Shinzo Abe’s Assassination: Make Japan a One-Parthy State: Make Japan Great Again

 

so here we have this is a video from DW

news which is a German uh public

broadcaster and they’re going to give us

a little bit of the background to the

assassination of Shinzo Abe the former

Japanese leader so let’s go ahead and

listen to some of that and then I’ll

give you more information on it Japan’s

former prime minister Shinzo Abe has

died after being shot at a campaign

event police say a 41 year old man has

been arrested in connection with the

shooting ABI was the country’s longest

serving Premiere and was well known for

his strong economic and defense policies

his killing has shocked yet Japan the

nation where Firearms are strictly

regulated and political violence so let

me just comment on that real quick there

were a bunch of uh people who lean right

and who are very pro-gun rights who used

the killing of Shinzo Abe to say look at

that bro obviously uh gun control laws

don’t work that is such a flipping and

glib and stupid response because there’s

only nine gun deaths per year in Japan

nine we have 39 000.

in the U.S

so

you gotta look at the macro statistics

and the macro statistics paint a very

very clear picture but they think

because one person was killed with a gun

they’re like oh well obviously gun

control laws don’t work well I’ll ask

those people would you rather have nine

gun deaths a year or 39 000 gun deaths a

year now by the way I’m not their laws

are super strict like way more strict

than what my preferences are but

you have to call a spade a spade and say

in terms of reducing gun violence oh it

absolutely works I mean there’s a

trade-off and you have no right at all

to a firearm there but it works in terms

of uh from a public safety perspective

anyway I digress this is extremely rare

[Music]

