Politics | Media | News

Trump Loyalists Are Going Full-Blown Fascist Now

Even Fox News is having a tough time swallowing this pill

Erin A. Kirk-Cuomo

Within the past two days, many in the President’s inner circle have begun to swing to the ultimate dark side, as White House staffer Peter Navarro took to Fox News to tell of an election stolen from Trump, saying that Trump should appoint a special prosecutor to overturn the election that resulted in a victory for President-Elect Joe Biden. He produced his own “fraud report” that he claimed detailed bulletproof evidence of fraud in the election.

Never mind the fact that the national security agencies in charge of it said the election was the safest in American history. Never mind the fact that the companies that made voting machines said there was no systemic failures with their machines and batted down vast conspiracy theories about them having ties to Antifa and Venezuela, and other groups who Republicans allege have helped Democrats steal the election.

Never mind the fact that local and state Republican governments all found that Biden fairly won the election. Never mind the fact that Trump lost by a margin that’s too big for him to come back from without hundreds of thousands of votes having been manufactured — something that’s nearly impossible to slip under the radar in our election system, some in the Trump Republican camp are still beating the long-dead and decaying horse of fraud claims instead of just accepting the loss, taking the L, and moving on.

Weird flex, trying to fraudulently steal an election by saying the other guy is the one doing the very fraud that you yourself are trying to pull off, but okay.

Fortunately, Fox News interrupted him and wouldn’t let him continue to spew obvious and blatant falsehoods on their network. Bravo, Fox. Well done.

Much of this has to do with the proverbial death of the savior. Trump, as his supporters (followers might be a more apt term) believe, is very much like a savior figure and Trumpism is very much like a religion. This is why there is no “next time” for many in the Trump camp. Trump brought onboard many of the disheartened, the distrustful, and the disenchanted, and the misanthropic.

For this subset of Trump voters, 2022 just represents a return to the swamp of RINOs, the politicians who they feel are fraudulent Republicans who they feel aren’t serving their interests. There is no 2024 because there’s no new savior on the horizon. Accepting a Trump loss means accepting the loss of their movement and all of their political ambitions, ambitions which are admittedly a little vague to the rest of us.

What do Trump supporters really want? I’ve asked myself this question many times. I’ve speculated the possibilities and I keep drawing a blank. And I keep drawing a blank because Trumpism is a movement that changes day by day.

One day, it’s war with Iran they want. Then the next day, it’s to bring the troops home. Then it’s back to war again the following day. Whatever Trump tweets is the official policy. Whatever the leader says becomes the new gospel.

It’s been five long years of news cycles dominated by this bipolar and erratic jerking back and forth about from various thing to various thing, whatever inflames everyone for just a moment being the most important thing in the world, only to be forgotten the following day when it’s something new.

The more I ask myself, what do Trump supporters really want, the more I reach for policy ideas, and the more I draw a blank; and the more this happens, the more I keep coming to the same conclusion: they want power.

Many Trump supporters simply want power, just as Trump himself simply wants power. Raw, naked power is what many in the Republican Party are increasingly falling back on as their go-to raison d’être.

It’s become and ideology of sorts. From Mitch McConnell using procedure in completely contradictory and hypocritical ways to nominate justice that make him look favorable, to the back-and-forth contradictions that littered Trump’s entire presidency — contradictions we must not forget nearly the entire Republican Party signed off on — maintaining power and political advantage seem to be the driving forces behind every decision made.

This couldn’t be better evinced than by another jaw-dropping moment that happened on live TV, when disgraced former National Security Advisor (and convicted felon) Michael Flynn suggested that Trump can utilize the U.S. Military and implement martial law. He took that suggestion a step further saying the outgoing President could then hold another election, one which the President would win.

Here is Michael Flynn, the Former National Security Advisor who’d gotten a Presidential Pardon from Trump earlier this month, now on TV talking about using the military to undo the election that unseated Trump and hold another election in which Trump would win, presumably through rigging.

Quote, “He could take military capabilities and he could place them in those states, and he could basically re-run an election in those states. People are talking about martial law like it’s something we’ve never done.” His rant then goes on to say that he’s concerned about Chief Justice John Roberts of the Supreme Court and that they’re not

How else am I supposed to interpret that but drifting off into the final reaches of American Fascism? How else am I supposed to see this besides knowing that some people on the American right want to tread down the murky path that so many totalitarian regimes have in the past, from Franco to Mussolini?

Never in my lifetime did I think I’d see a former military general calling for an outgoing President of the United States to use the military to overturn an election that he didn’t win, just because he didn’t win it…and they can’t accept the results.

And no, I’m not conflating the word “fascism” with the word “totalitarianism” or “authoritarianism.” Trump’s brand has all the hallmarks of fascism proper, from anti-intellectualism, anti-free speech, anti-scientific tendencies, the courting of religious radicalism, the in-group and out-group dynamic, and, if my suspicions are right, power as the fundamental dynamic at work, the prime motivating power, the autocratic and self-sustaining force that wants power at all costs. Never mind if it has no idea what to do with that power.

This naked clinging to totalitarianism ticks off the final box of the traits shared by fascist leaders since fascism was first penciled in as an ideology:

And now we can add totalitarian ambitions to the list. Over the course of the next month, I wouldn’t be surprised if Trump tried something like this. If I woke up one day and realized that Trump had attempted to order the U.S. military to go into states and overturn elections, holding a new election that was rigged in such a way as to favor him, I wouldn’t be shocked. It would be just another news cycle.

The silver lining in this cloud is that the institutions have held. In a weird, twisted way, I’ve never been prouder to be an American because of it. I’m grateful for the dedicated men and women in the military, the intelligence agencies, and the justice system who’ve all made sure the Republic that I know and love has held itself together.

And because of their dedication, along with the countless journalists who’ve broken the stories that we needed to know about all the dirty tricks going on behind the scenes, Trumpism appears to be on the decline. At least for now.

Perhaps this is just the death rattle of a fascist movement in decline. One can only hope.

From Los Angeles, California. Life isn’t a series of many moments, but one moment that is always changing. Buy me coffee here: https://ko-fi.com/joeduncan

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