It can happen here, again and again…

As militarized police in riot gear and armored vehicles barreled into peaceful protesters in cities across America, and its president emerged from a bunker to have citizens tear-gassed on his way to a church he’d never attended, holding a Bible he’d never read, many people recalled a famous saying often misattributed to Sinclair Lewis’s 1935 novel It Can’t Happen Here: “When fascism comes to America, it will be wrapped in the flag and carrying a cross.” Because Lewis’s novel is the best remembered of the many warnings against American fascism in the interwar years, he has latterly been credited with the admonition, but they are not Lewis’s words.

The adage probably originated instead with James Waterman Wise, son of the eminent American rabbi Stephen Wise and one of the many voices at the time urging Americans to recognize fascism as a serious domestic threat. “The America of power and wealth,” Wise cautioned, is “an America which needs fascism.” American fascism might emerge from “patriotic orders, such as the American Legion and the Daughters of the American Revolution… and it may come to us wrapped in the American flag or a Hearst newspaper.” In another talk that year, he put it slightly differently: American fascism would likely come “wrapped up in the American flag and heralded as a plea for liberty and preservation of the constitution.”

An American fascism would, by definition, deploy American symbols and American slogans. “Do not look for them to raise aloft the swastika,” Wise warned, “or to employ any of the popular forms of Fascism” from Europe. Fascism’s ultra-nationalism means that it works by normalizing itself, drawing on familiar national customs to insist it is merely conducting political business as usual. As José Antonio Primo de Rivera, the leader of Spain’s proto-fascist Falange party, proclaimed in 1934, all fascisms ought to be local and indigenous:

Trump’s GOP is just the latest try.

RTFA. A longish read – as anything trying to explain a critical aspect of American history should be – it’s filled with examples that will aid in understanding.

Parent of child in altered Trump video forces Facebook and Twitter to remove it

The original before being altered to suit Trump’s racist beliefs

Facebook and Twitter on Friday removed a video posted by President Donald Trump’s account that had twisted a viral video of two toddlers after one of the children’s parents lodged a copyright claim. The video had more than 4 million views on Facebook…and more than 20 million views on Twitter…before it was taken down.

The now-removed clip is a crude and misleading edit of a video that went viral last year which shows a Black child and a White child running to hug each other. The version posted to Trump’s account made it first appear as if the Black child was running away from the White child…

Michael Cisneros, the father of one of the boys in the video, said last year he had posted the original video to social media because he thought it was a beautiful, candid moment to share in the midst of racism and hate in the world…

Responding to Trump’s use of the video, Cisneros wrote in a Facebook post Thursday night, “HE WILL NOT TURN THIS LOVING, BEAUTIFUL VIDEO TO FURTHER HIS HATE AGENDA!! !! !! !!”

The Republican Party sinks deeper into the fascist ideology Trump champions. Would anyone be surprised at a new Reichstag fire…set by Trump loyalists and attributed any one of the many groups opposing his criminal policies.

American Dark Money Funds Europe’s Far Right/Populist Politicians


Pier Marco Tacca/Getty

❝ Five years ago, Matteo Salvini stripped and posed half-naked for a series of “sexy” photos that were auctioned on eBay…Today, Salvini’s party has transformed itself into one of the most prominent nationalist movements in Europe (now known only as Lega). Salvini himself has become Italy’s interior minister and the country’s most recognizable politician…

❝ Along with Marine le Pen in France, leader of the National Front (now rebranded as the National Rally party), Hungary’s prime minister, Viktor Orbán, and others, Salvini is leading a startling resurgence of Europe’s far right…Holding up a rosary, kissing a crucifix, and thanking the “Immaculate Heart of Mary,” he proclaimed it time to “save” Europe’s “Judeo-Christian roots.”…

These movements did not emerge overnight, nor will they fade anytime soon. Since mid-2016, together with colleagues at openDemocracy, we have tracked the growth of Europe’s nativist movements, from the Brexit campaign, to Orbán’s increasing stranglehold on the levers of power in Hungary, to cross-border networks seeking to block or roll back women’s and LGBTQI rights. Their strategy begins by influencing elections, courts, education, and healthcare systems, as well as policymakers and public opinion, and ends by taking power.

RTFA. Not quite up to the beerhall putschists of the 1930’s. The mindset is the same. Lots of the money comes from “the land of the free, the home of the brave”. Trumpkins.

Austrian government falls as rightwing party boss caught trying to sell contracts

❝ The far-right Freedom Party’s Heinz-Christian Strache resigned as vice chancellor and party leader after the video was released by two German news organizations. He acknowledged that the video was “catastrophic” but denied breaking the law.

Chancellor Kurz, a conservative who formed a coalition with the Freedom Party a year and a half ago, said the apparent video sting, in which Strache discusses contracts in return for financial or political favors, was the last straw in the relationship…

❝ “These are shameful images and no one should be ashamed for Austria,” he said of the video. “We need in this sense to rebuild confidence anew. This rebuilding can in this case only happen with a snap election.”

Last we heard, Trump was asking the DOJ if he can pardon crooks in Austria.