Huey Long

Fascism Is On The Horizon If Donald Trump Is Reelected: Warning Of Author Sinclair Lewis In His Work “It Can’t Happen Here” In 1935

In 1935, Novelist Sinclair Lewis wrote a prophetic novel, “It Can’t Happen Here”, stating that what was happening in Fascist Italy under Benito Mussolini and Nazi Germany under Adolf Hitler, could happen in the United States. Lewis wrote that it would be “clothed in a flag and carrying a Bible!”

This was way before the horrors of Fascist Italy and Nazi Germany reached their peaks over the next decade, but already enough evidence of the dangers of the manipulation of minds with emotional rhetoric dividing groups in a society, based upon race, ethnicity, religion, and national origins.

Lewis was warning about the potential dangers represented by Huey Long of Louisiana, who was assassinated months later in 1935, with the story of his assassination covered in my book “Assassinations, Threats, and the American Presidency: From Andrew Jackson to Barack Obama” (Rowman Littlefield Publishers 2015, Paperback Edition 2017).

It could also be applied later, in the 1950s, to Senator Joseph McCarthy of Wisconsin; to third party Presidential candidate George Wallace of Alabama in 1968; and to President Donald Trump.

Only Trump, with his Fascist appeal, backed up by military, police and evangelical support, and rallies to appeal to those who are racist oriented, and also nativists, white supremacists at Charlottesville, antisemitic, Islamophobic, and misogynistic, is a clear and present danger, as he is the President of the United States.

He has stoked Fascist appeals as a manipulative method for the past five years since he announced his candidacy in 2015, and has set out to destroy all traditions and norms!

A lot of intelligent people, including those I know or knew, and also a lot of not so bright people who have emotional attachment to Donald Trump, since they are ignorant and share his horrific beliefs, have rallied around him.

And yet, many conservatives and Republicans who really care about our Constitution and rule of law, and the perpetuation of our democracy, are alarmed by Trump’s constant attack on “Fake Media”.

Trump calls everyone and everything which opposes his authoritarian bent as unAmerican. He waves the American flag as if he owns patriotism, when it is his critics who are truly patriotic, and care about human rights and freedom.

Donald Trump incites in a crazy manner on Twitter daily, and in the midst of the greatest crises since the Great Depression and World War II, he ignores and refuses to take responsibility for the Second Great Depression and the CoronaVirus Pandemic!

He stokes bloodshed and violence in attacking those who are promoting the need for racial healing, and encourages right wing hoodlums in the streets of Portland, Seattle, Kenosha and elsewhere,

This presents the danger of greater violence in the two months left to the Presidential Election of 2020, and the interim to the next inauguration, and his stated refusal to accept defeat if the election goes against him, an absolutely terrifying scenario!

It would seem that his opponents, Joe Biden and Kamala Harris, face constant threats of assassination, and this author of a book on assassinations is truly alarmed that someone who is a Trumpite will attempt to do that!

If Trump is reelected, this nation will be threatened in its basic values in a way never having come to power with Huey Long, Joseph McCarthy, or George Wallace, despite these earlier threats in the 1930s, 1950s, and 1960s. It will be an authoritarian dictatorship without any control, a nightmare that will mirror the horrors of Fascist Italy and even Nazi Germany!

As Sinclair Lewis wrote in “It Can’t Happen Here”, it actually “Can Happen Here”!

The Growing Threat Of Donald Trump Against The Life Of His Opponent, Hillary Clinton: NOT A Laughing Matter!

Donald Trump has done it again–a threat against the life of his Democratic Presidential opponent, Hillary Clinton.

On August 8, Trump spoke of “Second Amendment” remedies, that those who oppose the limiting of gun rights in any fashion, and see Hillary as a threat to those rights, might have a solution to the threat, implying action against Clinton.

He was roundly condemned for this assertion, and Michael Hayden, the former head of the CIA and NSA, said if anyone outside the hall where the speech was given had said such a thing, he would be in a police wagon being questioned, and facing prosecution.

And Connecticut Senator Chris Murphy, referring to the Newtown Massacre that killed 24 young children and six teachers in December 2012, said Trump was reckless and would have blood on his hands if such an event occurred.

But Trump went ahead and said on September 16 that Clinton should agree to have her Secret Service team lay down their arms and “see what happens”, so he has not learned from the earlier incident.

Trump should be told now that his freedom of speech does NOT include such reckless language that could endanger his opponent, and that if something untoward were to happen, that he could face prosecution for having presented “a clear and present danger”, under Supreme Court case Schenck V US (1919), which limits freedom of speech.

And this is all happening in the month when there were eight incidents involving President and assassination threats, and also the assassination of Huey Long in 1935, all covered in the chapters of my Assassinations book, which will be in paperback by March 2017.

