In the Terror of the Unforeseen, Henry Giroux neatly lists all the elements comprising Trumpism: “the cult of the leader, the discourse of the savior, white nationalism, a narrative of decline, unchecked casino capitalism, systemic racism, silence in the face of a growing police state, the encouragement of state endorsed violence, the hallowing out of democracy by corporate power, a grotesque celebration of greed, a massive growth in the inequality of wealth, power and resources, a brutal politics of disposability, an expanding culture of cruelty, and a disdain for public virtues”. From this compendium, we can observe that it was neoliberalism combined with violent xenophobia and anti-intellectualism which created a fertile ground for Trump’s political hegemony.
In the age of Trump, Giroux sees the emergence of neo-fascism in “an unceasing stream of racism, demonizing insults, lies, and militarized rhetoric, serving as emotional appeals that are endlessly circulated and reproduced at the highest levels of government and the media.” “The United States has a long history of racist language leading to cruel and harmful practices and, in some cases, violence aimed at groups targeted by such language.” Giroux says that “the language of white nationalism and racial resentment” creates “a discourse that annihilates social codes and restrains political behavior and undermines the rule of law.”
Ultimately, Trump’s entire political project rests on irrationality. Only in this way can he simultaneously further the capitalist class’ agenda. “The bourgeoisie,” Henry Lefebvre says in Mystified Consciousness, “doesn’t need ideas too refined and metaphysical. Carefully instigated banalities are usually more useful than metaphysics. It needs only to utilize old everyday sentiments, sentiments whose fragrance is ‘all natural’ and ‘simply itself’: faith, hearth, race, heroism, purity, duty – banalities inscribed in all our hearts.” These emotionally powerful banalities serve to craft a false sense of collective identity in a neoliberal environment of hyper-individualization. As Hannah Arendt writes in Origins of Totalitarianism, “men in the midst of social disintegration and atomization will do anything to belong”.Article: The Neo-fascist Legacy of Donald Trump | OpEdNews