Trump fuels march to fascism with ‘anarchist jurisdictions’ edict

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President Trump and his administration have taken several clear steps down the jagged path of fascism over the past week.

On September 17, Trump announced the creation of the “1776 Commission” to establish “patriotic education” against what his administration deemed to be unpatriotic influences such as The 1619 Projecta New York Times Review series on the history of slavery.

At a rally in Minnesota on September 18, Trump showered with praise on the “good genes” of his predominantly white audience in a state known for its history of Scandinavian migration (i.e. the Minnesota Vikings), openly airing his continued fixation on eugenics. Meanwhile, in another report that reeks of eugenics, a whistleblower alleged that a doctor performed unwanted hysterectomies on migrants incarcerated by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement at the Irwin County Detention Center in Georgia.

Then, on September 19, Trump nonchalantly suggested that he could sign an executive order banning Joe Biden from being president, months later refusing pledge to leave office if he loses the November election and weeks after”joke” about retaining power beyond his term limit.

And on September 21, the Justice Department declared New York, Seattle, and Portland to be “anarchist jurisdictions,” in an effort to suspend funding for cities with Democratic leaders whose decisions do not meet with government approval. Trump administration.

Meanwhile, the Supreme Court vacancy created by the death of Ruth Bader Ginsburg has also raised the specter of Trump further attacking reproductive rights and civil liberties.

Academics and experts have debated whether Trump has been “really” a fascist for years now. But regardless of where one stands in this definitional debate, analyzing Trump and Trumpism in relation to the changing history of fascism (broadly defined), without necessarily applying this unequivocal label , brings significant clarity to many aspects of his ultranationalist and white supremacist authoritarianism.

The words of renowned fascism scholar Robert Paxton provide a clue to how the threats of “12 more years” are part of the same agenda as the “1776 commission” and forced sterilization. paxton argue that “fascism is a system of political authority and social order designed to strengthen the unity, energy and purity of communities in which liberal democracy is accused of producing division and decline”.

In this sense, in its speech on “patriotic education,” Trump argued that “the left is trying to…divide Americans by race.” He went on to assert that “critical race theory, the 1619 Project, and the crusade against American history are toxic propaganda, an ideological poison which, if not eliminated, will dissolve the civic bonds that hold us together.” unite. It will destroy our country.

Rather than allowing cities and states across the country to vote for education policies and school boards of their choice, Trump affirms the need to intervene to protect “our country” from the destructive results of liberal democracy, including “the riots leftist and mayhem.”

Our political system is broken, says the right, because ‘the Democrats are the antifa party’, as Ann Coulter formula this. The right argues that local Democratic leaders, no longer partners in American prosperity, tolerate “rioting” in “anarchist jurisdictions.” Trump wrongly calls anarchism chaos when in fact it is a anti-hierarchical form of revolutionary socialism. In order to protect property and maintain ‘order’, Trump sent federal officers to Portland and threatened to overstep the authority of governors and send in the National Guard – and is now threatening to withdraw funding from New York , Seattle and Portland.

If the opposition party really undermines the pillars of the nation, as such distorted right-wing claims suggest, it would follow that the right’s defense of “democracy” might even result in the undemocratic refusal to cede power to Biden in November, since according to Trump, “the outcome of the Nov. 3 election may NEVER BE DETERMINED WITH PRECISION, which some want.” (His predictions of inaccuracy stem from his baseless claims that mail-in ballots are subject to fraud and tampering.)

Of course, that’s just the part Trump feels comfortable saying out loud. Unlike interwar fascists, Trump cannot explicitly target democracy because the concept, while not his real substance, is revered by most Americans. More fundamental, however, in this portrayal of fascist revival to protect the “purity” of the community, has been the far-right lamentation over the changing demographics and values ​​of the country. After all, according to Trump, who wanted Trade Puerto Rico for Greenland, “It’s largely a question of genes, isn’t it? Don’t you believe? The Racehorse Theory. Do you think we’re so different? You have good genes in Minnesota.

The concept of a group having “good genes” only makes sense if one believes that another group does not. As the right increasingly embraces a backlash against Black Lives Matter and ramps up its racist xenophobia, it’s not hard to envision the racialized foils that form a necessary contrast to Trump’s eugenics rhetoric. Indeed, the association between ideological purity and demographic purity (articulated in varying degrees of openness) has been a mainstay of right-wing politics for generations. This rhetoric takes physical form in the cages that imprison migrant children and the unwanted surgeries that deprive migrants of their reproductive rights, bodily autonomy and humanity.

While such examples evoke the horrors of the Nazis for many readers, the Nazis developed both their eugenics theories and their plan to eliminate “undesirable” populations through the use of concentration camps and other means, in part by studying the racist history of the United States. And so, while the history of fascism is certainly relevant to analyzing the authoritarianism we are witnessing from the White House, we must never forget that, as Aimé Césaire said argued“Hitlerism” was a kind of European colonialism brought back to Europe.

Fascism was only one facet of a larger and longer story of white supremacy, imperialism and genocide. The United States played a leading role in this story – a story that Trump does not want us or our children to know.

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