The Double Standard For Donald Trump

Donald Trump has made more outrageous, deceptive, insulting, and inaccurate statements in nearly 15 months as a Presidential nominee, than any other Presidential candidate in American history.

Any other candidate would have been easily destroyed, or weakened, or repudiated if he or she made far less statements that were outrageous, deceptive, insulting and inaccurate.

It is frustrating to political observers that Donald Trump gets away with so much, and yet his loyal followers are not perturbed one iota by his sins.

It makes one wonder about the common sense and basic intelligence of those who adore him.

It makes one wonder about the dangers of a democracy that can lead people to support candidates that are as authoritarian, narrow minded, and intolerant as Donald Trump has proved to be in this campaign.

We have had authoritarian figures who have been a minor threat, such as George Wallace in 1968 on the American Independent Party; or Huey Long who was planning to challenge Franklin D. Roosevelt in 1936; or Wisconsin Senator Joseph McCarthy, the leader of the Red Scare—but none are them were ever nominated by a major party for the Presidency.

So we are faced with the crisis that although it seems very unlikely that Donald Trump will be elected President in November, the thought that it COULD happen is terrifying enough!

Danger Of Civil Unrest And Violence Growing, And The Blame Is On Donald Trump For Inciting It!

We have to fear now for the future of our nation, as Donald Trump has sowed what he incited: civil unrest and violence, reaching its peak with troubles in Chicago, causing the cancellation of a Trump rally last night.

Donald Trump has promoted violence and division with his rhetoric, including calling demonstrators names and having them evicted, with some being beaten up by hoodlums in the crowds, particularly if one is African American or Latino.

Journalists have also been mistreated and abused by Trump people, and Trump seems unconcerned about the chaos and anarchy he is promoting.

This blogger has written on thehill.com and on History News Network of his concern that all of this turmoil, encouraged by Trump but also the Republican Party with its refusal to give support and respect to Barack Obama over the past seven years in a way unseen in the past by any political party, will lead to the danger of assassination of Trump or some other Presidential candidate.

Assassination is NEVER the answer to any political disagreements, but we know that Huey P. Long was assassinated in 1935 and George C. Wallace paralyzed for life in 1972 by assassins, stirred by their demagoguery, so Trump is treading dangerous ground.

A reminder that Chapter 7 and Chapter 11 of my book cover the stories of these two tragic events surrounding Long and Wallace!

We must all pray that civil order reign, and that Donald Trump recognize his responsibilities to lower the temperature of political debate, but it looks as if we are gearing up for a tumultuous year surrounding the Presidential Election of 2016, unmatched since the Presidential Election of 1968!

March 4, 1789–227 Years Without A Tyrant–Not About To Allow It To Happen Now With Donald Trump!

The American Constitution went into effect officially on March 4, 1789, even though the first President, George Washington, was inaugurated belatedly on April 30, 1789.

We so revere the Constitution without realizing that through domestic and foreign crises over the years, we have only come fairly close to danger just once–the lawlessness of Richard Nixon.

But even with Nixon, we were far from Fascism or dictatorship, and the Constitution did work well  in the 1970s.

Despite acts of illegality, and plans for more, Richard Nixon was stopped dead in his tracks, including Alexander Haig telling the Pentagon to ignore Richard Nixon if he ordered martial law!

So when we hear that Donald Trump would order the military to break international law and American law, and return to the George W. Bush-Dick Cheney system of torture through waterboarding that has been banned by Barack Obama; and when we hear that Trump would wish to kill the entire families of suspected terrorists, and have no limit on military engagement as the military would obey him–then we know we have a tyrant in the making.

And when we hear that Trump wishes his crazy followers to beat up anti Trump protesters at rallies, and would plan to curb freedom of speech, press and assembly, including against media critics including the New York Times and Washington Post when he gains power, then we know we have Fascism in our midst, much greater than Huey P. Long, Joseph McCarthy, George C. Wallace, Pat Buchanan, or other lesser demagogues!

We have not had a tyrant for 227 years of our Republic, and we are not about to allow it to happen now with Donald Trump and his ilk!

America’s Fascist Demagogues In History: Huey P. Long, Joseph McCarthy, George C. Wallace, Patrick Buchanan!

The United States has had its Fascist demagogues in the past nearly hundred years of our history, but luckily, they “burned out” very quickly.

We had Democratic Governor and Senator Huey P. Long, who condemned the New Deal of Franklin D. Roosevelt in the early 1930s era of the Great Depression.  He had a big following on radio; drew large public crowds; preached “Every Man A King” and “Share The Wealth” as he attacked Wall Street; had his own group of “storm troopers” to protect him;  and made clear that he hoped to come to power on a national level, having alienated his Senate colleagues and the President by his tactics and showmanship.