handled to the ground

what appears to be a weapon lying on the

road nearby clearly a makeshift weapon I

mean held together I think with literal

duct tape

people ran to the age of Japan’s former

prime minister as he lay seriously

wounded

he was quickly transferred to helicopter

and flown to hospital

at this point his condition was

described as critical but doctors were

unable to save him

confirming his death the hospital said

the 67 year old had suffered two deep

wounds including to his heart

the area in the city of Nara where this

veteran politician had been giving an

election campaign speech is now a crime

scene

the assassination has shocked Japan a

country where gun violence is rare

this is a dustedly and barbaric Acts

that took place in the midst of an

election

this is the basis of a democracy

and it’s absolutely unforgivable I would

like to use the harshest words to

condemn this act

Shinzo Abe was first elected Prime

Minister of Japan in 2006 making him at

52 the country’s youngest ever premier

it proved short-lived a year later he

quit following a string of party

scandals he was also suffering from

health problems

but he wasn’t gone for long in 2012 he

was back promising to revive Japan’s

flagging economy following years of

deflation

he even put his own name on the plan

urbanomics now by the way he was part of

What’s called the liberal Democratic

party in Japan but understand that the

liberal Democratic party is actually the

conservative party in Japan so I know

it’s so weird all these different

countries have these names for their

political parties and it will be like

contradictory to the actual ideology

that they have and that gets frustrating

and annoying but I just want everybody

to understand that he was a conservative

Abe was also hawkish on defense

expanding Japan’s military role after

years of pacifism yes let me explain

that a little bit there’s there’s um

pacifism in the Japanese Constitution

which was the United States either

helped write it or did write it after

World War II they made Japan a pacifist

Nation

for obvious reasons I mean they Japan

had allied with Nazi Germany they were

an Empire uh they had a viciously

barbaric Empire they you know massacred

Koreans they massacred uh Chinese when

they were an Empire and so they made

pacifism in the Constitution and Shinzo

Abe wanted to roll back the pacifism

that was in there and uh you know build

up the Japanese military

approved a controversial policy and he

failed to formally rewrite the country’s

pacifist Constitution

he did though bolster Japan’s security

alliance with United States

Abe was considered a strong leader on

the world stage but in 2020 he again

resigned citing poor health

it’s more just so everybody understand

it’s more

corruption than you know oh I have

health problems there were political

scandals and he uses the health thing as

an excuse

politics though was always in his blood

right up until the end

for more we can now apprecame so that’s

enough of that now let me give you some

more information on them

so um this is on the guy who killed him

the man accused of assassinating former

Japanese prime minister Shinzo Abe had

reportedly told investigators he

targeted Abe because he suspected he had

ties to a religious group that took a

huge donation from his mother law

enforcement sources cited by Kyoto news

had the suspect identified as 41 year

old tetsuya yamagami had first planned

to attack a leader of the unnamed

religious group before settling on Abe

instead yamagami is said to have told

police The Killing had nothing to do

with politics homemade guns and items

thought to be explosives were found

during a search of yamagami’s home on

Friday just hours after he allegedly

used a homemade firearm to gun Abe down

in front of a crowd watching him deliver

a campaign speech in the city of Nara

sources cited by Kyoto news said

yamagami admitted to traveling to

another city a day earlier where Abe had

had also given a campaign speech the

police chief of the perfect prefecture

which is the Japanese it’s a state

basically where the shocking killing

took place admitted on Sat today that

there were problems with the safety

measures taken and took full

responsibility for the lapses that led

to Abe’s death so look I haven’t seen

anything particularly convincing on the

motives of the guy who did this

assassination this is the line that I’ve

heard

um

seems kind of weak if you ask me I saw

some speculation that effectively the

guy who did The Killing was like

part of Japan’s version of Q Anon if you

will

um I don’t know I don’t know none of

this stuff seems particularly convincing

or solid to me in terms of developing a

motive

um more on Shinzo Abe here this is in

The Daily Beast Shinzo Abe was Trump

before Trump except he pulled it off

Japan’s former prime minister Shinzo Abe

died on Thursday in a scene reminiscent

of the Yakuza films he loved so much

that’s of course the Japanese Mafia

gunned down in a crowd by a lone shooter

who didn’t even try to escape the nation

was shocked to learn that he had passed

away when it was reported by state

broadcaster NHK there were many hoping

that he might still pull through and

Nara passerbys began to place flowers on

the site where he was shot some praying

for his safe journey through the spirit

world to his next Incarnation 15 years

before the bloody incident Shinzo Abe

was considered politically finished when

he resigned from office during his first

dentist prime minister he was exhausted

disliked and unable to weather the

tsunami of scandals that surrounded his

cabinet but in 2012 he came back from

the graveyard of failed Prime Ministers

to rule for almost eight years when news

spread that he had been shot twice and

was in critical condition his supporters

hoped that he might be able to pull off

another miracle a physical resurrection

that didn’t happen but the man who

Donald Trump adviser Stephen Bannon

famously praised As Trump before Trump

leaves behind a legacy that may have

forever changed pan he reduced it to a

Perpetual one-party democracy that seems

unlikely to change ABI certainly seems

to have had a Playbook that was similar

to Donald Trump’s he was a populist who

tapped into racism and fears of change

to stoke his base and consolidate power

during his Exile from Power Abe and his

cabinet members allied with anti-korean

and other xenophobic groups Abe drummed

up anti-korean sentiment to bolster his

support and made sure his allies did the

dog whistles while he kept his hands

clean while Trump portrayed immigrants

as the boogeyman threatening Japan I

think that was supposed to say

threatening America Abe latched on to

deep-rooted anti-korean sentiment

towards both the Korean residents of

Japan who stayed after the war and

citizens of South and North Korea former

colonies of Japan he appointed ariko

yamatani a woman closely associated with

the flamingly anti-korean group zaitoku

Kai to be the head of the National

Public Safety commission that oversees

National Police agency the National

Police agency he also embraced uh Nippon

kaiji a conservative Shinto cult and

political Lobby you could aptly compare

his alliance with them to Trump’s

absorption of the Tea Party and other

far-right elements of the Republican

Party

even while out of power the liberal

Democratic party with Abe exerting

influence developed plans for a new

Imperial Constitution for Japan the

removal of the post-war Constitution

which was written with the help of the

American occupation not by them as some

claim now during his political Exile Abe

even briefly became head of an extremist

Think Tank Nihon sosei which is create

Japan made up of ldp liberal Democratic

