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The GOP’s Move Towards a 21st Century American NeoFascism

While it’s fashionable in some circles to compare Donald Trump and the modern-day GOP to Hitler or Mussolini and their fascist movements from the 20th century, what’s happening on the international stage right now is actually somewhat different and, once in power, far harder to stop or overthrow. Let's call it "21st Century NeoFascism"

The problem with the old 20th century fascism was that it was too brutal and militaristic: it offended voters’ democratic sensibilities, killed way too many people, and caused nearby nations to respond militarily to its perceived threat, ending in world wars.

This new politically manipulative system of 21st neofascism, still employs many of the same political and rhetorical tools old-fashioned fascists used to gain power - including white supremacy, scapegoating foreigners, religious superiority, ultra-nationalist hate, and a general embrace of corrupt crony capitalism.

But it does all of these Nazi-lite actions within a more populist wrapper, seemingly driven from the ground up, and acquiring elected power by clever manipulation of 1) social media, 2) ideologically aligned “news” outlets, 3) propaganda talk radio; 4) buying off politicians with shadow lobby money (legalized with the Citizens United ruling); and 5) mostly in MAGA run Republican states, rigging electoral systems with devices like voter-roll purges (again, legalized by the Trump Supreme Court in 2018), effectively activating mass voter suppression.

The Trump Republican Party is committed to the core crony capitalism tenant of, as Steve Bannon outlines: “Deconstructing the administrative state”: taking down the protective and supportive powers of government to increase the predatory power of rogue police, the morbidly rich, and the corporations that support monopolies and the 'natural authority of God's chosen few'."

Of course they still use the ugly race-baiting tactics of classic 20th century fascists, but do so in ways that are more socially and economically acceptable than building death camps or pushing people out of helicopters.

They wrap themselves in flag waiving pseudo-patriotism, use slogans hearkening to the country’s Manifest Destiny founders, rail against nonwhite refugees and immigrants instead of nonwhite citizens, and use their storm trooper violence more as 'street theatrics' - making it easier to dismiss as over exuberant "free speech."

Look to Orban's Hungary as the new MAGA Republican political model 

This new modern era of 21st Century "neofascism" was pioneered by the current Prime Minister of Hungary - Viktor Orbán - who came to power in 1998 (and again in 2010) as a right wing authoritarian white nationalist after the fall of the Soviet Union liberated his nation.

Steve Bannon, a loyal Trump MAGA cult propagandist, celebrated Orbán as “Trump before Trump.” Hence, Casey Michel on the NBC News site Think noted:

“From targeting migrants to inflaming a white nationalist base, from attacking the press to whipping up nativist conspiracies, from ushering in unprecedented corruption to tearing down basic democratic protections, Trumpism is increasingly indistinguishable from Orbánism.”

Tellingly, Tucker Carlson recently did his Fox “News” show from Orbán’s Hungary and had Orbán on as a Fox News guest, all but offering him a full-body massage during the commercial breaks. The show was considered a high-water mark for Murdoch's network by the MAGA right wing press, which hailed Orbán as a man with “liberty-oriented values, strong principles, a healthy nationalism - and a leadership that doesn't veer into anarchy."

And now the GOP is looking to Hungary as an entirely new governing model for their future America, assuming Trump or one of his clones can con their way back into the White House.

Should the MAGA Republican Party simply relocate to Hungary?

Ronald Reagan gave the keynote address to the first Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) in 1974. Since then, every Republican president since Reagan has keynoted the conference at least once.

But that was yesterday’s CPAC; the new MAGA version just announced, around the same time Mike Pence gave his speech in Hungary last month praising Orbán in his usual ass-kissing style, that their 2022 meeting will be held in Budapest, Hungary - rather than the United States.

Trump and Orban: An Authoritarianism Bromance 

When Orbán first campaigned for Hungary's Prime Minister, he ran on a slogan of making “Hungary great again,strengthening Christianity, and building a wall across Hungary’s southern border to keep out nonwhite, Muslim Syrian refugees." Today the wall is done and heavily policed by Hungarian border guards..

Once Orbán took power for the second time, his party pirated the nation’s constitution to do what we’d call voter gerrymandering, ensuring that they’d forever have a governing majority. He also packed Hungary’s courts with incompetent acolytes, so any challenges to his power or policies would simply die.

Not surprisingly the political and economic power of women in Hungary has been deeply marginalized since Orbán came to power, both in business and in government.

As the Hungarian Spectrum notes: “Orban's Hungarian politics is built on ‘continual character assassination,’ which creates the kinds of brutal situations that ‘women cannot endure'."

As recently noted in The UK Guardian: “Orbán’s Fidesz party and its coalition partners - the misnamed Christian Democrats - have 133 MPs between them, of whom just 11 are women.”

Orban has increasingly turned Hungary into a haven of refuge for corrupt oligarchs and neofascists from other nations, most famously granting “asylum to convicted felon and former Prime Minister of Macedonia Nikola Gruevski” in 2018.

As one never-Trump Republican stated on NBC News: "I wonder if Trump is getting a Hungarian visa? In many ways, Trump and Orbán are birds of an autocratic feather.”

