In 1876, a remarkable moment in American democracy unfolded that November.
It was the third presidential election since the Civil War ended in 1865 and America and once again was teetering on the brink of collapse. The residue of one of the worst economic downturns the U.S. had experienced three years prior was still reverberating across the nation.
In fact Rutherford B. Hayes v. Samuel J. Tilden was so contentious that afterwards, it did not matter which party won. After eight years of reconstruction, America took one-step back; way back to be exact.
The following year, Jim Crow laws were implemented across the south and were not legally repealed until in 1965. To this day, the ramifications of the 1876 presidential race and Jim Crow America ripple over the land in urban areas where tensions run high between law enforcement and African-American communities.
It was after 1876 that the Jim Crow criminal justice system became the linier descendent of the slave system. When the officer replaced the overseer.
Police brutality and corruption went unabated for over an entire century, until the LAPD was caught on video brutalizing Rodney King on a Los Angeles freeway in 1991.
Twenty-five years later, with the proliferation of cell phones equipped with cameras, police brutality has finally gained national attention. In 2015, for really the first time, Americans were starting to question why Europe has so much less police killing of unarmed citizens then the United States.
Then, heading into the third presidential election since 9/11 and George W. Bush’s unilateral invasion of Iraq, the Trump bandwagon of hate roared like a dragon.
Similar to the over the top propaganda that unfolded after two NYPD officers were shot and killed in December, 2014, the Trump 2016 presidential campaign also has an aura of false-patriotic purple fury. But instead of two dead cops or two towers collapsing, Trump’s bloody shirt was America itself, tarnished by an alleged “Kenyan-born Muslim” illegally occupying the White House.
That pathological lie is what the entire Trump campaign for president is hinged upon. It is founded on misconceived, manufactured lies and racial hostility, hatred and authoritarian impulses.
The GOP has always had a racially divisive strain running through it since Nixon’s 1968’s Southern Strategy; but it always hovered around the periphery, rarely showing itself unless it was drenched in heavily coded language.
Racism was implied not overtly outspoken in conservative public discourse.
Nixon spoke of a “silent majority” of Americans in 1968 that were against civil rights for African-Americans. Twenty years later George H.W. Bush sent Willie Horton a thank you card the day after the election. In 2000, George W. Bush’s campaign sent out word that John McCain was unfit for office because he had racially-mixed children.
In 2009, the GOP went out of its way to create a front, the Tea Party, to funnel and distance themselves from the race cards they were going to play against Obama and over the next few off-year election cycles in 2010 and 2014.
Now, in 2016 — like David Duke’s 1992 run for the Republican party presidential nomination– racism is the central rallying cry of Donald Trump’s so called presidential “campaign.” Unlike Duke in 1992, Trump is winning the GOP in a landslide.
Trump’s outright violent racial hatred and fascist tone, as of yet, has no bounds. Hitler salutes are now often seen at Trump rallies and the media barely blinks an eye.
Ethnic minorities and journalists are regularly attacked and threatened with death; a victim who was assaulted was then himself arrested while police never even approached the attacker.
It is only a matter of time before someone is actually killed at a Donald Trump rally; and it is Trump himself who is at the center of the storm, fomenting vile racial violence.
When he envisions that he saw news footage on television of “thousands of Muslims” in New Jersey celebrating the 9/11 attacks, when he says Mexicans are “drug dealing rapists”, and that his private investigators in Hawaii have discovered startling new evidence regarding Obama’s birth in Kenya, it demonstrates that Trump is utterly delusional and like his hero Adolf Hitler, is totally unfit for office. His first wife Ivana Trump told Vanity Fair in 1990 that Trump coveted a collection of Hitler’s speeches translated into English that he kept on his gold plated bedside table.
What’s amazing is that Trump has not been arrested for inciting violence as he travels across the country. He has told his supporters that would like to hit people “in the face” at his rallies and that he’d pay the legal fees for the White bigot who sucker-punched a Black man and threatened to kill ethnic minorities.