party lawmakers and other conservative

superstars in May 2012 the organization

released a clip of him Gathering titled

the swearing-in of the revised

Constitution for Japan in which he and

his cronies discussed the ldp’s

substitute Constitution there were some

astonishing moments a former Minister of

Justice nagasi jinen appointed during

Abe’s first term in office told the

crowd the people’s sovereignty basic

human rights and pacifism these three

things date to the post-war regime

imposed by MacArthur General MacArthur

on Japan therefore we have to get rid of

them by making the Constitution our own

Abe loudly applauded this get rid of

basic human rights democracy and wage

Warfare also restore the emperor to

power

in other words make Japan great again

it’s no wonder that years later Steve

Bannon would say that Abe was Trump

before Trump Abe for many

excuse me Abe for many years the most

powerful man in Japan’s ruling political

party the liberal Democratic party in

fact he was campaigning for their

candidates in the coming Upper House

elections when he was shot on Thursday

the ldp was founded in 1955 by Abe’s

grandfather a former war criminal who

also served as prime minister they were

funded with money from Yakuza associate

and CIA operative yoshio Kodama but

starting with his Fall From Grace the

ldp’s popularity sank in 2009 it seemed

like Japan might really change and for

the better for only the second time

since 1955 the perpetually corrupt and

archley conservative liberal Democratic

party was kicked out of power and the

liberal egalitarian feminist leaning

Democratic party of Japan took hold of

The reigns of power it was a revolution

but it didn’t last long the dpj had

risen to power partly with expectations

that they would be cleaner and less

criminal than the ldp but then one

scandal after another implicating the

party’s top management and unsavory ties

with the Yakuza through dirt on their

squeaky clean image the lower house

elections of 2012 were a political

meltdown almost all the opposition

parties including the dpj were decimated

and we know who returned from the

political graveyard ready to rule Japan

with a rusty iron fist Shinzo Abe was

quick to take revenge upon his critics

once back in power labeling the liberal

newspaper Asahi shimbun an enemy of the

people later he would tell Donald Trump

you should handle the New York Times the

way I handled acai

wow he bullied the left-wing media and

whined and dimed the right-wing media

dragging Japan’s press freedom from 11th

in the world to as low as 72nd Place in

in world rankings in 2014 he created a

cabinet Personnel Bureau which exercised

ruthless control of bureaucratic

appointments assuring that any

government worker who didn’t toe the

line or released information

contradicting the government was either

shunned fired or sidelined so very

authoritarian on press freedoms is what

you’re learning here

it worked very effectively and some

high-ranking officials even took it upon

themselves to cover up Abe related

scandals without direct orders to do so

television anchors and pundits that were

too critical of Abe vanished from the

airwaves the world’s largest newspaper

the yomiyuri shimbun smeared the biggest

critic in the education Ministry for

frequenty frequenting sexy bars in

kabukicho so smearing his political

opponents

he had no qualms about using the media

for defamation campaigns and the media

and eager for spoon-fed Scoops was happy

to comply eventually in 2020 the weight

of political scandals and an

investigation into election law

violations by Abe forced him to resign

under the guise of medical issues a few

months later he threw his political

secretary onto the bus and was more or

less exonerated he kept a low profile

for months but couldn’t resist the

Limelight Shinzo Abe failed to change

even one word of Japan’s constitution in

the end but did pass several laws that

are still eating away at it including

article 9 Japan’s Declaration of

pacifism his greatest achievement having

so thoroughly discredited opposition

parties in critical media that Japan

isn’t even reminiscent of a two-party

democracy it’s a one-party democracy

where the media has its tails between

its legs and is likely to stay that way

for decades

so

um

that gives you

um a look into who Shinzo Abe is what

his ideology is and um the background

around that

and then also look it super conservative

guy

um

wanted to be more militaristic make

Japan less pacifist uh hardliner on

immigration

anti-korean anti-chinese authoritarian

when it comes to the Press now that’s

not none of this is to say that homeboys

should have been assassinated of course

not uh but you should understand the

background and who Abe is and again as

far as the motive of the guy who did The

Killing

I still don’t have any answer that I

find uh convincing I told you what’s

been reported but you know I have a

feeling that maybe over time we’ll learn

more or maybe we’ll never learn more but

that’s not I don’t think that’s the full

the full reasoning so by the way we’ll

end on this note

um

as a result of the assassination now

Shinzo Abe’s right-wing party the

liberal Democratic party as it’s called

is even more popular

they surged in the polls after the

assassination so

there you have it

um you know giant political event and um

of course other world leaders have come

out and and uh

offered condolences and Trump said

something about

um Abe being assassinated uh Trump had

played golf with him a number of times

random side point but

anyway there you have it uh momentous

event of a former Japanese leader being

assassinated hey y’all do me a favor and

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Kris Kobach Is the G.O.P. at Its Worst

In his race to be Kansas’ next governor, Kris Kobach represents the ugliest part of today’s Republican Party. He also sounds a lot like the president.

.. Kris Kobach, the state’s secretary of state — and quite possibly the most pernicious public official in America.
.. This distinction is not conferred lightly. Mr. Kobach has labored for it long and hard, notably in the areas of voter suppression and nativism. He is best known for having been the vice chairman of President Trump’s ugly voter fraud commission, spawned in 2017 to root out the millions of illegal voters who Mr. Trump’s ego pathetically, and falsely, claimed had cost him the popular vote in 2016. The commission was dissolved this January, having failed to find any evidence of widespread fraud, but having succeeded in raising Mr. Kobach’s national profile and cementing his reputation as a master purveyor of Trumpism.
Mr. Kobach on Wednesday declared victory at a noon news conference, acknowledging that only 191 votes separated him from Mr. Colyer and that the election result may change as provisional and other ballots are counted. Awkwardly, as the state’s top election official, Mr. Kobach would be the person charged with overseeing any recount of votes. Unless he recused himself, which he has said he would not.
Mr. Kobach is running for governor on a promise to “Make Kansas Great Again.” (#MKGA!)
.. Starting with a failed run for Congress in 2004, Mr. Kobach has regularly sounded the alarm that illegal immigration and widespread voter fraud are destroying this nation. Indeed, he has suggested that fraud played a role in his congressional defeat.
A former constitutional law professor with degrees from Yale, Harvard and Oxford, Mr. Kobach’s specialty is concocting creative legal arguments to achieve controversial political ends — such as, say, forcing Mexico to pay for a border wall. (His plan: use a provision in the Patriot Act to track and tax the remittances that undocumented immigrants send home to family members.)

