Donald Trump does not have fun. Like other autocrats and political thugs, he lives on being underestimated. Last week, there was another example of this mistake by Donald Trump's critics and others who resist him.
Last week, Donald Trump announced his preferred means of communication:
When I speak of the US, I'll always capitalize on the word land!
Trump was ridiculed by comedians on late night television for this supposed flaw. Other prominent voices referred to Trump's "spelling mistakes" as further proof that he is a jerk and a fool. Implicitly, his constituents are also fools and fools. This version of liberal gloating is a defining feature in the age of Trump.
It is a small consolation that ignores the fact that Donald Trump's grammatical mistakes and strange spelling ̵
To understand Donald Trump, one has to start with the fact that he is an American fascist – an autocrat and authoritarian through instinct, behavior and values. This is the core of his being. This is the prism to best understand Donald Trump.
I have asked several leading experts on fascism and authoritarianism to understand Trump's conversion of Country into a proper name.
Ruth Ben-Ghiat, Professor of History and Italian Studies at New York University, author of the forthcoming book "Strongmen: How They Get Up, Why They're Successful, How They Fall," and Commentator in Michael Moore's "Fahrenheit 11/9 ":
Trump's statement That he will capitalize on the word" land "is another attempt to polarize the American people and half of them as" moral "," just "and politically and, above all, racially acceptable to design. It is a technique used by every authoritarian leader, often with success. Some may consider this tweet as another quirky Trump language suggestion, but nothing he does is coincidental, including his capitalization strategies.
Richard Frankel, Professor of Modern German History at the University of Louisiana in Lafayette, an expert on the rise of National Socialism in Germany, whose work was also featured in Newsweek and the History News Network:
I see it as one another way of saying "America First". He focuses on land, on nation, on America above all else. He faces himself and his followers to those who see America as part of a much larger community of nations, in which cooperation, not confrontation, is what is best for all. Those who see it in their own way are the "real Americans." Those who do not do that are the enemies. It is the hole of "America Firsts" against the dreaded "globalists". It is a different way of sharing the land – inclusion through exclusion.
Jason Stanley, Professor of Philosophy at Yale University and author of "How to Propaganda Works," as well as the new book "How Fascism Works: The Politics of Us and Them":
About linguistic style and repetition, Trump is his followers imprint an ethic of authoritarian nationalism. Organized religion is a local authoritarian structure; The authority of God is signaled verbally by capitalizing on "God" or by not spelling out the word completely. According to Trump, "Country" should be capitalized like "God". This is a linguistic means of signaling the quasi-religious authority of the nation. And since the nation is not a person or even a humanoid figure, this religious authority should be transferred to its leader Donald Trump.
He reminded me (again) of this quotation from Victor Klemperer's "Language of the Third Reich": "National Socialism permeated the flesh and blood of the people with individual words, idioms and sentence structures imposed on it in millions of repetitions and mechanically and unconsciously Speech writes and thinks not only for me, but also I increasingly dictate my feelings and rule my entire spiritual being the more I unconditionally and unconsciously relate to it. "
A few days after Trump made his statement about the correct spelling of our" country, "he announced that he was proud, Nationalist." Because Trump is an authoritarian racist – and a student of "old-right" guru Steve Bannon and White House adviser Stephen Miller, chief architect of his nativist immigration policy – his nationalism is by no means "neutral." It's really white nationalism, whether that name or not. Donald Trump can avoid this fact or distract from it. But it is still true. This is reflected in his repeated and overt hostility towards non-whites and Muslims.
A hug of nationalism by Donald Trump goes well with his logic to capitalize on the word "land" in relation to the United States of America.
Benjamin Hett, Professor of History at Hunter College and Graduate Center of the City University of New York, author of "Burning the Reichstag: An Examination of the Perennial Mystery of the Third Reich" as well as the new book "The Death of Democracy : Hitler's rise to power and the downfall of the Weimar Republic ":
This language I can not remember having heard from another president. And here comes the meaning of "country" into play. Trump the "nationalist" with his capital C in "Country" uses "Globalist" as pejorative. It gradually breaks down the international infrastructure that the US created after World War II to sustain a democratic and prosperous world order. Only recently has it begun to smash the important INF treaty with Russia, another dreadfully dangerous move. All this reminds of the nationalism of the German governments in the early 1930s, up to and including Hitler – to turn away from the world, to turn away from the crucial international connections, to turn away from peace and democracy. We know or should know that nowhere can and will this not work.
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Some people laugh when they are afraid. It's not that the situation is funny; rather, their brains process existential anxiety through the physical act of laughter. That is why so many of us are laughing at Donald Trump's alleged derailments and spelling mistakes and his other primitive behavior. Donald Trump's America is a real thing. We are stuck and many of us still can not believe that all this has happened. In the final analysis, laughter provides some short-term relief during the walk to the political gallows. The laughter feels good. The noose is still waiting.