Fascism Defined; WaPo’s MUST-Read Editorial July 23, 2016July 23, 2016 This is Monday’s column, early. (I couldn’t contain myself: the Washington Post editorial is truly must read.) But first: $$$ David from Deloitte: “Any chance you could highlight your financial posts so I can bypass the days when you talk politics? I don’t care for politics at all and have no interest in government, but do enjoy hearing what you have to say about money.” ☞ I don’t care for politics either but care for mankind’s future (as do you) — which after 10,000 generations comes down to this one. And maybe one or two more. Either we get it right, as a species — or we hurtle off the rails. So, with apologies: no, I can’t spare you my thoughts on this election. The potential damage is just too grave. (Read on.) Still, Friday I did write about money — and WheelTug / Borealis (a bit more on that, just in, here) — so I hope not to lose you entirely. Stick with me! TRUMP’S SPEECH Lee N: “Conservative blogger, Erick Erickson, borrowed an old Molly Ivins line — ‘It sounded better in the original German.’” FASCISM DEFINED Adam Gopnik in the New Yorker: . . . It is the essence of fascism to have no single fixed form—an attenuated form of nationalism in its basic nature, it naturally takes on the colors and practices of each nation it infects. In Italy, it is bombastic and neoclassical in form; in Spain, Catholic and religious; in Germany, violent and romantic. . . . What all forms of fascism have in common is the glorification of the nation, and the exaggeration of its humiliations, with violence promised to its enemies, at home and abroad; the worship of power wherever it appears and whoever holds it; contempt for the rule of law and for reason; unashamed employment of repeated lies as a rhetorical strategy; and a promise of vengeance for those who feel themselves disempowered by history. It promises to turn back time and take no prisoners. That it can appeal to those who do not understand its consequences is doubtless true. But the first job of those who do understand is to state what those consequences invariably are. Those who think that the underlying institutions of American government are immunized against it fail to understand history. In every historical situation where a leader of Trump’s kind comes to power, normal safeguards collapse. Ours are older and therefore stronger? Watching the rapid collapse of the Republican Party is not an encouraging rehearsal. Donald Trump has a chance to seize power. Hillary Clinton is an ordinary liberal politician. She has her faults, easily described, often documented—though, for the most part, the worst accusations against her have turned out to be fiction. No reasonable person, no matter how opposed to her politics, can believe for a second that Clinton’s accession to power would be a threat to the Constitution or the continuation of American democracy. No reasonable person can believe that Trump’s accession to power would not be. . . . The Washington Post editorial board sees Donald Trump as “a unique threat to American democracy.” . . . DONALD J. TRUMP, until now a Republican problem, this week became a challenge the nation must confront and overcome. The real estate tycoon is uniquely unqualified to serve as president, in experience and temperament. He is mounting a campaign of snarl and sneer, not substance. To the extent he has views, they are wrong in their diagnosis of America’s problems and dangerous in their proposed solutions. Mr. Trump’s politics of denigration and division could strain the bonds that have held a diverse nation together. His contempt for constitutional norms might reveal the nation’s two-century-old experiment in checks and balances to be more fragile than we knew. Any one of these characteristics would be disqualifying; together, they make Mr. Trump a peril. . . . Read the whole thing. Post it to your Facebook page. Send it to everyone you know. And then . . . Click here.