Teri Kanefield @Teri_Kanefield Author, lawyer (UC Berkeley) My threads are here: terikanefield-blog.com/ NBC News Opinion contributor Impeachment notes: impeachment-trump.com/ Jun. 21, 2019 3 min read

Thread) Trump, the Democrats, and “corruption”

Trump kicked off his 2020 reelection campaign with these words: “The only thing these corrupt politicians will understand is an earthquake at the ballot box. . .”

Trump's critics see much irony.

1/ What about:

💠All that nepotism?
💠The shameless way Trumps are profiting from the presidency?
💠The Mueller report’s discussion of "the Presidenti's corrupts of his authority?" (vol. 2, p. 8)

2/ And what about:

💠 10,796 Trump lies in 869 days?  https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/2019/06/10/president-trump-has-made-false-or-misleading-claims-over-days/?utm_term=.c718b2eee3ac 
💠 Accusations from the NY AG that the Trump’s stole from charity?

If that’s not corruption, what is?
And here is Trump, accusing others of corruption with a straight face.

3/ . . . while his critics cheer. What gives?

Yale Prof.@jasonintrator, author of👇, says:

“Fascists see democracy as corrupt because democracy requires concessions to different groups. They see compromising with out-groups as “corruption.”

4/ Therefore, says @jasonintrator, every fascist campaign is an “anti-corruption” campaign.

The phrase, “Drain the swamp” originated with Mussolini.

See Prof. Stanley's book, How Fascism Works, or watch:

5/ Interestingly, the dictionary offers two definitions of “corruption.”

Definitions (a) and (b) are the view of Trump’s critics: Trump is corrupt because he engages in illegal behavior and permits other government officials to do so. HIs behavior is unlawful and depraved.

6/ On the other hand, definitions (c) and (d) 👇offer the view of Trump’s supporters:

“Democrats”—loosely defined to mean anyone not loyal to Trump—are diluting the purity and goodness of the nation, partly by championing the needs of “others” or members of "outgroups."

7/ Remember when Sarah Palin talked about the “pro-America” or “real America,” by which she meant the part that was rural or small town and white?
The implication was that Democrats (who champion the rights of minority communities) are anti-American.

8/ What about that Proud Boy member who bought tactical gear to a Trump rally to protect Trump from liberals.

He genuinely thinks liberals are the enemies of America and a physical danger to Trump. I suspect there are lots more like him.

9/ Given what I've always understood as the definition of liberal👇more irony abounds.
I remember the first time I heard "liberal" used as a pejorative, and I was shocked. (G. H. Bush, during the Dukakis debates).
To many, "liberals" (however that is defined) are the enemy.

10/ Some Trump supporters see him trying to stamp out satanic forces in the U.S.
Satanic, of course, is the ultimate in incorrupt.

11/ And that’s partly how Trump—without a trace of irony—can claim to be the anti-corruption candidate, and why the claim makes perfect sense to his supporters.

Another part, of course, is many Trump supporters think any news that is critical of Trump is fake.

12/ There is also the "you're the puppet" ploy.

From Prof. Finchelstein (h/t @jasonintrator ) “Fascists always deny what they are and ascribe their own features and their own totalitarian politics to their enemies.”

13/ This is a different from "projection," which is when a person unconsciously sees his or her own bad qualities in someone else.

This is a fascist technique, and is done deliberately.

14/ “Trump is cynically using a set of fascist tactics to gain and maintain power,” says @jasonintrator

I suggest Trump's supporters aren't duped. They're willing to accept corruption as defined in (a) and (b) in exchange for having a leader who will "purify" the nation.


All my threads are also blogposts. You can read this one here:  https://terikanefield-blog.com/trump-the-democrats-and-corruption/ 

With thanks and a hat tip to @_sidmehta, I’m adding this to my thread on corruption.

In 2017, Hannity, in a text message to Manafort, said that he is fighting to end corruption in this country, which naturally leads us to wonder how he defines the word.

You can follow @Teri_Kanefield.


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