Authoritarianism & Fascism Under Donald Trump

Authoritarianism & Fascism Under Donald Trump


It’s great to welcome back to the program. ason Stanley, who’s a professor at Yale university, author of the books, how
fascism works, the politics of us in them and how propaganda works. Both a very, very relevant in wenty nineteen. Jason, so great to have you back on. Great to be back on, David. So a couple of things that I want to touch
on. I mean, ne, generally speaking, you know,
we, we explored the idea in your irst, uh, appearance on the show about how there are
sort of very formal characteristics and definitions of things like fascism, but that oftentimes
in, in ostensibly democratic Western, uh, government’s elements of fascistic behavior
can sort of creep in. It’s not fascism per se, but that doesn’t
mean that it’s not a useful term to explore what it is that we’re seeing. How relevant is that as a lens through which
you continue to watch the Trump administration since you were last on? I think it’s, it’s highly relevant. I mean, what we’re seeing is we’re seeing
a continued cooptation of our institutions. So we’re seeing a, uh, we’re seeing institutions
that are supposed to be independent but are being transformed into, uh, essentially, uh,
loyalty, uh, cadres of loyalists for the, the, the leader, which is what we see in the
devolution and deconstruction of democratic in, in, uh, in, uh, countries in Eastern Europe,
oland and ungary are primarily, we’re seeing our courts being co-opted by partisan extremists. So, uh, this is, this is, we’re seeing a ne
party state developed. We’re seeing, uh, and the ne pan, it’s not
just a ne party state filled with decent Republicans committed to a multiparty system. It’s a, a party being taken over by a family,
uh, and the leader, and we’re seeing a, and we’re seeing taken over by partisans of that
party. Uh, so that is something deeply worrisome. We’re seeing that accelerate. Uh, the courts are going to be in the hands
and very partisan hands for some number of time. We’re seeing an accelerated. We’re seeing a toleration or greater toleration
for things that seemed shocking wo years ago. So, uh, IS w, uh, the situation at the border
and [inaudible] in the detention centers, we’re seeing people, we’re seeing the normalization
of treatment of our fellow human beings. People are learning to look away and that
of course is a very disturbing sign of encroaching fascism. When we talk about the Trump presidency, there
are a couple of different views that are still critical, but there are different views that
can sometimes be applied. ne is that this is sort of a, an anomaly and
that as soon as Trump is gone, everything goes back to how it was before. For better or worse, we can debate how it
was before, but it immediately sort of goes back. The other idea is that Trump now has modified,
uh, what is considered acceptable for the office of the presidency in a way that will
not simply go back to the way it was even once Trump personally is gone. What, what does history tell us about that? What, what do you, what are your thoughts
about that? Right. Well we have, we are [inaudible]. Democracy is held up by norms that that in
even in the best instance are not followed. Uh, but at least you have to pay loyal lip
service to them. Now we’re not paying lip service even to those
norms anymore. Uh, so we’re seeing, uh, an assault on truth
that is unprecedented. It’s not that governments didn’t, our government
didn’t lie to us. Governments lie. Governments lie. That’s what they do. Liberal liberal democracies lie to their people. Governments lie. The raq war, financial crisis, uh, our racial
history filled with lies, but it’s something different now. There’s a different character to the lying. So in the past, take the raq war, there was
an intent to deceive. If you looked at the literal statements, uh,
the literal statements were not as often lies. They were just, they were meant to mislead
you, trick you into thinking, you know, uh, rums help say, uh, Saddam Hussein is not an
honest man. Well, that could be true consistently with
Saddam Hussein not being involved in ine leven. Okay. And so they were intense to deceive. There’s no more intent to deceive. There’s just a bald faced, open lion on assault,
direct assault on truth. And so that is very particular to authoritarians,
uh, authoritarians try to dismantle truth and make the public space information space,
just us versus them. So, uh, so what we’re seeing now is, uh, is
from DOE. They don’t believe the things that Trump says,
uh, but they think it’s, uh, it’s our lies versus their lies. There is no reality. There is no cost for lying anymore. Uh, and so, and, and it’s just you’re with
us or, or against us. And that’s anti-democratic because democracy
is all about compromise. It’s about seeing our fellow citizens point
of view, not vilifying our fellow citizens. So our information space has been really damaged
and I’m not exactly sure how we repair it. Is that ne of the, the hallmarks of effectively
propagandizing by an a, a government urge administration that even when the followers,
the recipients of the propaganda identify that on, on, uh, on the basis of facts, what
they’re being told isn’t true. They either accepted on the assumption that
there’s some greater truth that is implicit or even sometimes on the idea that the ends
sort of justify the means or that the other people also lie. Like is that a sign that you are effectively
propagandizing your followers? Yes, definitely. But it’s a particular kind of propaganda. All political parties engage in propaganda. So what’s tricky is to notice the difference
in our information space. The difference is not that people are manipulating
audiences with rhetoric that’s just called politics. And so, uh, the right wo at the left to it,
the Democrats do it, the Republicans do it, everybody does. Um, but what’s different is that there is
no intent to make people believe things, uh, believe that reality is different than it
is. It’s just an attempt. Uh, it, I mean there’s no, there’s no attempt
to, to uh, to sort of give plausible sounding reasons. It’s just churning the political space into
complete us versus them. This is why the subtitle of my book, how fascism
works is the politics of us and them. This is what you see when you see the attacks
on democracy. And if you can remember previous admits, if
you can put yourself back to the pre-Trump era, if that’s even possible for us now. Uh, it was a time where we knew that our politicians
lied to us, but we also knew that if you caught them, there would be a cost that’s gone. Uh, we now have the situation that you used
to have that I would understand from people who lived under authoritarian regimes where
everyone, everyone thought everybody’s lying. It’s all ne big lie. You just have to figure out, as you said,
