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Robert Shepherd: The Trump Convention and the Return of the Fascist Spectacle

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Our regular commenter Bob Shepherd writes about the familiarity of the spectacle at the Trump National Convention:

The Style of the Trump Fascist Spectacle (Known in Previous Years as the Republican National Convention)

Did Albert Speer design this convention? Where was Leni Riefenstahl to film this Triumph of the Trumpian Will?

Flags and marble, shot from below to make them as imposing as possible. The First Lady delivering her address in what looked like a Russian military uniform.

Our wannabe Stalin made very clear in this spectacle who he is and what he stands for. Here, a few of the parallels between the RNC remade by Trump and other spectacles put on by dictators like Stalin:

1. Ultranationalism. Military bands playing jingoistic patriotic tunes, flags, flags, flags.

2. Pretend kindness from Great Leader. Staged events showing He Who Shines More Orange than the Sun deigning to extend mercy to ordinary persons, representative “citizens.” Fall in line, and you, too, can benefit from Great Leader’s largess!

3. Nepotism. A parade of Great Leader’s vile spawn. Dictators can’t trust anyone except family, so, of course, this. The apple doesn’t fall far.

4. Cult of personality. All Trump, all the time. Trump’s name in fireworks above the Washington Monument.

5. Baldfaced lying. Telling lies that are completely blatant because those around him don’t dare contradict him. This always gives autocrats a big thrill. President: Grass is pink. Yes, Mr. President, very pink.

6. The myth of the return to the golden age. All this make America great again bs. Right out of Hitler’s playbook–hearkening back to a glorious Aryan past that only he can restore.

7. Appropriation of national symbols to the leader.

8. Fascist imagery, architecture, and design. Lots and lots of “from below” shots to make the setting seem even more grand, more monumental, more fascist. The new stark and very white Rose Garden, Trump’s pointing to the now Whiter House during his speech and saying, “Great house. Not a house but a home. [e.g., MY HOME] I’m here, and they aren’t. And what color is it?”

9. Great Leader as the sole platform, the sole font of policy. For the first time in its history, the Republican National Convention put forward no new campaign platform. Appropriate, of course, because under Trump, the Party platform is whatever Great Leader happens to have said six seconds ago, even if it’s exactly the opposite of what he said seven seconds ago. (Oceania has always been at war with Eastasia.)

10. The impassioned speech by Great Leader about the enemy within and the necessity of crushing that enemy in order to achieve a return to greatness. Biden the Socialist (LOL), the terrorists in the streets.

We’ve seen this film before.

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