There has been a lot in the press about Tramp and the increasing violence of his followers. There is little doubt the Donald, with his rabble rousing, nativist xenophobia inspires it while at the same time refusing to condemn it. After all, his followers are “passionate” patriots who love their country and want to bring it back to “greatness”, whatever the hell that means.
Last week Trump stated that his followers might begin disrupting Bernie Sander’s campaign events (as if Bernie sent the protesters to Trump rallies) and predicted riots if he is “robbed” of the nomination by the Republican establishment.
The GOP leadership is openly planning for a convention where none of the three remaining candidates has enough delegates to win on the first ballot. Delegates are then free to support whom ever they please for President.
What happens if Trump has the most delegates, but not a majority, and does not get the nomination? Interesting question.
It’s been raised by a New York Times editorial, which claimed that Trump has brought the GOP “to the brink of fascism,” and by Republicans, ranging from neoconservative pundit Max Boot to Virginia’s centrist former Governor Jim Gilmore. Conservative Times columnist Ross Douthat was reasonably typical in a piece headlined “Is Donald Trump a Fascist?” While he allowed that The Donald may not be Adolf Hitler or Benito Mussolini, he added, “It seems fair to say that he’s closer to the ‘proto-fascist’ zone on the political spectrum than either the average American conservative or his recent predecessors in right-wing populism.”
In this edgy moment in America, the similarities, of course, tend to jump out at you.
What however are the differences between a Proto-fascist and a genuine one?
Well From the beginning, Hitler wielded the support of a brutal, thuggish armed paramilitary wing, the notorious Sturmabteilung (SA), the Storm Detachment (or storm troopers). Also known as the Brown Shirts, the SA often used violence against its opponents in the streets of Germany’s cities, and its sheer presence intimidated Germans across the political spectrum.
Mussolini had his Black shirts who did the same thing in Italy.
Would it be possible for Donald Trump or some future Trump-like figure to build an armed following of his own? Frighteningly enough, the answer is certainly: yes. And it might not even be that hard.
Thanks to effective lobbying by the National Rifle Association (NRA), the majority of states have enacted complete or partial open-carry laws. Meanwhile, all 50 states now have concealed-carry laws, meaning that pistol-packing is lawful in most public places other than Washington, D.C.
So lets say a couple of weeks before the Republican Convention Trump has a plurality but not a majority of the delegates to clinch the nomination on the first ballot. And the GOP is working feverishly to deny him the nomination.
Donald Trump (or a future Trump-esque demagogue) announces that he’s convening a rally in a state where open-carry is permitted — say, in Dallas, at the Cowboys’ AT&T Stadium — and adds that he wants his supporters to come armed.
“Protecting Our Second Amendment Will Make America Great Again.” Under Texas law, it would be perfectly legal for his supporters in the thousands to attend such a rally armed with semi-automatic weapons. And there, at the podium, looking out over the crowd of gun-wielding militants would be The Donald, smiling broadly.
“Imagine then that he repeated the event in other stadiums in, say, Denver, Phoenix, Indianapolis, and Miami — and then announced that he’s establishing the Donald Trump Second Amendment Society? He might even issue specially designed baseball caps emblazoned with the name. How far might we then be from armed marches by the new organization in the streets of American cities, its name, of course, soon abbreviated to the Trump SA (for Second Amendment) Society?”
Oh you’re being hysterical Torrito!! It can’t happen here!!
The Times‘s Roger Cohen already wrote a column headlined “Trump’s Weimar America.” (“Welcome to Weimar America: It’s getting restive in the beer halls!)
Trump has managed to bring together disparate elements of what an American fascist movement might roughly look like. He may not, in the end, be quite the right messenger for its development but don’t rule out the possible emergence of an even more formidable and threatening Trump-like figure, one unburdened by his clownish persona, Trump University, and the rest of his billionaire’s baggage.
Whether or not Donald Trump wins the Republican nomination or is elected president, for the gathering members of his grassroots coalition, he’s certainly shown what can, indeed, happen here.
Now what color will be used for the caps and eventual uniforms?
Can’t use Black. Or Brown. Already used once.
Can’t use red – it belongs to lefties, socialists, commies and anarchists.
Can’t use Blue. The Democrats use it. Nor pink under any circumstances.
How about gray? Or white!
White. The Whites. The color of reactionaries.
And don’t expect the cops to protect you. Just remember that 2nd Amendment works both ways.