The Hitler salutes Trump supporters flash at his rallies act like dog whistles, drawing out more bigots to crawl out of the sewers and swamps of America’s racist underbelly, while simultaneously going under the media radar.
“Go to Auschwitz,” said one White male Trump supporter to the media after raising his arm in an apparent Nazi salute. “Go to fucking Auschwitz.”
Meanwhile the media goes out of their way to cover up just what is really going on at Trump’s rallies.
Why? Media tend to back off when real controversy unfolds so as not to get caught on the wrong side of a debate. After 9/11, literally almost no one in the American media questioned the motivation of George W. Bush wanting to unilaterally invade Iraq.
No one knows better how gullible people who rely on cable news as his or her primary news source are than the media themselves. That is Trump’s base.
Most are uninformed; a leftover from a bygone era drifting out to sea while Obama has brought America to a much better intellectual space.
Could anyone imagine Ronald Reagan or George W. Bush singing Amazing Grace at a Black church after some demonic White supremacist — and possibly a Trump supporter — shot it up during a bible study, killing nine people?
That is because Reagan and Bush had only one strain of American narrative they could utilize; Obama, with his diverse background, has many reference points to draw upon.
Trump has even less to work with then Reagan. All Trump has is the low road; an American narrative of hate that will not only rip the GOP apart, but the nation as a whole.
It all started with the stolen George W. Bush presidency, which was revenge of the simple after eight years of Bill Clinton. The tone set by the unelected Bush era – “bring it on, axis of evil” — paved the way for the undemocratic Trump 2016 power grab.
A PPP poll discovered that one third of Trump voters want to ban gays and lesbians from America and that 20% believe Lincoln should have never ended the enslavement of African-Americans.
Last fall, Mathew C. MacWilliams, a PhD student at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, theorized that his dissertation was the key to understanding the Trump phenomenon and psychosis.
MacWilliams researches authoritarianism — not the history of dictators, but the psychological impulses of people that want order and have an irrational fear of outsiders.
As Amanda Taub noted in a Vox article, Trump supporters “score high in authoritarianism” because “they feel threatened” and “look for strong leaders who promise to take whatever action necessary to protect them from outsiders and prevent the changes they fear.”
In other words, when Trump tells Playboy magazine in 1989 that the Chinese government did not crack down hard enough of peaceful protest with tanks, these people get excited.
Trump told Playboy in 1990 “when the students poured into Tiananmen Square, the Chinese government almost blew it. Then they were vicious, they were horrible, but they put it down with strength. That shows you the power of strength. Our country is right now perceived as weak … as being spit on by the rest of the world.”
The problem with Trump and his brass-plated brand of racist authoritarianism is that it is completely out of step with American values. It was the Tiananmen Square Massacre that forced George H.W. Bush to order sanctions on China.
Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign is really like an Americanized ISIS in terms of the hatred as ideology. It is not a political movement, it is a virus.
It won’t bed stopped at the Republican convention this summer in Cleveland. If Trump is denied the nomination does anyone doubt that he’ll continue his run as an independent this November? Does anyone think that Trump and his Nazi goons are just going to go away when he loses at the ballot box?
The only way to challenge Trump is in the streets; and it should begin right now at his Nazi rallies disguised as a political campaign. If it does not start now, we will have to fight him in the streets in November and that just enables Trump’s thug- army to gear up for battle on their timeframe.
Trump’s hate-machine needs to be shut down; Mitt Romney, Hillary Clinton or the Justice Department can only do so much.
Trump’s name cannot appear on the ballot this fall because neither he nor his supporters will accept an election loss as valid. That will just pour gasoline on the already raging prairie fire.
Should Trump somehow strong-arm his way into the White House, he will be America’s last president because he will destroy the system.
John Adams — one of America’s founding fathers — warned centuries ago: “Democracy never lasts long. It soon wastes, exhausts, and murders itself. There never was a democracy yet that did not commit suicide.”
The damage Donald Trump has already caused is crystal clear.
As in 1876, the hate that Trump 2016 has unleashed could potentially reverberate around the United States for decades or longer.
Trump 2016 is America committing suicide.