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Carl Bernstein: Trump Represents "A New Kind Of American Fascism"

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posted on Mar, 14 2016 @ 02:42 PM
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Pulitzer Prize winning journalist Carl Bernstein who along with Bob Woodward, famously broke the Watergate scandal, is saying that we need to have an open, honest and public discussion about some of the most authoritarian aspects of Trump's rhetoric.

RealClearPolitics


CARL BERNSTEIN: It is a difficult term, and the word "neo" has a lot to do with it -- meaning a new kind of fascist in our culture, dealing with an authoritarian demagogic point of view. Nativist, racist, anti-immigrant bigotry that he appeals to. I think we need to look to the past --and I'm not talking about Hitlerism and genocide. I'm not drawing a direct paralel to Mussolini.

But it is a kind of American fascism we haven't seen before. This goes beyond George Wallace, who was merely a racist. This goes to authoritarianism and the desire for a strong man who doesn't trust the institutions and democracy and government.


It should be noted that Bernstein is not attempting to draw direct comparisons to Hitler or Mussolini and in an interview I was just watching, he deliberately went out of his way to explain why these comparisons don't hold up. Rather, he sees in Trump, a new and perhaps particularly American twist on fascism. While I can see elements of fascism among other candidates — and in the current President — and I cannot in good faith say that I actually support any of them, Donald Trump throws up one red flag after another.

Even if you agree with his rhetoric about illegal immigrants and Muslims and even even if you believe that every protester at a campaign rally deserves a punch in the face, Trump's other authoritarian positions should be of grave concern to everyone. Even if you, like me, don't believe that Donald Trump will win the general election, you should be concerned that your fellow Americans are so willing to pile onto a would be tyrant's bandwagon.

He's anti Freedom of the Press.

From day 1 he's been promoting a narrative of being under attack by the media. He inoculated himself against criticism from the press by announcing himself as a victim from the very onset. Yet, paradoxically, he's been the most covered candidate of the current election cycle and perhaps one of the most covered candidates in HISTORY. His team of media proxies make one appearance after another. It's impossible to read any political news without seeing multiple Trump related headlines. I know many of you who are reading this will believe wholeheartedly that "the establishment's media" is out to "get Trump" and your distrust of the media doesn't exist without reason but how can you be so blind to his obvious manipulation?

Out of his own mouth:


"One of the things I'm going to do if I win, and I hope we do and we're certainly leading. I'm going to open up our libel laws so when they write purposely negative and horrible and false articles, we can sue them and win lots of money. We're going to open up those libel laws. So when The New York Times writes a hit piece which is a total disgrace or when The Washington Post, which is there for other reasons, writes a hit piece, we can sue them and win money instead of having no chance of winning because they're totally protected," Trump said.


Let me first point out that American Presidents don't have the power to "open up laws" and he's openly talking like a would be dictator. Speaking of opening up:

He opens up every rally, jowls flapping as he points to the members of the media in the back and calls them "liars" and people suck it down. When it's a member of the "alternative" right-wing media like Michelle Fields from Breitbart News who is claiming that she was manhandled by a staffer — she's labeled a liar and attention seeker (by the supporters of the greatest ATTENTION WHORE the world has ever known).

[continued in next post]
edit on 2016-3-14 by theantediluvian because: (no reason given)




posted on Mar, 14 2016 @ 02:42 PM
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I'll ignore the other First Amendment protections he wants to violate because I'm a realist and I know that no matter how many times I say it, it will be difficult for people to relate violation of American Muslims' Freedom of Religion to their own right to worship how they choose without being targeted for scrutiny by the government.

He's anti Fourth Amendment.

Do you think it's the Muslims whose rights he wants to piss all over? How do you feel about YOUR RIGHTS to be secure against unreasonable searches and seizures? What do you think of domestic spying?


Republican presidential front-runner Donald Trump on Tuesday sided with Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) over Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) on restoring surveillance measures under the Patriot Act.

"I tend to err on the side of security, I must tell you," Trump told conservative radio host Hugh Hewitt when asked about the metadata program.

"When you have the world looking at us and would like to destroy us as quickly as possible, I err on the side of security," Trump added.



