Poor little Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg received harsh criticism from Donald Trump’s political rally in Georgia.
When Trump complained about Zuckerberg at the rally, the crowd began chanting “lock him up! – lock him up! – lock him up!
“Well, they should be looking at that, Trump said.
Trump’s comments came less than one week after a new report claimed the Facebook CEO cut a deal with Trump to avoid fact-checking political posts. In return, the Trump administration would not impose regulations on the social media behemoth.
Mark Zuckerberg laughed at by Obama alums after Trump discussed his imprisonment at Georgia rally
“Facebook sold its soul and got a ‘lock him up’ chant in return. While doing its part to destroy democracy around the world,” former Obama Deputy National Security Advisor Ben Rhodes said.
“This speech is a real indictment of the entire strategy employed by the Facebook public policy team. Years of twisting themselves into a pretzel to appease Trump only to have him through Zuck into imaginary Gitmo,” former White House senior advisor Dan Pfeiffer said.
“Guess those ass-kissing sessions at the White House and letting him break Facebook’s rules didn’t protect you Mark,” former Obama spokesperson Tommy Vietor said.
Well, The Trump propaganda network “Fox” did report the results of the Arizona report and confirmed Biden’s win reporting it one time never to be mentioned again. We checked their website and couldn’t find it…
One America News (OAN) carried it wall to wall but concluded that there was “no clear indication” that the election results in Maricopa County will be overturned.” But told their viewers that “several issues” with the election were found. They brought on Christina Bobb, who has worked with the Trump team to overturn the election. Bobb said the report showed “there is a lot of discrepancies.” She suggested there were “indications of fraud” and added that “there is a lot of explaining to do.” Except she offered no real proof and its all bullshit.
On Newsmax they said, “The numbers aren’t adding up to what they originally certified. That is a problem …”
Proponents of The Big Lie are portraying the Cyber Ninjas report as damning evidence in support of their case…
With all the nonstop lies and propaganda is it any wonder why the Trump death cultist are sinking further down in their rabbit hole of insanity.
It’s amazing to us how many of these cultists live here in Humboldt County. We guess that’s why the covid infection and death rate is so high here
The embrace of the Taliban by many white supremacists and anti-government Trump extremists is causing concern among American officials. The championing of the Taliban by the U.S. groups comes at a time that Afghan allies are coming to the United States as refugees for their own safety. The report details trends from these right groups that have been “framing the activities of the Taliban as a success,” and saying that it is a model for their efforts to create a civil war in the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Office of Intelligence and Analysis chief John Cohen cited the “great replacement” conspiracy theory that has been promoted recently by Fox News host Tucker Carlson as fuel for these white supremacists. “So we’re getting it and if history is any guide—and it’s always a guide —we will see many refugees from Afghanistan resettle in our country in coming months, probably in your neighborhood,” Carlson said during a recent broadcast. “And over the next decade, that number may swell to the millions. So first we invade, and then we’re invaded. It is always the same.” “There are concerns that those narratives may incite violent activities directed at immigrant communities, certain faith communities, or even those who are relocated to the United States,” said Cohen. A recent analysis said that far-right extremist groups have been “invigorated” by Afghanistan. Either they want to emulate the Taliban or they want to fight back against “invasions” by the refugees. “These farmers and minimally trained men fought to take back their nation back from “globohomo”. They took back their government, installed their national religion as law, and executed dissenters … If white men in the west had the same courage as the Taliban, we would not be ruled by Jews currently,” read one post from a fascist Proud Boys Telegram group.
In the past, hyperbolic rants from Trump Republicans and other right-wing nuts promising to take up arms would be dismissed as playing to their base. But after Jan. 6, such words have a different context. After all, the same Madison Cawthorn who at the time called Capitol invaders “disgusting” is now saying they are “political prisoners.” Recently Cawthorn said that there could be “bloodshed” over elections in the future. He has called masks “anti-science” and announced that Democrats want to arm Taliban fighters with automatic weapons. He told Americans that “we all need to be storing up some ammunition,” in response. Cawthorn said he may be forced to take up arms against the United States, an outright violation of his oath of office. And then there this open insurrection: The House Select Committee on the Jan 6 insurrection is requesting that nearly three dozen telecommunications companies preserve the phone records of Donald Trump, his family, and various GOP members of Congress as part of its probe into who fueled the fatal insurrection on January 6.
