Paul Revere by Cyrus Dallin, North End, Boston



Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Donald Trump: a dangerous demagogue

dem·a·gogue ˈdeməˌɡäɡ/ noun 

a political leader who seeks support by appealing to popular desires and prejudices rather than by using rational argument. 

synonyms: rabble-rouser, agitator, political agitator, soapbox orator, firebrand, fomenter, provocateur


In the Republican field, Mr. Trump has distinguished himself as fastest to dive to the bottom. If it’s a lie too vile to utter aloud, count on Mr. Trump to say it, often. It wins him airtime, and retweets through the roof. This phenomenon is in fact nothing new. 

Politicians targeting minorities, foreigners or women have always existed in the culture. And every generation or so, at least one demagogue surfaces to fan those flames. [...] 

 This isn’t about shutting off Mr. Trump’s bullhorn. His right to spew nonsense is protected by the Constitution, but the public doesn’t need to swallow it. History teaches that failing to hold a demagogue to account is a dangerous act. It’s no easy task for journalists to interrupt Mr. Trump with the facts, but it’s an important one.

The Washington Post:

These are not random errors. All of them appeal to the basest instincts in supporters; they reinforce fears and prejudices. All of them, Mr. Trump knows by now even if he did not know when he first stated them, are false, but he does not care.

The amplification of the lies is accompanied by growing intolerance in his campaign, with Mr. Trump praising supporters for beating a protestor, crudely denigrating anyone who challenges him and penning reporters into designated zones so that they cannot speak with his followers.

And all of this matches the brutality of his policies: mass deportation of longtime U.S. residents, torture of foreign detainees, expulsion even of refugees who are here legally .

The New Jersey Star-Ledger: 

 Donald Trump must apologize to Muslim Americans and to Jersey City for his untrue, divisive and reprehensible comments perpetuating an old rumor we thought had rightly died. 

 By repeating – and indeed embellishing – this hateful rumor, Trump once again ratchets up the ugliness in the current political climate. 

Thousands and thousands of people in Jersey City did not cheer the destruction of the World Trade Center on Sept. 11, 2001. Period. End of story. There is no need to continue to "fact check'' his words.

Damon Linker at The Week: 

 In its nativism and xenophobia, in its willingness to use inflammatory, demonizing rhetoric against minorities, in its deployment of demagogic lies to whip up and mobilize populist fury and whet appetites for Blackshirt-style political violence — in all of these ways, the Trump campaign (along with its opportunistic imitators) is undeniably toying with fascism, as some commentators are beginning to recognize. And most distressingly of all, an alarmingly large number of Americans appears to approve of the organized illiberalism.
h/t DailyKos

The far right's flirtation with Donald Trump, a dangerous demagogue, has gone on long enough. When will sensible people say NO MORE! No more to Trump's divisiveness, to his lies, and no more of his brownshirt tactics.

His supporters are responsible for sustaining his lead in the polls. What they don't understand, or will not face, is that America will not choose him to lead this country. A great many of us believe we will not turn this country over to a man who is not fit for anything except as a teevee entertainer. What we're seeing is Trump's support coming from frightened, ignorant, and vengeful people.  


Kevin Robbins said...

It's time for a movie version of "It Can't Happen Here." It'd be a blockbuster, I'm telling ya.

Ray Cranston said...

I don’t really see Trump being called to account.

He’s the personification of the Republican base.

And nobody in the GOP or the Press wants to tell the truth about the Repub base.

Shaw Kenawe said...

This is also from the New York Times:

"America has just lived through another presidential campaign week dominated by Donald Trump’s racist lies," the Times' editorial board said in a piece published Tuesday, adding later that "if it’s a lie too vile to utter aloud, count on Mr. Trump to say it, often."

The editorial tore to shreds several of Trump's most egregious claims, including that an "Arab community" in New Jersey was seen cheering the September 11th attacks. Trump has also warned that Syrian refugees might be ISIS in disguise. And in a moment reminiscent of Nazi Germany, he suggested last week that the U.S. should keep a database of Muslim-Americans.

The Times also lined up Trump's comments with those of former Alabama Gov. George Wallace (D) and Sen. Joseph McCarthy (R-Wis.). Like Trump, Wallace and McCarthy were known for their intolerance.

"It’s become a full-time job just running down falsehoods like the phony crime statistics he tweeted, which came from a white supremacist group," the Times editors said. "History teaches that failing to hold a demagogue to account is a dangerous act. It’s no easy task for journalists to interrupt Mr. Trump with the facts, but it’s an important one."

Dave Miller said...

More from the WAPO... a typical leftwing rag journal, I'm sure...

"The presidential candidate who has consistently led the Republican field for four months, Donald Trump, has proposed: to forcibly expel 11 million people from the country, requiring a massive apparatus of enforcement, courts and concentration camps; to rewrite or reinterpret the 14th Amendment to end the Civil War-era Republican principle of birthright citizenship; to build a 2,000-mile wall on our southern border while forcing Mexico to pay the cost. He has characterized undocumented Mexican immigrants as rapists and murderers, and opposed the speaking of Spanish in the United States.

