Donald Trump is a fascist, Part Two

Whether Donald Trump is a full-fledged fascist or “merely” a proto-fascist depends on which historian’s definition of fascism you prefer. Part two of a series.

Donald Trump, Public IdiotClick here for all the other parts of this series

Fascism according to Stanley G. Payne

Stanley Payne is a historian from the University of Wisconsin and the author of “Fascism: Comparison and Definition.” He has generated a list of 13 characteristics that he thinks are necessary for a political movement or ideology to be fascist, and he classified them into three groups – ideology and goals, negations, and style/organization.

  • Espousal of an idealist, vitalist, and voluntaristic philosophy, normally involving the attempt to realize a new modern, self-determined, and secular culture
  • Creation of a new nationalist authoritarian state not based on traditional principles or models
  • Organization of a new highly regulated, multiclass, integrated national economic structure, whether called national corporatist, national socialist, or national syndicalist
  • Positive evaluation and use of, or willingness to use violence and war
  • The goal of empire, expansion, or a radical change in the nation’s relationship with other powers

Trump shows aspects of the first characteristic in that he supports an idealistic philosophy in pursuit of a new modern and self-determined culture that is rooted in the idea of American exceptionalism. Voluntarism is “a theory that conceives will to be the dominant factor in experience or in the world,” and while Trump’s language has echos of the national and personal ambition and aggression that comes with the concept of Will to Power as described by Nietzche, Trump hasn’t explicitly called for his supporters to exert their will upon the nation to change it. Continue reading

Welcome to Colorado Springs, America's teabagger paradise

Colorado is a beautiful place and it always ranks right at the top of those most desirable places to live rankings (heck, a new poll says the People’s Republic of Boulder is the happiest place in America), but be clear about one thing before you pack up the family to head this way: a consistent voting majority of our citizens are butt-stupid when it comes to taxes. We’re the ones who blazed the trail for the “Taxpayer Bill of Rights” (TABOR) movement, and we’ve been paying a steep price for it ever since. For instance:

  • Under TABOR, Colorado declined from 35th to 49th in the nation in K-12 spending as a percentage of personal income.
  • Colorado‚Äôs average per-pupil funding fell by more than $400 relative to the national average. Continue reading

John, Elizabeth, Rielle and the dumpster fire at the end of the world

There’s a train rolling to a stop just outside of town. It’s a long train, and each flatbed carries 20 dumpsters. Each dumpster is filled to overflowing with nuclear waste and flaming grease. As the copter shot pulls away the final credits roll over the first few bars of Tears for Fears’ “Everybody Wants to Rule the World.” We can all breathe a sigh of relief – all is well now, but just a few moments ago this train was hurtling at top speed toward the city center, its murdered conductor’s body holding the throttle in full-steam position.

This isn’t some wholesome, Focus on the Family-friendly Thomas the Train, folks. No, sir. This is the toxic, Viagra-addled nuclear dumpster grease fire Johnny the Train from Hell, and it came that close to plowing headlong into the unshielded nards of American democracy. Continue reading

The devil and me

So now that we have the domestic drama of “Kennedy’s seat” being lost and the Democratic Party proving that it’s brazenly incompetent and disastrously out of touch, the earthquake in Haiti can be moved below the fold. But before one of Bill Clinton’s friends gets a big wad of “aid” money to build new sweatshops in Haiti, there are a few things we should talk about.

Not only were we treated to the historically inaccurate (and frankly bat-shit insane) sweet nothings that Pat Robertson’s Warrior Jesus whispers in his ear. We’ve also had the good, Dr. Wesley Stafford – CEO and President of an organization called Compassion International – agree with Pat’s thesis. Theoretically, Dr. Stafford knows of what he speaks; his organization is very active in Haiti. It pairs tens of thousands of Haitian children with direct sponsors in the U.S. and is active throughout the nation.* On a recent Focus on the Family appearance, Dr. Stafford said, “Haiti … has been a disaster in almost every way long before this ever struck. And it is a nation, between you and me, I guess, that Satan has had absolutely free reign in that nation…”

Count me convinced, and we’ll get to David Brooks a little later on.
Continue reading

What Would Jesus Do (with $40 million)?

33And he shall set the sheep on his right hand, but the goats on the left.

34Then shall the King say unto them on his right hand, Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world:

35For I was an hungred, and ye gave me meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me in:

36Naked, and ye clothed me: I was sick, and ye visited me: I was in prison, and ye came unto me.

37Then shall the righteous answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungred, and fed thee? or thirsty, and gave thee drink?

38When saw we thee a stranger, and took thee in? or naked, and clothed thee?

39Or when saw we thee sick, or in prison, and came unto thee?

40And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.

– Matthew 25: 33-40

I was reminded of this little passage today as I reviewed these numbers: Continue reading

Our latest tragic shooting: who's to blame?

Another church shooting, this time in Knoxville. By now you’ve probably read the accounts and know that the shooter, Jim Adkisson, was motivated by, among other things, an apparent hatred of “liberals.”

Before diving too much deeper, there are a couple things we can probably safely say about Adkisson. First, these weren’t the actions of a rational man. Rational people don’t wade into crowds of people attempting to kill as many as possible.

So whatever else may have been at play, and no doubt the causes were many and complex, let’s be clear that we’re dealing with a disturbed individual. Continue reading

Creationism to be allowed in Louisiana schools

When it comes to religion and faith, everything is inherently subjective, not objective. Simply put, there is no way for the adherents of one faith to know objectively that they’re faith is right and that another faith is wrong. Additionally, there’s no method of determining an objective truth, and because most religions lack any ability to reconcile with the incompatible beliefs of other faiths, conflict becomes inevitable. Religion tells its adherents what the supposed truth about reality is, but can offer no objective proof thereof.

There exists a process that can determine, objectively and without the need for blind faith and revealed “truth”, how reality really works. The name of that process is “science.” It’s because science claims to be able to discover how reality really functions, without the need for – and yet without demanding the lack of – religious dogma, that many believers have felt so threatened by science that they have sought to inject their creation stories into scientific classrooms. Unfortunately, the state of Louisiana has now become the next battlefield in the ongoing science vs. dogma and evolution vs. creationism conflict. Continue reading