His potential threat disappeared, however, when he was assassinated in the Louisiana State Capitol in Baton Rouge in September 1935, a mystery that still exists today, as covered in Chapter 7 of my book, ASSASSINATIONS, THREATS, AND THE AMERICAN PRESIDENCY: FROM ANDREW JACKSON TO BARACK OBAMA (Rowman Littlefield Publishers, August 2015).  He reminded many of Benito Mussolini and Adolf Hitler, both of whom had not yet become as aggressive and warlike as they would become in the mid to late 1930s and early 1940s.

Then we had evil personified in Wisconsin Republican Senator Joseph R. McCarthy of Wisconsin, who stirred fear and insecurity in America in the early 1950s, when he accused Presidents Harry Truman and Dwight D. Eisenhower and many government and other public figures of being Communists, or “soft on Communism”.

He ruined thousands of people’s lives, caused their deaths or complete destruction of their lives, but it was all a ploy backed by right wing conservatives, who continue to honor him, even after his political downfall in December 1954 when the US Senate condemned him, and his early death of alcoholism in May 1957.  This despicable man was a true Fascist demagogue with too many people ready to back him, but his cockiness and arrogance and false charges finally brought him down.

Then we had Democratic Governor George C. Wallace of Alabama, who sowed racism in America as he stood in the door of the University of Alabama in 1963 to attempt to block integration of the state university, and allowed police brutality in Birmingham and elsewhere, leading to the bombing of a black church and the death of young girls in the explosion.

A true Fascist demagogue of the worst kind, he actually gained five states and 46 electoral votes as a third party candidate for President in 1968.  Then, while running in 1972 again, he was shot and paralyzed for life by an assassin, a tragic event for sure, but brought on by his notoriety and demagogic nature.  Wallace’s story is well covered in Chapter 11 of my new book mentioned above.

And then we had Patrick Buchanan, an aide to President Richard Nixon and President Ronald Reagan, who promoted nativism and racism and antisemitism, including Holocaust denial,   as he campaigned against President George H. W. Bush in the 1992 primaries; against Bob Dole in the 1996 primaries;  and then ran as a third party candidate of the Reform Party in 2000.

Due to confusion in Palm Beach County, Florida, Buchanan gained 4,000 votes that were intended by voters for Al Gore, but mistakenly, these elderly, mostly Jewish voters punched the wrong hole on the “butterfly” ballots, and by doing so, caused the election of George W. Bush statewide, officially by a total of 537 votes, sadly denying Al Gore the Presidency, despite his national popular vote lead of 540,000!

Buchanan clearly was and is a Fascist demagogue, who, however, has become someone ignored, and no longer has a major media presence in his later years, as he once did on cable television as a political commentator on MSNBC and CNN, although he still is on Fox News Channel and PBS.

And now we have, at the least, two Fascist demagogues, now considered the front runners in the Republican race for President—Donald Trump and Texas Senator Ted Cruz!  Again, the fight against right wing Fascism and its elements–racism, nativism, misogyny, antisemitism—remain a battle decent people must fight with every ounce of their energy!

Donald Trump Inviting Personal Danger With His Incendiary Rhetoric: The Cases Of Huey Long And George Wallace As Case Studies!

Donald Trump is, sadly, inviting personal danger with his incendiary rhetoric on the campaign trail.

Trump is a “loose cannon”. who makes statements without thinking of their implications, and while many people see him as entertainment, he is dangerously treading a line that could lead to the danger of threats against his life.

That is the last thing this nation needs, and yet Trump has his own protective forces, but history tells us that no matter how much protection one might have, all that a potential assassin needs is one “lucky break”.

Historically, we have had two Presidential candidates who stirred up emotions in people in such a divisive way that they faced assassination.

Chapter 7 of my forthcoming book, on August 15, “Assassinations, Threats, and the American Presidency: From Andrew Jackson to Barack Obama” (Rowman Littlefield), deals with the assassination of Senator Huey Long of Louisiana, gunned down on September 8, 1935.

Chapter 11 of the book details the attempted assassination of Governor George C. Wallace of Alabama on May 15, 1972. Wallace survived, but was paralyzed for life, and had annual surgeries to attempt to relieve unremitting pain for the last 26 years of his life.

One would hope that Trump would lower the rhetoric level, so as to cut down the change of danger to his personal security, no matter what one thinks of Trump and his views!

Huey Long, Joseph McCarthy, George Wallace, Donald Trump—The Art Of Demagoguery!

It is now clear that we have in our midst a true demagogue—a person who appeals to the insecurity and disillusionment of many Americans about the direction of their nation in domestic and foreign policy.

We have had this before, and it always ends in disaster and loss of reputation, without accomplishing anything beneficial in the short run or the long run.