“And I’m not just saying that since Paris — I’m saying for some time,” Mr. Trump said. “I assume when I pick up my telephone, people are listening to my conversations anyway, you want to know the truth. It’s pretty sad commentary. But I err on the side of security.”

Mr. Hewitt asked Mr. Trump if he would be in favor of restoring the Patriot Act.

“I think that would be fine. As far as I’m concerned, that would be fine,” Mr. Trump said.


How many rights does Mr. Trump believe we should forfeit for the "war on terror?" Consider the following statement:


"We're going to have to do things that we never did before. And some people are going to be upset about it, but I think that now everybody is feeling that security is going to rule," he told Yahoo News. "And certain things will be done that we never thought would happen in this country in terms of information and learning about the enemy. And so we're going to have to do certain things that were frankly unthinkable a year ago."


He's not even trying to disguise his wiliness to trample our civil liberties. I'd also like to point something out that some of you may not have been aware of. In my experience on ATS, it seems that Edward Snowden has a lot of fans. Well, don't count Trump among your numbers. Authoritarians dictators snuff out whistleblowers:


“I think Snowden is a terrible threat, I think he’s a terrible traitor, and you know what we used to do in the good old days when we were a strong country — you know what we used to do to traitors, right?” Trump said, Politico reported.

“Well, you killed them, Donald,” said fill-in host, Eric Bolling.

Mr. Trump’s response: Well, he is damaging America.

“This guy is really doing damage to this country, and he’s also making us look like dopes,” he said, Politico reported. “We can’t allow this guy to go out there and give out all our secrets and also embarrass us at every level. We should get him back and get him back now.”


There is plenty of reason for anger an concern but this electing a fascist out of spite is not the answer.
edit on 2016-3-14 by theantediluvian because: (no reason given)



posted on Mar, 14 2016 @ 03:00 PM
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a reply to: theantediluvian

Yes Trump has said some things, that is obvious. We get it. But saying some things, even if wrong, not well thought out, or in poor taste, does not a fascist dictator make. And it is a grave assumption that fascism, whether American or not, will gain a foothold in 2016 America.

If he follows through with any one of those things you've mentioned, I will be with you in calling him fascist. But until he does , we should be careful to stick to the principles of presumption of innocence, because someone is going to get it in their head he actually is a fascist dictator long before he has proven that to be true, and take matters into their own hands. It is dangerous and foolish to make these assumptions before they are true.



posted on Mar, 14 2016 @ 03:07 PM
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It's troubling - he spews the very same rhetoric, and supports the very same legislation that those "corrupt politicians," have long carried out and expanded upon.

The Consitution as it stands directly violates many of Trumps policies, but it shouldn't it be the other way around? People may say, "well we wouldn't know until after he is elected," yet here we are - the writing on the wall - Trump expressing his ideas as President, and what does that entail?

What the OP has summarized, many of which are Unconstituional.

I will not stick to the presumption of innocence, for the man has clearly spoken and is in favor of unsconsituional programs. There's no way I could ever support this.



posted on Mar, 14 2016 @ 03:11 PM
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a reply to: LesMisanthrope

Ok then, he's a proto-fascist, but more than embryonic.

The guy is dangerous and appears to be mentally unhinged, unless he really is dumbing down for the lowest common denominator.



posted on Mar, 14 2016 @ 03:11 PM
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a reply to: LesMisanthrope




Yes Trump has said some things, that is obvious. We get it. But saying some things, even if wrong, not well thought out, or in poor taste, does not a fascist dictator make. And it is a grave assumption that fascism, whether American or not, will gain a foothold in 2016 America.


I usually agree with your posts however, I believe its an even more GRAVE assumption to think that this couldnt happen again.

The big difference between SAYING some things and DOING some things, is having the power to implement it, you know, like the highest seat of power in the land. We already know he has the money



posted on Mar, 14 2016 @ 03:13 PM
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originally posted by: aorAki
a reply to: LesMisanthrope

Ok then, he's a proto-fascist, but more than embryonic.

The guy is dangerous and appears to be mentally unhinged, unless he really is dumbing down for the lowest common denominator.



All of the above I believe, but his followers will not acknowledge this. I just watched as someone posted on facebook about how nasty his supporters are (with videos) and then the hate and vitriol from people posting in response to the video, telling everyone how they are NOT like that, as they proceed to cuss and berrate the poster of the video.

