Friday, November 30, 2018

“THIS IS McCARTHYISM!”

Ironic words uttered by a man who represents the epitome of McCarthyism, Donald Trump protests and projects too much.  He intends to finish as he began ... with verbal assaults against any critic, smears against any opponent, deceptions, defamations, and falsehoods.  Trump bends spoons with his mind.

Is Trump a rogue politician?  Or the stereotypic Republican following standard operating procedure?  Republican defeats in the recent election give rise to speculation about the future drift of the party.  Which faction will survive: The conservative wing?  The nativist wing?  Or the evangelical wing?  With each faction more right-leaning and reactionary than the last, we ask: Are there any centrists or pragmatists left in the GOP?

No longer the party of Lincoln, modern Republicanism is the offspring of Senator Joseph McCarthy, and his legacy has become the DNA of the GOP.  McCarthyism determines how Republicans … past, present, and future … run for office.

McCarthy stumbled upon opportunistic fear-mongering by accident.  He gave postwar America a new, more sinister, more implacable enemy than defeated fascism.  He gave us subversive communism, arch villain of the Cold War.  From Korea to Vietnam and beyond, McCarthy bequeathed a powerful electoral weapon that has driven American politics for the past 75 years.  Communism is gone, but Trump has conjured new enemies to fear.  He scapegoats impoverished immigrants and refugees and their children.  He calls them as ‘rapists and murderers,’ and his base of suckered bumpkins believe every word.

Remember: Trump voters were Nixon voters before they were Reagan voters, and every GOP president owes a debt of gratitude to McCarthy.   

Today’s GOP draws support from rural America, Dixie America, and the ‘value’ voters of evangelical America.  Nativist and xenophobic, these voters long for a fabled past when life was simple and America was great before the evils of modernism, globalism, and internationalism invaded their lives. 


In Trump, we have the culmination of toxic populism raised to the level of demagoguery.   Long after Trump is gone, the McCarthy gene of the GOP will still be with us … spawning the next demagogue de jour.

4 comments:

  1. Somehow I'm reminded of the Elaine Pagels book The Origin of Satan which presents the arch demon as a theological tool, invented for the purpose of demonizing (literally) opposing religions. It's not a particularly new idea and Christian partisans have made heavy and consistent use of it. The more modern character of the Witch dressed, as most people are unaware, as a Celtic priestess is a product of such a campaign to demonize celtic religions while legitimizing the new religion during the time Christianity was rising in Western Europe.

    Witches and demons and McCarthy. Maybe Orwell too. One attacks the opposition, the competition by associating them with the standard demon and Trump's rhetoric suggests he quite conscious of how it's always been done. He has his own negative pantheon, of course (pandaemon?) and its players are Hillary and Soros and Pelosi and others. All he has to do is mention the names and his followers snarl. no facts or details are necessary. He has his own hated tribe, the Liberals, a term that has come to mean nothing more than "the opposition" and as Tailgunner Joe used to do, he simply implies an association, almost always falsely or at best tenuously to the point of irrelevance.

    It's amusing though that Joe McCarthy himself has been installed as one of Trump's demons even though he's been more like a tutor. But of course looking for any kind of consistency, logical or otherwise in Trump's rhetoric will simply make you crazy. He says whatever comes into his mind, which grows more irrational and spontaneous as the sound of manacles comes closer and closer.

    Sure, it's ironic, because Trump really is the wicked witch, really is on the list of traitors and anti-American foreign agents in the government, but who even looks for irony any more? We're drowning in it.

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  2. Couldn't agree more with both of you.

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  3. Finally! I'm able to comment (must be getting too old to remember shit).

    It appears that old tribalistic dog whistle stuff is as ancient as I am becoming. Just utter the name and cause those Pavlovian puppies to salivate on cue.

    Or maybe I'm using the wrong verb. Perhaps it should be "hiss." Let's not forget that talking snake.

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  4. More Blogger crap! In order to receive post and comment notifications, I must enable “cookies.”

    Fine! So I spend hour trying to find and enable those damn cookies and what do I get? A drop down menu with these choices: Oatmeal, chocolate chip, Oreos, and Jeff Sessions Keebler Elf.

    After a short lapse from blogging, why has everything suddenly become so damn difficult?

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