During his current reign, Prime Minister Orbán has taken apart the Hungarian security apparatus and turned it into his own personal, private police force, much as Trump did with members of ICE or the Border Patrol during his presidency.

Hungary's business leadership has almost entirely been taken over by Orbán’s corrupt associates, who’ve become fabulously wealthy oligarchs (similar to Russia, Belarus, etc,) who now control every commercial and manufacturing sector worth any significant value.

While there’s still some independent press in Hungary, which bogusly lets Orbán and America's MAGA Republican Party claim Hungary is a democracy, all the major outlets and networks are owned by Orbán cronies - so the critical opposition press is tiny and highly marginalized.

Orbán has also declared war on science, dismantling the Hungarian Science Academy - and declaring that climate change is “left-wing trickery made up by Barack Obama.”

Last month Hungary passed laws requiring “conservative only” sex education in schools - which means gay is evil while banning any positive portrayal of LGBTQ people on TV.

In public campaigns they’ve conflated homosexuality with pedophilia. Their latest homophobic anti-gay law passed the Hungarian Parliament by a vote of 157 to 1.

As the ultimate in corrupt crony capitalism privatization, Orban is now setting up a shadow government, creating private organizations he controls that are starting to take on many government functions regardless of who controls Hungary in the future.

And similar to Trump's big election lie, Hungary's elections, like in many nations run by corrupt dictators, will soon be largely meaningless.

Many Americans did a forgotten double-take when seven Republican US Senators, at the behest of Trump, visited Moscow on July 4th, 2018 and gushed to President Putin that, as Alabama’s Senator Richard Shelby told him, “I’m not here today to accuse Russia of this or that or so forth.”

These 7 Republican senators and 1 House member who went to Russia included: Sen. Richard Shelby (R-Ala.), Steve Daines (R-Mont.), John Thune (R-S.D.), John Kennedy (R-La.), Jerry Moran (R-Kan.), John Hoeven (R-N.D.), and Rep. Kay Granger (R-Texas).

Putin Out; Orban In

But now, just a few months after his overwhelming democratic rejection at the ballot box, Trump and his MAGA GOP has abandoned Putin’s Russia as political inspiration and replaced their future political model with the 21st Century neofascism of Hungary's Victor Orban.

Orbán’s Hungary is now, if not officially then certainly unofficially, the new Eastern European working model for the future of Trump's domestic brand of MAGA neofascism that has seized control of the American Republican Party.

Note: Steve Bannon, pardoned by Trump for stealing money from Trump supporters for a 'built the wall" scam, made an announcement just a couple week ago: "for 'shock troops of pre-trained teams' to seize control of America after the 2024 election so there’s no turning back like last year" is ominously reminiscent of Orban’s return to power in Hungary in 2010 when he essentially did the same thing, giving his neofascist party total control of the voting process nationally.

Make no mistake andhold on to no illusions: Hungarian-style neofascism is now the GOP’s brand and they’re doubling down on it, believing to their desperate core that by the end of 2024 they can do to America what Orbán did to Hungary - and therefore never have to face the consequences or serious political opposition for the violent insurrection enacted by Trump's MAGA thugs on January 6, 2021 ever again.

In 2022 and 2024, Americans will need to make a most important political economic choice: 1) The continuation of an imperfect duopoly party corporate lobby money state like America is now, using the messy but healthy democratic process to slowly improve its lot, or 2) an Americanized version of a 21st century European neofascist state controlled by corrupt white supremacist oligarchs - lead by a predatory megalomaniac who cares about no one and nothing but his own power and wealth.

Thomas Hartman



An Americanized Version of Canada's Health Care System is the Only Sensible Way

Costly complexity was clearly baked into Obamacare. And no health insurance system is without problems. But Canadian-style single-payer - full Medicare for all - is simple, affordable, comprehensive and universal.

In the early 1960s, President Lyndon Johnson enrolled 20 million elderly Americans into Medicare in six months. There were no websites. They did it with index cards!

Replace the current chaotic American system with a much more efficient Americanized version of Medicare-for-all: everybody in, nobody out, free choice of doctor and hospital. It will produce far less anxiety, dread, and fear.

Here are 25 reasons the Canadian health care system is better than the chaotic U.S. system:

Number 25:

In Canada, everyone is covered automatically at birth – everybody in, nobody out.

In the United States, even under Obamacare, 28 million Americans (9 percent) are still uninsured.

Number 24:

In Canada, the health system is designed to put people first, profits (or a sustainable budget), second.

In the United States, Obamacare has done little to curb insurance industry profits and in fact has increased the concentrated insurance industry’s massive profits.

Number 23:

In Canada, coverage is not tied to a job or dependent on your income – rich and poor are in the same system, the best guaranty of quality.

In the United States, even under Obamacare, much still depends on your job or income. Lose your job or lose your income, and you might lose your existing health insurance or have to settle for lesser coverage.

Number 22:

In Canada, health care coverage stays with you for your entire life.

In the United States, even under Obamacare, for tens of millions of Americans, health care coverage stays with you for as long as you can afford your insurance.