He was the brains behind the self-deportation proposal for which Mitt Romney was widely mocked in his 2012 presidential run.

..  As an adviser to immigration hard-liners in Arizona — including the felonious-until-pardoned Sheriff Joe Arpaio — he helped write the state law that, among other measures, tasked the local police with verifying the citizenship of anyone they had “reasonable suspicion” to believe was undocumented.

.. ProPublica and The Kansas City Star recently detailed Mr. Kobach’s 13-year history of pitching his consulting services to small towns, helping them enact such ordinances. This has been a profitable gig for Mr. Kobach, but not so much for the towns in question, some of which wound up drowning in legal fees after trying to defend measures that ultimately proved unenforceable.

.. His crowning achievement as secretary of state was a law passed in 2011 requiring people to prove their citizenship before registering to vote. Or, rather, it was his crowning achievement until a federal judge this year struck down the law as unconstitutional.

In the course of that case, Mr. Kobach so violated basic courtroom rules that he was held in contempt and, among other humiliations, ordered to take six hours of legal education.

.. he has a flair for the dramatic and isn’t overly concerned with facts.

.. His speeches contain plenty of red meat, such as comparing Planned Parenthood to the Third Reich’s Josef Mengele.

.. Until early 2017, Mr. Kobach spent several years hosting a local call-in show, on which he held forth on such terrors as the “illegal alien crime wave” that he warned was decimating America.

.. He also got a kick out of indulging the dark fantasies of listeners, such as the 2014 caller fearful that the immigration policies of then-President Barack Obama would lead to the “ethnic cleansing” of whites.

.. Then there was the 2015 caller anxious about whether Mr. Obama might one day decree that “any black person accused of a crime, charged with a crime, is not going to be prosecuted.”

“Well, it’s already happened more or less in the case of civil rights laws,” Mr. Kobach soothed. “So I guess it’s not a huge jump.”

.. in Mr. Kobach, Mr. Trump clearly sees a kindred spirit.

 

 

 

Making China Great Again

As Donald Trump surrenders America’s global commitments, Xi Jinping is learning to pick up the pieces.

The hero, Leng Feng, played by the action star Wu Jing (who also directed the film), is a veteran of the “wolf warriors,” special forces of the People’s Liberation Army. In retirement, he works as a guard in a fictional African country, on the frontier of China’s ventures abroad. A rebel army, backed by Western mercenaries, attempts to seize power, and the country is engulfed in civil war. Leng shepherds civilians to the gates of the Chinese Embassy, where the Ambassador wades into the battle and declares, “Stand down! We are Chinese! China and Africa are friends.” The rebels hold their fire, and survivors are spirited to safety aboard a Chinese battleship.

.. For decades, Chinese nationalism revolved around victimhood: the bitter legacy of invasion and imperialism, and the memory of a China so weak that, at the end of the nineteenth century, the philosopher Liang Qichao called his country “the sick man of Asia.” “Wolf Warrior II” captures a new, muscular iteration of China’s self-narrative, much as Rambo’s heroics expressed the swagger of the Reagan era.

.. “In the past, all of our movies were about, say, the Opium Wars—how other countries waged war against China,” he said. “But Chinese people have always wanted to see that our country could, one day, have the power to protect its own people and contribute to peace in the world.”

.. For years, China’s leaders predicted that a time would come—perhaps midway through this century—when it could project its own values abroad. In the age of “America First,” that time has come far sooner than expected.

.. Trump often portrays America’s urgent task as one of survival. As he put it during the campaign, “At what point do you say, ‘Hey, we have to take care of ourselves’? So, you know, I know the outer world exists and I’ll be very cognizant of that, but, at the same time, our country is disintegrating.”
.. China’s approach is more ambitious. In recent years, it has taken steps to accrue national power on a scale that no country has attempted since the Cold War, by increasing its investments in the types of assets that established American authority in the previous century: foreign aid, overseas security, foreign influence, and the most advanced new technologies, such as artificial intelligence.
.. It has become one of the leading contributors to the U.N.’s budget and to its peacekeeping force, and it has joined talks to address global problems such as terrorism, piracy, and nuclear proliferation.
.. This was an ironic performance—for decades, China has relied on protectionism—but Trump provided an irresistible opening. China is negotiating with at least sixteen countries to form the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership, a free-trade zone that excludes the United States, which it proposed in 2012 as a response to the T.P.P. If the deal is signed next year, as projected, it will create the world’s largest trade bloc, by population.
.. By setting more of the world’s rules, China hopes to “break the Western moral advantage,” which identifies “good and bad” political systems
.. Meng Hongwei, a Chinese vice-minister of public security, became the first Chinese president of Interpol, the international police organization; the move alarmed human-rights groups, because Interpol has been criticized for helping authoritarian governments target and harass dissidents and pro-democracy activists abroad.