We had Senator Huey Long of Louisiana in the early 1930s, who gained a following of millions, talked about “Every Man A King” in the midst of the Great Depression. He ended up being assassinated in 1935 while seeking the Presidency. This is covered in Chapter 7 of my forthcoming book, “Assassinations, Threats, and the American Presidency: From Andrew Jackson to Barack Obama”, from Rowman Littlefield, to be published and available on August 15.

We had Senator Joseph McCarthy of Wisconsin in the early 1950s, when there was the ongoing Cold War with the Soviet Union, exploited as an issue, causing the destruction of the lives and reputations of millions of Americans without any justification. It ended up with the collapse and repudiation of the Red Scare, and the early death of McCarthy from alcoholism.

We had Governor George Wallace of Alabama, who divided the nation over racial integration and civil rights, and won five states in the Electoral College in the Presidential Election of 1968, and then was shot and paralyzed for life during the Presidential Election campaign of 1972. This tragedy, ironically, led to a reformed Wallace who changed his view on civil rights as a result of his own handicapped condition as a result of the assassination attempt. I cover this in Chapter 11 of my forthcoming book on August 15, which I have listed the title and publisher two paragraphs above this one.

Now we have Donald Trump, who is promoting racism and nativism, and since he is super wealthy, his ability to influence the public view is, in many ways, more dangerous than any of the above demagogues.

Just as with the others, Trump will fail in the long run, but will be very dangerous in the short run. Let us hope that his demise will not be brought about in the fashion that occurred for Huey Long and George Wallace! We wish him good health and long life, but want him out of the political fray, because he has nothing positive to offer America, just negativism and division!

Longest Filibusters In US Senate History

Kentucky Senator Rand Paul’s nearly 13 hour filibuster this week drew attention to that tactic which has been used to delay or prevent Senate action, or to protest something the government is engaged in.

Paul’s filibuster turns out to be the ninth longest filibuster, according to Senate records, by any individual.

The list of the top nine all time is as follows:

Senator Strom Thurmond, Democrat, South Carolina, 1957—24 hours 18 minutes

Senator Alfonse D’Amato, Republican, New York, 1986, 23 hours, 30 minutes

Senator Wayne Morse, Independent, Oregon, 1953, 22 hours, 26 minutes

Senator Robert La Follette, Sr,, Republican, Wisconsin, 1908, 18 hours, 23 minutes

Senator William Proxmire, Democrat, Wisconsin, 1981, 16 hours, 12 minutes

Senator Huey Long, Democrat, Louisiana, 1935, 15 hours, 30 minutes

Senator Alfonse D’Amato, Republican, New York, 1992, 15 hours, 14 minutes

Senator Robert Byrd, Democrat, West Virginia, 1964, 14 hours, 13 minutes

Senator Rand Paul, Republican, Kentucky, 2013, 12 hours, 52 minutes

The Dangers Of Political Extremism: Assassination Of Political Leaders

Today is a day to dwell on the dangers of political extremism, the kind of rhetoric that we have been witnessing more than ever since the Great Recession occurred in 2008 and after. The election of the first African American President in 2008 has added to the cauldron.

The chasm between the political parties is wider than ever, and the hot rhetoric displayed on much of talk radio and Fox News Channel is more intense than ever, and will, unfortunately, get worse as the heat of the Presidential campaign intensifies.

Political extremism of the past led to political assassination in American history, as witness:

Abraham Lincoln, murdered at the end of the Civil War, April 14, 1865, by a Confederate sympathizer, John Wilkes Booth.

William McKinley, murdered by an anarchist, Leon Czolgosz, on September 14, 1901.

John F. Kennedy, murdered by Lee Harvey Oswald, a supporter of Fidel Castro and Cuba, 48 years ago on this date, and being commemorated today.

Martin Luther King, Jr,, murdered by a racist, James Earl Ray, on April 4, 1968.

Robert Kennedy, murdered by an Arab sympathizer, Sirhan Sirhan, on June 5, 1968.

These five assassinations, along with the assassination by mentally ill people of James Garfield and Huey Long; and the attempted assassinations of Theodore Roosevelt, Franklin D. Roosevelt, Harry Truman, Richard Nixon, Gerald Ford, and Ronald Reagan are constant warnings of the dangers of violence once passions are aroused to a dangerous level.

When one considers that an individual was recently arrested for having shot at the White House, and perceived as a danger to President Barack Obama, it makes one feel a chill go through his spine, this on top of a similar incident under Bill Clinton.

Our nation’s leaders are under constant threat, and we need to tone down our rhetoric in memory of the death of John F. Kennedy nearly a half century ago, as we do not want to go through the horror and pain of such an event ever again!