From Pine View Farm

“Exhausted Democracy” 2

Holger Stark, Der Spiegel’s Washington Bureau chief, attempts to understand Trumpery. A snippet (emphasis added):

Trump, like Europe’s right-wing populists, is betting on aggressive nationalism as a response to this sense of victimhood and the complexities of globalization. At his campaign rallies, the seats shake when tens of thousands of fans collectively bellow their response to the question of who will pay for the border wall: “Mexico!” Trump’s supporters cheer when he threatens to punch protestors in the face. And they seem to have been waiting for someone to finally promise to deport — with force, if necessary –the 11 million illegal immigrants from Central and South America. By breaking social taboos, Trump’s appearances resemble the “rallies of fascist leaders who pantomimed the wishes of their followers and let them fill in the text,” Jeffrey Herf, a political science professor at the University of Maryland and expert on Nazi Germany, recently wrote in the American Interest magazine.

This aggressive nationalism is paired with an absurd authoritarianism. Indeed, there is something operatic about Trump promising his voters that after he wins the election, his first official act will be to call the CEO of Ford and force him to move his auto plants from Mexico back to the United States within 48 hours — not to mention his vow to force Apple to stop making iPhones in China. But Trump’s words have made an impact.

Follow the link; you may consider this a required reading assignment.



  1. George Smith

    May 21, 2016 at 10:07 pm

    Not altogether. You know I wrote about American whitemanistan thinking in contrast with reports on Germany in “The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich.”

    But Trump, unlike Hitler, is all fake. Hitler actually smashed corporate Germany, its industry and banks, into submission. They were made toadies, not just by haranguing but by national command, and they lived to regret it.

    Not quite the same here.

    Corporate America is not going to regret Trump. They’ll endure him because the rest of the world will not unite to turn the United States into rubble. Unless we provoke a thermonuclear war.

    Now, OTOH, it’s easy to understand the appeal of a president, or someone who is a strongman, who is not at all reluctant to use his microphone to condemn specific companies and corporate America. That’s something to be appreciated. It’s easy to understand the allure, whether it comes from a total phony or, um, you know who.

    Maybe we have to think about a thing like, what if a war really comes home to us? What if what we have coming actually got here? What then?

  2. Frank

    May 22, 2016 at 3:01 pm

    I think your point that Hitler and Trump are not the same, in that Hitler was sincere (!) and Trump is a medicine show barker, is valid.

    That prompts a question: If I’m driving along and someone runs a stop sign and t-bones me at an intersection, does it matter to anyone other than a sociologist whether it was by accident or on purpose?

    I’m still dead.

    Also, too.