Friday, October 14, 2016

Can you hear the stormtroopers marching?

Yeah, there's an avalanche of crazy coming from the Trump campaign. Nevertheless, IMHO, this hasn't received nearly enough attention:
There's a new conspiracy theory rapidly gaining traction among Trump supporters about the origin of the 'Access Hollywood' Trump tape which triggered days of new allegations about Donald Trump's alleged history of sexual abuse. The conspiracy theory is rapidly taking on an explicitly anti-Semitic character. As far as I can see it has not been pushed by the Trump campaign itself, at least not publicly. But it's catching fire with numerous supporters and surrogates - most notably Jerry Falwell Jr, a key Trump supporter among evangelicals and President of Liberty University, the school founded by his father.

The claim is also being pushed by Breitbart and David Duke in various neo-Nazi web forums. Notably, in recent months Breitbart, with which the Trump campaign has now effectively merged, has itself more openly embraced anti-Semitism.

You can see the details of the story in our write up here. The claim is that Dan Senor, a prominent GOP political operative, who is Jewish and married to former television reporter Campbell Brown, is behind the tape disclosure and part of a plot of "GOP elites" to destroy Donald Trump. In other words, in this conspiracy theory, Senor is now cast as the Jewish "traitor" working for the conspiracy of political elites, international financiers and the media who Trumped railed against today in his speech.

I've written before about the radicalizing tendencies of the Trump campaign. Avowed anti-Semitic supporters are brought into the mainstream. Trump bellows about conspiracies of traitorous elites and global financiers - charges which don't mention Jews explicitly but which closely follow the themes, vocabulary and villains of traditional anti-Semitic agitation. Then rabid Trump supporters who may not previously have thought in anti-Semitic terms or may have held only latent hostility toward Jews get swept into embracing and propagating anti-Semitic conspiracy theories and political agitation.

Frightening, isn't it? I've seen this antisemitism online, though admittedly not as frequently as general racism and... absolutely hysterical misogyny. Of course, I don't frequent neo-Nazi websites, either. What I see is just what leaks out from them.

Still, it's very clear that Donald Trump is preparing his supporters for a loss next month. And being Trump, none of it is going to be his fault. He's been talking about rigged elections for a long time, and about how the media are against him. But now, mainstream Republicans are part of the 'conspiracy' that's assaulting poor, defenseless Donald Trump.

His supporters are going to be looking for scapegoats. After all, Trump is a 'winner,' right? Just ask him. And winners can't lose a fair fight. Between Muslims, Jews, African-Americans, Hispanics, women, the media, Democrats, and now mainstream Republicans, there are a lot of people on Trump's enemies list. Who knows what to expect?

At best, after the election, Trump is going to milk his diehard supporters for every dime he can get from them, and the Republican Party will face even deeper divisions. Worse would be if his armed supporters try 'Second Amendment remedies,' which Trump has already encouraged. (We've seen other Republican politicians encourage violence, too, and also armed loons trying to intimidate the opposition.)

None of that would be as bad as Donald Trump actually becoming president, but it's not going to be good, regardless. I hope that Trump is absolutely humiliated in this election. That's the only possible way that he might crawl back into his hole (though it might be doubtful even then).

And I hope that the entire Republican Party faces a devastating defeat up and down the line. That's the only way they'll be willing to repudiate the dangerous, un-American 'Southern strategy' they've been using for the past few decades. Unfortunately, that does not look likely. (I don't understand it, I really don't.)

At any rate, this neo-Nazi stuff from Trump supporters is scary as hell - even for me, and as a straight white man, I probably have the least to worry about. We're at a critical point in American history.

Well, maybe we always are, I don't know. I hope I'm worrying for nothing.


jeff725 said...

Interesting tidbit from Keith Olbermann. Looks like the (not so) Vast Right-Wing Conspiracy is "putting the band back together" at Trump's expense:

Bill Garthright said...

Yeah, I saw that on YouTube, Jeff. Weird, isn't it?

Thanks for posting the link.