who’s really deeply on your side and the distinction between a deeper truth. Uh, and let’s remember, and, and, uh, uh,
and a superficial truth is ne that is, comes from the Soviet union, that that prov de is
the deeper truth. Uh, and so the state might lie and the service
to a deeper truth. And that’s the, uh, the emblematic of authoritarianism. If you can remember, like if you’re gonna
remember back to like wenty twelve, wenty thirteen, you know, there were real costs
allying. There were real costs to being caught in a
lie. Um, because this deeper truth element wasn’t
that the varia when we look at some of the different areas
you mentioned at the beginning. So for example, onald Trump doesn’t literally
controlled the judiciary in the way that you see in some other countries, but he’s responsible
for having selected more and more Supreme court justices, more and more lower appeal
level judges. So it’s not a direct control in, in the cartoonish
way that sometimes exists, but he is exerting more and more influence over the judiciary. Trump doesn’t literally control the media,
but there are some media outlets that are essentially arms of the Trump administration. There are others that even in their critiques
of onald Trump are still being led almost by a leash as to what will you talk about
for the next our days when onald Trump decides to tweet about a, to take your attention off
of B. So, in looking at all of these different areas that onald Trump is not in a, in a formal
controlling, but is increasingly wielding influence over, which is the most concerning
to you in terms of the, it’s authoritarian, uh, uh, direction that it’s going? The judiciary. Okay. I mean the media as well, both are concerning,
but it’s more the judiciary, uh, the Republican party, uh, unfortunately the, the moderate
Republicans that we remember from times past, uh, are fewer and fewer. Uh, and the ones that desire power at all
costs a ne party state, complete domination. I mean, you know, we have to remember this
president lost by hree million votes, uh, that anti-democratic elements in the structure
of our country, like the electoral college, uh, and the whole system of the Senate really
that disempower majorities are, uh, are at work here. And then we have an assault on voting rights,
uh, and the, the Supreme court validating partisan extreme partisan gerrymandering. So at some point you have to ask in what sense
are we a democracy? Or even, uh, I mean there’s always, Oh, we’re
not a democracy. We’re a Republic. Our, what sense are we anything but a ne party
state? And the judiciary has been now filled with
very young, far right, many of them partisan hacks. And so when you look at the literature on
authoritarianism, they always warn you about a ne party state. And if you look at our GT judiciary, what
we’re seeing is a lot of partisan hacks. A lot of people who are not trained at elite
elite institutions who, uh, who are basically, uh, from, uh, not that elite institutions
have always led us in the right way. Mind you. Um, and of course the Supreme court is an
elite. Institutions are part of the problem. Uh, the Supreme court on the right and the
left on whatever ideology, they’re all from Harvard and Yale. So, uh, but, uh, but we have a lot of unqualified,
uh, justices and people who are just part really, really partisan. And so that deeply concerns me. It’s flying under the radar. These are people who are going to steer policy
for decades to come. Uh, and I don’t know how much of this can
be undone. Uh, so I, I really worry about the guts of
our democracy. The voting laws, the voting rights act has
been gutted. Uh, partisan gerrymandering has been validated. So if you go back to Jim Crow, uh, well, what
was Jim Crow about? But about the voting system and there’s a
lot of concerns about our ODing system and the judiciary is really, uh, foundational
there. So even if you have a fully free press that
can say what what it wants, uh, ultimately it’s supposed to affect, uh, the voting system. And if the voting system is not free and fair,
uh, then, uh, we’re going to increasingly, I have problems. So if onald Trump is reelected in November
of wenty twenty, which, I mean, I’m not making any predictions at this point, but it’s certainly
quite plausible despite, you know, hearing Oh, he’s not doing well in orth Carolina. Okay, listen, we, we know that our expectations
the day before election day are often a, a proven wrong. If he is allowed to no longer have another
election coming up. What concerns do you have about what the next
level may be in these authoritarian tendencies? Like, what has he not done yet that at this
point he could probably get away with? Uh, he’s shown a clear proclivity towards
using the, uh, the instruments of power, uh, to target his enemies. Bill BARR, the attorney general has proven
to be a very dangerous, uh, person. So the thing is that he’s got an attorney
general who seems to believe that the presidency is a dictatorship. And so Ben bell bar is now opened a criminal
investigation on the basis of a far right conspiracy, uh, about how kraine supposedly
set Putin up. Yup. So that’s already extremely disturbing and
it’s a year away from the election to open up a criminal investigation on the basis of
a far right extremist conspiracy that kraine somehow was setting up. Uh, um, so using the instruments of power
using the justice department, he’s a very willing attorney general to target political
opposition. He seems to think that’s completely fair. We are ready are starting to look like a banana
dynastic dynastic banana Republic. I mean, he brings, his family members are
at all a loci of power. So, uh, you know, these pictures from, um,
the [inaudible] and these other with, uh, with Ivanka Trump and, and various other family
members, just, it’s just, uh, so we’re looking already like a family dynasty. Uh, we’re, we’re, we’re seeing the justice
department being used to target political opponents. Uh, we’re, we’re seeing, I’m extremely worried
about the ever increasing intensity of the immigration, uh, uh, mechanisms which are
sending our fellow residents in the nited States into hiding, uh, no mercy at all. And he seems to not be able to find the department
of Homeland security had, whose harsh enough? So, uh, so I’m worried and I’m worried about
these mechanisms of cruelty being baked into our economy as you already see in the Midwest,
where many County jails rely on the money they get from ice. So you, you have really harsh targeting of
undocumented, uh, of undocumented workers in residents. So I’m worried that the gloves will be off
in a way that even now, I, it’s hard to imagine. We’ve been speaking with ason Stanley, who’s
a professor at Yale university. He is the author of, uh, the most recently author of wo books,
how fascism works, the politics of us and them, and also how propaganda works. Jason, so great having you on. Again, great to speak to you David, the David Pakman

