That great movie, The Perfect Storm starring George Clooney, was about a massive storm that developed off the East coast of New England when three different weather-related meteorological events converged and formed a perfect storm.
Clooney played the role of the captain of a fishing vessel, the Andrea Gail. He and his crew were given numerous warnings to turn around and get out of the storm’s path. But they failed to heed those warnings and made the fateful mistake of sailing into the storm; a great tragedy followed.
There is a massive storm that is developing on America’s horizon as we speak in which three pernicious elements have suddenly converged to pose a great threat to this country’s democracy. We the people are being given clear warnings about the imminent danger that lies ahead as it intensifies, and the question is; will we heed them and find some way to get out of the path of that deadly storm?
Those three elements are; a president who has a very difficult time controlling his emotions and anger and a power-obsessed Republican Party that are joined together with the specter of fascism that hangs over America. Each of these elements might be dealt with individually and held in check, but when they converge, they form that perfect storm.
Anyone who has observed the actions of the Republican Party over time could conclude that, if it were in complete control and had a weak, non-confrontational president who would bow to their dictates, they would do everything that Trump is doing and a great deal more to take this country in the exact wrong direction.
This combination of Trump, the GOP and fascist ideology is the last thing that America and its people need right now. In the ideology that they follow there is no room for any for compromise or positive, constructive initiatives and actions. It’s their way or no way.
For those who don’t believe that Trump and the GOP, by their behavior and actions, are staunch followers of the principles of fascism here are some of the typical characteristics of individuals and organization that fit the definition of that term. The question is not about which ones fit Trump and the GOP but, rather, which do not?
Powerful nationalism – Trump says “America first”, meaning that other nations need only follow its dictates. He says too many other nations have been taking advantage of us, that he is going to get tough. Instead of getting closer to one of America’s closest allies he showed disrespect for Australia and its Prime Minister in a recent phone conversation. He has derided the NATO organization and called it obsolete.
Disdain for the promotion of human rights – Insulting, demeaning, belittling minorities, African Americans and Hispanics; initiating that travel ban against Muslims in seven countries – yes he said the ban was against Muslims and then denied it -Trump is anything but an advocate for the human rights movement; he is a dictator by nature and the rights of all Americans are in great jeopardy as he tightens the reins of control over them. .
Identification of enemies/scapegoats as a unifying cause – starting a trade war with China, cozying up to Taiwan, which has infuriated the Chinese. Demanding that Mexico must pay for “the wall”, saying that he will place huge tariffs on its exports to the U.S. if they refuse to submit to his demands. Placing new sanctions on Iran, threatening to cancel the agreement with that nation which is intended to prevent it from developing a nuclear bomb.
Supremacy of the Military – both Trump and the GOP want to strengthen the U.S. military, the most powerful in the history of the world, by increasing spending on more ships, planes and other weaponry. Any nation that dares to go against the wishes of America, or is suspected of posing the least threat to this country, could find itself the next target of the U.S.
Trump wasted no time in sending U.S. Seals into Yemen, exercising this government’s unauthorized power to enter other countries at will. It was intended to kill the Al-Qaeda leader in the Arabian Peninsula and, instead, killed civilians and one of the Seals.
Rampant sexism – no need to go into detail and repeat all the insults and demeaning remarks Trump has made in relation to women except to say that we have never had a president who so perfectly fits the description of a misogynist/sexist.
Control over the mass media – neither Trump nor the Republican Party has any use for the media and Trump recently made it known that he and the media are at war. He has shown his utter disdain for reporters, questioning their honesty and integrity; he said that the media has known of terrorist actions in European countries but has refused to report them. There is no doubt that he intends to try to control the media and all its members who refuse to bow down to him.
Mixing religion and Government – Trump wants to destroy the Johnson Amendment which bars churches from engaging in political activities. He is doing it to reward those many religious conservatives who supported him in the election. The separation of church and state must be preserved because mixing them creates a toxic brew.
Suppression of labor power – the GOP has done everything in its power to destroy the nation’s unions and has been at the side of Corporate America as it has moved millions of jobs to China and other overseas nations. Trump says he will create millions of new jobs but let’s not hold our breath because that sounds like yet one more empty promise that he made to secure votes of the working class.
Disdain for intellectuals – It’s true that non-intellectuals don’t get along too well with intellectuals so it’s understandable that Trump and the Republicans feel that way. We’ve heard Trump saying that he likes the uneducated, no doubt because they will blindly follow him and remain submissive and subservient.
Obsession with crime and punishment – if America turns into a full-blown police state it will be Trump and his Republican colleagues who will have created it. Trump has said that a woman who has an abortion must be subject to some kind of punishment. He has put torture back on the table and promised that he will use water boarding and “a whole lot more” against any suspected enemy.
Rampant cronyism and corruption – look at Trump’s cabinet choices and those individuals who possess great wealth, power and influence. The GOP’s major objective has been and continues to be the advancement of the interests of those at the top of the income spectrum and the masters of Corporatism who now control this Congress.
Trump and Republicans will try to do away with the Dodd-Frank legislation in order to further enrich their banker buddies and give them more latitude to use their unethical tactics and schemes to fleece the American people. The two of them also want to eliminate the Consumer Protection Act which monitors and prevents consumer abuses by these same bankers and other corporations. He and his Republican lapdogs are obsessed with de-regulation and want to remove any and all restrictions on the actions of those in the business world.
What kind of Americans, what kind of human beings are there that would have, among their key objectives, the intent to remove rules and regulations involving the air we breathe and the water we drink; those that want to eliminate government agencies like the EPA and totally dismiss the issue of climate change and warming as being nothing more than a hoax.
Involvement with fraudulent Elections – the Republican Party in Washington and in many states has perfected the art of voter suppression that they use to prevent significant numbers of African Americans and Hispanics from casting their votes in U.S. elections. Trump keeps trying to make the case that this election was fraudulent and that he received millions of votes that were not counted. How ironic is that?
So as this horrific storm gains momentum what can, what must, the majority of American people and the Democratic Party do to defuse its fury? They need to stand up and fight and join together to rid the government of this fascist ideology. They must use every means at their disposal to come up with the ways to prevent this storm from coming down upon this country.
Americans have at their disposal 21st-century communication tools to greatly aid them in this critically important endeavor. The internet and social media, Twitter, Facebook and Instagram can be utilized to mobilize thousands upon thousands of Americans to show up at protests in a short span of time.
We’ve witnessed the women’s march on Washington, the massive protests against Trump’s banning of Muslim immigrants, both signs that the people’s revolution is alive and is gaining momentum. In the elections of 2016 and 2020 progressive-thinking Americans must turn out in record numbers to cast their votes and remove from power all those who follow the principles of fascism in both the White House and the Congress.
America has now arrived at the point at which the survival of our democracy is clearly at stake. Just talking is getting us nowhere; we need strong, swift action. Only we the people can prevent this country from being turned into a fascist state.
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