American Curios: Trump

By David Brooks on March 13, 2023

It is troubling that at this point the question has to be asked as to whether Trump will be able to return to power in the 2024 elections. Even more alarming is that a neo-fascist return within this self-proclaimed beacon of democracy in the world cannot be ruled out.

Trump is already campaigning and with it come back the attacks against journalists as “enemies of the people”, the “I have other data” to promote deceptions and lies about elections, scientific facts or to silence critics, and also conspiracy theories and attacks against the so-called “Deep State” that includes sectors of the Judiciary, Congress, the FBI and the Pentagon that dare to question him. He revives the cultural political offensive against the rights and civil liberties of women, gays, resurfaces the racist rhetoric and of course the anti-immigrant attack so central to the first election campaign, including the famous wall.

Trump and his team have focused his campaign message on the theme of revenge: “for those who have been wronged or betrayed: I am your retribution,” the candidate repeats. In his recent speech, Trump stressed that “this is the final battle… everyone knows it… Either they win or we win, and if they win we will no longer have a country”. It is worth remembering that in December, he stated that his return to power, even if it means “ending” the Constitution, is the ultimate goal.

Now there is a possibility that he could be campaigning for the presidency while on trial before one or more courts, and that for the first time in history he will become the first former president to face criminal charges. In New York, the district attorney appears to be close to announcing a criminal indictment surrounding efforts to pay off a porn star, Stormy Daniels, for her silence during the first presidential campaign about a sexual affair. Will a brave and honest porn star finally be the thing that finally stops one of the most corrupt and misogynistic figures in the country’s modern history?

If the Daniels case, as has happened before, suddenly fails, another district attorney is investigating Trump’s efforts to reverse election results in Georgia in the 2020 election, where there are indications that criminal charges are being brought.

Of course, as with all investigations proceeding against him, from his role in the January 6, 2021 assault on the Capitol in a coup attempt to his handling of secret official documents, to his questionable business dealings, among others, Trump insists that he is guilty of nothing and that everything against him is part of “a witch hunt,” as he repeated again last week.

Despite these legal dangers for the former president and the challenge from other prominent politicians within the Republican Party who are seeking an alternative to him (the most mentioned for now is the current governor of Florida, Ron DeSantis, as well as his former vice president Mike Pence, who this week again said that Trump must be held accountable for his role in the assault on the Capitol), Trump continues to maintain broad support among the Republican base, and in the polls he remains in first place of preference.

And in the best of fascist tradition, the orange demon wraps himself in patriotic symbols. There are even musical messages: Trump has just recorded a single in which, while declaring the Pledge of Allegiance, a chorus of prisoners who participated in the assault on the Capitol on January 6, 2020 sing the national anthem and chant “USA, USA” at the end. This “band” is made up of those responsible for the unprecedented coup attempt in U.S. history.

The country has not managed to escape from the ominous shadow of neo-fascism and now everything depends on the resistance inside and outside the territory.

Source: La Jornada, translation Resumen Latinoamericano – US