A breeding ground for fascists?

Overthrows engineered by the military in Third World countries are ubiquitous, but is the U.S. now in danger of following this fascist paradigm? Military men Flynn, Kelly, Mattis, and McMaster are or were all members of Mr. Trump’s cabinet, and it’s clear that the Joint Chiefs have a lot of influence in this White House too. When one considers that the higher echelons in the military organizations are natural breeding grounds for fascists, the question arises whether civilian control of the military is in danger.

There are two sides of this tarnished coin, though. While one can question whether high-ranking ex-officers have directly experienced the horrors of war, they are closer to them than civilians. They might be more cautious than civilian leaders about a involving their country in wars. There’s a high probability that that’s the case in the Trump administration: the commander-in-chief doesn’t have a clue, but his military men do (Kelly even lost a son). Sometimes Mr. Trump follows the military’s advice; other times he cuts them off at the knees just like he does with the State Department.

I suspect Mr. Trump is more dangerous to the country and has more fascist tendencies than America’s military. He has all the characteristics of a fascist personality: he attacks anyone who disagrees with him, thinks most people love him, and believes he can do no wrong. His imperial scowl is known far and wide and has earned him the nickname Il Duce.

But I do worry about America’s military in the following sense: Will they have the guts to buck a paranoid and narcissistic despot like Trump? After all, for the commander-in-chief, making America great again implies making America’s military great again—as if it weren’t already. We spent too much on defense in the past; now it’s worse. Will these good times for America’s military leaders motivate them to blindly obey the immoral commands of their commander-in-chief? Will they aid and abet the wannabe fascist in the White House in order to maintain their privileged role and share some of his power and glory? Will they turn to fascism along with Il Duce and his cohorts instead of protecting our democracy?

At the highest levels, the Trump administration doesn’t have a good track record. Mr. Flynn and probably most of the Trump family and his administration should probably be charged with treason unless you believe making deals with Putin and his cronies, removal of Russian sanctions in exchange for throwing the election to Trump, is patriotic. Kelly has shown his true colors, first as DHS head who put in place the most insidious anti-immigration policies this country has known, and second as chief-of-staff who backed his boss’s support of Ku Klux Clan members and neo-Nazis in the aftermath of the riots around removing that statue of General Lee. Mattis hasn’t said much of anything, but isn’t that the same as condoning? McMaster seems simply to be incompetent, and I worry about an ex-military man being the National Security Adviser. Trump likes all his generals…until they buck him, and that’s exactly the problem. Do they enjoy their power so much they won’t buck him?

Let us hope circumstances never bring us to the point where we have to answer these questions in the affirmative, but four years is a long time in this very dangerous world for Mr. Trump to do tremendous damage. More than two dozen psychiatrists have said that he’s mentally unfit for the office of president.  And remember, this megalomaniac carries around that nuclear football and can start a nuclear war at the drop of a hat…or hint of an insult directed toward him!

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And so it goes….

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