Trump, the Imposters at his Rallies, and Acts of Repudiation in Cuba

Political Rallies as an Act of Repudiation

By Alejandro Armengol   (Cubaencuentro)

Donald Trump at his campaign rallin in Greenville, North Carolina, USA.

HAVANA TIMES – It’s an old and effective strategy. We are seeing it repeated in the run-up to the 2020 presidential election in the United States. Donald Trump has already made successful use of it, and he hasn’t hesitated to use it again.

“Send her back, send her back!”. This is what supporters shouted during Trump’s hour-and-a-half speech in Greenville, North Carolina. He let them. Then, on Thursday, he tried to disconnect himself from the events: “I didn’t say that, they did.” He made a point of stressing that “I wasn’t happy” when he heard the crowd shouting.

The news is way too recent to try and make a hypocritical response. However, during the 2016 presidential campaign, Trump followers would chant “Lock her up, lock her up!”, referring to Hillary Clinton. Ironically (or not?), one of the people shouting the loudest back then and inciting others to do the same, is now behind bars: Michael Flynn. He isn’t the only one.

On Wednesday, the verbal onslaught was essentially against Muslim congresswoman Ilhan Omar, who arrived in the US from Somalia as a child and became a naturalized US citizen when she turned 17 years old.

In his speech, Trump accused Omar of pleading for compassion for Isis recruits and of being proud of Al Qaeda. Lies, on both counts. (If you wish to know what it was the congresswoman exactly said about this, years ago: click here.)

The president says he doesn’t feel responsible for his followers’ words. That’s also a lie. Last weekend, Trump wrote some tweets in which he told the four Democrat congresswomen in the House of Representatives that they “can go back [to their countries]”. Truth be told, they are all US citizens, three of them were born on US soil: Ayanna Pressley, from Ohio; Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, from New York and Puerto Rican parents; Rashida Tlaib, from Detroit; the third, Omar, was naturalized.

What all four of these women share is their “divergence” from the stereotypical white, Anglo-Saxon and Protestant, US citizen (although this is a definition that is established in a very broad sense): the so-called WASP (White Anglo-Saxon Protestants), a popular sociological term rather than a scientific one.

For their part, the congresswomen Trump was referring to are Black, Latina or Muslim.

Referring to otherness has been a constant in Trump’s political campaigns ever since he decided to run for US President as a Republican candidate, while he was loyal to the concept (attitude, behavior) a long time before. Trump has always been afraid of the foreign, the incomprehensible, the world beyond the end of his nose, whether that’s been because of his limited IQ, knowledge, a result of his class standing or his environment.

However, if, WASP defined a privileged social sector once upon a time, who pulled the strings of US political and economic hegemony (the famous establishment); over time, and as the reigning white class saw the pragmatic need to share power, fear of the foreign gained greater emotional weight among the white population who didn’t enjoy the privileges of wealth, but believed they were the heirs of national identity (white trash).

Thus, the “W”, which used to identify wealth in the beginning (wealthy), was changed to define the racial element (white).

Lessons from Cuba

When you look at the exact and repetitive choreography of Trump’s political rallies, the initial feeling you get is that the plebs in the back (I’m sorry, I can’t find a better definition), is nothing more than a group of paid impostors. However, this impression boils down to an error of clarity, which those who have gained experience in Cuba with “acts of repudiation” have saved themselves from: going beyond an alleged or real obligation, it always had the appeal of immunity: the power to shamelessly insult others. The freedom to degrade someone, scot-free, who isn’t understood or who has chosen a different path in life.

Devoid of modesty and decency, people who took part in Cuba’s acts of repudiation jumped at the chance to degrade someone they knew (who they had always talked to, greeted, shared their concerns as neighbors, colleagues, even relatives, and then they instantly became the enemy because the government said so). Likewise, for strangers, who stirred feelings of bitterness, fear, even envy, when they didn’t even know them: all of which shaped a liberating act, from an emotional standpoint.

This has always been characteristic of Fascist governments, of course.

It is still too soon to say that Donald Trump’s administration is fascist (although we also can’t deny that it seems to lean towards this at times, because of the electoral frenzy rather than a totalitarian vocation based on an ideology: in character, not doctrine). Pressure to integrate into the group, society, the country and race via social compulsion (and violence, as a last resort) was a constant in Fascism and Nazism.

