by William Teach | June 12, 2016 7:36 am
No, I’m still not a Trump supporter, and would not vote for him (or any other presidential candidate) if the vote was today. Yet, all these “Trump’s a dictator in waiting” articles from the Credentialed Media are a hoot. And this one raises the Barking Moonbat scale up to about a 9, as Carlos Lozado loses it in the pages of the Washington Post
How does Donald Trump stack up against American literature’s fictional dictators? Pretty well, actually.
Americans have seen this leader before. Boastful, deceptive, crudely charismatic. Dabbling in xenophobia and sexism, contemptuous of the rule of law, he spouts outlandish proposals that cater to the lowest instincts of those angry or frightened enough to back him. He wins the nation’s top office, triggering fears of an authoritarian, even fascistic U.S. government.
Normally, though, this leader resides safely in the pages of American fiction.
Donald Trump’s ascent to become the presumptive Republican presidential nominee has released a spasm of mea culpas from reporters and pollsters who failed to anticipate the biggest story in national politics — and a spate of literary and film references among those fearing a turn toward dictatorial government. It is Plato’s “Republic” that anticipatedthe rise of Trump. Or maybe the 2006 political comedy “Idiocracy.” Or the 1981 young-adult novel “The Wave.” Or is it Howard Beale’s mad-as-hell rants in 1976’s “Network” that truly portended the anger erupting four decades later?
In particular, two novels depicting homegrown strongmen have become ways to interpret Trump’s campaign and to imagine his presidency. Sinclair Lewis’s “It Can’t Happen Here” (1935) features a populist Democratic senator named Berzelius “Buzz” Windrip who wins the White House in the late 1930s on a redistributionist platform — with a generous side order of racism — and quickly fashions a totalitarian regime purporting to speak for the nation’s Forgotten Men. Salon hasdubbed it “the novel that foreshadowed Donald Trump’s authoritarian appeal,” while Slate’s Jacob Weisberg writes that you can’t read the book today “without flashes of Trumpian recognition.”
Seriously, in this long, long, long opinion piece Lozado is actually making comparisons of Trump to fictional dictators. It doesn’t get much dumber in Liberal World.
The dictators whom Roth and Lewis conjure share the intolerance underlying Trump’s most controversial proposals — banning Muslims from entering the United States, building a wall straddling the U.S.-Mexico border, deporting millions of undocumented immigrants — but the fictional characters often go further and scarier. Lindbergh moves Jews from urban centers into the rural heartland through an ominous Office of American Absorption, leaving them vulnerable to anti-Semitic violence. Windrip creates concentration camps for dissidents; establishes a sham judiciary; and bars black Americans from voting, holding public office, practicing law or medicine, or teaching beyond grammar school. “Nothing so elevates a dispossessed farmer or a factory worker on relief,” Jessup realizes, “as to have some race, any race, on which he can look down.”
So, because Trump is against letting in potential Islamic jihadis into the country, is against an invasion of illegals causing problems for Americans, and is (supposedly) for kicking illegals out, he’s a fictional dictator. Interestingly enough, it is Democrats who tend to be anti-Semitic. It is Democrats who fantasize about rounding up Conservatives and climate skeptics and putting them in re-education camps. Or just killing them. Want to use foreign law, or simply their gut feelings, in legal rulings. And love that Blacks are concentrated in crummy parts of big cities run by the Democratic Party.
I don’t imagine that is possible beyond a writer’s imagination. Even now, whether or not Trump wins this election, whether or not he builds his walls and subverts our laws, he has set loose passions and compelled choices that will long mark us. If the politics he represents take deeper root, as in so many other nations and times, tweeting #NeverTrump or slapping a “Don’t Blame Me, I Voted for Hillary” sticker on the car will offer little solace. And the man promising to make America great again will have succeeded in rendering America, finally and conclusively, unexceptional.
Good grief. This is the part where you say “me thinks thou protests too much.” I certainly think that Trump is yet another Big Government Republican, but he pales in comparison to the type of Big Government that Hillary and Democrats want, rooted in Progressivism, which is termed “nice fascism.” In other words, big, controlling government that is enacted in your best interests. At the end of the day, though, expect whiny liberals to continue this meme, as they do for every Republican presidential candidate.
Crossed at Pirate’s Cove. Follow me on Twitter @WilliamTeach.
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