House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Ca. threatened at any company who complies with the congressional panel’s request, warning that “a Republican majority will not forget. “Rep. Margie terrorist Greene” took McCarthy’s rhetoric a step further, saying that the companies will be “shut down” if they bend to the panel’s will. “These cell phone companies, these telecommunications companies, they better not play with these Democrats,” Greene said prompted by Tucker Carlson during a Fox News interview. “Because Republicans are coming back into the majority in 2022 and we will take this very serious… if they go along with this, they will be shut down. And that’s a promise.”
Longtime political observer Doyle McManus pointed out in a column for the Los Angeles Times, that the Republican leadership is finding itself trapped in a corner by the more extreme elements in the party — from far-right GOP lawmakers who excuse and /or deny violence and conservative voters who see no problem with it.
With Sen. Ron Johnson (R-WI) excusing and supporting the rioters who stormed the U.S. Capitol on Jan 6th and Rep. Andrew S. Clyde claiming the insurrectionists were merely “tourists,” Republicans are now confronted with the optics and reality of being the party that condones violence. Republicans refusing to take a firm stance against political violence is not a good sign for a party that just lost the Senate and the White House, insist McManus.
The problem is that a substantial number of the GOP’s most fervent supporters have said they are fine with the use of force to hold political power.
McManus points out that a significant chunk of the party’s most fervent supporters doesn’t think the insurrection was damaging or wrong, and they illustrate the GOP’s malfunction. At a time when the party needs every vote it can muster, it can’t risk alienating loyal supporters, even if they embrace violence. A survey by the conservative American Enterprise Institute after the riot in January, shows that 56% of Republicans agreed that the traditional (white) American way of life is disappearing so fast that we may have to use force to save it. It’s these voters that are holding the party hostage as they try to woo voters back after four years of Trumpism.
The same poll reveals, 79% of Republicans said they still had a favorable view of Trump — and 36% said ‘very favorable.’ That consensus has made GOP politicians fearful of crossing Trump or questioning the actions of his most zealous supporters, including the Jan. 6 criminal insurrectionists. Republican officials in both Georgia and Arizona, where Trump is still agitating to reverse the election results, say their families have been physically threatened by Trump’s supporters.
Republicans are trying to tiptoe around a fundamental problem: Their candidate lost a presidential election, but he not only refuses to accept the voters’ verdict; he wants his party to ‘fight’ to restore him to power. They want to move past the embarrassment of Jan. 6, but that’s not going to happen, because face it, they are the party that condones extraconstitutional violence!
The cowardly Republicans’ constantly keep shifting explanations for why they don’t support the Capitol riot commission, it obvious there must be a deeper and far more sinister reason the party can’t get behind it, ignoring the fact that the Democrats gave them just about everything they asked for. The Democrats even included a questionable a power-sharing arrangement under which the GOP would have had a virtual veto power over subpoenas. The GOP would have had equal representation on the 10-member panel, as well as a say in any subpoenas it might issue. They could have obstructed to their hearts content.
These chicken shit Republicans just quake at the thought of doing anything that might cause Mt. Trump to get mad. The more sinister reason to explain why they appear unconcerned about paying a political price for failing to acknowledge what happened on Jan. 6, is that a large portion of the GOP’s Trumpian base actually believe that the violent mob was justified in its effort to try and stop Congress as it conducted its certification of the electoral votes that made Joe Biden President.