While it’s unfair to limit all of Trump’s voters to this irrational group, it is still just as important to highlight this group of advocates, with great influence (which is normally characterized by an easily manipulated social group) echoing the current US president and his scorn for liberal democracy, Rule of Law, different and foreign opinions on the whole.

Therefore, we can pick out the fanatics who feed off shouts and insults in pictures of these rallies, as well as the more traditional WASP representatives, especially among the youth, who are more tolerant towards those they scorn (because they lack money, a good education and a comfortable home) for a couple of hours, believing that the effort is justified so they can hold onto their privileges. While those shouting are happy just to vent.

Trump has always fostered hate for otherness, as the pillars of intolerance and detraction, even if he has to resort to ill-intentioned rumors and the most clumsy lies. It seems that he will invest hard in this strategy again, so as to keep his place in the White House.

11 thoughts on “Trump, the Imposters at his Rallies, and Acts of Repudiation in Cuba

  • August 2, 2019 at 10:39 am

    “In North America individual Rights =white property Rights.”

    Says Manuel
    Who doesn’t like us.
    But then that was rather obvious.

  • July 29, 2019 at 11:49 am

    You are going off at a very strange tangent Mr MacD.
    I mentioned nothing whatsoever about your views on totalitarian governments being remarkable.
    And I absolutely made no mention or accusation regardiing you being a right wing extremist which you clearly are not.
    What I did say is that I shall not be trading lame insults.
    What I also said is that you refuse to acknowledge the overlap between right wing conservatism and the fear right.
    This is a commonly accepted part of the political spectrum and is on the rise.
    Your reasons for refusing to acknowledge it’s existence can be known only to you.
    As regards your continued insults, name-calling etc……..
    The reasons for this can likewise, be known only to you.

  • July 28, 2019 at 7:42 pm

    You consider my opinion about the evils of totalitarian government whether communist, fascist or nazi as “remarkable” Nick?
    I can equally describe the views of those who like yourself, fail to do so as pathetic.
    If your determination is to paint me as some form of right wing extremist because I condemn such systems, so be it Nick, stick to placating the sympathizers of left wing extremism, whilst posing as providing a “balanced” view.

  • July 28, 2019 at 3:26 am

    Yet again I will point out that I am not going to be drawn into trading lame insults. What I will say is that I am highly critical of the Communist governments around the world including that of Cuba. Whilst recognising the Political Philosopher Karl Marx as a major figure in his field, in no way do I ‘support’ his views (as suggested in Mr MacD’s latest baseless assertion).
    What I will also suggest is that what we have here is the latest example of Mr MacD blatantly refusing to acknowledge the existence of the overlap between right wing conservatism and the far right.
    This overlap is not new. It has a long history. It is currently surging in various parts of the world from Western Europe to Brazil. (Many would say that something approximating to this overlap can currently be found lurking on Pennsylvania Avenue, Washington D.C.)
    This phenomena is not new but unfortunately, it is on the rise.
    Yet Mr MacD denies it’s very existence.

  • July 27, 2019 at 5:41 pm

    I don’t “divide the world into good and evil” Nick, but your failing to accept that totalitarian rule is an evil, demonstrates a lack of sensible discernment. You may have noted my respect for those of other democratic views – democratic socialist, liberal, green etc. – that is unless you practice willful blindness. My description of Trump given several times in these pages, is that he is by nature a narcissistic bully. To suggest that I deny “the dark part of the political spectrum” when commenting upon my describing “communism, fascism and nazism – all three forms or totalitarianism are evil and contrary to consideration of individual freedom” displays an almost pig-headed determination not to read clearly views which obviously you dispute. Why Nick is it impossible for you to make a similar statement? Is it that you don’t agree with my condemnation of totalitarianism, because of your lingering need to support the views of Karl Marx?

