Saturday, September 3, 2016

Authoritarian Populism in U.S. Harks Back to Nazi Political Techniques

As much as we have heard "Nazi" tossed around and misused by the American extreme right, and repeated by the media, I cringe that I just used it in a headline.  Because, it's a correct use of the comparison between Hitler's movement and what we are experiencing in the U.S. at this time.

This truth story lines out the comparisons, then and now.    "The Big Lie:"  How Trump Uses Authoritarian Propaganda Techniques.   By Douglas Kellner.

Authoritarianism, as used to whip up the masses who feel disenfranchised but whose suffering is better relieved by democracy and equality than a self-serving dictator, is not only opposite America's founding principles.  It is incredible to see it in action, to see how an "authoritarian populism" as amplified by Donald Trump stirs emotions and draws a Pied Piper line of mindless followers.

"Hillary's a criminal," said an otherwise rational man (I thought) and retired federal employee whom we ran into recently after not seeing him for several years.

"If a candidate's for abortion, that stops it right there with me," he said.  When we pointed out that Trump most assuredly has no problem with a woman having an abortion -- indeed, if he were the impregnator, he would insist on it -- our guy said:

"I would rather vote for somebody who says he's against abortion and is lying about it than somebody who says she's not against abortion."

It seems as if some sort of alien mind meld has mass-infected the populace.

Another former acquaintance, who discussed with me years ago how Americans had become mentally mushed by celebrity TV, recently decried the Democratic National Convention as full of "perverts and child molesters" while the RNC was full of patriots and police and Christians.

I do not get it.  Authoritarians vs. Empathizers is the basis of the divide in America.  While populism naturally fits with the Empathizers, it's this Authoritarian Populism that has taken over the national conversation.

This truth story lines out the comparisons, then and now.    "The Big Lie:"  How Trumps Uses Authoritarian Propaganda Techniques.   By Douglas Kellner.