Fascism begins to take root in Amerika
The Trumping of America
Today we are witnessing something that we've never seen before on the political landscape in America; it's the rise of Fascism. Donald Trump has grabbed hold of the term "political correctness" by the throat and serves up a heaping plate of insults, arrogance, and a healthy dose of racism, and then justifies his bullying attitude by claiming that he has no time for his critics political correctness. And his followers love it. They can't get enough of it.
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Let's be clear about something. Donald J. Trump is not a conservative. This may explain why the Republican candidates are having such a difficult time in dealing with him. All of the other candidates in the campaign proudly declare their "conservative" label. So why are they all being mowed down by Trump? I think that it's because all the other candidates made a wrong assumption about their base of support. In today's Republican Party, Conservatism, is no longer important. Trump represents a segment of the population that is seething in anger, hate, and fear, and that's a particularly toxic mixture. Republicans today are all conservative, and conservatism is an ideology. Trump really isn't an ideologue but his followers are. Trump is an entertainer. He doesn't give speeches. He does "stand up". Shtick. There is no policy that Trump can explain in any detail. So he makes appearances at various halls, and arena's and does his shtick. Any protest at one of his events is met with ferocious hostility from his crowd. People are "roughed up" and Trump thinks they probably deserved it.
He tosses out lies that are demonstrably provable, but his followers don't care. They actually think that the media is lying about Trump, so they completely dismiss any criticism over what Trump might say, as a product of the lying media. Trump claims that thousands and thousands of Muslims were dancing in the streets of Jersey City on 9/11. He claims that he saw it on TV. Except that there was non-stop coverage of everything that was taking place around NYC on that day, and there is no video of any such celebration going on. I, like probably 300 million other Americans, was glued to the TV on that day, and I never saw any such thing taking place. There were celebrations in Gaza on the West Bank by Palestinians, but nothing of the sort happened anywhere near NYC. Trump claims that he saw it on TV and that he's got the greatest memory in the world...except he can't remember what network he was watching when he saw this. Other supporters of his claim to have seen this event that never happened as well. Of course, they didn't, but that doesn't matter. If Donald says he saw it, then they saw it too.
There is a difference between Ideology and Philosophy, and we see it play out in American politics. Conservatism is an ideology. Liberalism is a philosophy. Conservatism is born out of the traditionalism that was at the core of Edmund Burke's attitude. The philosophical giant of the anti-Enlightenment was the Irishman Edmund Burke. He is the father of modern Conservatism.
Burke was the primary anti-Enlightenment thinker in modern political theory. Liberalism was born out of the Enlightenment and it's prominent advocate was John Locke. Burke believed that the authority of tradition lies at the core of Christian practice.This stands in stark contrast to Locke’s workmanship ideal, with its emphasis on the sovereignty of each individual’s subjective relationship with God. Burke believed that conserving an imperfect inherited world from the worse imperfections that human beings are capable of contriving is the business of political leadership; hence his emphasis on preserving tradition.
He is famous for propounding the doctrine that a Member of Parliament— which he was for a good part of his life— owes it to his constituents not to sacrifice his judgment to conform to their opinions. He was unimpressed by the human capacity for reason to understand much, let alone to reshape the world in accordance with the particular wills of any generation.
Burke is well known for his pamphlet; "On the Revolution in France", Thomas Paine famously wrote a response to Burke with his own "Rights of Man". Paine was a liberal of the Enlightenment tradition.
This brings us to examining the differences between ideology and philosophy.
Philosophy vs Ideology
There are very fundamental differences between philosophy and ideology. Ideology refers to a set of beliefs, doctrines that back a certain social institution or a particular organization. Philosophy refers to looking at life in a pragmatic manner and attempting to understand why life is as it is and the principles governing behind it.
Ideology expresses dissatisfaction with the current state and aspires to be some future state whereas philosophy tries to understand the world in its current state. In other words, ideology is aimed at changing the world whereas philosophy is aimed at seeking the truth.
Ideology is rigid and once fixed on certain beliefs, refuses to change its stance irrespective of any change in the surrounding environment. Challenging an ideologue can be the most difficult task. A philosopher, on the other hand, may arrive on some construct for the basis of life and other things but will be willing to discuss and ponder other philosophies. A philosopher is open minded and willing to listen to criticism whereas an ideologue will refute anything challenging his or her ideology outright. This also suggests that while philosophy encourages people to think, ideology discourages any thinking that goes against the basic doctrines that govern the ideology.
The above definitions and differences clearly indicate that philosophy and ideology, if measured on a scale, would occupy two extreme ends of the scale. The purpose of any philosopher is to seek knowledge for the sake of wisdom and truth whereas an ideologue’s sole aim is to advocate and enforce his or her ideology wherever he can.
Philosophy is objective whereas an ideologue will always impose his or her ideology’s vision and discard anything against it. Philosophy requires structured thinking whereas ideology has lot of personal emotions in play.
Philosophy is neither harmful nor helpful as there is no advocacy behind it. On the other hand, an ideology can bring both harm and good to the society. This is because the set of doctrines that govern the ideology may always not serve universal interests and ideology demands advocacy and conversion of other beliefs and thoughts to that particular ideology in order to reign supreme. However, every ideology is born out of some philosophy.
In conclusion, here is a summary of differences between philosophy and ideology.