.. Moreover, China’s economic path is complicated by heavy debts, bloated state-owned enterprises, rising inequality, and slowing growth. The workers who once powered China’s boom are graying.

.. In 2000, the U.S. accounted for thirty-one per cent of the global economy, and China accounted for four per cent. Today, the U.S.’s share is twenty-four per cent and China’s fifteen per cent.

.. in the past we were used to going to the White House to get our work done,” Shivshankar Menon, India’s former foreign secretary and national-security adviser to the Prime Minister, told me. “Now we go to the corporations, to Congress, to the Pentagon, wherever.”

.. everybody else in the world will look around and say, I want to be friends with both the U.S. and the Chinese—and the Chinese are ready, and I’ll start with them.”

.. He presented China as “a new option for other countries,” calling this alternative to Western democracy the zhongguo fang’an, the “Chinese solution.”

.. The state press ran a profile of Xi that was effusive even by the standards of the form, depicting him as an “unrivalled helmsman,” whose “extensive knowledge of literature and the arts makes him a consummate communicator in the international arena.”

.. Xi has inscribed on his country a rigid vision of modernity. A campaign to clean up “low-end population” has evicted migrant workers from Beijing, and a campaign against dissent has evicted the most outspoken intellectuals from online debate.

.. Foreign universities with programs in China, such as Duke, have been advised that they must elevate a Communist Party secretary to a decision-making role on their local boards of trustees.

.. The Party is encouraging dark imaginings about the outside world: posters warn the public to “protect national secrets” and to watch out for “spies.”

.. Last June, Yao Chen, one of China’s most popular actresses, received a barrage of criticism online after she tried to raise awareness of the global refugee crisis. (She was forced to clarify that she was not calling for China to accept refugees.)

.. In Rao’s view, Trump’s “America First” slogan is an honest declaration, a realist vision stripped of false altruism and piety.

.. “In this world, power speaks,” he said, making a fist, a gesture that Trump adopted in his Inauguration speech and Xi displayed in a photo taken at the start of his new term.

.. “I think Trump is America’s Gorbachev.” In China, Mikhail Gorbachev is known as the leader who led an empire to collapse. “The United States will suffer,” he warned.

.. In 1991, when Bush, Sr., launched the war against Iraq, it got thirty-four countries to join the war effort. This time, if Trump launched a war against anyone, I doubt he would get support from even five countries.

.. For Chinese leaders, Yan said, “Trump is the biggest strategic opportunity.” I asked Yan how long he thought the opportunity would last. “As long as Trump stays in power,” he replied.

.. When Trump won, the Party “was in a kind of shock,”

.. “They feared that he was their mortal enemy.” The leadership drafted potential strategies for retaliation, including threatening American companies in China and withholding investment from the districts of influential members of Congress.

.. Before he entered the White House, China started assembling a playbook for dealing with him.

.. “China knows Trump can be unpredictable, so we have weapons to make him predictable, to contain him. He would trade Taiwan for jobs.”

.. there were two competing strategies on China. One, promoted by Stephen Bannon, then the chief strategist, wanted the President to take a hard line, even at the risk of a trade war. Bannon often described China as a “civilizational challenge.” The other view was associated with Jared Kushner, Trump’s son-in-law and adviser, who had received guidance from Henry Kissinger and met repeatedly with the Chinese Ambassador, Cui Tiankai. Kushner argued for a close, collegial bond between Xi and Trump, and he prevailed.

.. While Xi was at the resort, the Chinese government approved three trademark applications from Ivanka’s company, clearing the way for her to sell jewelry, handbags, and spa services in China.

.. During the transition, Kushner dined with Chinese business executives while the Kushner Companies was seeking their investment in a Manhattan property.

.. In May, Kushner’s sister, Nicole Kushner Meyer, was found to have mentioned his White House position while she courted investors during a trip to China.

.. During the Mar-a-Lago meetings, Chinese officials noticed that, on some of China’s most sensitive issues, Trump did not know enough to push back.

.. “Trump is taking what Xi Jinping says at face value—on Tibet, Taiwan, North Korea,”

.. “The Chinese felt like they had Trump’s number,” he said. “Yes, there is this random, unpredictable Ouija-board quality to him that worries them, and they have to brace for some problems, but, fundamentally, what they said was ‘He’s a paper tiger.’ Because he hasn’t delivered on any of his threats. There’s no wall on Mexico. There’s no repeal of health care. He can’t get the Congress to back him up. He’s under investigation.”

