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You are here: MacNN Forums > Community > MacNN Lounge > Political/War Lounge > President Donald J. Trump: Year Two - Eclectic Gigalo

President Donald J. Trump: Year Two - Eclectic Gigalo (Page 5)
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Waragainstsleep
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Jul 14, 2018, 09:39 AM
 
Fintan O'Toole wrote this yesterday in The Irish Times:

“To grasp what is going on in the world right now, we need to reflect on two things. One is that we are in a phase of trial runs. The other is that what is being trialled is fascism – a word that should be used carefully but not shirked when it is so clearly on the horizon. Forget “post-fascist” – what we are living with is pre-fascism.
It is easy to dismiss Donald Trump as an ignoramus, not least because he is. But he has an acute understanding of one thing: test marketing. He created himself in the gossip pages of the New York tabloids, where celebrity is manufactured by planting outrageous stories that you can later confirm or deny depending on how they go down. And he recreated himself in reality TV where the storylines can be adjusted according to the ratings. Put something out there, pull it back, adjust, go again.

Fascism doesn’t arise suddenly in an existing democracy. It is not easy to get people to give up their ideas of freedom and civility. You have to do trial runs that, if they are done well, serve two purposes. They get people used to something they may initially recoil from; and they allow you to refine and calibrate. This is what is happening now and we would be fools not to see it.
One of the basic tools of fascism is the rigging of elections – we’ve seen that trialled in the election of Trump, in the Brexit referendum and (less successfully) in the French presidential elections. Another is the generation of tribal identities, the division of society into mutually exclusive polarities.

Fascism does not need a majority – it typically comes to power with about forty percent support and then uses control and intimidation to consolidate that power. So it doesn’t matter if most people hate you, as long as your forty percent is fanatically committed. That’s been tested out too.

And fascism of course needs a propaganda machine so effective that it creates for its followers a universe of “alternative facts” impervious to unwanted realities. Again, the testing for this is very far advanced.
But when you’ve done all this, there is a crucial next step, usually the trickiest of all. You have to undermine moral boundaries, inure people to the acceptance of acts of extreme cruelty. Like hounds, people have to be blooded. They have to be given the taste for savagery.

Fascism does this by building up the sense of threat from a despised out-group. This allows the members of that group to be dehumanised. Once that has been achieved, you can gradually up the ante, working through the stages from breaking windows to extermination.

People have to be given the taste for savagery. Fascism does this by building up the sense of threat from a despised out-group.

It is this next step that is being test-marketed now. It is being done in Italy by the far-right leader and minister for the interior Matteo Salvini. How would it go down if we turn away boatloads of refugees? Let’s do a screening of the rough-cut of registering all the Roma and see what buttons the audience will press. And it has been trialled by Trump: let’s see how my fans feel about crying babies in cages. I wonder how it will go down with Rupert Murdoch.

To see, as most commentary has done, the deliberate traumatisation of migrant children as a “mistake” by Trump is culpable naivety. It is a trial run – and the trial has been a huge success. Trump’s claim last week that immigrants “infest” the US is a test-marketing of whether his fans are ready for the next step-up in language, which is of course “vermin”.

And the generation of images of toddlers being dragged from their parents is a test of whether those words can be turned into sounds and pictures. It was always an experiment – it ended (but only in part) because the results were in.

And the results are quite satisfactory. There is good news on two fronts. First, Rupert Murdoch is happy with it – his Fox News mouthpieces outdid themselves in barbaric crassness: making animal noises at the mention of a Down syndrome child, describing crying children as actors. They went the whole swinish hog: even the brown babies are liars. Those sobs of anguish are typical of the manipulative behaviour of the strangers coming to infest us – should we not fear a race whose very infants can be so devious?

Second, the hardcore fans loved it: Fifty-eight percent of Republicans are in favour of this brutality. Trump’s overall approval ratings are up to 42.5 per cent.
This is greatly encouraging for the pre-fascist agenda. The blooding process has begun within the democratic world. The muscles that the propaganda machines need for defending the indefensible are being toned up. Millions and millions of Europeans and Americans are learning to think the unthinkable.

