Like a sore tooth you can’t help but touch, I, like most media watchers, just can’t seem to stay away from talking about this Donald J. Trump mess (anyone else notice that the J. just sort of appeared, I don’t deny it’s legitimacy, but still…and btw Trump looks an awful lot like cartoon character Phineas J. Whoppee).
If you haven’t seen it already, I encourage you to click here and watch John Oliver’s evisceration of the Trump wall plan. It’s brilliant.
Sunday, newly christened NYTimes Media guru Jim Rutenberg wrote a piece about the media and Trump, The Mutual Dependence of Donald Trump and the News Media. Rutenberg is filling some huge shoes and will probably struggle to dodge the long shadow cast by David Carr, but it’s a good piece.
But what I wanna talk about more specifically is how Lord Voldemort, aka Donald J. Trump, provides evidence of creating a new hybrid political ideology relying on two of the most awful ideologies, totalitarianism and authoritarianism (he’s really only missing one other -ism, cannibalism).
Just think about it.
A totalitarian regime looks to “…stay in political power through an all-encompassing propaganda campaign, which is disseminated through the state-controlled mass media, a single party that is often marked by political repression, personality cultism, control over the economy, regulation and restriction of speech, mass surveillance, and widespread use of terror.”
That certainly sounds familiar. Trump LOVES to control the media, has personality cultism, political repression (he will if given the chance), desire to control the economy (not so much for himself but for his kids and cronies)…oh well, fuck all, Trump pretty much has all aspects of a budding fascist. I can almost hear him say “When the time comes, either parliament submits or we will eliminate it.” He may already have said it.
So aside from that, do you need evidence of how is Trump stealing from totalitarian concepts? As Rutenberg points out, in addition to having many of the previously mentioned fascist traits, Trump aims, and often succeeds, at controlling the media:
“ABC News appeared to accede to Mr. Trump’s request that it break its debate partnership with The New Hampshire Union Leader, which had harshly editorialized against him. The network said it made the decision because of its own strained relations with the newspaper, but Mr. Trump took credit, leaving the dangerous impression that he had the power to muzzle uncooperative journalists.”
Now that should scare the living hell out of you, me and every American! Not for what it was but what it represents. To borrow a word from the monster himself, it’s “huge”. He pulled that shit off as a candidate! Imagine if he had something stronger than the power of influence?
How does an authoritarian regime differ? Well, an authoritarian regime “…maintains a certain distinction between state and society. It is only concerned with political power and as long as that is not contested it gives society a certain degree of liberty.“
I would argue Trump is pinching more from authoritarianism than totalitarianism, but they’re both there…and he doesn’t even have any real political power! You see I don’t think Trump has any real desire to govern. I think he just wants to stomp around and grab as much money and power as he can. As a leader, I suspect he’d leave you be as long as you didn’t upset his apple cart. Governing takes finesse and skill…err, those are two things Trump has a serious deficit of.
Look, I still don’t think the guy can win, but there are plenty of reasons to be terrified of him. First, what he represents, the perfect unhiding egomaniacal politician and spoiled privileged brat. At least some of the others can mask it a little better. Second, the impact he is having on so many people. He’s kicking up A LOT of dirt and with it A LOT of cretins are crawling out from under the rocks to support him. Real cretins, not just political or financial opportunists. Third, he has no real plan other than that fucking wall. It’s all he talks about. There is more to running a democracy, or at least what remains of it, than building a god damn wall.
While I still can’t see a Trump White House (seriously, can you imagine the garish makeover? It’d make the Taj Mahal look like an exercise in minimalism…Trump has the taste of a drunk street-walker). And while I shudder at the thought of his wife as first lady, who really doesn’t want to hear Melania Trump utter the phrase “Get me moose and squirrel“…just once?
I just don’t think the Republican powers will let a Trump presidency unfold. I know, I know we all think it may happen. I’m still fairly confident it won’t (pleasepleasepleaseplease God, Allah, Elvis, whoever, don’t let this happen. I don’t mind being wrong but I don’t wanna be wrong about this).
Last time, I hope, I have to say this. THE POPULAR VOTE DOES NOT ELECT THE PRESIDENT.
When you think about Trump’s new hybrid ideology it calls to mind Soviet writer Fazil Iskander, who said “Under the totalitarian regime, it was as if you were forced to live in the same room with an insanely violent man.” So, it’s fair to say living under an authoritarian regime might be living in the same room with simply an insane man. Make no mistake, Donald J. Trump is insane…with the potential for violence (and if the fracas’ he incites at his speeches are any indication Trump is, at the very least, willing to finance it and support it).
Should we be afraid of Donald J. Trump? Yes. Very afraid.
Should we be afraid of his supporters? Yes, we should be fucking terrified.