.. a Beijing think tank, published an analysis of the Trump Administration, describing it as a den of warring “cliques,” the most influential of which was the “Trump family clan.”

.. The Trump clan appears to “directly influence final decisions” on business and diplomacy in a way that “has rarely been seen in the political history of the United States,” the analyst wrote. He summed it up using an obscure phrase from feudal China: jiatianxia—“to treat the state as your possession.”

Fifty Shades of Orange

 In a performance that would have embarrassed the most obsequious lackey of the North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, Vice President Mike Pence delivered an encomium to his boss, who sat across the table with arms folded over his chest, absorbing abasement as his due.

“I want to thank you, Mr. President,” Pence said. “I want to thank you for speaking on behalf of and fighting every day for the forgotten men and women of America. Because of your determination, because of your leadership, the forgotten men and women of America are forgotten no more. And we are making America great again.” The president thanked him for his kind words, and Pence replied, “Thank you, Mr. President, and God bless you.”

.. Trump and establishment Republicans adopt one another’s worst qualities. Trump, who campaigned as a putative economic populist — even calling for higher taxes on the rich — will soon sign into law the tax plan of the House speaker Paul Ryan’s Ayn Randian dreams. The majority of elected Republicans, in turn, are assuming a posture of slavish submission to Trump, worshiping their dear leader and collaborating in the maintenance of his alternative reality.

.. From a secular perspective, Pence, like many other Republicans, appears to be a person inclined to authoritarianism.

.. Erich Fromm, a German-Jewish psychoanalyst who fled Nazism, described authoritarian personalities as simultaneously craving power and submission. “The authoritarian character loves those conditions that limit human freedom; he loves being submitted to fate,” he wrote. Fate, in his formulation, can be the laws of the market, the will of God, or the whims of a leader. According to Fromm, authoritarians might make a show of valuing freedom and independence — watchwords of the American right — but long to be ruled by a stronger force.

.. Orrin Hatch, Republican of Utah, spoke of his “love” for the president, who he described as “one heck of a leader.” He added, “We’re going to keep fighting and we’re going to make this the greatest presidency that we’ve seen not only in generations, but maybe ever.”

.. Either Hatch really believes this, or he believes in the utility of unabashed sycophancy. Neither possibility suggests he will be an ally in preserving democracy.

.. participating in the ludicrous fiction that there was a pro-Hillary Clinton conspiracy afoot in the F.B.I., an entity led by a succession of Republicans and described by one agent during the election as “Trumpland.”

.. If Republicans were as loyal to the country as they are to the president, they’d want to know exactly what had Strzok so alarmed.

.. It is, as they say, not normal for erstwhile law-and-order Republicans to attack the F.B.I. for being overzealous in its pursuit of Russian subversion.

.. Nunes’s inquiry appears similar to Trump’s voter fraud commission

.. Hannah Arendt once wrote of this sort of policy-as-disinformation: “Totalitarianism will not be satisfied to assert, in the face of contrary facts, that unemployment does not exist; it will abolish unemployment benefits as part of its propaganda.”

.. a lot of us have assumed that Republicans are putting up with Trump out of fear of their base or lust for tax cuts. We’ve imagined that beneath our mutual partisan loathing lies some remaining shared commitment to liberal democracy.

.. But there’s another possibility, which is that a critical mass of Republicans like being in thrall to a man who seems strong enough to will his own reality, and bold enough to voice their atavistic hatreds. Maybe Trump is changing Republicans, or maybe he’s just giving men like Pence permission to be who they already were.

Transcript of Richard Spencer’s Speech at Texas A&M

I’m just curious; I want to do a bit of a demographic study. If you’re a member of the media, please raise your hand. Okay, okay, put your hand own, please. That’s a very offensive gesture. Shut it down. We knew you were the lying media, but for God’s sake, that’s out of hand.

.. I actually did grow up in Texas, so I am proud to say, the Alamo did nothing wrong.

.. It is certainly the expression of the desire of a mainstream media to slander and just silence us with one thirty second footage.

.. But I think it also says something about the life of the Alt Right. We don’t allow other people to tell us what we can joke about. We don’t play by their rules. We have fun, we can be outlandish, and that is never going to stop.

.. So, the Alt Right can’t be defined by something from the past. We can’t be trapped in the past. But we also need to go forward guilt-free. We need to be high energy, we need to have fun, we need to be a little outlandish, we need to trigger the world. So all I would say is: keep it up. I love you all.

