Donald Trump: a cruel fascist

Donald Trump’s blatant appeal to fascist ideology and policy considerations took a more barefaced and dangerous turn this week when he released a statement calling for “a total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States”.

Trump qualified this racist appeal to voters’ fears about Muslims by stating that such a ban is necessary until   US representatives can figure out what is going on. Many critics have responded by making clear that Trump’s attempts to place a religious test on immigration and travel are unconstitutional. Others have expressed shock in the face of a proposal that violates the democratic ideals that have shaped US history. Trump is consistently a hatemonger and spreads his message without apology in almost every public encounter in which he finds himself. In this loathsome instance, Trump simply expanded his hate-filled discourse in a new direction, after having already established the deeply ingrained racism and sexism at the heart of his candidacy.

His blatantly discriminatory policy proposals against Muslims are of a piece with his portrayal of Mexican immigrants as violent rapists and drug dealers, and with his calls for the United States to put Syrian refugees in detention centers and create a database to control them. What is truly alarming is how many corporate media figures and intellectuals are defending Trump, not realizing that his candidacy is rooted in the brutal seeds of totalitarianism being cultivated in US society.  There is a disturbing totalitarian message in his call to “make American great again” by any means necessary. The degree, to which Trump expresses his support of violence, racism and the violation of civil liberties, visibly and without apology, is unprecedented in recent national political races. But the ideas he espouses have always been present under the surface of US politics, which is perhaps why the public and media on the whole seem unperturbed by such comments.

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