So what if those black people drown in the sea? So what if those brown toddlers are scarred for life? They have already, in their minds, crossed the boundaries of morality. They are, like Macbeth, “yet but young in deed”. But the tests will be refined, the results analysed, the methods perfected, the messages sharpened. And then the deeds can follow."

Let us protect our freedom with all our democratic power, and continue to be brave with everything we must face.”

***JUST TO BE CLEAR, I DID NOT WRITE THIS PIECE. A WRITER NAMED FINTAN O'TOOLE WROTE IT IN THE IRISH TIMES (LINK BELOW). THANK YOU! ***
I have plenty of more important things to do, if only I could bring myself to do them....
     
andi*pandi
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Jul 14, 2018, 11:45 AM
 
wow.
     
The Final Dakar  (op)
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Jul 15, 2018, 12:48 PM
 


Is it me or does the phrasing make it sound like he considers the EU the largest foe of the three?
     
Thorzdad
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Jul 15, 2018, 09:11 PM
 
The guy really can speak out of both sides of his mouth, can’t he?
     
The Final Dakar  (op)
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Jul 16, 2018, 12:02 PM
 
Trump just unequivocally sided with Putins denials over the determinations of our intelligence community on election interference.
     
reader50
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Jul 16, 2018, 12:25 PM
 
He's certainly acting guilty, isn't he?
     
andi*pandi
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Jul 16, 2018, 12:46 PM
 
and putin smirks.
     
The Final Dakar  (op)
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Jul 23, 2018, 12:33 AM
 


I think someone might be overcompensating for something that happened recently.
     
subego
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Jul 23, 2018, 01:38 AM
 
Mystery solved.

bk stopped posting here because he’s got a sweet new gig as FOREIGN AFFAIRS ADVISOR TO THE PRESIDENT.
     
subego
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Jul 23, 2018, 03:10 AM
 
What I like about this is Trump obviously didn’t write it. He doesn’t go for the bullshit pseudo-poetry, and anyone who’s ever read my posts knows I’m an expert when it comes to bullshit pseudo-poetry.

Yet, all the author needed to do was scream, and it suddenly fits his boss like a glove.
     
subego
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Jul 23, 2018, 11:22 AM
 
     
The Final Dakar  (op)
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Jul 23, 2018, 11:45 AM
 
Originally Posted by subego View Post
What I like about this is Trump obviously didn’t write it. He doesn’t go for the bullshit pseudo-poetry, and anyone who’s ever read my posts knows I’m an expert when it comes to bullshit pseudo-poetry.

Yet, all the author needed to do was scream, and it suddenly fits his boss like a glove.
I'm going to hope you're wrong because the idea Scavino has the authority to threaten war without checking with Trump seems crazier.
     
andi*pandi
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Jul 23, 2018, 12:19 PM
 
It's not inconceivable that he's a figurehead put in place so those around him can book policy.
     
subego
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Jul 23, 2018, 05:20 PM
 
Originally Posted by The Final Dakar View Post
I'm going to hope you're wrong because the idea Scavino has the authority to threaten war without checking with Trump seems crazier.
Trump didn’t write it.

I presume he read it.
     
Waragainstsleep
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Jul 23, 2018, 07:00 PM
 
Are we certain that Melania isn't Trump's FSB handler? Putin was in charge when she met & married him.....
I have plenty of more important things to do, if only I could bring myself to do them....
     
The Final Dakar  (op)
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Jul 23, 2018, 07:07 PM
 
Originally Posted by subego View Post
Trump didn’t write it.

I presume he read it.
I very much doubt Scavino is bothering Trump at 10 at night, let alone at all. Which is why I think it's authentic.
     
subego
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Jul 23, 2018, 07:53 PM
 
I’ll rephrase.

TRUMP: Tell Rouhani he can go **** himself with a plunger. I’ll be at McDonald’s.
SCAVINO: SURE THING, TIGER!
TRUMP: What a country!
     
The Final Dakar  (op)
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Jul 23, 2018, 09:13 PM
 
That scenario makes more sense, but I think we're at completely different perspectives as to Scavino's role here.

I think Scavino has access to Trump's account to push policy and narrative.
I think Trump still has a phone to tweet on because he enjoys it and in many cases finds it cathartic.