.. So what is the Alt Right? When I first started using that term, it was about mid-2008, and at that point, I think the Alt Right was fairly, you could say, negative in its meaning. We didn’t quite know exactly what it was. I knew that something was profoundly wrong with mainstream conservatism. That was evident enough with the George W. Bush administration, with the neoconservatives disastrous wars in Iraq and so on, and with the rest of the mainstream Right offering no answers, the religious Right, all that kind of stuff. I knew that we had to have a new starting point. I also knew that we needed to — this wasn’t a matter just of tweaking the Right, as it is — this was really the matter of a new beginning. Of a new starting point for conservatism in America.

You can actually look at the starting point of the conservative movement, and they talk about global capitalism, and free markets, and the Constitution, and vague Christian values of some sort. But they never ask that question of “Who are we?” They never ask that question of identity. They probably assumed it. They probably assumed a white America, a European America, but they never really asked about it and they were never really conscious of it.

.. the conservative movement became, in its way, a mirror reflection, a photographic negative, of the Soviet Union. It became an ideological nation, it became a nation based on abstract values, like “muh freedom,” “muh democracy,” “muh bombin’ muh commies and Muslims.” It was never a place; it was never a people; it was a kind of ideology. That’s what conservatism was.

.. So, in a way, George W. Bush was the founder of the Alt Right. He was at least the founder of the term, because I knew that we had to get away from that. We had to get away from him.

..  the Alt Right evolved, it took on new meanings, and in a way it was outside of my control

.. the Alt Right has been organic, that’s why it has succeeded, precisely because other people have picked it up and they have added meanings to it, and so on.

.. After I dropped out of graduate school, I worked in what you could call the anti-war conservative movement

.. I had an idea of where that new starting place was going to be. And that new starting point was going to be identity. And that was going to be the question that we asked first.

.. So what is identity? In a way, it’s the question “who are you?” We all have many different identities. You could say that you’re a student at Texas A&M. You’re into weight-lifting. You went to a Star Trek convention. You like to wear sweatpants. These are elective identities. They say something about us, but they’re elective.

.. you could say, “I’m a citizen of the United States. I grew up somewhere. We all grew up somewhere. We’re all part of something. We all come from someplace.

.. You can go even deeper, and say, “These are my parents. This is my family.” The Left in the eighteenth century had this line “an accident of birth.” An accident of birth. No birth is an accident. There’s no historical or cosmic accident in birth. You come from somewhere. You have parents. They have parents, they have a history. So you’re part of a family. And you grew up somewhere. And you can go deeper, and you can say that you are part of an ethnicity and you are ultimately part of a race.

.. You might not like this. You might really resonate to the idea that we’re all individuals, we’re all citizens. “We’re just Americans. I don’t see color. But color sees you.

.. We all see color. And race isn’t just color. Color is, in a way, a minor aspect of race. But you’re part of something. Whether you like it or not, you’re part of a bigger extended family. You’re part of this world; you’re part of this history. And that race has a story to tell.

.. As a European, I can tell a story about people, people I never will know. Our lives stretch back to prehistory. We first started to become ourselves in the Greek and Roman world. So there’s a story that involves people you’ve never met. As a European, I can tell this story about the Greeks and the Romans, about the foundation of our civilization, about empire, about the coming of Christianity.

.. Sure, Europe’s a place. It’s a place on the map, the people, the blood and its spirit.

.. I think if I were an African-American I could tell a very different story. If I were to say what that story would be, it would be about being rooted in an African continent, and enslaved and kidnapped, and going through trials that perhaps I cannot imagine, but then becoming a people. You’re still a people. That’s the story I would tell. But it’s a different story.

.. So that’s what it means to be part of a race. A race is genetically coherent, a race is something you can study, a race is about genes and DNA, but it’s not just about genes and DNA. The most important thing about it is the people and the spirit. That’s what a race is about.

.. A lot of white people do not want to have a race. They say, “Oh, I’m just an individual. I’m just an American.” You have a race whether you like it or not. You’re part of a race whether you like it or not.

..  When a Syrian refugee — so called — whether they’re from Syria or Africa or somewhere else in the middle east, when they enter Europe, they don’t look at anyone as “Oh, look, lookee there, this man, he’s Bavarian. Oh, he’s a Bavarian Catholic. Oh look, this guy must be from Ireland. Hmm, interesting. He’s Italian.” No, they don’t see that at all. They see us as white; they see us as white men. They see us as a race, and our enemy can see who we are whether we want to define ourselves as such or not. We are white.

.. You can go up, you can look at elective identities — I’m into weightlifting, I’m into Star Trek — and you can keep going down, and you go down, and down, and down, and you get to the root of identity. You get to that base, where you can’t go any further. And that is race.

