Fascism Is the Core of Trump’s Message

Shooting journalists, he says, is a “beautiful thing,” his fans have “good genes,” refugees are dangerous, and his political opponents should be prosecuted.

There is at times an extraordinary, almost deafening quality to silence; the absence of noise can be dignified and powerful. The jazz great Thelonious Monk once went so far as to claim that “the loudest noise in the world is silence.”

In that silence, that Signal, one often hears the rhythms of introspection; the timbre of careful thought and logic, the teasing out of ideas. Inside that silence, if one is thinking about a person recently deceased, one can ponder the philosophical, moral, spiritual, and intellectual values they embodied.

This is what the Ruth Bader Ginsburg vigils were like around the country: silent, calm, sorrowful affairs over which the jurist’s legacy hung, so omnipresent that it needed no amplification. I attended the one in Sacramento on Saturday night; hundreds of people, holding candles, walked quietly and mournfully around the perimeter of the capitol. There were similar events all over the country.

Imagine, by contrast, what a vigil for Donald Trump will look and sound like when he dies. It’s difficult to imagine that it will be calm or quiet, that it will be a time to ponder the caliber of his ideas or his humanity. Any silence at that moment would be a vacuum-like quiet, an absence of introspection, a void, rather than a seedbed of moral contemplation. Far more likely that his wake would be a rowdy, yahoo-esque affair, an excuse for bile and bigotry to flare up with wretched, final abandon. For there is no dignity in Trump, and no matter how much he craves the love of the crowd, there will be no dignity when pondering his absence.

Talking of dignity and its lack, consider for a moment the toxic stream of consciousness that passed for a Trump campaign speech in Minnesota this weekend.

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France24 looks at Trump’s “Patriotic Education Commission”

Donald Trump is setting up a “Patriotic Education Commission” to promote a “pro-American curriculum” in US schools… Or a propagandist “Hitler Youth” programme, as many commentators see it. Elsewhere women protesters in Belarus and an anonymous website targeting Hong Kong pro-democracy activists, are both employing a doxing-style strategy.

J’accuse! General James Mattis Denounces Trump as Threat to Constitution

IN UNION THERE IS STRENGTH

By General James Mattis

I have watched this week’s unfolding events, angry and appalled. The words “Equal Justice Under Law” are carved in the pediment of the United States Supreme Court. This is precisely what protesters are rightly demanding. It is a wholesome and unifying demand—one that all of us should be able to get behind. We must not be distracted by a small number of lawbreakers. The protests are defined by tens of thousands of people of conscience who are insisting that we live up to our values—our values as people and our values as a nation.

When I joined the military, some 50 years ago, I swore an oath to support and defend the Constitution. Never did I dream that troops taking that same oath would be ordered under any circumstance to violate the Constitutional rights of their fellow citizens—much less to provide a bizarre photo op for the elected commander-in-chief, with military leadership standing alongside.

We must reject any thinking of our cities as a “battlespace” that our uniformed military is called upon to “dominate.” At home, we should use our military only when requested to do so, on very rare occasions, by state governors. Militarizing our response, as we witnessed in Washington, D.C., sets up a conflict—a false conflict—between the military and civilian society. It erodes the moral ground that ensures a trusted bond between men and women in uniform and the society they are sworn to protect, and of which they themselves are a part. Keeping public order rests with civilian state and local leaders who best understand their communities and are answerable to them.

James Madison wrote in Federalist 14 that “America united with a handful of troops, or without a single soldier, exhibits a more forbidding posture to foreign ambition than America disunited, with a hundred thousand veterans ready for combat.” We do not need to militarize our response to protests. We need to unite around a common purpose. And it starts by guaranteeing that all of us are equal before the law.

Instructions given by the military departments to our troops before the Normandy invasion reminded soldiers that “The Nazi slogan for destroying us…was ‘Divide and Conquer.’ Our American answer is ‘In Union there is Strength.’” We must summon that unity to surmount this crisis—confident that we are better than our politics.

Donald Trump is the first president in my lifetime who does not try to unite the American people—does not even pretend to try. Instead he tries to divide us. We are witnessing the consequences of three years of this deliberate effort. We are witnessing the consequences of three years without mature leadership. We can unite without him, drawing on the strengths inherent in our civil society. This will not be easy, as the past few days have shown, but we owe it to our fellow citizens; to past generations that bled to defend our promise; and to our children.

We can come through this trying time stronger, and with a renewed sense of purpose and respect for one another. The pandemic has shown us that it is not only our troops who are willing to offer the ultimate sacrifice for the safety of the community. Americans in hospitals, grocery stores, post offices, and elsewhere have put their lives on the line in order to serve their fellow citizens and their country. We know that we are better than the abuse of executive authority that we witnessed in Lafayette Square. We must reject and hold accountable those in office who would make a mockery of our Constitution. At the same time, we must remember Lincoln’s “better angels,” and listen to them, as we work to unite.

Only by adopting a new path—which means, in truth, returning to the original path of our founding ideals—will we again be a country admired and respected at home and abroad.

Source: James Mattis Denounces Trump as Threat to Constitution – The Atlantic

August 25, 1944, the liberation of Paris: “the greatest day since the storming of the Bastille” 

75 years ago, the capital was finally free from the German yoke. This historic day will remain, in the eyes of the whole world, the symbol of the renewal of France and democracy.

“There are minutes there, we all feel it, which exceed each of our poor lives.” This August 25, 1944, late afternoon, the atmosphere is solemn at the City Hall of Paris. General de Gaulle, who has just arrived suddenly in this high place of republican declarations, is received by the communist Georges Marrane, on behalf of the Paris committee of the Liberation, and by the Catholic Georges Bidault, president of the National Council of the Resistance (CNR), the successor of Jean Moulin. Paris has just been released in the middle of the afternoon from the Nazi yoke. Everything was done in haste. [ . . . ]

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