Trump-in-recovery: Is fascism a disease or a predilection?
One can claim immunity from a disease; one cannot claim immunity from a preference or a desire.
Trump is betting “the house” that we the voter in 2020 will ignore this distinction. Trump declares he’s immune from the Coronavirus and willfully or not stumbles into a “made-to-order” metaphor/trope. As his detractors are calling out his authoritarian signatures, Trump is holding his best card for last: “I am immune.”
We need to know that this statement is an anti-democratic, fascist trope.
‘Fascist’ in the sense that the carrier is immune, purified, healed, and therefore irreplaceable. Master race material. Sacrifice for ‘other’ takes a very, very long departure, perhaps never to return.
In a recent article in the New York Times (1), Berlin correspondent Katrin Bennhold writes about the QAnon follower surge in Germany. She delivers a chilling quote from Steven Kramer, a domestic intelligence director for the state of Thuringia:
“QAnon doesn’t openly fly the colors of fascism, it sells it as secret code. This gives it an access point to broader German society, where everyone thinks of themselves as immune to Nazism because of history.”
Trump is not speaking exclusively to his base, Trump is reaching out to his donors/elites. Donors who like the “broader German society” tolerate white supremacy explicitly because they think that THEY are immune.
Security experts talk of “containing white supremacy.” ‘Disease’ talking.
Recently, Michiganer Michael Moore rationalized during an on-air interview with Alex Witt (2) that the failed Gov. Wittmer kidnappers were compelled by economic disadvantage. Same horse, different stripes: disease talking, not predilection. Disease for which there is a cure, as Moore pointed out, ‘if they were making 60 or 70k a year…they wouldn’t do this.’
You ask, isn’t “predilection” too strong a characterization? Let’s assume that it is. Does this make us any less alert to the possibility that immunity from white supremacy is an accurate characterization of the social justice backsliding running around these days?
Why do we recoil from calling out Trump’s fascist tropes? Why do we avoid calling out conformist desire, which in this case is an unconscious form of dismissal, of denial: ‘Oh, there are a few bad apples…the system is ok.’
What are we on the cusp of, disease or predilection?
For ‘predilection’ in practice, we need look no further than the Trump administration’s refusal to commit to testing or contact tracing.
What’s going on here?
Contact tracing, despite the confusing smear being launched about it, is not about isolating the victims of the Coronavirus so much as about controlling the SPREAD of the Coronavirus.
The Trump administration is not only denying a scientific, means tested approach to controlling the spread; the Trump administration is showing its preference: isolation outweighs rational testing and data gathering. In a nutshell the DHS border immigrant policy is an example of this same predilection.
So we can ask why as a country are we bereft of a national “contact tracing” program, a full eight months since the pandemic was first detected?
October 12, 2020
1- “Fertile Ground: QAnon Thrives With Germans” NY Times, October 11
2- “Weekends with Alex Witt,” MSNBC, Sunday, October 11