In the present entry, I am going to talk about radicalisation and extremism in the context of the climate after the election and inauguration of Donald Trump as the 45th President of the United States. I will discuss the Weimar Republic, the Third Reich, Ulster and America in the 1970's with particular reference to Professor Dominic Sandbrook's book Mad As Hell: The Crisis Of The 1970's And The Rise Of The Populist Right. I am also going talk about Maxime Bernier, Canada's cartel economy and the Women's March, and about Lindsey Graham, Representative Elise Stefanik of Upstate New York and Senator Mark Lee of Utah. Furthermore, I am going to talk about President Trump's tacit exclusion of Saudi Arabia from his list of banned countries and about the Affordable Care Act, otherwise known as Obamacare.
Radicalisation, the process of turning an otherwise ordinary, normal, person into an extremist, begets further radicalisation of those this newly-minted radical targets. History is rife with examples of this happening. In Germany after the 23, October 1918 Lansing Note declared that the allies would not negotiate with the monarchy, the Kaiser, as well as the Kings and Princes of the individual German states were bloodily overthrown by leftist regimes. In Bavaria, one such regime massacred hostages it had taken from "the bourgeois." This led to the Freikorps bloodily retaking the State with heavy casualties on all sides. From the ranks of these Freikorps, many future Nazis emerged, such as Martin Bormann and his protégé, the Auschwitz Commandant Rudolf Höß. By 1925, however, the appeal of both the Freikorps and the Nazis began to wane and the period 1925-1930 saw dismal electoral performances by the Nazi Party. The Great Depression of 1930 changed this, boosting Nazi fortunes, but while the Depression was the immediate catalyst for the sudden popularity of the Nazis, memories of the extreme left's massacres of "bourgeois" hostages in Bavaria in 1919 also factored in among some portions of the electorate.
In Ulster, persistent Roman Catholic attempts to subvert the Province and force it into an Anschluss with the de facto Vatican Protectorate that was and is the Republic of Ireland provoked the formation of the illicit, proscribed loyalist paramilitaries, many members thereof being sentenced over the decades for acts of violence.
This happened more recently in America, as Professor Sandbrook points out in Mad As Hell. Professor Sandbrook points out that the Christian fundamentalist movement of Jerry Fartwell, Jimmy Swaggart and Anal Roberts, as well as the anti-feminist movement of Phyllis Schlafly did not sprout up organically out of nowhere, but were both, rather, reactions to the extremes of the 1960's riots. This is consistent with something Mr. Bumblebee --the honcho with the Wooly Bumblebee of ProblematicPeople.com, both Bumblebees also being a supporters of the rad new site AkkadianTimes.com--has consistently said, which is that opposition to abortion was not always a central tenet of the Republican Party, which only took up this cause in the 1960's and 1970's. The Christian fundamentalist movement of Fartwell et al born in reaction to the violent hippies of the 1960's were a nascent constituency, and the Republican Party swooped in to lock this constituency down as one of their own. The Chicago rioters of 1968 bear at least some responsibility for the rise of Fartwell and, further down the line, the restrictions on aid to groups providing abortion services or talking about abortion that President Trump put into place again this past week.
Knowing these three clear historical trajectories, does it make sense for those who oppose Stephen Bannon, Richard Spencer and Millennial Woes to violently protest? To use terms like "resist" in what is still a constitutional democracy with a functioning Congress that serves as a check on the Presidency? To say that "It is OK to hit a neo-Nazi?" Or will doing all or any of this simply do what the leftist extremists who massacred "bourgeois" hostages in Munich, what Roman Catholic irredentists did in Ulster and what the 1968 Chicago rioters did, and create more and more latter-day Freikorps, illicit and proscribed loyalist paramilitaries who commit acts of violence and Jerry Fartwells with organisations large and influential enough to comprise a significant constituency?
Have no doubts that Congress still is a check on the current Presidency. Lost in recent days amidst the shouting has been the news that Republican Senator Lindsey Graham has condemned the Presidency for alleging voter fraud without evidence. Lost amidst the shouting and the violence of the Women's March has been the news that Republican Senator Mark Lee of Utah--on the very day of the inauguration--introduced a Bill that would severely limit that Presidency's ability to act on tariffs and trade by subjecting all Presidential actions on these matters to Congressional oversight. Lost in the shouting over the Presidency's executive order on the wall with Mexico has been the news that Republican Congresswoman Elise Stefanik has introduced a bill that makes it easier for Upstate New York farms to hire foreign workers. The CNN talks a lot about "fake news" and "alternative facts." Would it be entirely amiss to hypothesise that their obsessive focus on inaugural attendance numbers, to the detriment of reporting the news of Senator Lee and Congresswoman Stefanik's bills, constitutes "fake news" and "alternative facts" by omission?