Number 21:

In Canada, you can freely choose your doctors and hospitals and keep them. There are no lists of “in-network” vendors and no extra hidden charges for going “out of network.”

In the United States, even under Obamacare, the in-network list of places where you can get treated is shrinking – thus restricting freedom of choice – and if you want to go out of network, you pay dearly for it.

Number 20:

In Canada, the health care system is funded by income, sales and corporate taxes that, combined, are much lower than what Americans pay in insurance premiums directly and indirectly per employer.

In the United States, even under Obamacare, for thousands of Americans, it’s pay or die – if you can’t pay, you die. That’s why many thousands will still die every year under Obamacare from lack of health insurance to get diagnosed and treated in time.

Number 19:

In Canada, there are no complex hospital or doctor bills. In fact, usually you don’t even see a bill.

In the United States, even under Obamacare, hospital and doctor bills are terribly complex, making it very difficult to discover the many costly overcharges or massive billing fraud.

Number 18:

In Canada, costs are controlled. Canada pays 10 percent of its GDP for its health care system, covering everyone.

In the United States, even under Obamacare, costs continue to skyrocket. The U.S. currently pays 17.9 percent of its GDP and still doesn’t cover tens of millions of people.

Number 17:                                       

In Canada, it is unheard of for anyone to go bankrupt due to health care costs.

In the United States, health-care-driven bankruptcy will continue to plague Americans.

Number 16:

In Canada, simplicity leads to major savings in administrative costs and overhead.

In the United States, even under Obamacare, often staggering complexity leads to ratcheting up huge administrative costs and overhead.

Number 15:

In Canada, when you go to a doctor or hospital the first thing they ask you is: “What’s wrong?”

In the United States, the first thing they ask you is: “What kind of insurance do you have?”

Number 14:

In Canada, the government negotiates drug prices so they are more affordable.

In the United States, even under Obamacare, Congress made it specifically illegal for the government to negotiate drug prices for volume purchases, so they remain unaffordable and skyrocketing.

Number 13:

In Canada, the government health care funds are not profitably diverted to the top one percent.

In the United States, even under Obamacare, health care funds will continue to flow to the top. In 2017, the CEO of Aetna alone made a whopping $59 million.

Number 12:

In Canada, there are no required co-pays or deductibles in inscrutable contracts.

In the United States, even under Obamacare, the deductibles and co-pays will continue to be unaffordable for many millions of Americans.

Number 11:

In Canada, the health care system contributes to social solidarity and national pride.

In the United States, even Obamacare is divisive, with rich and poor in different systems and tens of millions left out or with sorely limited benefits.

Number 10:

In Canada, delays in health care are not due to the cost of insurance.

In the United States, even under Obamacare, patients without health insurance or who are underinsured will continue to delay or forgo care and put their lives at risk.

Number 9:

In Canada, nobody dies due to lack of health insurance.

In the United States, tens of thousands of Americans will continue to die every year due to lack of health insurance and much higher prices for drugs, medical devices, and health care itself.

Number 8:

In Canada, health care on average costs half as much, per person, as in the United States. And in Canada, everyone is covered.

In the United States, a 60% majority support Medicare-for-all.

Number 7:

In Canada, the tax payments to fund the health care system are modestly progressive – the lowest 20 percent pays 6 percent of income into the system while the highest 20 percent pays 8 percent.

In the United States, even under Obamacare, the poor pay a larger share of their income for health care than the affluent.

Number 6:

In Canada, people use GoFundMe to start new businesses.

In the United States, fully one in three GoFundMe fundraisers are now to raise money to pay medical bills. Recently, one American was rejected for a heart transplant because she couldn’t afford the follow-up care. Her insurance company suggested she raise the money through GoFundMe.

Number 5: 

In Canada, people avoid prison at all costs.

In the United States, some Americans commit minor crimes so that they can get to prison and get free health care.

Number 4: 

In Canada, people look forward to the benefits of early retirement.

In the United States, people delay retirement to 70-75 to avoid being uninsured.

Number 3:

In Canada, Nobel Prize winners hold on to their medal and pass it down to their children and grandchildren.

In the United States, Nobel Prize winners sell their medals to pay for their medical bills.

Leon Lederman won a Nobel Prize in 1988 for his pioneering physics research. But in 2015, the physicist, who passed away in November 2018, sold his Nobel Prize medal for $765,000 to pay his mounting medical bills. According to a report in Vox, the University of Chicago professor began to suffer from memory loss in 2011, and died in an Idaho nursing home.

Number 2: 

In Canada, the system is simple. You get a health care card when you are born. And you swipe it when you go to a doctor or hospital. End of story.

In the United States, Obamacare’s absurd 2,500 pages plus regulations (the Canadian Medicare Bill was 13 pages) is so complex that then Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi said before passage “we have to pass the bill so that you can find out what is in it, away from the fog of the controversy.”

Number 1: 

In Canada, the majority of citizens love their health care system.

In the United States, a growing majority of citizens, physicians, and nurses now prefer the Canadian type system – Medicare-for-all, free choice of doctor and hospital , everybody in, nobody out and far less expensive.

It’s now only a matter of time!

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