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Friday, March 11, 2016

Trump the uniter

by digby

Trump said this earlier today:
“Part of the problem and part of the reason it takes so long [to kick them out] is nobody wants to hurt each other anymore,” Trump said during a speech at the Peabody Opera House — around 12 miles from Ferguson, Mo., the site of racially charged mass protests in 2014. 
“There used to be consequences. There are none anymore,” Trump said. “These people are so bad for our country. You have no idea folks, you have no idea.”

For the better part of 10 minutes in the middle of Trump's speech, individuals shouted and interrupted.

“These people are so bad for our country, folks. You have no idea," Trump continued during a longer break in the action. "They contribute nothing. Nothing. And look at the police, they take their lives in their hands."

"We don't even win here, with protesters anymore" he complained. "The protesters end up taking over. And frankly, I mean, have to be honest: From my standpoint it makes it a little more exciting, and it gives me time to think about where I want to go next. It's beautiful. It's like intermission. And the guys that are near the event, they see some pretty good stuff." 
Trump then trained his fire at the media, forecasting how "dishonest" reporters would portray the situation.

“And these people in the media, the most dishonest human beings on Earth. They are the worst. They are the worst. So what they’ll do is they’ll take 10 minutes worth of clips of that and if one policeman accidentally moves a finger and touches this wiseguy, it’s like, ‘Oh, it’s the worst thing I’ve ever seen.’ And yet the police are being abused for 10 minutes, OK? " he said.

"Give me a break. Give me a break. We better toughen up, we better smarten up, and we better stop with this political correctness because it’s driving us down the tubes.”
He's always extolled the police.  But now he seems to be recruiting them. For something.

Raw Story reports:

According to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, a massive crowd of thousands waited in line to hear the former reality television star and real estate mogul speak downtown at the Peabody Opera House. But protesters were also in attendance, as become commonplace at Trump rallies.

Go to the links to see a number of videos showing some very intense confrontations outside the rally.

This shows a bloodied protester being led away by police.

This shows a series of videos which illustrate how ugly these confrontations were. Not all white vs black, but mostly.

Trump is headed to Chicago now:

After departing St. Louis, Trump heads eastward to Chicago later in the evening, where thousands of fans and throngs of protesters have been reported to be ready to greet him. It also happens to be a day after a North Carolina man was charged with assaulting a protester being led out of a Wednesday night Trump rally.
Oh boy.

Nate Silver tweeted this Peter Bergen piece about Trump's fascism from last December:

Let's start with the classic 2004 study "The Anatomy of Fascism" by American historian Robert Paxton, who examined the fascist movements of 20th-century Europe and found some commonalities among them. They played on: 
• "A sense of overwhelming crisis beyond the reach of traditional solutions." 
Trump's ascendancy outside the structures of the traditional Republican Party and his clarion calls about America's supposedly precipitously declining role in the world capture this trait well. 
• "The superiority of the leader's instincts over abstract and universal reason." 
Trump's careless regard for the truth -- such as his claims that thousands of Muslims in New Jersey cheered the 9/11 attacks, or that Mexican immigrants are rapists and murders -- and the trust he places in his own gut capture this well.

• The belief of one group that it is the victim, justifying any action. 
Many in Trump's base of white, working-class voters feel threated by immigrants, so Trump's solution to that, whether with Mexico (build a wall) or the Islamic world (keep them out), speaks to them. 
• "The need for authority by natural leaders (always male) culminating in a national chief who alone is capable of incarnating the group's destiny." 
This seems like quite a good description of Trump's appeal. 
In Paxton's checklist of the foundational traits of fascism there is a big one that Trump does not share, which is "the beauty of violence and the efficacy of will when they are devoted to the group's success." 
There is no hint that Trump wishes to engage in or to foment violence against the enemies, such as immigrants, he has identified as undermining the American way of life. 
One is therefore left with the conclusion that Trump is a proto-fascist, rather than an actual fascist. In other words, he has many ideas that are fascistic in nature, but he is not proposing violence as a way of implementing those ideas.

Also this, from Perlstein which I posted before. It's important to understand where the "populism" fits into all this.