Citizen Action Monitor

Researcher Paul Street speculates on what Trump, the “creeping fascist”, might do if he loses the 2020 election

What strikes Street most are “the silences in the United States’ Orwellian capitalist and white-supremacist media.”

No 2442 Posted by fw, March 3, 2019

Dr. Paul Street

“Another example of telling television silence was on display on the national stage two days ago. After Michael Cohen’s dramatic testimony to the U.S. House of Representatives, CNN and MSNBC talking heads rambled on and on about Cohen’s comments on the Trump Tower meeting, Trump’s sickening racism, Roger Stone, WikiLeaks, Trump’s corrupt foundation money dealings, Trump’s inflated assets, and Trump’s youthful bone-spur draft-dodging. Also drawing attention were the histrionics of the Republican Congressmen who attacked Cohen’s credibility and the asinine stunt pulled by Rep. Mark Meadows (R-GA), who pathetically used a Black woman as a mute stage-prop to buttress his idiotic claim that Trump could not possibly be a racist since the woman holds a position in the Trump administration. Curiously denied remotely comparable attention was something remarkable Cohen said during his final statement to Congress. ‘Given my experience working for Mr. Trump,’ Cohen remarked, ‘I fear that if he loses the election in 2020, there will never be a peaceful transition of power.’ … Michael Cohen wanted Congress to know that Trump will not leave the White House peacefully if he is defeated in the Electoral College. Cohen told the House and the U.S. populace that Trump poses a dictatorial threat to the last vestiges of electoral democracy in the U.S.”Paul Street, CounterPunch

Paul Street is an independent radical-democratic policy researcher, journalist, historian, author and speaker based in Iowa City, Iowa, and Chicago, Illinois.

Below is an abridged repost of Paul Street’s blistering attack on the US corporate media’s reporting of the Cohen hearing – for what it failed to report – i.e., the fear of what Trump might do to remain in power. In related stories, see William Rivers Pitt’s article in today’s Truthout, titled Trump May Want to Be President Forever. Take the Threat Seriously and Law Prof. Marjorie Cohn’s March 1 piece in Global Research titled, Cohen Knows What Trump Is Capable of. His Testimony Should Terrify Us. Cohn closes with this “most disturbing thing Cohen said“: “I fear that if [Trump] loses the election in 2020, there will never be a peaceful transition of power.

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Cohen’s Overlooked Warning – and Other Media Silences Worth Hearing by Paul Street, CounterPunch, March 1, 2019

I fear that if he loses the election in 2020, there will never be a peaceful transition of power.” – Michael Cohen, speaking to the U.S. Congress, February 27, 2019

It’s the silences – the things left out and sent down the “memory hole” – that strike me most in the United States’ Orwellian capitalist and white-supremacist media.

Cohen’s Warning: “If He Loses…No Peaceful Transition”

Another example of telling television silence was on display on the national stage two days ago. After Michael Cohen’s dramatic testimony to the U.S. House of Representatives, CNN and MSNBC talking heads rambled on and on about Cohen’s comments on the Trump Tower meeting, Trump’s sickening racism, Roger Stone, WikiLeaks, Trump’s corrupt foundation money dealings, Trump’s inflated assets, and Trump’s youthful bone-spur draft-dodging. Also drawing attention were the histrionics of the Republican Congressmen who attacked Cohen’s credibility and the asinine stunt pulled by Rep. Mark Meadows (R-GA), who pathetically used a Black woman as a mute stage-prop to buttress his idiotic claim that Trump could not possibly be a racist since the woman holds a position in the Trump administration.

Curiously denied remotely comparable attention was something remarkable Cohen said during his final statement to Congress. “Given my experience working for Mr. Trump,” Cohen remarked, “I fear that if he loses the election in 2020, there will never be a peaceful transition of power.

That would seem to have been a highly newsworthy comment. The president’s longtime personal attorney, confidante, and “fixer” Michael Cohen wanted Congress to know that Trump will not leave the White House peacefully if he is defeated in the Electoral College. Cohen told the House and the U.S. populace that Trump poses a dictatorial threat to the last vestiges of electoral democracy in the U.S.

That was a big deal. And yet I saw one CNN talking head after another ignore Cohen’s warning when the network’s host Anderson Cooper asked them “what leapt out at you during Cohen’s testimony?

No serious journalist should find Cohen’s warning excessive. As a Canadian correspondent, Matthew Gosse, wrote me yesterday, “In 2016, [Trump] made it quite clear that he wanted to see blood in the streets in the event that he lost. He insinuated repeatedly that the election was ‘rigged’ [against him] and that the people would know that it had been stolen if any other event other than his victory was the outcome.

Trump has already repeatedly laid the rhetorical foundation for claiming that a 2020 election loss by him will be illegitimate because of supposed illegal immigrant voter fraud. To make matters worse, a reputable poll has shown that most Republicans would support Trump suspending the 2020 presidential election “if necessary to guarantee a fair election.”

If Trump loses in 2020, he will encourage violence, telling his followers that the vote count is illegitimate. You can take that to Deutsche Bank.

Herr Trump and his authoritarian, white-nationalist Amerikaner base pose a real creeping-fascist threat to the last shreds of bourgeois democracy in the corporate-managed inverted-totalitarian United States.

“Can’t Happen Here”

Why wasn’t Cohen’s ominous warning a bigger part of the corporate media’s treatment of his blockbuster testimony? Maybe the chattering cable skulls are still caught-up in the mindset of “It Can’t Happen Here,” the title of Sinclair Lewis’s dystopian 1935 novel about a fascist American president who follows his election by stamping out the last embers of U.S. democracy. (The lesson of the novel: “The Hell it Can’t.”)

Or maybe it’s because they aren’t really in the business of promoting anything like actual democracy in the U.S. (or anywhere else). The reigning corporate media institutions are consent-manufacturing ideological assets owned by the nation’s unelected and interrelated dictatorships of concentrated wealth and empire. They want Trump replaced by a better and more effective agent of corporate-financial oligarchy and imperialism, not by forces of popular sovereignty.

Could Trump pull off the suspension of the 2020 election or a White House refusal to recognize the election’s results? I find that hard to imagine. The national fetishization of the U.S. Constitution and its republican principles seem to me too strong to permit such “banana republic” developments. But, like all the “it can’t happen here” folks who couldn’t imagine the future dictator Buzz Windrip being elected in Sinclair Lewis’s 1935 novel, I didn’t think a Trump presidency could happen in 2016.

What seems reasonable beyond a shadow of a doubt is that the orange monstrosity is a creeping fascist – a fact that started to belatedly dawn on Cohen (a descendant of Nazi Holocaust survivors) after Charlottesville – and that he is very likely to try to obstruct the “democratic” U.S. electoral process in ways that go beyond the longstanding bourgeois-constitutional norm in 2020. He will not go away quietly and without bloodshed. It’s no small matter. We’ve been warned yet again, this time by the tangerine mob/nster’s longtime fixer. The media might want to pay more attention.

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This entry was posted on March 3, 2019 by in counterpower of one, information counterpower, political action and tagged , , , .
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