A poll released by the nonpartisan Public Religion Research Institute and the Interfaith Youth Core shows that these dangerous and conspiratorial beliefs are not just limited to the red state’s inbred backwaters. A shocking 20 percent of more than 5,500 adults questioned in all 50 states — and 28 percent of Republicans among them — said they agreed with the statement that ‘there is a storm coming soon that will sweep away the elites in power and restore the rightful leaders.’ The most alarming is that 15 percent overall and, 28 percent of Republicans, think that because “things have gotten so off track, true American patriots may have to resort to violence in order to save our country.”
This is all completely on brand with the QAnon conspiracy theory, right down to the idea of “the storm” where Trump overthrows a shadowy cabal of demonic pedophiles ruling the country and declares martial law. What Republicans said with their cowardly and seditious vote on Friday is that they would rather encourage this thinking to grow within their base, and assume that it works to their political advantage, than to stand up a rebuke it as sedition, which it is.
“The Republican Party has become, in form if not in content, the Communist Party of the Soviet Union of the late 1970s,” the Never Trumper conservative Tom Nichols laments. “I can already hear the howls about invidious comparisons. I do not mean that modern American Republicans are communists. Rather, I mean that the Republicans have entered their own kind of end-stage Bolshevism, as members of a party that is now exhausted by its failures, cynical about its own ideology, authoritarian by reflex, controlled as a personality cult by a failing old man, and looking for new adventures to rejuvenate its fortunes.”
In the late 1970s, Nichols explains, the Communist Party of the Soviet Union — under the leadership of Leonid Brezhnev — was “a spent force” run by “party ideologues” who stubbornly clung to Marxist-Leninist dogma. Brezhnev’s cronies, Nichols recalls, considered him a “heroic genius.”
“Members of the Communist Party who questioned anything, or expressed any sign of unorthodoxy, could be denounced by name, or more likely, simply fired,” Nichols notes. “They would not be executed — this was not Stalinism, after all — but some were left to rot in obscurity in some make-work exile job, eventually retiring as a forgotten ‘comrade pensioner.’ The deal was clear: pump the party’s nonsense and enjoy the good life, or squawk and be sent to manage a library in Kazakhstan. This should all sound familiar.”
Just as the Marxist-Leninist ideologues of the late 1970s rallied around Brezhnev, Nichols argues, the Republican Party of 2021 is rallying around Trump.
“Falling in line, just as in the old Communist Party, is rewarded, and independence is punished,” Nichols observes. “The anger directed at Liz Cheney and Adam Kinzinger makes the stilted ideological criticisms of last century’s Soviet propagandists seem almost genteel by comparison. At least Soviet families under Brezhnev didn’t add three-page handwritten denouncements to official party reprimands.”
The Soviet Communist Party didn’t collapse in 1978 or 1979, but it did collapse in the early 1990s — even Mikhail Gorbachev’s glasnost reforms of the 1980s couldn’t save the Soviet Union, which no longer exists. Modern-day Russia is now ruled by a right-wing authoritarian, President Vladimir Putin, and embraces crony capitalism and corporate oligarchs rather than communism. And according to Nichols, the Republican Party of the United States is, like the old Soviet Communist Party, terminally ill.
But the more marginal the GOP becomes in the months ahead, Nichols predicts, the more dangerously authoritarian it will become.
“A dying party can still be a dangerous party,” Nichols warns. “The Communist leaders in those last years of political sclerosis arrayed a new generation of nuclear missiles against NATO, invaded Afghanistan, tightened the screws on Jews and other dissidents, lied about why they shot down a civilian 747 airliner, and, near the end, came close to starting World War III out of sheer paranoia. The Republican Party is, for now, more of a danger to the United States than to the world. But like the last Soviet-era holdouts in the Kremlin, its cadres are growing more aggressive and paranoid.”
In 2021, Nichols laments, the GOP has passed the point of no return and can only sink deeper and deeper into the abyss.
“Another lesson from all this history is that the Republicans have no path to reform,” Nichols writes. “Like their Soviet counterparts, their party is too far gone. Gorbachev tried to reform the Soviet Communist Party, and he remains reviled among the Soviet faithful to this day. Similar efforts by the remaining handful of reasonable Republicans are unlikely to fare any better. The Republican Party, to take a phrase from the early Soviet leader Leon Trotsky, should now be deposited where it belongs: in the ‘dustbin of history.'”