100 thoughts on “Authoritarianism & Fascism Under Donald Trump

  1. OMG! A professor from Yale? He must walk on water and will no doubt teach us how. Please read further:

    Leftists murder babies and sell their body parts. You know it's true lefties.

  2. GOP Christo-Fascism is an existential threat to America and the planet. It is imperative that Democrats unite and Blue Wave them out of power in 2020.

  3. We, the people, are way too docile, as of now; we aren’t angered enough, and still hoping good will prevail.. which never worked in history, so you can assume where this is headed.

    We are way too divided, and it won’t stop at Trump either; didn’t start with him.

  4. It's not just the lying, it's the Gaslighting of America —
    "Just remember, what you are seeing and what you are reading, is not what's happening" – Trump at a 2018 rally in Kansas City

    "The Party told you to reject the evidence of your eyes and ears – it was their final most essential command" – 1984 George Orwell

  5. At this point, prosecuting Trump and his Administration is necessary as a prelude to a more comprehensive scouring of Trumpism from our Government totally.

  6. Lets get this right people. Only one chance to do it. If this creature is aloud to continue installing far right judges that have no interest in following law, but instead rewriting them, we're in so much trouble. Trumps playbook is russian. It could be that more than Trump has been commissioned to follow this route, it could also be a hugh number of republican senators as well that's been compromised.

  7. I was rewatching American History X after a span of 20 years. Was shaken to rewatch. First time viewpoint , Nazis as a subgroup. Second time viewpoint, Nazis are in our Whitehouse.

  8. From what Lindsay Graham said in an interview the republicans are trying to get as many judges confirmed as they can before trump gets impeached. Thats their primary goal right now.

  9. When a Fascist or dictatorial regime runs a Country the fist thing they do is to get rid of all of opposition including the intellectuals and freethinkers
    and this is what Trump will be doing if gets in next term .