Careful Trump supporters youre getting dangerously close to this:



posted on Mar, 14 2016 @ 03:19 PM
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a reply to: theantediluvian

The best argument against democracy is a five minute conversation with the average voter. I've got no problem with a little fascism so long as it's my kind of guy and trump is my kind for guy. BLM and Bernie bros aren't my kind of "guys."
edit on 14-3-2016 by Sbondo because: (no reason given)



posted on Mar, 14 2016 @ 03:22 PM
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a reply to: CrazyWater

....and a Trump support website co-ordinator was e-mailed a picture of their child in front of his school with the message,'ím coming for him',the website was shut down,no wonder people are angry when this is the type of filth that oppose them,but the thing is they are no longer scared or intimidated they are angry,your country will be on fire before this is over.



posted on Mar, 14 2016 @ 03:23 PM
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a reply to: CrazyWater

But then there is that little thing called the constitution, congress and the Supreme Court, not to mention the representative democracy of the country.



posted on Mar, 14 2016 @ 03:24 PM
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I find it ironic that the types of people that support him are generally opposed to authority, and yet they are supporting an authoritarian...

I guess iron-fisted authority is only good when its given to you in a flavor you like?



posted on Mar, 14 2016 @ 03:36 PM
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originally posted by: khnum
a reply to: CrazyWater

....and a Trump support website co-ordinator was e-mailed a picture of their child in front of his school with the message,'ím coming for him',the website was shut down,no wonder people are angry when this is the type of filth that oppose them,but the thing is they are no longer scared or intimidated they are angry,your country will be on fire before this is over.


And that is NEVER ok, but when your campaign is known for its vitriol , violent rhetoric, nasty tone, and attacks on other people, and your campaign leader is known to call publicly for physical violence against people.

You are going to end up reaping what you sew.



posted on Mar, 14 2016 @ 03:38 PM
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originally posted by: LesMisanthrope
a reply to: CrazyWater

But then there is that little thing called the constitution, congress and the Supreme Court, not to mention the representative democracy of the country.


Correct, but yet where had anything of the sort ever stopped a person of power who violated it in our past history?

Not only that, Trump has proven that he only cares about the constitution when it benefits him, when it doesnt, its just an obstacle to be tossed aside.

He espouses this ideology in his rantings during his speeches

ANd we think this will change when he gets into power? Not a chance



posted on Mar, 14 2016 @ 03:42 PM
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a reply to: LesMisanthrope

Your point is taken and not lightly. I certainly don't advocate any sort of violence against any of the candidates. Trump is after all campaigning in a free election, not organizing a coup d'etat. I'm hoping that reasoned arguments can persuade people to critically consider the implications of the rhetoric they're too often applauding.



posted on Mar, 14 2016 @ 03:43 PM
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a reply to: theantediluvian
He's anti Freedom of the Press.

From day 1 he's been promoting a narrative of being under attack by the media. He inoculated himself against criticism from the press by announcing himself as a victim from the very onset. Yet, paradoxically, he's been the most covered candidate of the current election cycle and perhaps one of the most covered candidates in HISTORY. His team of media proxies make one appearance after another. It's impossible to read any political news without seeing multiple Trump related headlines. I know many of you who are reading this will believe wholeheartedly that "the establishment's media" is out to "get Trump" and your distrust of the media doesn't exist without reason but how can you be so blind to his obvious manipulation?

Out of his own mouth:


"One of the things I'm going to do if I win, and I hope we do and we're certainly leading. I'm going to open up our libel laws so when they write purposely negative and horrible and false articles, we can sue them and win lots of money. We're going to open up those libel laws. So when The New York Times writes a hit piece which is a total disgrace or when The Washington Post, which is there for other reasons, writes a hit piece, we can sue them and win money instead of having no chance of winning because they're totally protected," Trump said.


Let me first point out that American Presidents don't have the power to "open up laws" and he's openly talking like a would be dictator. Speaking of opening up:

He opens up every rally, jowls flapping as he points to the members of the media in the back and calls them "liars" and people suck it down. When it's a member of the "alternative" right-wing media like Michelle Fields from Breitbart News who is claiming that she was manhandled by a staffer — she's labeled a liar and attention seeker (by the supporters of the greatest ATTENTION WHORE the world has ever known).


