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Est. April 5, 2002
Sept 24, 2020 - Issue 834
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Plunging Toward Totalitarianism

"Truth will not be tolerated in Trump’s America,
for if the rank-and-file citizens were well-educated
and well-informed, they would not tolerate his
lying and incompetence for one minute."

A group described as “neo-Confederate” paraded through Elon, North Carolina, on Saturday, amid shouts of “white power” and “f--- black lives,” as the nation lumbered to further secure President Trump’s authoritarianism just weeks before the presidential election.

In so doing, the president’s base has shown over and over that his call to lawlessness at every public opportunity has resonated with people who apparently have no idea what Black Lives Matter is about, nor do they have any greater understanding of American history than the ignoramus they revere as the president of their “Confederacy.”

Trump’s “base,” which consists of a considerable percentage of the American electorate (as much as an estimated 40 percent), has swallowed wholesale his 20,000 lies about himself and the history of the nation, especially the lies he has told them about those who demand that the U.S. come clean about slavery and its legacy, Jim Crow, and the current mass incarceration that has been designed to keep black and brown and other minorities in their place, second class, at best.

“I’m the least racist person ever,” he has insisted on many occasions, while his behavior gives the lie to his statement at every turn, beginning with the civil rights lawsuit against him and his father, Fred Trump, who kept black tenants from their apartments in New York City decades ago. His racism and xenophobia (the Muslin immigration ban, for example) have been front and center ever since then. And those are just the tip of the iceberg of his racism.

It’s the kind of Trump lie that his cult followers want to hear, because it gives the go-ahead to conduct their onslaught to perpetuate and strengthen the structural racism that is the hallmark of the United States for the past few hundred years. The group that organized the Elon parade this past week has been identified by the Southern Poverty Law Center as “Alamance County Taking Back Alamance County (ACTBAC).” They want to “take back” their county to pre-Civil War times, when black citizens “knew their place,” and it was not on an equal level with their white supremacist bent. And, it galls them to think that black Americans have achieved far beyond their pathetic efforts to keep them from the highest levels of education and achievement in the world of business. They have no idea that, despite the high achievement of black academics and black and brown business persons, they make up a small fraction of such positions in academia and in corporations across the board. They have no idea that their goal has been achieved through structural racism, which is at the heart of the BLM protests.

Black Lives Matter has been a movement that Trump has singled out as a terrorist organization, when there is no proof whatsoever that this is so, but the propaganda he has spewed from the White House has been enough to keep neo-Confederates and other right-wing extremists in business. That was the basis of Trump’s “parade” in Elon on Saturday, even as Trump has tried to frame the “antifa” movement as a domestic terrorist organization, even though there is no evidence that it is a nationwide organization or that it is directly connected to the Black Lives Matter movement. It does serve Trump’s purpose to declare every opponent to his one-man rule as “terroristic.” This attitude of an unhinged president shows every evidence of authoritarianism, possibly leading to totalitarianism or fascism.

Fascism back in the 1920s was described by Benito Mussolini, the dictator of Italy, as “...all within the state, none outside the state, none against the state.” It was the beginning of one party rule and a dictatorship that lasted throughout the remainder of his life, through his unholy alliance with Adolf Hitler and the German Third Reich, which was erased by World War II, just as was Mussolini.

Trump’s bully boys also showed up at an early polling place in Fairfax, Virginia, last weekend, just as other authoritarians’ bullies have shown up to intimidate voters in other times, in other societies tending toward authoritarianism and fascism. They were asked to move by police and did so, according to observers at the scene, but they seemed to have succeeded in their purpose in intimidating some voters. If they kept even a single voter from exercising the right to cast a ballot in a democracy, they have moved the Trump Administration another step toward totalitarianism. After all, he has repeated the famous late 1970s television interview with David Frost of disgraced President Richard Nixon, when Frost asked Nixon about the legality of the president’s actions in the context of American national security, “Well, when the president does it, that means that it is not illegal....” It appears that, every time he opens his mouth, Trump shows his belief that he, too, is above the law.

Another stark illustration of how quickly he is moving toward one-man rule is his insistence on “patriotic education,” that is educating youngsters in the manner in which generations have been taught, and that is virtually ignoring the eternal stain of chattel slavery and what that stain has meant for citizens of color, especially black Americans. His demand for “patriotic” education is nothing short of indoctrination in a false history, which is akin to the propaganda of an authoritarian regime. That demand of his is in direct response to The 1619 Project of the New York Times, which is an ongoing project developed by NYT Magazine in 2019 which “aims to reframe the country’s history by placing the consequences of slavery and the contributions of black Americans at the very center of [the United States’] national narrative.”

Truth will not be tolerated in Trump’s America, for if the rank-and-file citizens were well-educated and well-informed, they would not tolerate his lying and incompetence for one minute. Remember, in 2016 before he won the GOP nomination, he ticked off all of the groups which he said he had won, including the low-educated. “I love the poorly educated,” he declared. And, they seem to come through for him every time, and they follow him as if in a trance.

Trump every day shows his inclination toward totalitarianism, which is described by the Encyclopaedia Britannica as: a “form of government that theoretically permits no individual freedom and that seeks to subordinate all aspects of individual life to the authority of the state... (and it) is often distinguished from dictatorship, despotism, or tyranny... (and further), any dissent is branded evil, and internal political differences are not permitted. Because pursuit of the goal is the only ideological foundation for the totalitarian state, achievement of the goal can never be acknowledged.”

The chaos that is the Trump White House is an indication of his intolerance of debate, let alone dissent, considering the large numbers of administration staffers he has either fired and replaced or those who have left in disgust over the president’s unhinged behavior. He handles dissent in the body politic in much the same way, but he uses the bully pulpit of the presidency to do so. That is possible because the press has covered the thousands of lies and nonsense he puts out for public consumption, since he knows that they can’t fact-check the Niagara Falls of deception that he spews daily. Even if they did, he would say that it shows that his charge of “fake news” is real. He would whine about being attacked by his enemies, especially the press. He is probably the greatest whiner in an elected official that the world has ever seen, and his cult followers believe his every word.

Just remember the words of his niece, Mary Trump, who recently published a book about the family that made Trump, “Too Much and Never Enough: How My Family Created the World’s Most Dangerous Man.” Mary Trump, who knows her family better than most, said recently: “Donald is a very sick man. He’s never going to get better. He’s only going to get worse. And if it suits his purposes he will take this entire country down with him ... So please vote carefully.” Columnist, John Funiciello, is a former newspaper reporter and labor organizer, who lives in the Mohawk Valley of New York State. In addition to labor work, he is organizing family farmers as they struggle to stay on the land under enormous pressure from factory food producers and land developers. Contact Mr. Funiciello and BC.

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is published Thursday
Executive Editor:
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Managing Editor:
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