Donald Trump continued to spew disgusting, offensive and patently false hate talk today, this time bashing all Muslims following the terrible mass shooting yesterday in Orlando at Pulse Nightclub.
Earlier today, Trump said: "For months, and despite so many attacks, [Obama] repeatedly refused to even say the words 'radical Islam'."
The attack came on the same day that Hillary Clinton came out and said, "Whether you call it Radical Jihadism or Radical Islamism I think they mean the same thing. I'm happy to say either."
Trump further insinuated that President Obama was a terrorist sympathizer! The nerve, the shocking gall to even suggest that our President would support extremism is treason, in my opinion.
Jake Tapper jumped on Trump hard. He pulled up a clip from this morning when Trump called into Fox News on his special gold-plated batphone and said this about the President:
"He doesn't get it or he gets it better than anybody understands - it's one of the other, and either one is unacceptable....we're led by a man that either is, is not tough, not smart, or he's something else in mind. And the something else in mind, you know, people can't believe it. People cannot - they cannot believe that President Obama is acting the way he acts and can't even mention the words radical Islamic terrorism. There's something going on. It's inconceivable."
What is he suggesting? That Obama knew? That he supports this? Tapper was all over this. He nails it when he says, "This was an allusion to a more nefarious motivation." Tapper went one step further and suggested that Trump clarify his statement.
The Washington Post jumped on that last comment of Trump's, leading to their press credentials being pulled by the the Trump campaign. an unprecedented move in a Presidential campaign.
This led me to consider what so many have been saying for months. Is Donald Trump truly a fascist? As a grandchild of Holocaust survivors who actually lived through Auschwitz and Bergen Belsen, I shudder to think that this is actually true. But, in the spirit of responsible journalism, I decided to do some in-depth research after this latest "quiet the media you don't like" stunt.
Political scientist Lawrence Britt compiled a list of the 14 characteristics of Fascism. As we look at Donald Trump's candidacy, it is worth looking at this list to see how far along he is in the full transition. Here we go:
1. Powerful and Continuing Nationalism - Fascist regimes tend to make constant use of patriotic mottos, slogans, symbols, songs, and other paraphernalia.
2. Disdain for the Recognition of Human Rights - Because of fear of enemies and the need for security, the people in fascist regimes are persuaded that human rights can be ignored in certain cases because of "need." The people tend to look the other way or even approve of torture, summary executions, assassinations, long incarcerations of prisoners, etc.
3. Identification of Enemies/Scapegoats as a Unifying Cause - The people are rallied into a unifying patriotic frenzy over the need to eliminate a perceived common threat or foe: racial , ethnic or religious minorities; liberals; communists; socialists, terrorists, etc.
4, Supremacy of the Military - Soldiers and military service are glamorized.
5. Rampant Sexism - The governments of fascist nations tend to be almost exclusively male-dominated. Under fascist regimes, traditional gender roles are made more rigid. Opposition to abortion is high, as is homophobia and anti-gay legislation and national policy.
6, Controlled Mass Media - Sometimes to media is directly controlled by the government, but in other cases, the media is indirectly controlled by government regulation, or sympathetic media spokespeople and executives. Censorship is very common.
7. Obsession with National Security - Fear is used as a motivational tool by the government over the masses.
8. Religion and Government are Intertwined - Governments in fascist nations tend to use the most common religion in the nation as a tool to manipulate public opinion. Religious rhetoric and terminology is common from government leaders, even when the major tenets of the religion are diametrically opposed to the government's policies or actions.
9. Corporate Power is Protected - The industrial and business aristocracy of a fascist nation often are the ones who put the government leaders into power, creating a mutually beneficial business/government relationship and power elite.
10. Labor Power is Suppressed - Because the organizing power of labor is the only real threat to a fascist government, labor unions are either eliminated entirely, or are severely suppressed .
11. Disdain for Intellectuals and the Arts - Fascist nations tend to promote and tolerate open hostility to higher education, and academia. It is not uncommon for professors and other academics to be censored or even arrested. Free expression in the arts is openly attacked, and governments often refuse to fund the arts.
12. Obsession with Crime and Punishment - Under fascist regimes, the police are given almost limitless power to enforce laws. The people are often willing to overlook police abuses and even forego civil liberties in the name of patriotism. There is often a national police force with virtually unlimited power in fascist nations.
13. Rampant Cronyism and Corruption - Fascist regimes almost always are governed by groups of friends and associates who appoint each other to government positions and use governmental power and authority to protect their friends from accountability.
14. Fraudulent Elections - Sometimes elections in fascist nations are a complete sham. Other times elections are manipulated by smear campaigns against or even assassination of opposition candidates, use of legislation to control voting numbers or political district boundaries, and manipulation of the media. Fascist nations also typically use their judiciaries to manipulate or control elections.
Now I am not going to come out and say that Trump is a fascist, but I am also looking at this list and it is pretty clear that he has checked almost every single box, except 11 and 14 (yet).
Today, he took the step of revoking the press credentials from the Washington Post, adding them to the long list of media that cannot cover him at rallies or speeches.
Here is his (not at all fascist) declaration:
Wow. Trump just announced campaign is pulling press credentials for The Washington Post. pic.twitter.com/aOJkAYlBWp
— Ryan Parker (@TheRyanParker) June 13, 2016
Here is the full list of banned media outlets (as of today):
Trump's banned news orgs include: Wash Post, Politico, BuzzFeed, Huff Post, Daily Beast, DM Register, Union Leader, Univision, Fusion & more
— Jennifer Epstein (@jeneps) June 13, 2016
We have five months to go until the election. How much more extreme will he get? Will he start making Muslims and Mexicans wear arm bands to identify them? Will he suggest we make camps to house them and remove them from society? Will I, a first generation American, be expelled?
Editor's note: Sarah may not be willing to call him a fascist, but I am. And he is. More evidence to come shortly. - Karoli