"We've got people in positions of power who I know for a fact are liars."
"Liars. I watch the TV — my president comes on the TV and he lies to me. I know he's lying. He lies all the time. I don't believe any one of them. Not one. I believe Donald." So sayeth one of Donald Trump's supporters while being interviewed on CNN, and this woman is a representative sample of those who believe he is the right man to lead the nation.
As Kara Brown, writing for The Slot notes, anyone who believes Trump says what you are thinking "is both terrifying and a confirmation that Donald Trump's popularity stems from the fact that he has become the voice for paranoid racists who continue to pollute this country with their presence."
While studies have proven that intelligent and well-educated people are just as likely to be racist as less educated or ignorant people are, a new CNN/ORC poll finds that Trump "runs significantly stronger among less-educated, less-affluent voters, and performs particularly well among voters in the 50 to 64 age range." The poll also found that Trump is a 20-point favorite over his closest challenger in the primaries. This is bad news for the GOP, but we would contend it's just a matter of the hens coming home to roost for a party that has exploited fear of the other since Nixon's southern strategy in the late 1960s.
"Donald Trump is the real deal," William Daniel Johnson, chairman of the openly white supremacist American Freedom Party, told TeleSUR. "This is a unique phenomenon in modern politics. It is a throwback to a previous era." According to its website, the American Freedom Party "represents the interests and issues of European-Americans," and its mission is "Defending our borders, preserving our language and promoting" white, European culture. "Virtually all pro-white nationalists are at least somewhat supportive of Donald Trump and most are even enthusiastic," Johnson told TeleSUR, adding he and his fellow fascists have set up a Trump Super PAC. "It takes someone with the intestinal fortitude of a Donald Trump to lead the way."
As a result of Trump's "intestinal fortitude," racists and white supremacists are feeling more empowered. Five years ago, Michael Winship, writing for BillMoyers.com, compared Glenn Beck to Sinclair Lewis' fictional Berzelius "Buzz" Windrip, "the politician who poses as a populist, then once elected president turns the United States into a fascist dictatorship, aided by an angry, unknowing electorate and a paramilitary group called the Minute Men."
"He was an actor of genius," wrote Lewis about his character. "There was no more overwhelming actor on the stage, in the motion pictures, nor even in the pulpit. He would whirl arms, bang tables, glare from mad eyes, vomit Biblical wrath from a gaping mouth; but he would also coo like a nursing mother, beseech like an aching lover, and in between tricks would coldly and almost contemptuously jab his crowds with figures and facts — figures and facts that were inescapable even when, as often happened, they were entirely incorrect."
While Winship wrote these words about Beck five years ago, they now could be applied to Trump, he noted in a recent column for BillMoyers.com.
"In its despair and confusion, a large segment of the American populace is prepared to believe anything it's told, in part because we are a country less and less educated, increasingly unable to tell fact from fiction because we are so unschooled in basic essential knowledge about America and the world."
These are the same people who not only believe our current president is a secret Muslim but also that his agenda is to destroy the United States and turn it over to the caliphate envisioned by ISIS. President Obama's success in two elections is a signal to them that this could be the end of days for the United States, that the brown and black people are taking over and usurping the white people from their anointed God-given right to rule this nation. It's no wonder Trump appeals to a diverse group of people who feel what is theirs is being taken away by the less-than-deserving. He strikes all the right notes, just like Berzelius "Buzz" Windrip. It's up to the more rational people of America to turn away from Trump's clarion call lest we all become chattel of the Fourth Reich, right here in the United States. If we don't face down his brand of triumphalism, we might all find ourselves under the heel — or worse, depending on your race or religion — of a particularly American brand of fascism.