1.Philosophy refers to a pragmatic approach of looking and analyzing life. Ideology refers to a set of beliefs and rules belonging to a particular group or set of people
2.Philosophy aims at understand the world as it exists whereas ideology is born out of a vision for the future and aims at changing the current state to that particular vision
3.Philosophy is objective whereas ideology is dogmatic and refuses to participate in any discussion that does not agree with that ideology
4.Philosophy does not have as much impact as an ideology would have on the world ‘“ for ideology aims at spreading the beliefs and imposing them on the rest of the society irrespective of its relevance
5.All ideologies have some underlying philosophy but it is not vice versa.
Conservatism is an ideology. The most fundamental aspect of it is preserving existing institutions. Burke was a Traditionalist Conservative. That label doesn't really fit Donald Trump.
Trump is a populist and his populism appeals to those with no comprehension of American Values. It's roots are found in Germany in the 1930's and it's fueled by fear and scapegoating..
Trump has based his entire campaign on making the most outrageous claims and then attacking his critics with his disdain for their Political Correctness. His first attack was on Mexicans, and the suggestion of a police state that would round up people and deport them breaking up families in the process. He takes issue with what he calls "Anchor Babies", otherwise known as American Citizens. It's known as Birthright Citizenship and it's protected by the 14th Amendment, something Trump calls “stupid” and promises to end, though that is not actually within the scope of presidential power. In other words, he tells people he'll end that, but there is no way that he could do it. His followers don't care. Their nativistic attitudes are not based in reason. It's all emotion for them.
He proceeded from there to attacking a religion. His pronouncement that he would call for a ban on allowing any Muslim entry into the United States played well with his followers, but was met with fierce blow-back from other conservative candidates as well as leaders from around the world. England proposed banning Trump from entrance into the UK. Netanyahu of Israel denounced the idea. Even Dick Cheney denounced the idea. But his followers ate it up. And his popularity grew among the Republicans. He then proposed closing off portions of the Internet. There are serious problems with both of those ideas that have to do with violating the Constitution and the First Amendment's religious clause, and the free speech clause. First of all, Donald Trump couldn't issue an executive order assuming that he was president, because the president cannot issue an order that violates the Constitution. Secondly, House Speaker Paul Ryan denounced the idea stating that this is not conservatism. This is not what the Republican Party stands for, and it's not what the country stands for. For Trump to accomplish either the Muslim ban or the censorship of the Internet would require a law passed by congress. Ryan would never allow such a bill to be brought to the floor of the House. In fact, the Constitution would prevent such a law from being passed.
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.
If congress attempted to pass a law banning Muslims from entering the country, they would be establishing religion as the basis for the law. Even if such a law passed, it would be challenged and no doubt ruled unconstitutional. Clearly the same issue would come up with his idea of closing off the Internet. It's that thing that we value in this country called freedom of speech.
Trump does not share core American values. Nor do his followers. And this is why;
The Declaration of Independence stated our values.
"We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness."
After gaining our independence, in order to insure that those values were protected the constitution provided a Bill of Rights that would serve to protect the core values of Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.
The first Amendment protects those inalienable rights. What are inalienable rights? They are rights that come from God. These are your birthrights. And if rights are inalienable then they are not limited to Americans. They are God given. Even if you don't believe in God, they are human rights that all men have.
Religious Freedom is the very first clause in the first Amendment. In order to hold Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness, all men must have the freedom to think and believe whatever they choose to think or believe. That means freedom of religion and freedom FROM religion, because I cannot have religious freedom if I am not free from YOUR religion in order to practice my own.
The Freedom of speech is next. And with that you are free to speak your mind. Free to speak what it is that you think or believe.
The Freedom of the press means that you can publish what it is that you have to say about what you think or believe so that others may hear new ideas.
The right of Assembly means that people may gather together to hear these ideas or debate these ideas.
The right to petition your government for redress of grievances means that you can sue the government if your rights have been denied to you.
All of these are necessary to insure Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness which are the core American values.
For Donald Trump to call for a ban of one particular religion from coming into this country violates the most basic values that are essential to what American is built upon. What Trump does is "gin" up fear within the population, to the point in which his followers are willing to abandon the very things that make America the country that is so Exceptional while at the same time declaring American Exceptionalism.
Earlier I mentioned that Trumps ideas come straight out of 1930's Germany. Trumped called for the registration of Muslims in this country. Possibly wearing some form of ID. Although he didn't mention this, some of his followers picked up on that theme and suggested Internment (concentration) camps. ( This is probably why Netanyahu was so appalled by Trumps suggestion. Israelis know a little bit about registration, ID's and concentration camps) It is, impossible to separate the Trump movement from the racism and anti-Semitism that animate a nontrivial portion of its foot soldiers.
Now, here is the most revealing thing about the conservative ideology and why the Republican candidates are ALL hopeless ideologues. All of them except for Ted Cruz have condemned the call by Trump to ban Muslims from entering the country. All of them know that it's un-American. They've stated that. They know that it violates the core principles of this country. And yet...all of them have signed a pledge to support the candidate of the Party, even if it's Trump. And the only explanation for that, is that loyalty to the Party ideology is the prime objective and that comes before the most basic American Values. Republicans do not care about American values although they'll tell you that they are the greatest defenders of American Values. But that's not a convincing argument when all the candidates are willing to abandon those American values and principles for the sake of party loyalty and ideological purity. The ideology and the party is clearly placed before American values. They're willing to sacrifice those to support a candidate that is poison to American values.
I've heard it said by many "so-called" conservative pundits that today's liberals are socialists, or "statists". But it's clear that today's Republicans are not the party of Eisenhower. Their conservatism has taken such an extreme shift to the right, that Trump has taken it into the realm of Fascism.
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