It was only a matter of time before a white supremacist vigilante murdered opponents of Donald Trump. The surprise was that it hadn’t happened sooner. There will be more of this in the run-up to the Presidential election.
This fresh outrage in the Wisconsin town of Kenosha followed days of protest after local police shot unarmed black man Jacob Blake seven times in the back. 17 year old Kyle Rittenhouse (above, left), a keen attender of Trump rallies, answered the call of a vigilante website and his mother drove him and his illegally owned AR-15 rifle twenty miles across the state line to shoot two protesters dead and blow the arm off another.
A paralysed Blake was taken to hospital only to be chained to his bed. In contrast, the vigilante presence in Kenosha was welcomed by the police, who thanked them for being there. A clearly armed Rittenhouse was allowed through police lines and to go home to bed — an unimaginable outcome if he’d been black.
Rittenhouse turned himself in the next day and was charged with murder, but that hasn’t stopped Trumpers making out he’s some kind of hero.
Tucker Carlson, a rabid far right demagogue on Rupert Murdoch’s Fox News channel, effectively justified the shootings as Rittenhouse “maintaining law and order”.
Rock stars like Neil Young and The Rolling Stones have sued the Trump campaign for using their songs without permission. The most appropriate one though is Meghan Trainor’s It’s All About The Bass. Trump’s strategy in the light of his disastrous handling of the coronavirus pandemic is to fire up his base so that they go out and vote, whilst at the same time suppressing the votes of the opposition.
At last week’s Republican National Convention viewers were treated to lashings of what has been dubbed “fear porn”, and asked to believe in the terrifying prospect of “anarchy in the streets” should Joe Biden get elected. The Trumpists hope that fresh protests against police brutality will stampede waverers to their camp.
The FBI have been consistently pointing to infiltration of the police in recent years by white supremacist groups. It’s not beyond the bounds of possibility that some rogue cops will go about deliberately shooting other black people in order to spark more riots and benefit Trump.
Is Trumpism American fascism? Does it tick all of the textbook definitions? The devil comes in many guises. The closing rally of the RNC in the White House grounds would have done the late Joseph Goebbels proud. Trump spouted out as many lies as there were American flags on display.
The idea of Trump as “the law and order candidate” is obviously a sick joke, given the countless laws and constitutional conventions he’s broken. Trump knows that failure to win will result in him and his crooked family doing prison time, so he’ll pull out every dirty trick in the book to prevent it.
The next two months are going to get more violent, probably reaching a crescendo in the first week of November as Trump contests the result and tries to disallow postal votes.
His victory will worsen the condition of the American working class as he attacks their healthcare and social security benefits. It will further embolden white supremacist vigilantes and racist cops. Democratic rights and media freedom will come under further attack. The judiciary will be further stacked with Trump appointees.
A third term for Trump? Yes, that is against the constitution, but it is not impossible to change that constitution, or else get one of his offspring to stand in 2024 to perpetuate the dynasty. Such prospects, far fetched not so long ago, aren’t so now.
Trumpism may or may not represent a distinct strain of fascism, but a Trump victory will certain set the USA a lot further down the road to the establishment of a far-right authoritarian regime. The left must do all in its power to prevent that.