(Updated 2020-09-10 – after 9pm PDT)
The last four years have been tough (and chaotic). For those of us who didn’t vote for our current POTUS (“POTUS45”), it’s been a tough 3.75 years. Those of us supporting Joe Biden, we need to get better at rhetoric.
We really should stop saying that Donald Trump is a fascist. He’s not a fascist (at least, not the type we’re usually afraid of); the fascists like Hitler and Mussolini were WAY SMARTER than Trump. Trump doesn’t seem very smart, but he seems every bit as ruthless. He’s an authoritarian, but he’s not a Fascist like Hitler and Mussolini.
I don’t think that “fascist” is a good insult to the people we care about (the people whose vote matters in the Electoral College). Every time we call him a fascist, the people in the states with more U.S. senators than representatives think: “oh, now come on. stop being hysterical! That’s ludicrous! Have you ever heard of Godwin’s Law?” (yes, I have, btw…). Anyway, let’s stop using the f-word (“fascist”) to refer to Trump.
I have some other thoughts on this subject, but I’ll come back to it later. Maybe I’ll respond to some of your comments on social media…
To my friends and family who are STILL registered Republicans…
Some of you may know who David Frum is; he’s the speechwriter for George W. Bush who coined the phrase “Axis of Evil” to refer to Iran, Iraq, and North Korea. Frum left the White House in early 2002, becoming a writer for William F. Buckley’s “National Review”, and later becoming an advisor to Rudy Giuliani’s presidential campaign in 2007. He’s a center-right Republican which became unwelcome in the Republican party in 2012 with the rise of the Tea Party. He eventually became a writer for The Atlantic, and a few years later, wrote the cover story for the March 2017 edition of The Atlantic. He predicted these past few years well. If you missed Frum’s article in the print version, there’s a few different ways you can experience it:
- Visit your local library, and find the March 2017 edition of The Atlantic.
- Watch and listen to Frum talking about it in this short YouTube video: Public Indifference Is Trump’s Asset on the Path to Autocracy. It’s less than three minutes long, but if you get bored, skip to the last 60 seconds of the video. This is where Frum describes why 21st century con-man politicians are different than 20th century con-man politicians.
- You can read my shortened summary of the article. It’s a long article, and even my summary is way too long.
- Or.. you can do what people not trying to take shortcuts do, and read Frum’s article: <https://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2017/03/how-to-build-an-autocracy/513872/> Just don’t print it, please.
To my Trump-supporting friends and family who STILL aren’t convinced….
If you are thinking of voting for the Trump/Pence ticket (perhaps voting for those guys again…), let me say this: you are suckers, or (as Warren Buffet would say), you’re the “patsy”. Trump is an con-man who faked it until he made it all of the way to the White House. What he lacks in intelligence, he makes up for in ruthlessness, and he’s figured out how to play all of you. You think you know Donald Trump because of all those seasons of “Celebrity Apprentice” that you watched. But that show was fake, okay? The “reality” in that reality TV all got edited out. As George Schifini described in “Donald Trump is Like an Old Friend – Parasocial Relationships and Politics”, you are a victim of parasocial bonding. Donald Trump tricked you into thinking he’s a capable executive.
If planning to loudly support Trump/Pence, then I don’t know what to do with you (truly, I don’t). If you plan to quietly vote for Trump/Pence, well… there’s not a lot I can do. It’ll be interesting to watch your Facebook feed in the days after the election, to see how disappointed/cheerful you are. If Trump/Pence actually wins in November, we’re in for a truly horrifying reality. I know I’m going to find myself re-evaluating who my friends and family that are worth staying in touch with. I may start calling some of you out. I know that some of you like to bitch about “lawyers” and “bureaucrats”, but have NO IDEA what a well-crafted law looks like, and vote for guys who seem like they’re on your side (especially when it comes to “your 2nd Amendment rights”; don’t even get me started on that).
To friends and family who are “independent”, or Libertarian, or Socialist, or whatever…
For those of you who supported candidates other than Trump or Biden in the primaries, just a quick reminder: we live in a two-party system. Y’all f%&^ing ignored me for the past 25 years complaining about this problem, and so DON’T YOU DARE lecture me about how other parties are also going to be on the ballot. The Democrats and the Republicans have a lock on the system that’s stronger than the lock that Microsoft Windows and the Apple Macintosh have on the personal computing business, or the lock that Coke and Pepsi have on the cola business. Yeah, there are alternatives, but WHAT ARE YOU GOING TO DO TO FIX THE SYSTEM BEFORE NOVEMBER 2020? Huh? What kind of superhero are you? George Washington THOUGHT he’d be able to make room for more than two parties, then he died (because of shitty doctors), then Aaron Burr shot the founder of the Federalist party. The modern Democratic party fancies itself as a descendent of Aaron Burr’s Anti-Federalist party. The Republicans fancy their party as a descendent of Abraham Lincoln’s Republican party, but we all know what a joke that is.
There’s only three choices in November:
- 1) Biden/Harris
- 2) Trump/Pence
- 3) Wasting your vote
Trump is not very good at many things, but he knows how to make himself appear good on television. And he’s ensured that Sinclair Broadcasting and Fox News are on his side to make sure that he appears good on the television stations that matter in the 2020 election.
Word of warning to my Democratic party friends: the 2020 RNC is not NEARLY as much of a clown show as the 2016 RNC was, from what I hear. But Melania still dressed up in her proudest Nazi outfit (https://heavy.com/news/2020/08/melania-trump-rnc-outfit-military/ ). Republicans will make ALL SORTS of excuses for that outfit, or the Hatch Act violations while she made that speech ( https://www.snopes.com/news/2020/08/26/hatch-act-violation-rnc/ )
Those of us who hope that Joe Biden wins in November have our work cut out for us. Written rhetoric is where it’s at if we’re hoping to win the war of Facebook. Let’s get better at our written rhetoric, even if it’s just for our friends and family.
I’ve been editing this since August 28, and I’m still not sure what my conclusion is (I’m writing this late in the west coast afternoon of September 3). Go to the top of the page to find the edit history for this page. I may mirror this blog post over here: https://robla.miraheze.org/wiki/2020_Trump_and_the_F-Word(UPDATE: 2020-09-10) Nope, I still have a lot of work to do. The WordPress wysiwyg editor is really confusing me.