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A chilling video

November 5, 2016

Imagine a group of Democrats thinking to make a satire of a Donald Trump campaign video, a video that his campaign would make if it consciously were trying to shape a new fascist movement. What would they make? It would be him giving a monologue. He (his comic impersonator) sets the stage with international conspiracy. He damns all the usual enemies, the immigrants, the press, the banks, the corporations, the globalists, accusing them of bleeding this nation dry. Background collage of sympathetic photos of decline. His movement is the last chance to rescue the nation and its sovereignty, the last chance for our very survival. Oh, and he labels his opponents criminals. He alludes to half a dozen conspiracy theories, which his watchers know they can believe, because he reminds them the press tells nothing but lies. Start crescendoing, heroic music. He paints himself as sacrificial savior, who has taken all the slings and arrows for the movement, the heroic warrior who promises victory and restoration.

And it would look something like this (youtube video).

Except, that video wasn’t made by Democrats spoofing Trump. It was made by Trump’s own campaign, as far as I can tell, propagated by his angry supporters. Truly bizarre. Bizarre, in a way Hannah Arendt understood. Seemingly, no one in Trump’s campaign, watching it, suggested that it is disconnected from actual issues, that it fails to connect with voters except through ressentiment, that it casts him as a cartoonish superhero, that it isn’t appropriate to American democracy. That the style from which it draws is middle Europe, mid-20th century.

Which makes it a very frightening video indeed. I hope most Americans, if they were to decide their vote on the basis of that video alone, would stand appalled that it could have been seriously made by a national campaign, and would run away from the movement that produced it.

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