  10. And all this is happening during what could possible be the most crucial decade in human history. We are in the midst of a CLIMATE EMERGENCY.

  11. I have found myself trying to argue exactly, or more precisely, how Trump is the epitome of a fascistic leader but unable to produce useful examples in arguments with trump apologists.
    I bought the audio book through the link, I hope you still get some credit.

  12. To Donnie tRrump aka : " Trumpy Plump Bear Butt "
    ( hilarious laughter here ) : " NOT ( at all ) O. K., BOOMBOOM BOOMER ! "

  13. If he is successful it will be a pyrrhic victory, because there is enough insanity and crushed dreams in our country to burn it all down irrespective of class, gender, race, ethnicity, the virtuous or the damned, guilty or innocent. This is what the right wing doesn't understand. Operation spoiled sport.

  14. Not only fascism, but a type of Bolchevism also. Bolchevism is the other side of the coin of fascism…The Cult of Personality was essential in Stalinism…Trump is behaving like an American Stalin, the attacks on the Press, the threatening to close newspapers, the purging of the opposition, the destruction of the branches of government replaced by a godlike sole Despot..

  15. This guy is a weenie fantasist chicken little. Nobody is looking away from the treatment of illegal migrants, and few indeed want them to be treated horribly.

  16. I am worried , it's not going well in the USA , people's freedom are at stake and the world's freedom is in danger . There are already so many dictators around :((((

  17. Anyone who genuinely believes Trump is an authoritarian fascist is either mentally retarded or has never opened a book in their life. Sure, trump may WANT to have that title, but guess what folks we live in the united states of america, a common law state of federalism with checks and balances. Adolf Hitler 2 will never be a thing in the united states. wake up and grow up.

  18. When framing the problem "beyond the box", an established two-party system offers very little choice. Twiddle dee or twiddle dumb anyone? …dum, dum, da, dum, da da da da da da dumb://

  19. My greatest fear is civil war 2, and trump doing 8 years, then Ivanka, then don jr, then Eric trump then baron. That's 40 years of trump

  20. Trump is an alpha male. David here and Jason arent even betas. Betas cannot begin to understand how alpha males operate. Its no wonder these two children are confused. Its ok, they will have another 5 years to figure it out. HAAAAAAAAAA haaaaaaaaaaa

  21. Drumpf is not an anomaly. This country has worked diligently to give us a Drumpf. 24 years of establishment and status quo (by Bill Clinton, George W. Bush and Barack Obama) politics have given us Drumpf. The MSM and neo-liberal Dems all want to deny this and blame it on some esoteric – but not correct – issue. Drumpf being an anomaly is one example of how establishment candidates are not addressing the issue directly and honestly.

  22. And if Trump goes to the Russian Military Parade, Putin could get the Nuclear Football launch codes easy. just ask for them. Trump says " here Boss "

  23. People who put Trump in office and the lawyers enabling and protecting him are wicked SOBs He's just a stooge and distraction

  24. Every American should listen to this man warning us of the dissolution of our Republic or Democracy into a one party authoritarian system. It all makes sense, and if we don't catch this and correct this in time, our freedoms will continue to be completely taken away from us before we know it, and we will become just like the infamous authoritarian states, we have always fought against, that have control of the power and money – all supported by the banks, corporations, and the industrial-military complex.

  25. When It Comes To Politicians, Yes What I Have Done For The Last 40+ Years Is What Probably What Most Or Many Of Us Have Done,
    Is Support/Vote For . As The Old Saying Goes … " The Lesser Of The EVILS " But Apparently Americans Can No Longer Distinguish ?

  26. Winning, losing, these sorts of pissing contests are stupid.
    Get rid of the senate and electoral college.
    The office of President must become ceremonial with no real power, and becomes the narrator of the government's actions, policy, planning, etc (Why is President Trump allowed to act in the manner of an emperor?).
    Change the voting system so the two party superiority is broken, allowing for more players at the table.
    Anybody else got ideas for reform?