.. It was an open country for Europeans who confronted people who were radically different than they were. And that confrontation, I’ll be honest, was terrible, bloody and violent. It was terrible, bloody and violent, but we conquered this continent. Whether it’s nice to say that or not, we won. And we got to define what America means, we got to define what this continent means. America, at the end of the day, belongs to white men.

.. I re-watched perhaps my favorite movie, which is John Ford’s The Searchers.

.. But we won’t be out on that limb forever. At some point, Texas is going to be a wonderful place to live. It’s going to be a great place to live. But perhaps our bones have to be in the ground before that will happen.”

.. Texas is a wonderful place to live. And there are a lot of the white man’s bones in the ground to make that happen. White people did it. And I’m not going to ever claim that there wasn’t a lot of brutality that went along with it. But we did it. Our bones are in the ground, we own it, and at the end of the day, America cannot exist without us. We defined it. This country does belong to white people, culturally, politically, socially, everything. We defined what America is.

.. it’s not just whoever happened to do the labor. Other people could have done it. But no one could have imagined it, no one could have designed it, because no one else did. History is proof.

..  Embedded in that slogan “Make America Great Again” is its opposite, and that is an acknowledgement that America is not great. I think we know that. I think we know that in our bones and our guts, that things are getting worse.

.. Previous generations couldn’t imagine that their children would have a worse world than they enjoyed, even a worse world than their parents enjoyed. Now 75% of white people think the country is on the wrong track; who could disagree with them, exactly? Does anyone think it’s getting better? “

..  We assume that America is not great. And it isn’t. And why isn’t it great? America is not great because in my lifetime, America has lost an essence. It’s lost a people, it’s lost a meaning.

.. they don’t talk about America as an historic nation and a people with a story, as the product of a race, of a worldview, they basically talk about America as a platform for all of humanity. They talk about America as an economic system, effectively.

.. Many have talked about the Roman Empire’s decline. It went from being a people to being a population, then to being a mob. I think that says a lot about the fall of Rome. America went from being a frontier, to being a people, then to being an economic platform for consumers from around the world. And let there be no doubt: Americanization, in this worst possible sense of the word, this is what Hillary Clinton was talking about when she said she wanted a “hemispheric open market.” This is what George Soros and Mark Zuckerberg want. They want an undifferentiated global population, raceless, genderless, identityless, meaningless population, consuming sugar, consuming drugs, while watching porn on VR goggles while they max out their credit cards.

.. Don’t deny that that is the kind of passive nihilism that so many in the elite class actually want. They want a world without roots, they want a world without meaning, they want a flat grey-on-grey world, one economic market for them to manipulate. That’s what’s happening in the world.

.. It isn’t just a great erasure of white people. It isn’t just an invasion of Europe, an invasion of the United States by the third world, it is ultimately the destruction of all peoples and all cultures around the globe.

I’m not paranoid, they’re just out to get me.

.. We might not all be able to put it into those words, but we know that that is what America is becoming. It’s becoming an homogeneous consuming mass

.. But just the fact that Donald Trump said that word “great” — “Make America Great Again” — meant that he had higher hopes than the Clintons, and the Zuckbergs, and the Bill Gates, and the George Soroses combined. That he had a sense of height, of upward movement, of greatness, of that thing that makes the white race truly unique and truly wonderful, that striving towards infinity, that however vulgar he might be that he had a sense of it.

.. What we need right now are people who are willing to speak truth to power. I find that there’s this amazing thing about the Left. And I have a certain respect for the Left, believe it or not. I understand the Left in a way. What I find so amazing about the people who are protesting me out there, who are attempting to create the largest safe space in the world of 100,000 people at Kyle Field, is that they think they’re the underdog.

.. Richard Spencer is not the Establishment. Richard Spencer is not running the government. Richard Spencer is effectively a heretic in the modern age

.. Think about those places of power. The US military, public education (academia), major corporations whether they’re financial on the east coast, Silicon Valley, what have you. What do they all agree on? “Diversity is good.” “We’re all the same.” “We’re one world.” “C’mon man, we all bleed red.

.. You might think that that kind of limp liberalism is some kind of underdog perspective, that you’re speaking truth to power by saying that nonsense. You are not speaking truth to power. The military-industrial complex agrees with you, so does every major corporation, so does the US government. You are not speaking truth to power, you are power speaking.

.. These institutions do not want you to have a sense of yourselves. They do not want you to have identity and rootedness. They do not want you to have duties to your people. They do not want you to think of yourself as part of an extended family that is bigger than any single individual, because the moment you have those duties, the moment you have that identity, is the moment that you are no longer the perfect, passive consumer-citizen that they want to create.

.. But I will tell that to white people: have a goddamn identity, have a sense of yourself. Be a part of this family.

.. Having an identity is the greatest challenge to the power structure that there is. Speaking truth to it means speaking the truth about race, about people, about nations, about who we are