Populist movements have a knack for sticking around long after their leaders leave office.
Since leaving office, Donald Trump was not convicted in his second impeachment trial, and has reportedly considered launching a new political party, investing in a social-media app, and, perhaps more predictably, making another run for the White House in 2024. In a statement following his lack of conviction, Trump declared the trial “yet another phase of the greatest witch hunt in the history of our Country,” adding, “Our historic, patriotic, and beautiful movement to Make America Great Again has only just begun.”
There are plenty of reasons to take Trump at his word. If populist movements have proved anything, it’s their remarkable staying power, even after their leaders have been removed from power, democratically or otherwise. From Berlusconism in Italy to Peronism in Argentina and Fujimorismo in Peru, personality-driven movements rarely fade once their leaders have left office. In the face of victimization, real or imagined, they often thrive.
What, then, of Trumpism? While these movements differ in ideology and context, they can be very instructive in anticipating what happens next.
The Italian Trump – Silvio Berlusconi
Of the world’s most notable populist leaders, perhaps none has garnered more comparisons to Trump than the former Italian prime minister. Berlusconi was Trump before Trump: a billionaire businessman and television personality who rose to power by railing against the political establishment and pledging to represent the interests of ordinary people. Though his career of more than two decades has been dogged by scandals, investigations, and trials—evidence, Berlusconi claimed in 2009, that he is “the most persecuted” person in history—he has nonetheless remained a political force since his (most recent) resignation from the premiership in 2011, both within his center-right Forza Italia party, of which he remains leader, as well as in national politics more broadly.
A notable difference between Trump and Berlusconi is that the latter has lost elections without incident. Still, there are elements of Berlusconi’s long tenure that Trump could seek to emulate, not least his ability to stage multiple political comebacks (his latest, as a lawmaker in the European Parliament).
But perhaps Berlusconi’s greatest success has been in his ability to retain his base of loyal supporters—a personality cult that continues to see him as akin to a god. This is one outcome Trump can likely rely on: Even in the aftermath of last month’s deadly insurrection on Capitol Hill, Republican voters still approve of the former president in overwhelming numbers, as do many of the Republican state parties across the country.
The Argentine Trump – Juan Perón
To understand the importance that a loyal base can play, look no further than Peronism. The populist movement, which dates back to the rise of former Argentine President Juan Perón in the 1940s, continues to be the preeminent political force in the country, more than four decades after its namesake’s death. This has to do largely with how Perón came to power and, crucially, how he lost it.
Like most populist figures, Perón cast himself as an advocate of ordinary citizens, and, in many ways, he was: In addition to advancing workers’ rights, he oversaw the enfranchisement of women in Argentina. But, like other populists, Perón became more and more authoritarian over the course of his rule, jailing his political opponents, vilifying the media, and restricting constitutional rights. By 1955, after nearly a decade in power, Perón was deposed in a coup and sent into exile in Spain; his party was banned.
His supporters continued to be extremely loyal to him, though—so much so that by the time Argentina’s constitutional democracy was restored nearly two decades later, Perón won reelection by a landslide.
Part of Perón’s enduring appeal had to do with the circumstances under which he lost power: His forced exile created a narrative of victimization, which “can really actually help to solidify political identities,” James Loxton, an expert in authoritarian regimes, democratization, and political parties in Latin America, told me. A similar sense of grievance seems to be taking over Trump supporters. An overwhelming majority of Republicans have subscribed to the former president’s unfounded claims that the 2020 election was stolen from him. Early polls show him to be the favorite of the 2024 Republican contenders. “This idea that he didn’t really lose and that everybody is out to get him,” Loxton said, “add[s] up to this actually quite compelling martyrdom story.”