If Scavino tweeted this for Trump, he loses the catharsis.
     
subego
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Jul 23, 2018, 10:38 PM
 
I go back to my original claim. “T[he likes of which few throughout history have suffered before]” just ain’t how the guy writes.

Besides. Rouhani isn’t in the NFL.
     
Thorzdad
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Jul 24, 2018, 04:07 PM
 
Looks like the Ag Dept. is going to spend $12 billion to prop-up farmers hurt by Trump’s trade war.
     
The Final Dakar  (op)
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Jul 24, 2018, 05:55 PM
 
Originally Posted by Thorzdad View Post
Looks like the Ag Dept. is going to spend $12 billion to prop-up farmers hurt by Trump’s trade war.
I mean, if you're going to start a trade war, the least you could do is not murder the industry while doing it.

But yes, this is more about votes than genuine concern about the impacts of the tariffs.
     
The Final Dakar  (op)
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Jul 24, 2018, 08:46 PM
 
Is Trump removing security clearances for outspoken critics not political retaliation or even an attack on their exercising their speech?
     
Thorzdad
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Jul 24, 2018, 09:09 PM
 
I believe the company line is that the offenders were “politicising” their clearances.
     
The Final Dakar  (op)
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Jul 24, 2018, 10:00 PM
 
Originally Posted by Thorzdad View Post
I believe the company line is that the offenders were “politicising” their clearances.
How so? If they were leaking intel on air they'd be charging them. Having an opinion is not against the law.
     
Thorzdad
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Jul 25, 2018, 08:05 AM
 
I'm not saying it makes sense, I'm just repeating what Sarah Sanders said. I'm pretty sure by "politicizing" they mean "basing your opinions on knowledge gleaned from hard intel and years of experience."
     
The Final Dakar  (op)
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Jul 25, 2018, 09:12 AM
 
Originally Posted by Thorzdad View Post
I'm not saying it makes sense, I'm just repeating what Sarah Sanders said. I'm pretty sure by "politicizing" they mean "basing your opinions on knowledge gleaned from hard intel and years of experience."
Oh, since I was asking a question I thought that was your answer to it.
     
The Final Dakar  (op)
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Jul 30, 2018, 09:47 PM
 
Another banner day for Rudy Giuliani.

( Last edited by The Final Dakar; Jul 30, 2018 at 09:58 PM. )
     
reader50
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Jul 30, 2018, 11:52 PM
 
I'm starting to wonder if Michael Cohen will get re-hired in a few more days.

Could Guiliani be secretly out to sink the Trump ship? Twice in a row now, he's making all the wrong headlines.

Don't get me wrong, it's entertaining. And I increasingly think the Trump campaign is guilty. But -- this is really weird. Your lawyer isn't supposed to smoke weed before interviews.
     
The Final Dakar  (op)
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Jul 31, 2018, 12:04 AM
 
Remember, Rudy is working for free. Trump is so cheap (or deluded, or both) that he's fine with these performances.

It's also likely Rudy talks a good game to Trump.

Also, everyone involved is incredibly old doesn't realize they're senile.
     
Thorzdad
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Aug 10, 2018, 06:41 PM
 
So, the Hitler Youth rally in DC is this weekend. Anyone half-expect 45 to tweet something nice about it? Some “Good Americans exercising their freedom of speech” kind of thing?
     
OreoCookie
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Aug 11, 2018, 10:14 PM
 
Originally Posted by The Final Dakar View Post
Remember, Rudy is working for free. Trump is so cheap (or deluded, or both) that he's fine with these performances.
That's one of the things I can't fathom: why is Guiliani doing this? What's in it for him?
I don't suffer from insanity, I enjoy every minute of it.
     
subego
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Aug 11, 2018, 10:21 PM
 
TV gig.
     
The Final Dakar  (op)
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Aug 12, 2018, 04:20 PM
 
Originally Posted by OreoCookie View Post
That's one of the things I can't fathom: why is Guiliani doing this? What's in it for him?
Originally Posted by subego View Post
TV gig.
I think it's more that he's a media hound. He loves the attention and the relevance. Basically, he's another narcissist like Trump. Which is why, I think, he keeps making these media appearances which I wouldn't say have been improving Trump's position or even making it look consistent.
     
 
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