That is BS, Libel Laws are already on the books and been used against the press and others for ever. Damn, ever heard of slander suits. He said when they write purposeful lies, which is slander and against the libel laws. This isn't the first time you wrote this either. You said it in another thread and people told you the same thing I am. The media should be sued for lying and ruining lives or running propaganda. They are not free to use their power to ruin people or companies, or anything else by writing lies. Maybe they have been getting away with it more, but if the MSM which almost everyone know is more full of crap than a Christmas Turkey had been called to account we wouldn't have the mess we have now.

I am not defending Trump, but it is repeated attempts at hit pieces like this that make me one that will be voting for him. Tired of people trying to destroy people because they don't agree with their views. It is one reason we don't have any good candidates run for office any more in this country. Because none of the good people want to have to have the media lies and hit pieces try to ruin their lives when they have done good things throughout their lives. Everyone messes up. People act like some Saint should be coming out of the woodwork to run for office. BS, not even they would put up with the state of the press and politics in this country. And people like you are part of the problem, not part of the solution.
edit on 14/3/16 by spirit_horse because: (no reason given)



posted on Mar, 14 2016 @ 03:50 PM
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a reply to: CrazyWater




Correct, but yet where had anything of the sort ever stopped a person of power who violated it in our past history?

Not only that, Trump has proven that he only cares about the constitution when it benefits him, when it doesnt, its just an obstacle to be tossed aside.

He espouses this ideology in his rantings during his speeches

ANd we think this will change when he gets into power? Not a chance


Obama's immigration plan was ruled unconstitutional, for example.

It doesn't matter if Trump cares for the constitution or not; he must uphold it.

His policies are available on his website for your reading pleasure.



posted on Mar, 14 2016 @ 03:55 PM
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I would like to think that if Trump got in office and tried to do fascistic actions like certain things he suggests then the American people would come down on him like fire and brimstone.

Conservatives, liberals, libertarians, progressives, moderates all would jump in his case and devour him politically…destroy him. Impeach him and get rid of him...


Trump may be a test for America


I hope it passes the test



posted on Mar, 14 2016 @ 03:57 PM
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originally posted by: MystikMushroom
I find it ironic that the types of people that support him are generally opposed to authority, and yet they are supporting an authoritarian...

I guess iron-fisted authority is only good when its given to you in a flavor you like?



Obama............Black Lives Matter..............Violence against police............

Sorry, but you would have to be an absolute IDIOT to dissolve the police on the local level to turn them into Federal thugs!

Can you show me any instance of Trump supporters OR Trump disrespecting or saying anything bad about our LEO's?

Kind of hard to do after Obama neutered them don't you think?
edit on 14-3-2016 by seeker1963 because: (no reason given)



posted on Mar, 14 2016 @ 03:59 PM
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a reply to: theantediluvian




Your point is taken and not lightly. I certainly don't advocate any sort of violence against any of the candidates. Trump is after all campaigning in a free election, not organizing a coup d'etat. I'm hoping that reasoned arguments can persuade people to critically consider the implications of the rhetoric they're too often applauding.


I cannot disagree with you there. The implications of "opening up libel laws" or "bringing back torture", for instance, are particularly troubling. Maybe it's too idealistic of me, but as a self-proclaimed man of principle, I hope Trump too listens to reasoned arguments.

He has already backpeddaled on the torture comments:


However, Trump's campaign issued a statement on Friday quoting him as saying he would not order the military to take actions contrary to international or US law.

The use of torture and the killing of civilians are barred by the Geneva Conventions, to which the US is a signatory.

"I do, however, understand that the United States is bound by laws and treaties and I will not order our military or other officials to violate those laws and will seek their advice on such matters," Trump said. "It is clear that as president I will be bound by laws, just like all Americans, and I will meet those responsibilities."


Donald backpedals on torture

This should be applauded, in my opinion.



posted on Mar, 14 2016 @ 04:02 PM
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Good Job anti-Trump-a-tears !!!

His popularity is soaring.



What if this guy actually gets the nomination?



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