Irrespective of whether Trump runs again, Trumpism as a movement is all but certain to be on the ballot. Indeed, a number of Trump acolytes—among them Republican Senator Josh Hawley, former UN Ambassador Nikki Haley, and former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo—are already jockeying to succeed the former president. Should they be recognized as the “Trumpist” candidates, the movement could take on a Perónist quality: one that is highly mobilizing, highly polarizing, and highly durable.
The Peruvian Trump – Alberto Fujimori
Another populist movement that has endured long after its namesake is Fujimorismo. Named after Peruvian President Alberto Fujimori, whose decade of authoritarian rule ended in a corruption scandal in 2001, Fujimorismo remains a dominant force in Peruvian politics. Unlike Peronism, however, Fujimorismo has largely remained within the family: Fujimori’s children, Keiko and Kenji, lead rival factions of the movement, though neither has managed to succeed their father in the presidency. (Fujimori himself, who was convicted of human-rights abuses in 2009, remains in prison.)
With at least some of Trump’s children and extended family eyeing political careers of their own, it’s possible that Trumpism could end up resembling Fujimorismo more than Peronism. In some ways, it already does: All three of his eldest children have held roles in the eponymous family business. Should any of Trump’s children seek political office, it’s all but assumed that they will do so not as regular Republicans, but as heirs to the Trumpist throne.
But success isn’t a given. While the Trump name would almost certainly be an asset in any primary or Trump-leaning district, his children would also need to be able to rival their father’s emotional connection with his supporters. “Keiko Fujimori benefited massively from her surname and the fact that there was still a large chunk of the Peruvian population that really identified with Fujimorismo and the accomplishments of Fujimori’s government,” Loxton said. It helps, he added, that she is also “really good at politics.” Yet she still has not yet ascended to the heights of her father.
Whatever model Trumpism ultimately follows—whether it’s Berlusconism, Peronism, Fujimorismo, a combination of the three, or none at all—it’s widely accepted that the movement will continue to exist in some form.
Dan Slater, the director of the Weiser Center for Emerging Democracies at the University of Michigan, said that what form it takes will depend on whether American politics chooses to reorient itself not on party lines but, rather, in terms of whether you are pro- or anti-Trump, a shift not too dissimilar to how British politics realigned between those who opposed or supported Brexit.
“In the same way that Peronism versus anti-Peronism has shaped and structured Argentinian politics for decades,” Slater said, “it strikes me as quite likely that a fundamental conflict between Trumpism and anti-Trumpism is going to shape American politics for a long time to come as well.”
Edited from a story by Yasmeen Serhan in The Atlantic.
The Capitol insurrection only barely failed, but it succeeded on several levels: it further normalized the idea of violent government overthrow and allowed extremist groups to network with a broader population. It brought what had been largely hidden from public view right out in the open. As the insurrectionists laid siege to the U.S. Capitol, the seat of American democracy became a melting pot of extremist groups: militia members, white supremacists, paramilitary organizations, anti-maskers, and fanatical supporters of Donald Trump, standing shoulder to shoulder in crazy drooling rage.
The Examiner has been raising the alarm about Trump’s plan for a civil war for years. This insurrection was the culmination of years of increasing radicalization and insanity on the right, combined with a growing delusional fascination with paramilitary groups, crazy conspiracies and a global pandemic. The armed insurrection that left five people dead and shook the country is probably just the beginning. Those who monitor online chatter say the threat of more violence by far-right fringe groups hasn’t abated, it’s just gotten tougher to track.
The FBI is warning of plans for armed protests at all 50 state capitals and in Washington in the days leading up to President-elect Joe Biden’s inauguration next Wednesday. Experts point to the smaller gatherings at state capitals has a greater threat than a large, centrally organized event in Washington, given the heightened security there.
How many extremists and crazies are out there isn’t clear, Individual fringe groups tend to be small, with the largest claiming hundreds of members, but countless individuals have been swept up in the fury of late.
Stopping these crazies and extremist groups may be impossible, but pushing them farther to the political boundaries and marginalizing them is possible.
If you believe in inclusive democracy and do not believe in political violence you need to show it and come out and say so strongly