  27. Remember, Trump cannot do this alone. The republicans are even more guilty than he is. They are enabling him. Power at any cost is a dangerous drug. We're seeing that in action now. They are destroying the very country they swore to defend and uphold. The next culprit is the electorate, half or more than half are idiots. I've been saying it for years… in a country where millions of people believe ridiculous things — from religion to climate change to evolution (and all more or less rooted in religious beliefs) — it's only a matter of time until the shit hits the fan. They're bringing the rest of us down. And they're loving it. They so badly want Armageddon that they're going to bring it on themselves… self-fulfilling prophecy. Sometimes I hear someone say, don't worry, our country is resilient. Yeah, well, I'm not feeling it. Trump may very well get elected again and if something happens to Justice Ginsburg there goes the Supreme Court. And if Trump gets reelected that means the impeachment failed. There won't be any more forthcoming. That will now be the green light for Trump to be even Trumpier than he has been. Really, unless millions who usually stay home on election day don't get out there and vote (assuming they're not going to vote Trump) then his chances of winning again are very good. And whether the vote is close or a huge defeat, he's probably going to contest it, especially if it is close. It may sound like an overreaction and an oft-used expression, but this next election just may be the biggest in our history.

  28. Once Trump is impeached, be ready for violence from his administration and his supporters directed against his opposition. 2020 will be a bloodbath that we haven't seen in the United States since the Civil War. However, we who love democracy and freedom will have to become very violent in direct response with our opposition. Resist! Freedom isn't free.

  29. Nobody is under this effing clown, he was hired by the people to do a job, not golf and eat KFC and if he effs up he will be fired by the people.

  30. Since we already know what's happening, in fact we kind of knew it was going to happen why did anybody put a stop to it?

  31. I'm really surprised it's taken this long for anybody to take any action. This is not a movie This is the real deal.

  32. Leftism talking points and gaslighting. What else?
    Democrats Deep Ties To Russia & Ukraine Corruption https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wj-wNuKmBrY

  33. the only way that we can fix the Court problem is if the US does what FDR did and add two new seats to the SCOTUS!

  34. Trump got a roaring applause today, when he spoke at the Georgia World Congress Center & said, "Democrats want to invest in green global projects, I want to invest in Black American communities." We love Trump. He's awesome! https://twitter.com/i/status/1192920589822054402

  35. This professor of communism is totally ignorant of reality, and lives in his communist bubble. Thank God I never received a higher education, because this is the kind of man who may have been my mentor as he is for a lot of low intelligent morons Debt for the rest of their lives for listing to this fool. There are fascist, and they are the Democrats, there is a coup d'état by the communist going on right now. Communist always fear the leader, someone who could rise up and lead all those who have been brainwashed by their university professors

  36. How are these idiotic types benefitting from their loyalty to Trump, those in the WH, but especially the MAGA hat wearers?

  37. I'm not scared. I'm sad. I've known this for some time now. We have to take responsibility and be more honest and principled in everything we do. All of us.

  38. Yes, politicians do all lie, sometimes to protect their office / government / voters but the lies from the current president are solely for his personal benefit. He does this so openly and allowed to by his supporters, they are allowing a thug to ruin USA.

  39. Remember when he promised the people he'd never lie to them? Trump is a danger to the world, and also to the American people. He doesn't care whose life he destroys.
    Trump thinks he's a Czar.

  40. As far as appointing judges, Moscow Mitch has been obstructing democracy for eight years prior to Trump, and handed Trump almost 200 judge vacancies, because he refused to allow any of Obama's judge appointments to be heard in the Senate..

  41. This may be an important book to read for all Americans who are concerned about authoritarianism fascism and tyranny..
    https://www.goodreads.com/work/quotes/54882949-on-tyranny-twenty-lessons-from-the-twentieth-century

    https://reasonandmeaning.com/2018/07/23/review-of-timothy-synders-on-tyranny-twenty-lessons-from-the-twentieth-century/

  42. OMG!!!! WTF????? Most professors are better than this at public speaking.

    I had to stop shortly after he used cooptation incorrectly. Cooptation… a word people use to say: “Look at me… I have a PhD”

    People with his appearance are usually described as “Having a face made for radio”. Then he spoke. Forget radio.

    If I had to watch this guy speak for one class, my head would explode.

    This guy might have a PhD and a lengthy list of credentials, but please do not ever use him again.

    Us folks having the minimum daily requirement of Common Sense, do not need anyone with a PhD to tell us the facts we see for ourselves.

    Most Trump supporters stubbornly refuse to listen to facts from anyone… including a guy with a PhD.

  43. Hope all your staff walk out on you trump you don't need descent people around you. You are a corrupt piece of shit.

  44. This is what terrifies me the most ….he made a good point that in the past we all knew our politicians lied. but we held them accountable for it. now there's no moral compass!! Trump's supporters just threw that right out there front door. now anything's acceptable and nobody has to be held accountable. of course except who they deem their enemies. that is fascism that is dictatorship take your pick. Put 'ISM' at the end and that is what we have in the WH.

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