intestinal fortitude and do the right thing. They need to modify their loyalty oath to exclude Trump from among those whom they would support as the GOP nominee. This shouldn’t be that hard for them because Trump has already hinted that he is ready to violate the pledge.
If Trump acts first and bolts the Party they can’t ever regain the dignity that would come by having kicked him out. But if they move first they can at least brag that they held to their principles and turned their backs on fascism (at least Trump’s brand of it). But they better move fast. Trump is just unpredictable (and egotistical) enough to make a surprise announcement before anyone expects it. And since the GOP has little to lose, they would be smart to cast him out now. Unfortunately for them, they may not be that smart. Of course, that would be quite fortunate for the Democrats.
How Fox News Deceives and Controls Their Flock:
Fox Nation vs. Reality: The Fox News Cult of Ignorance.
Available now at Amazon.
[Update:] Donald Trump continues his Anti-American Crusade: “These are people that are outside the country, so we’re really not talking about the Constitution. And it’s not about religion. This is about safety.” In other words, in pursuit of his warped idea of safety he would scrap the Constitution.