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Hullabaloo


Friday, May 06, 2016

 
"A toughness of attitude would prevail"

by digby

























I'm seeing some disturbing chatter on social media saying that Trump is coming around some issues so maybe he isn't so bad after all. It's true that he is all over the place on specific issues. But this passage from the 1990 Playboy interview shows he's remarkably consistent about some things:
What’s the first thing President Trump would do upon entering the Oval Office? 
Many things. A toughness of attitude would prevail. I’d throw a tax on every Mercedes-Benz rolling into this country and on all Japanese products, and we’d have wonderful allies again.

Would you rescue our remaining hostages in Lebanon? 
Number one, in almost all cases, the hostages were told by our Government not to be there. If a man decides to become a professor at Beirut University, when he was told not to be there, and that person is captured—

He deserves it? 
You feel very bad for him, but you cannot base foreign policy on his capture. With that being said, when they killed our Colonel Higgins, I would have retaliated militarily immediately. I would have hit something vital to them. And hit it hard. In any other case, I would let the takers of hostages know that they’d have one week to return that hostage. And after that week, all bets would be off. You would not have any more hostages taken, believe me. Weakness always causes problems.

Do you think George Bush is soft? 
I like George Bush very much and support him and always will. But I disagree with him when he talks of a kinder, gentler America. I think if this country gets any kinder or gentler, it’s literally going to cease to exist. I think if we had people from the business community–the Carl Icahns, the Ross Perots–negotiating some of our foreign policy, we’d have respect around the world.

What would President Trump’s position on crime be?  
I see the values of this country in the way crime is tolerated, where people are virtually afraid to say “I want the death penalty.” Well, I want it. Where has this country gone when you’re not supposed to put in a grave the son of a bitch who robbed, beat, murdered and threw a ninety-year-old woman off the building? Where has this country gone?

What would be some of President Trump’s longer-term views of the future? 
I think of the future, but I refuse to paint it. Anything can happen. But I often think of nuclear war.

Nuclear war?
I’ve always thought about the issue of nuclear war; it’s a very important element in my thought process. It’s the ultimate, the ultimate catastrophe, the biggest problem this world has, and nobody’s focusing on the nuts and bolts of it. It’s a little like sickness. People don’t believe they’re going to get sick until they do. Nobody wants to talk about it. I believe the greatest of all stupidities is people’s believing it will never happen, because everybody knows how destructive it will be, so nobody uses weapons. What bullshit.

Does any of that fuzzy thinking exist around the Trump office? 
On a much lower level, I would never hire anybody who thinks that way, because he has absolutely no common sense. He’s living in a world of make-believe. It’s like thinking the Titantic can’t sink. Too many countries have nuclear weapons; nobody knows where they’re all pointed, what button it takes to launch them.

The bomb Harry Truman dropped on Hiroshima was a toy next to today’s. We have thousands of weapons pointed at us and nobody even knows if they’re going to go in the right direction. They’ve never really been tested. These jerks in charge don’t know how to paint a wall, and we’re relying on them to shoot nuclear missiles to Moscow. What happens if they don’t go there? What happens if our computer systems aren’t working? Nobody knows if this equipment works, and I’ve seen numerous reports lately stating that the probability is they don’t work. It’s a total mess.

And how would President Trump handle it? 
He would believe very strongly in extreme military strength. He wouldn’t trust anyone. He wouldn’t trust the Russians; he wouldn’t trust our allies; he’d have a huge military arsenal, perfect it, understand it. Part of the problem is that we’re defending some of the wealthiest countries in the world for nothing…. We’re being laughed at around the world, defending Japan—

Wait. If you believe that the public shares these views, and that you could do the job, why not consider running for President? 
I’d do the job as well as or better than anyone else. It’s my hope that George Bush can do a great job.

Add in his current views on immigration and Muslims and you've got yourself a fascist. And as Rick Perlstein says:

Every fascist achieves and cements his power by pledging to rescue ordinary people from the depredations of economic elites. That’s how fas­cism works.

Read, for instance, this article from a Nazi-friendly web­site on “How Hitler Defied the Bankers”:

When Hitler came to power, Germany was hopelessly broke … Germany had no choice but to succumb to debt slavery under international (mainly Jewish) bankers until 1933, when the National Socialists came to power. Hitler began a national credit program by devising a plan of public works that included flood control, repair of public buildings and private residences, and construction of new roads, bridges, canals, and port facilities … Within two years, the unemployment problem had been solved. … Germany’s economic freedom was short-lived; but it left several monuments, including the famous Autobahn, the world’s first extensive superhighway…

And, for what it’s worth, it’s true! Hitler built the Au­tobahn! He conquered inflation! (It’s not hard, if you can shoot people who raise prices.) Unemployment plummeted!

You might even say that for “ordinary Germans” strug­gling in the modern economy, things got pretty good.

But guess what? Under fascism, economic protection for the goose accompanies dispossession of the gander. White people prosper in part because minorities suffer—whether, under Hitler, by taking away property from Jews, or as Herr Trump expects, by taking back “our” jobs from “them,” whether the them is immigrants or our supposedly duplici­tous trading partners.

There’s even a sociological term for it: herrenvolk repub­licanism. We’ve had it here, too, if in milder form.

George Wallace said to Wil­liam F. Buckley Jr. in 1968 that the state of Alabama “had five generations of people who didn’t go to school because there were no schools for black or white.” Then he became governor and—he claimed—turned Alabama into an educational paradise. Like all authoritarians, he lied: Education stayed plenty awful, especially for blacks in segre­gated schools.

And, like all authoritarians, the bedrock of his appeal was his hate. As one voter in Mas­sachusetts asked Wallace’s aide Tom Turnipseed in 1968, “When Wallace is elected president he’s going to round up all the niggers and shoot them, isn’t he?” Turnipseed assured him, “We’re not going to shoot anybody.” At which the voter responded, “Well, I don’t know whether I’m for him or not.” Which sounds a whole lot like what Trump fans told The Nation’s Sasha Abramsky. “I’d give ‘em a choice,” said one un-cherry-picked voter, concerning Muslims in America. “A trench on one side or a ticket out of here.”

Build infrastructure, jail banksters: Hell, I’m for all that, too. It shouldn’t take electing thugs to do it. There’s a reason the saying “anti-Semitism is the socialism of fools” made so much sense in Weimar Germany: Socialism and barbarism can look very similar in their surface appeals. The real fools are the media sophisticates who don’t bother to look a bare inch underneath.







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