#CrushTrump: Why We MUST Stop Donald Trump and his Fascist Movement
Ever since Donald Trump entered the Republican presidential race last fall, an ugly shadow has been looming over the entire 2016 election. When he first burst upon the scene as the almost immediate frontrunner, we laughed and made memes about him, figuring that this was just another fluke campaign that would fizzle in a few weeks time. Even when we cringed a bit hearing his most offensive soundbytes, we still laughed at the comedians and pundits who commented on his joke of a candidacy. Then something unexpected happened.
Trump’s rhetoric, already xenophobic and hateful, became even more outrageous. Not only did he call Mexicans rapists, begin a very sexist feud with Megyn Kelly, crack jokes about reporters with disabilities, and advocate for advanced torture techniques including waterboarding, but he also proposed mass deportation of undocumented workers, a database and special identification card for Muslim-Americans, and banning all Muslims from entering the United States. Instead of calling him out, the corporate media continued to swim in the opiate of cognitive dissonance, with hundreds of articles from outlets like FiveThirtyEight, the Washington Post, and Politico insisting that Donald Trump would be out of the race by December.
The most troubling aspect of the Trump campaign isn’t just his bombastic message of hatred against women, people of color, immigrants, Muslims, and the LGBT community. What is truly more horrifying is that his lead continued to grow, as millions of people aren’t repelled by his venom, but rather, actually come out vocally in support of his message. Every Trump rally provides a safe space for white supremacy and hatred, as his campaign crosses the boundaries of acceptable political dialogue. Even worse, people who support the former celebrity TV personality aren’t only being vocal, but physical. The first incident was in Boston, where Trump supporters attacked a homeless Hispanic man in the candidates name. Rather than condemn them, Trump simply said that he had passionate supporters, essentially green-lighting the violence. The attacks were just beginning.
Motivated by the hatred and ugliness that was taking over the 2016 political cycle, people finally began to fight back, interrupting his rallies. First it was one protester per event, then a few people, and soon every Trump rally featured multiple groups of brave activists chanting, holding signs, and wearing anti-Trump T-Shirts. Each time there was an interruption, the police would eject the protesters, and soon the attendees would begin to take the law into their own hands, pushing and attacking the disruptors.
As the Republican field dwindled, and it became clear that Trump would likely be the main contender for the GOP nomination, the protests intensified, and so would the attacks. Black and brown protesters would be beaten in the crowd to chants of “All Lives Matter“, and “USA“, chants that the repugnant candidate would actually start himself. At one event in February, a white attendee sucker-punched a black protester while he was leaving peacefully, knocking him to the ground. The aggressor would later be arrested, then when interviewed, said that the next time “we might have to kill him“.
A few days after came Chicago, where Trump was holding a rally at the University of Illinois - Chicago campus, days before the Illinois Primary. After months of witnessing Trump’s hateful messaging, combined with the violence at his rallies and elsewhere, students, workers, racial justice activists, and hundreds of Chicago residents decided that enough was enough. They held a large march and rally outside the arena and many protesters were actually able to get in, occupying entire sections of the arena. The interruptions began even before Trump arrived at the arena, and scuffles broke out in the crowd. The Republican front-runner cancelled the rally, based on a police recommendation that never actually occurred, and the altercations spilled out into the streets. Just a few days ago, Trump supporters and protesters clashed outside of a rally in Wisconsin, and a protester was sexually assaulted and sprayed with pepper spray from a Trump supporter.
There are many Democrats, and others on the left who decry Donald Trump’s hate, but don’t see the urgency in interrupting his campaign. They see the grassroots standing together at his rallies, and feel that we are just giving him more attention, even as the mainstream media continues to cover his campaign as if he was the most popular candidate in American history. Surely, if we just #UniteBlue and vote en masse against Trump, he will lose the Presidency and this growing shadow will simply vanish. These liberal naysayers are so caught in the red-blue two party game, that they fail to realize that even if he loses in November, his ideas will still continue to live, as his millions of supporters have now seen hatred and violence against people of color legitimized on the national stage by a major political party.
It might be easy to tell people to stop protesting when you are a white middle or upper-class male in a position of privilege. Maybe for you, just going to the polls and checking Democrat is all you are willing to do to fight back against an openly fascist candidate. What you need to understand is that people aren’t risking their well-being because they want to be on the news, but because they are fighting for their very existence. If Trump wins, sure we will ALL be affected, but it’s his targets, the people of color, the LGBT community, and immigrants who will face harassment, violence, or possibly something far worse.
Of course, not all of Trump’s supporters are white supremacists. There are countless people voting for the billionaire because he’s a businessman, and they feel that he would help the economy, ignoring that he has never held political office or worked with Congress. When they are challenged by his disgusting comments they simply explain it away, claiming that he is just saying all of these things to appeal to the Republican base, and isn’t actually a racist. These people, who also probably think that fascism is impossible in America, don’t understand how these sorts of movements arise. Fascism begins as a whisper, an ugly shadow which seems containable, until it gains enough power to envelop the the entire system in darkness.
In 1922, the New York Times wrote a profile on Adolf Hitler’s rise, and according to their sources, his hateful views were not a huge issue:
“Several reliable, well-informed sources confirmed the idea that Hitler’s anti-Semitism was not so genuine or violent as it sounded, and that he was merely using anti-Semitic propaganda as a bait to catch masses of followers and keep them aroused, enthusiastic, and in line for the time when his organization is perfected and sufficiently powerful to be employed effectively for political purposes.”
Just a few decades later, millions of people were killed in concentration camps.
This is not just a Presidential election and there is far more at stake than the Supreme Court. How many of you visited museums or read textbooks about the Holocaust, and felt so horrified by the imagery that you said “NEVER AGAIN“. How serious were you? How far are you willing to go?
We have no choice. We must fight back against Trump, the xenophobic, fascist ideas he represents, and his army of low-information conservatives who want to spread their hate throughout the United States. Whether or not Trump is just an entertainer who is playing to his base is irrelevant, because his supporters are very serious about their hard-line beliefs, and history has shown us that we would be foolish to wait and see how far they are willing to go.
If we don’t stand together as one with our fists in the air, lighting the candles of resistance, the shadow of fascism will suffocate us all.