11 January 2017

Nazi tactics?

It was an interesting choice of words from the President-elect to characterize the newest sleaze campaign against him. Given the context -- as ever, the allegation is that Donald Trump has a compromised or compromising relationship with Russia -- the right term might have been McCarthyism, but Trump is probably wise not to use that term, since many of his older constituents probably believe that McCarthy was right all along. The irony is that "Nazi tactics" is exactly what you'd expect a Russian or a Russophile to say, since they tend to see anyone who hates Russia as a Nazi. This latest round reinforces our impression of the bipartisan nature of both Trumpophobia and Russophobia, since the dirty dossier was, as I understand it, initiated for use against Trump during the Republican primaries, then was passed on, or at least offered, to the Democrats, and was more recently passed on to the FBI by Senator McCain, who reportedly made no judgment on the actual claims made but was impressed by the sources. Get ready for up to four more years of this. The hunt for smoking guns proving corrupt ties between Trump and Russia will be unrelenting, because American Russophobes believe even the desire for better, less judgmental relations with Vladimir Putin to be corrupt. The role of Republican neocons in whipping up the hunt makes clear that this is more than a matter of partisan sour grapes among Democrats. And you don't have to be some naive or, alternately, heartless character to recognize something irrational in this fear of Putin in particular, if not Russia in general, among the American political establishment. I don't doubt that Putin is a corrupt bully whom Russian liberals and East Europeans have every right to hate, but he is self-evidently not the same sort of threat to the United States that he is to those unfortunate groups, and American diplomats should not treat him as such. I wonder, presuming that McCarthyism circa 1950 reflected an American fear that communism was catching on not only around the world but at home as well, whether 21st century Russophobia, focused on Trump as a Russian stooge, reflects a current fear that "authoritarianism" is catching on at home, but has to be blamed on outside forces and treacherous Americans. It's still highly debatable whether Trump represents any sort of "authoritarian" tendency -- it really can't be proven one way or another until he actually wields authority -- but if he does we'd be better off, as the original McCarthyists would have, seeking domestic sources for the problem instead of foreign monsters to destroy.


Anonymous said...

I find it odd that many of the people whining about possible connections between tRump and Putin are the same people who are pro-muslim. Perhaps the real fear is that tRump will impose a ban on buying oil from muslim countries in favor of Russia, in order to thwart muslim oil countries from having money to support ISIS and other anti-Western groups.

Something else I find odd. I recently ran across a news story about people going through Michael Jackson's Neverland Ranch, who allegedly found a room locked behind a steel door that contained numbers of stuffed toys, life-size superhero action figures and photographs of naked children and children being tortured. Yet this hasn't been picked up by any major news networks. I should think if the Fantasy Awards are going to ban Lovecraft's image from being used for their award because of his "racist" proclivities, then other groups would want to ban Jackson's legacy due to his extremely sick and perverted pedophile proclivities.

Samuel Wilson said...

I suspect Trump will be more interested in restarting oil drilling wherever the Obama administration has blocked it -- in fact, if he prioritizes buying from Russia over that he might please some environmentalists but he'll also further stir up suspicions among the Republican Russophobes.

Hadn't heard about Lovecraft -- WTF? If others haven't, and I'm ashamed to say it's old news, check this out. Lovecraft was pretty vile in his racism but it's not as if his whole body of work was racist, though I suppose some people can read race into anything.

The Neverland thing may not have made it onto TV but it looks like the newspapers covered it at the time, though not as front-page material since Jackson is dead. Given how many college football fans still want Penn State banned from bowl games because of the Jeff Sandusky scandal I'd expect some outcry if awards or institutions were named for Jackson, but right now the hue and cry is over someone casting a white actor to play Jacko in an upcoming movie.

Anonymous said...

"but right now the hue and cry is over someone casting a white actor to play Jacko in an upcoming movie."
Which is part of my point - they shouldn't even be making a movie about him, unless they're going to include that part of his life. He was very obviously a pedophile, but also into child torture. That does not deserve celebration, it deserves condemnation.

Samuel Wilson said...

The project, which has now been shelved, turns out not to have been a full-length biopic but an episode of an "Urban Myths" series that would have shown Jackson, Marlon Brando and Elizabeth Taylor making a panicked cross-country drive together immediately after the 2001 terrorist attacks. I imagine some people still think the pedophilia is an urban myth of some sort. The desire not to believe is often as strong as the will to believe.

Anonymous said...

"The desire not to believe"

The inability to accept facts that are inconsistent with one's world view.