Republican candidates have proposed: to favor the admission of Christian over Muslim refugees from the Middle East; to “send home” Syrian refugees, mainly women and children, into a war zone; to “strongly consider” the shutting down of suspicious mosques; to compile a database of Muslims and (perhaps) force them to carry special identification showing their religion. They have compared Syrian refugees to “rabid dogs,” ruled out the possibility of a Muslim president and warned that Muslim immigration to the United States is really “colonization.”"

From Michael Gerson...

Taken separately, many of these views are just that, individual opinions. Put them all in one place, factually connecting them not just to Trump, but to the candidates writ large, and without major repudiation from the GOP, this is where the party stands.

The loudest voices in the room are xenophobic, nationalistic and proud of it.

I'm beginning to wonder if this is the strategy of the more rational ones in the GOP so they can swoop in, save the day, and then proceed to their other dream project, dismantling the safety net that supposedly molly coddles a lazy, useless, freebie seeking group of left wing libturds...

Ducky's here said...

I believe Carson joined the chorus on this.
Doesn't seem to have played well according to the polls.

Meanwhile, Ted Cruz is moving up.
Imagine President Cruz with the current situation on the Turkish border.

"Cry 'Havoc!', and let slip the dogs of war"

Shaw Kenawe said...

Kevin, it IS happening here, in that the base of the TGOP supports a neo-fascist, loud-mouthed vulgarian. AFAIK, only Bush and Graham have pushed back on Trump's loathsome, anti-American ideas. The rest of the cowards who are running for the GOP nomination has remained quiet.

Ray, we don't have to tell the truth about the TGOP base. The fact that they're support Trump tells us the truth about what they are. And it's really ugly.

Dave the collection of positions the TGOP candidates have taken and the ideas they're suggesting they'd implement shows the country and the world a party that's devoid of anything approaching human decency. All you have to do is go to that blog where the commenters said nothing after one of their own earnestly advocated the killing of the President of the United States. The blog owner believes she's absolved of any complicity because she tut-tutted after the death threat was posted. She left it on her blog, so we have to believe she approves.

Let me put it this way: What would anyone have thought of a blog owner who left a comment up that advocated for the assassination of Ronald Reagan by a hit man? IMO, no decent person would allow that on his or her blog. That's why I say the TGOP is devoid of basic human decency, no matter how much they protest that they love their fellow man and that they are followers of Christ. Between that blog that calls all Muslims "vermin" and plots the death of Mr.Obama and the one that promotes filthy pornographic links, anti-Semitism, misogyny, and rank racism almost on a daily basis, we have enough evidence of their complete lack of anything approaching human decency. And it explains very clearly why Donald Trump is their leading candidate.

Shaw Kenawe said...

Ducky, you know your candidacy isn't going well when your people have to explain or walk-back the idiocy that Kindly Dr. Ben pronounces on an almost daily basis.

The Thomas Jefferson blooper, for example. Before Kindly Dr. Carson speaks about American history, he should probably consult a history book first. That way he'll avoid embarrassing himself before the entire country.

Shaw Kenawe said...

"The rest of the cowards who are running for the GOP nomination has remained quiet."

That should have read "...who are running for the GOP nomination HAVE remained..."

Dr. Brain Surgeon said...

Trump is a congenital liar. If his pants caught on fire every time he lied, he'd have...

Paula said...

TRump doesn't think he has to verify EVERYTHING! I mean he wants to be POTUS, but it's too much trouble to check out what he tweets to know if it's b.s. or the truth. What a great POTUS that would be. Just find crap on the internet and believe its true! What a fooken disaster this neo-fascist and total weasel is.

"Trump attempted to defend himself and replied, "I didn’t tweet, I retweeted somebody that was supposedly an expert, and it was also a radio show."

"Why do you want to be in that zone?" O'Reilly asked.

"Hey, Bill, Bill, am I gonna check every statistic?" Trump asked in response. "I get millions and millions of people."

"You’re a presidential contender, you gotta check 'em," O'Reilly then told Trump.

Trump again defended himself and said, "But this came out of radio shows and everything else."

"Oh, come on, radio shows?" O'Reilly asked.

The real estate mogul again reiterated that it was only a retweet, prompting a final lecture from O'Reilly.

"Don’t do this. Don’t put your name on stuff like this because it makes the other side, it gives them stuff to tell the ill-informed voter that you’re a racist," the Fox host said. "You're just handing them a platter."

Benito M. said...

**"Hey, Bill, Bill, am I gonna check every statistic?" Trump asked in response."

Oh gosh no, Mr. Trump! We, your devoted base, don't expect you to tell us anything that has any relation to the truth. Just keep feeding us your unsubstantiated horseshit, and we'll keep eating it up like the delicious pile of crap that it is. We are your very special "morans," and we believe anything you say. Becuz you're rich, you can make deals, and you're YUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUGE!

Richard T said...

From a smart arsed European, it's clear that the USA so loves the world, it's giving us Donald Trump.

Shaw Kenawe said...

@Richard T

We do beg your pardon. However, we don't think the Trumper will be the next POTUS. We Americans can be quite daft, but to put a complete whack-job in charge of the nuclear codes?

Dear Darwin, are we THAT insane?

Richard T said...

@ Shaw Kenawe

Sorry Shaw, I was being a bit flippant about the prospect of the republicans sounding the last Trump.

Shaw Kenawe said...

@Richard T

No need to apologize. I like flippancy.

We'll miss the Trumper when he's gone from the race to the bottom. He's such a rich target for mockery and flippancy.