Many years ago I was in the cast of a production of “Evita.” A woman in the audience from Argentina said it reminded her of exactly how things were under Peron. In that show (an opera really) is a song called “The New Argentina.” Trump’s campaign rhetoric and his inaugural speech yesterday reminded me of that. Here are two verses.
Now I am a worker, I’ve suffered the way that you do
I’ve been unemployed, and I’ve starved and I’ve hated it too
But I found my salvation in Peron, may the nation
Let him save them as he saved me
Peron has resigned from the army and this we avow
The descamisados are those he is marching with now
He supports you, for he loves you
Understands you, is one of you
If not, how could he love me?
And the chorus…
A new Argentina, a new age about to begin
A new Argentina, we face the world together
And no dissent within
What I heard and saw yesterday reminded me of every populist demagogue in the world and in history. Some compare Trump to Hitler, but that misses the point. Hitler is the worst of a class of national leaders. Trump sounds like Saddam Hussein, Vladimir Lenin, Mao, Chiang Kai Chek, and many, many more.
The inaugural address was very short and consisted of hostility to those he replaces and promises he can fix everything. He gives a dark view of America and promises to make everything right again. This is not optimism. Ronald Reagan was optimistic and he followed a President who was notably pessimistic. Here are two quotes from his 1981 inaugural.
Well, this administration’s objective will be a healthy, vigorous, growing economy that provides equal opportunities for all Americans, with no barriers born of bigotry or discrimination. Putting America back to work means putting all Americans back to work. Ending inflation means freeing all Americans from the terror of runaway living costs. All must share in the productive work of this “new beginning,” and all must share in the bounty of a revived economy. With the idealism and fair play which are the core of our system and our strength, we can have a strong and prosperous America, at peace with itself and the world.
The crisis we are facing today does not require of us the kind of sacrifice that Martin Treptow and so many thousands of others were called upon to make. It does require, however, our best effort and our willingness to believe in ourselves and to believe in our capacity to perform great deeds, to believe that together with God’s help we can and will resolve the problems which now confront us.
I disagreed with much about Reagan’s political views but his appeal to the entire country cannot be gainsaid. What did Donald Trump say yesterday? Reagan did not make accusations about the difficulties our nation faced when he became President. He did not lay blame, but indicated that government was not serving the people.
Now here is what Trump said yesterday.
This is his motto: America First. The first use of that term was The America First Committee in 1940. It’s spokesperson was Charles Lindbergh and they were explicitly anti-Semitic. Their claim was that the Jews (who ran everything, of course) wanted to get our country into the war against Germany for their own purposes. I still see this accusation today (and so will you, if you read on)
That expression was then the name of a political party in the 1940s while we were at war with Germany. They ran Gerald K. Smith, a racist and anti-Semite for President in 1944 and again, under the name Christian Nationalist Crusade, in 1948 (he got 42 votes nationally). The name America First has been used for far-right (and I mean really far right) organizations and parties since then. Most recently, in 2002, it was reborn when a group of Pat Buchanan supporters split from the Reform Party (Ross Perot’s).
The ADL appealed to Trump to stop using that phrase which is associated with anti-Semitism and racism. That was during the campaign. Trump ignored that.
Trump’s speech was co-written by Steve Bannon (did you think Trump wrote it?) who represents the right-most edge of American politics. We can see that this political adviser is the voice of the Trump administration.
Meanwhile David Duke responded to the speech with a declaration of war on Jews. Here is a quote from his web-site. http://davidduke.com/dr-david-duke-trump-inauguration-speech-declares-war-on-the-neocons-promotes-our-slogan-america-first/
Trump evoked my campaign slogan I used in my successful race for the House of Representatives, and I used in my quest for the Republican nomination in 1992, America First.
This is the historic slogan of the original Alt-Right and all patriotic Americans in days of Charles Lindbergh and the America First Party later that has stood up against both the Jewish globalist Commies and the Jewish globalist Capitalists.
Although there are a number of Jews around Trump, there is no doubt the Jewish-elite tribalist establishment hates Trump….
White people have the most basic human right of all: to live, and we have a right to govern our own nation rather than have these unelected Jewish tribalists run our politics, our foreign policy, our media, our banking institutions. An no one, no where will prevent us our right of self-preservation.
This is classic anti-Semitism and White Supremicism. This is the political voice of the new administration as voiced by our new President.
In such times, those of us who stand for humane values must be watchful and responsive. Silence is death.