Donald Trump at the Republican National Convention.

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

CATEGORY: Guns

Rights and reasoning from first principles

I think both sides need to go back to the drawing table

I just saw a video that left me in a bit of a quandary. Unfortunately, it’s embedded in a Facebook post, so I’ll just have to link to it here rather than display it. The premise is simple enough. Kroger apparently permits open carry of firearms, at least in jurisdictions where that is legal. Upset gun control advocates would like Kroger to stop this practice.

Fair enough on its face. People want things to be different. They’re exercising their right to free speech to put pressure on the company. Fine.

Here’s what gets me though. Continue reading

Jesus Tebow

Tim Tebow decides to do the right thing for professional reasons (but reserves the right to do the wrong thing later when nobody is paying attention)

I was reading the Internets today and guess what? – our boy Timmy is back in the news.

New York Jets quarterback Tim Tebow has decided to cancel his appearance at a Dallas church that is led by a pastor, Robert Jeffress, who has been criticized for his remarks about gays and other faiths.

Tebow sent out a series of tweets Thursday announcing his decision:

“While I was looking forward to sharing a message of hope and Christ’s unconditional love with the faithful members of the historic First Baptist Church of Dallas in April, due to new information that has been brought to my attention, I have decided to cancel my upcoming appearance. I will continue to use the platform God has blessed me with to bring Faith, Hope and Love to all those needing a brighter day. Thank you for all of your love and support. God Bless!”

Good for you, Tim. It’s great to hear that you’re genuinely committed to spreading Jesus’s message of love and acceptance, no matter what the circumstances are. Do the right thing, though the world may end. I’m proud of you. I think that….ummm, wait, hold on a second….he what? You’re kidding.

Jeffress told the Associated Press that Tebow told him he would like to speak at First Baptist at some point, but “he needed to avoid controversy right now for personal and professional reasons.”

So….you’ll go speak to the hatemongers as soon as everybody looks the other way for a second? The hell? Can somebody show me where it says in the Bible that you’re supposed to do good works for the Lord as long as it’s professionally expedient? (Hey, maybe this is what was going on with that whole “denied the Lord thrice” thing. I got your back, Jesus, but I got to look out for my family, hear what I’m saying?)

Let’s see if there’s anything else interesting in this article.

Jeffress said Thursday that First Baptist was being mischaracterized as a “hate church,” and that the church’s teachings were consistent with historic Christian beliefs.

Did I miss the part where hate and “historic Christian beliefs” (as interpreted by the likes of the Rev. Jeffress) are mutually exclusive?

“We had planned for him to speak very positively about the difference Jesus Christ had made in his life,” Jeffress said.

This would have been a great speech. If it weren’t for his very, very public displays of piety Tebow would never have played a down in the NFL. To paraphrase Chico Esquela, “Jebus been bery bery good to me.”

What else?

“There are a disproportionate amount of assaults against children by homosexuals than by heterosexuals, you can’t deny that,” Jeffress said in July.

Wait, what? Yes I can.

“And the reason is very clear: Homosexuality is perverse, it represents a degradation of a person’s mind and if a person will sink that low and there are no restraints from God’s law, then there is no telling to whatever sins he will commit as well.”

Which is why our history is so rife with gay serial killers, rapists, Lehman Brothers executives and superchurch pastors.

In a 2011 interview, Jeffress said that Islam and Mormonism were religions that are “heresy from the pit of hell,” and criticized the Roman Catholic Church as “the genius of Satan” and “corrupted” by cults.

And since this sounds like an intramural matter between the good reverend and his fellow Abrahamic religious conservatives, I’m just going to step back and leave it alone.

[Ahem]

We’ve been telling you what Tim Tebow was for a long time here at S&R: an opportunistic, hypocritical self-promoter who can’t play a lick. Between this and the fact that at present the NY Jets don’t want him anymore and can’t seem to find anyone else who does, either, the evidence continues to mount that we’ve been right all along.

Anderson Cooper and Rachel Maddow: forecast calls for a deluge of teabagger human kindness. Or not.

By Patrick Vecchio

I am waiting to see if—no, make it how—the Tea party and other way-right-leaning Republicans react to this week’s barely-qualifies-as-news that TV journalist/personality Anderson Cooper admitted he is gay. (Details here)

Another story from this week also has me worried about the backlash, but first, Cooper:

I have no idea how much courage it takes for a public figure like Cooper to come out. Nor do I have any idea about the extent and tone of the flak that will be fired at him and how he’ll deal with it. Continue reading

Okay guys, time to man up and admit your man crushes

Conservatives would paint President Obama as a metrosexual, especially in light of his endorsement of gay marriage. But to most, he’s a man’s man — in fact, with his drone wars, too much so for many of us. He’s proof, as much as anybody, that coming to terms with the LBGT world doesn’t threaten the well-adjusted straight man’s sexual identity.

In fact, the time has come for all us manly men to man up and admit our man crushes. Since it’s only natural to fear doing so will leave us subject to ridicule by less secure men, let’s try to zero in on what exactly a man crush is first. We’ll turn to Urban Dictionary. Continue reading

North Carolina's Amendment One and America's youth: more on winning the battle and losing the war

Rachel Held Evans nails it:

When asked by The Barna Group what words or phrases best describe Christianity, the top response among Americans ages 16-29 was “antihomosexual.” For a staggering 91 percent of non-Christians, this was the first word that came to their mind when asked about the Christian faith. The same was true for 80 percent of young churchgoers. (The next most common negative images? : “judgmental,” “hypocritical,” and “too involved in politics.”)