Nor is this the only thing the CNN has omitted. In their report on the Presidency's ban on visitors from certain countries, they list these countries as Iraq, Syria, Iran, Sudan, Libya, Somalia and Yemen. Nowhere in that report does the CNN note the glaring absence of Saudi Arabia--which produced the most 9/11 hijackers and which supports ISIS--from that list of banned countries. In failing to notice this at best, and in omitting this at worst, the CNN has failed in its duty to keep the world fully apprised of a rather significant development. Despite all his inaugural talk of "America first" and of combating "radical Islamic terrorism," President Trump has shown himself to be kowtowing to the Saudis, just like Bush Deuce and Obama before him. This strongly suggests that President Trump is not the omnipotent potentate the CNN makes him out to be. This also strongly suggests that, despite whatever he may say, there are certain things President Trump will not do, there are certain elements of "business as usual" that he will keep firmly in place. This means that President Trump is not as politically powerful as the CNN and the Women's March make him out to be.
Speaking of the Women's March, this New York Times article gives their numbers in Washington as 470,000. An article in The Atlantic puts the nationwide Women's March figures for 21, January 2017 at between 3.3 million and 4.6 million. America has a population of over 300 million, which indicates that the Women's Marchers represent about one percent of the population. America remains divided on many of the issues that these Marchers were marching about.The concerns of the one percent do not necessarily precisely and accurately reflect the views of the 99%. I fully support Canadian federal Conservative Party leadership candidate Maxime Bernier's open attack on Canada's cartels, which choke the economy. I am also very well aware that M. Bernier was the only candidate in the party's recent French-language leadership debate to condemn the cartels, and I am also very well aware that, under Canada's parliamentary system, each Member of Parliament (including the Prime Minister and the Cabinet) have to be first elected in their own constituencies. This means that the cartels, which exist in every Province, can effectively dominate each federal party, leaving Maxime Bernier and me as the only open opponents of the cartels. In other words, I have no illusions that my views on the cartels ever have any hope of being translated into the establishment of a free market economy in Canada.
By contrast, Americans of all political persuasions are covered by the Affordable Care Act. This anti-Obamacare Forbes Magazine article estimates that, as of 2015, between 17 million and 22 million people were insured by the Affordable Care Act. 17 to 22 million people translates into 5.6% to 7.3% of the population of 300 million, which is somewhat larger than a mere one percent. If the Presidency, the Congress already having voted to repeal Obamacare, fumbles the replacement of the Affordable Care Act and these 17 to 22 million people are left uncovered would comprise a natural constituency for the Democratic Party during the 2018 midterm elections.
Why, then, would anyone go along with the radicalising extremism of the one percent when the 5.6% to 7.3% of all political persuasions could very well naturally effect change in less than two years' time?
It is not entirely true that the agitations of the social justice jihadists got Candidate Trump elected. In a 60 Minutes interview with professional newsman Scott Pelley, a Hispanic factory worker in Ohio indicated that he was voting for Trump because of his unemployment. This indicates that economic motivations for voting for Trump cannot be entirely discarded in favour of political motivations for doing the same thing. This does NOT mean, however, that social justice jihadists and their excesses had zero effect on radicalising some people into becoming Trump voters, just as the leftists' massacre of "bourgeois" hostages in Bavaria in 1919 radicalised some ordinary people into becoming supporters of the Freikorps, (and later the Nazis), just as Roman Catholic agitations against the de jure government in Ulster radicalised some ordinary Protestants into becoming violent, felonious members of illegal and proscribed loyalist paramilitaries, just as the violence of the 1968 Chicago rioters created a market for Jerry Fartwell and Phyllis Schlafly.
The question then becomes, does one want to become part of the problem or part of the solution? Does one want to become the stereotype of the violent agitator "resisting" a democratically elected government, or does one prefer to use already long available tools to work on the political vulnerabilities of this government to which one objects? By not lumping in Saudi Arabia with Iran, Iraq, Syria, Yemen, Libya, Sudan and Somalia in his list of banned countries, President Trump has shown that there are limits he will not cross, his public bombast notwithstanding. Although Senator Graham's loud protest against the Presidency's allegations of voter fraud was ignored by the CNN, the CNN did report that President Trump is setting up and inquiry into this matter, which suggests--or, at the very least, does not rule out the possibility--that Senator Graham's opposition served as a brake on the Presidency's momentum on this matter.
Congress, in other words, has the potential of doing to the Presidency domestically what the Saudis did to it in the exterior, which is to say serve as an actuator on the door, if not as a full-on brake. A sensical alternative to rioting against and "resisting" the Administration would be to devote one's energy to electing a Democratic majority in both houses in 2018. Another such sensical alternative would be to write open letters to one's Representative and Senators signalling and detailing one's opposition to those Administration policies one does not like. This latter alternative would give even Republican Representatives and Senators space and cover to oppose, impede, or perhaps even block, Administration measures to which one is opposed. Precisely this has happened before--and quite recently at that. In 2013, the United States Senate had a Democratic majority. This very same Democratic-majority Senate stopped then-President Obama's gun control project cold. The people who opposed this project did not riot like the Women's March. They worked entirely through the long-established democratic process, and they won without smashing a single window or burning a single car.