A Wall To Keep Them Out? Or Hold Us In?
I voted for Clinton but when Trump won I thought, “At least he’s a populist” and hoped he would at least help working people.
But over time I’ve worried more and more since he is looking pretty UNpopulist:
- His healthcare bill took healthcare from (predominantly) his own voters and gave huge tax cuts to the wealthy.
- His tax plan helps the rich much more than the working class.
- Solar employs more workers than coal+oil+natural gas — yet he’s pushing fossil fuels.
- Labor Secretaries are charged with ensuring workers are well-paid. Yet DJT’s first nominee was sued for wage theft, and he sought to automate jobs and get rid of workers?
- One of his first executive orders was to deregulate Wall Street. Expect Main Street to bail out Wall Street again. Or worse.
Meanwhile, the Carrier deal got a lot of publicity for keeping jobs in America. But only about 700 jobs were saved. That’s not a broad policy.
Bannon/Trump: Using fear to amass power?
Not sure what to make of Donald Trump’s and Steve Bannon’s “populism.”
Steven Bannon reportedly pushes populism. Yet he worked hard, trying to pass a healthcare bill that harmed working people and helped the rich.
Do Trump and Bannon merely sound populist so that people will follow them — no matter what? I mean, DJT’s defenders defend him even when he fails to help them.
Meanwhile, Bannon is obsessed with “The Fourth Turning” (1997) by two amateur historians who say that every 80 years the world faces a major crises… And the US is soon headed for catastrophe.
The risk of catastrophe will be high. The nation could erupt into insurrection or civil violence, crack up geographically, or succumb to authoritarian rule.
Or succumb to authoritarian rule?
Does Bannon want to save us from crises? Or create crises in order to gain personal power?
A power grab could explain Trump’s scare tactics — hyping crime rates, terrorist attacks and weak border control.
Actually, crime is low — and so is your personal risk of terror victimization. And nowadays Mexicans are mostly returning to Mexico.
But fear can create felt need for a strong-arm ruler: Trump, of course, the “only one,” as he said, who can save us.
Resist and be punished
“The Fourth Turning” authors imagine that anyone who resists the new regime will be severely punished.
If you don’t want to be misjudged, don’t act in a way that might provoke Crisis-era authority to deem you guilty. If you belong to a racial or ethnic minority, brace for a nativist backlash from an assertive (and possibly authoritarian) majority.
Dictators censoring thought
In dictator-like moves Trump seeks to suppress thought.
- Don’t listen to mainstream media. Trust only him.
- Defund the most trusted news sources: PBS and NPR
- Defund the Arts (National Endowment for the Arts) which shed light and clarify vision.
DJT actually has a number of dictator-like quirks.
- Likes dictators and strong-arm men
- Scapegoats minorities
- Lies so often you can’t keep track
- Tries to discredit the press and create propaganda
- His rallies are scary
- He wanted missiles in his inaugural parade — like dictators do
- He wants higher military spending
- He wants to build a wall (like the Berlin Wall?)
A wall to hold us in?
Is that wall that Trump so badly wants meant to keep “them” out — or keep us in?…
It reminds me of the post-apocalyptic America portrayed in The Handmaid’s Tale when the new dictatorial regime builds a wall to keep a terrorist threat out.
But the wall acts to keep oppressed people in.
How to fight dictator wannabes
Timothy Snyder is a Yale University professor of history who recommends the following to stop dictators:
- Don’t obey in advance.
- Believe in truth. Fake news won’t save you. It will manipulate you. The US is under attack by fake news like Russian trolls and other made-up media. Even some right-wingers are beginning to worry about the alternate reality of fake news they created. Read more here and here.
- Support institutions. We must support them, rather than expect them to support us. Especially when Steve Bannon is trying to destroy them.
- Deregulate Wall Street –> Gov refuses to bail out the banks –> Economy crashes –> We yearn for strong-arm Dictator Bannon.
- Don’t let chaos be an excuse to restrict our rights. The Muslim ban might be intended to spark terrorism — by making us look like the Muslim-haters ISIL makes us out to be. Protest and mobilize to fight for our rights
Posted on April 14, 2017, in politics/class inequality and tagged chaos and dictators, dictators, Donald Trump, Is Trump a populist?, Steve Bannon, The Fourth Turning. Bookmark the permalink. 13 Comments.