My generation is tired of the culture wars.  Continue reading

When followers lead, the leaders will follow: Obama supports gay marriage

Here’s what I wrote last night:

On the other side of the fence, those of us who genuinely care about freedom and fairness are more outraged than ever. Outrage is motivating, and by the way, polls show that at least half of Americans support equality for LGBT citizens. It’s about six months until Election Day – how much mobilizing do you think we’re capable of?

Obama may or may not want the issue to go away, but from where I sit the religious right has today handed him a very large stick. Here’s hoping he has the courage and insight to use it on them. And let’s make sure that we, the people, make him embrace this, the most crucial civil rights issue of our generation.

Today, as if on cue, the president stepped up to the plate, big stick in hand. Continue reading

Tony Blair sits quietly as Liberian president defends law criminalizing homosexuality

Former English Prime Minister Tony Blair has taken his share of beatings here at S&R, and I’m grateful to my colleague Wufnik for periodically reminding us all what an invertebrate git Wee Bambi is. In the grand scheme of things (you know, helping his Mac Daddy George Bush invade Iraq, resulting in the pointless deaths of … well, the estimates vary, but range as high as a million-plus, many of them civilians) today’s news is piddling, but it nonetheless confirms what we have long known about Teflon Tony.

Nobel peace prize winner defends law criminalising homosexuality in Liberia: In joint interview, Tony Blair refuses to comment on Liberian president’s remarks supporting anti-gay laws

Continue reading

It was 20 years ago today…and I still miss Freddie

Freddie Mercury was my John Lennon.

I remember when Lennon was killed. I also remember the reactions of his fans. I liked The Beatles, of course, but they were a few years ahead of me. And Lennon’s solo work underwhelmed me. So it’s fair to say that I really didn’t get his importance to Baby Boomers or the powerful emotional connection that many of them felt to him. As a result, I didn’t quite fathom the oppressive pall that seemed to fall over every part of the world inhabited by Boomers when, on December 8, 1980, he was gunned down on the streets of New York City. The Beatles weren’t my band. They weren’t of my generation. John wasn’t my hero. And I had never lost a rock hero before.

But on November 24, 1991 – 20 years ago today – I came to understand perhaps a measure of the grief felt by my older friends and colleagues. On that day the man who had been my rock hero succumbed to AIDS. We had only learned a few days earlier that he even had the disease, and I had no idea that the end would come so quickly. Continue reading

Nota Bene #113: Seth's Near-Death

“Ordinary life is pretty complex stuff.” Who said it? Continue reading

Dear Catholic League: suck on this

By Ann Ivins

Mr. Donohue:

The Catholic League’s request to Leah Daughtry to ban the blogs BitchPhD and Towleroad from the Democratic National Convention came as something of a shock to those of us here at Scholars and Rogues. Frankly, Mr. Donohue, we are hurt. Our offices contain no balloon figures of Jesus, with or without genitalia (you say “apparently albino penis,” I say “loincloth” – oh wait! There’s the penis! Or should it be Penis?). Our site features no links to intensely homoerotic coverage of the hottest Olympic athletes, despite insistent lobbying from at least two of our staff members. Our humble blog, unlike Daily Kos, may never become the Internet apotheosis of evil radicalism. We know our place. We are what we are.

What we are, Mr. Donohue, is a blog at least ten times as offensive to the Catholic League as the so-called “patently obscene” publications to which you so vehemently object.

Continue reading

The Scrogue's Guide to Denver and the DNC: Things to do when you're L, G, B, and/or T

Scrogues and scrogue sympathizers:

As the National Stonewall Democrats are expecting a record number of LGBT delegates at the upcoming shindig, and there will surely be no shortage of bloggers and journalists of all stripes looking to dance, drink and otherwise “something else” the madness away, the following installment for the rainbow-striped comes to you courtesy of Denverite Daniel Gonzales, whom you may know from the gayzette blog, Box Turtle Bulletin, Beyond Ex-Gay and Ex-Gay Watch.

Continue reading

Fattening up fashion models

thinmodel-copy.gif Is legislation the answer to ending anorexia in the fashion industry?

“Project Runway” has been a mixed blessing for the fashion industry. On one hand, it’s given us the chance to become acquainted with some of its leading lights, such as designer Michael Kors and everybody’s favorite dominatrix, Heidi Klum. Not to mention the beloved Tim Gunn. (Can he be Secretary of Design in Obama’s administration?) Also, it helps you appreciate how hard aspiring designers work.

On the other hand, seldom before has the public gotten a good, long look at models. Not the slender, but still curvy, women who strut and preen through a Victoria’s Secret TV special or who grace the Sports Illustrated swimsuit issue, but your standard runway model. Continue reading

Obama seizes the day with technology proposals

By Martin Bosworth

I’ve been critical of Obama’s wide stance recently, as I believe his attempts to be all things to all people have made it difficult to decipher what his governing philosophy will be. Obama’s done a lot to turn off the LGBT sector with his embrace of the homophobic pastor McClurkin, and his support for corporate welfare like the NAFTA Peru expansion has won him no friends in the populist set.

But yesterday Obama sharpened his attempt to secure support in the geek tech crowd with an ambitious proposal outlining his presidential technology policy. Continue reading