  • July 26, 2019 at 7:17 pm

    Mr MacD,
    You are absolutely correct If you are suggesting that I don’t divide the world into good and evil. If that’s how you choose to see things, that’s fine with me.
    I would take a less simplistic and less quasi biblical or quasi Star Wars view and would prefer to look at more definable phenomena such as cause and effect.
    Trump is neither good nor evil. He is merely a classic example of that grey area where conservatism overlaps with fascism. He is of a long tradition and treads a well worn path. He is not the first and won’t be the the last.
    You can deny the existence of this dark part of the political spectrum all day long. You can fool yourself if you wish to. And you can lash out with cheap insults to your hearts content, but the fact that you are in denial of reality, don’t mean it ain’t so.

  • July 26, 2019 at 2:07 pm

    The only thing that separates Communism from Fascism is Nazism. All three have that marked similarity of being totalitarian. As an historical illustration, Adolf Hitler (Nazi) made a pact with Josef Stalin (Communist) to invade Poland in September 1939 – and both then did so. Back in 1936 Adolf Hitler (Nazi) supported Franco (Fascist) in the Spanish civil war testing out his blitzkreig at Guernica – commemorated by Picasso.
    On the democratic right side of the political circle, contact between conservatives and fascists are buffered by the Reform believers. On the left side of the political circle there is no such buffer between the democratic socialists and the communists. Fascists don’t claim to be conservatives. but communists do claim to be socialists.
    There is nothing delusional about communism, fascism and nazism – all three forms of totalitarian dictatorship are evil and contrary to consideration of individual freedom. Your all too evident problem Nick is that whereas you will condemn fascism and nazism, similarly condemning communism just sticks in your throat as you don’t wish to recognize it a evil but will always find reasons to excuse its obvious excesses and endeavor to blunt the criticisms made by others.
    There is NO overlap between totalitarian practice and democracy, personal freedom and the right to express individual views are only permitted by the latter, be they democratic socialist, green, liberal, progressive conservative, conservative or reform. As such, they ought to be respected, whereas totalitarianism ought to be condemned by those who hold concern for humanity and the individual.

  • July 25, 2019 at 4:26 pm

    In North America individual Rights =white property Rights. Social Rights= the ‘ left overs ‘ from the economic hierarchy members holdings to the rest of the population. That’s how ‘ The U S establishment ‘ interprets it’s Constitution. Pres. Trump is simply the latest pusher of that political construct.

  • July 25, 2019 at 4:15 pm

    There is a misunderstanding here.
    The Liar-in-Chief in the White House, although not a fascist himself, is happy to accept the support of fascists and uses various typical fascist tactics including that of blaming national problems on minorities due to their race.
    Trump is a yet another of those many examples of politicians we have seen over the past century who inhabit that nasty grey area where hardline conservatism overlaps with the far-right.
    As I understand it, these awful and cowardly ‘acts of repudiation’ in Cuba are not carried out against people based on their race. As I understand it these are inflicted upon those who are perceived to be some sort of traitor or political threat.
    Victims of such acts are not aimed at those of any specific race or ethnic minority.
    Discrimination and attacks against those perceived to be of an inferior race are a fundamental aspect of fascism. It also seems to be a fundamental aspect of that aforementioned nasty grey area where fascism and hardline conservatism overlap.
    Communism, with its core theories of equality for all, is a different beast altogether. History has shown it to have resulted in a whole different set of problems.
    Efforts to lump fascism and communism together show a misunderstanding of history and of the present.
    When hardline conservatives or their sympathisers try to roll out the tired old trick of lumping fascism and communism together it can often be a sign of either the delusional or the hypocritical. Or it can just be a sign of plain laziness.

  • July 25, 2019 at 1:29 pm

    I can not believe how any Cuban can support him. He tactics are very Castro like and he racism is on full display. He has the makings of a dictator like his best friends Putin and Maduro

  • July 25, 2019 at 12:56 pm

    A very good article with only five words missing! Alejandro Armengol omitted the word Communist when referring to the other two recognized forms of totalitarian government. His sentence ought to have read:

    “Pressure to integrate into the group, society, the country and race via social compulsion (and violence as a last resource) was a constant in Fascism and Nazism and remains so in Communism.”

    Donald J. Trump’s envy of totalitarian power is self-evident – one only has to look at those whom he openly admires and at his disparagement of democracy. As I have previously expressed, the populace of the US would be well advised to beware and guard their freedom.

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