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  1. Republicans' Faustian Bargain Enables Trump's Anti-Immigrant Agenda and Abuse of Power. It also Recalls Hitler's 1933 Takeover. Part 2. Roger Algase

    This comment will continue and conclude my previous one on this topic, which was originally posted on ilw.com on December 2.

    http://blogs.ilw.com/entry.php?10260

    It seems that hardly a day goes by without fresh evidence of Trump's twin dangers to America's democracy in the form of a) pursuing a white supremacist immigration agenda aimed at reducing immigration from Asia, the Middle East, Africa and Latin America as much as possible; and. b) by no means unrelated, engaging in ongoing abuses of power which could ultimately lead to a one-man dictatorship in America.

    Therefore, it becomes increasing important, and indeed urgent, for immigration advocates and everyone else who cares about the rule of law in America to look at the details of Faustian Bargain that Congressional Republicans are making with Trump in order to enable both his whites-only immigration agenda and his attempt to unravel America's democracy and concentrate all power in himself.

    In my initial comment, I mentioned Trump's horrific retweeting of unspeakably vile videos distributed by a right wing extremist Islamophobic UK woman, Jayda Fransen, purporting to make all Muslims appear to be violent criminals; just as the later executed Nazi war criminal Julius Streicher made Jews appear to be criminals by nature in his infamous Der Stuermer publication.

    I also mentioned the latest indication of the ongoing abuse of power by the Trump administration in trying to impede the Russia investigations, as evidenced by former national security advisor and top campaign official Micheal Flynn's plea of guilty to lying to the FBI. Flynn himself, as I also showed in my initial comment, also has a long and unenviable record of vicious anti-Muslim statements, completely in keeping with Trump's own attempts to exploit bigotry against Muslim immigrants as both candidate and president.

    However, even since my initial comment was posted only one day ago, Trump has now, very arguably, given fresh evidence of what, according to expert opinion, could very arguably be called obstruction of justice in connection with his dealings with Michael Flynn.

    The Hill reports on December 2 that in a tweet that same day, Trump claimed that he knew that Flynn had lied to the FBI at the time that Trump met with then FBI director and allegedly asked Comey (whom Trump fired shortly afterward), not to investigate Flynn.

    See:

    Legal experts: Trump's latest tweet could lead to obstruction of justice charges

    http://thehill.com/homenews/administ...ion-of-justice

    The Guardian reports that Harvard constitutional law professor Laurence Tribe was more explicit. The paper quotes Professor Tribe as follows, concerning Trump's latest tweet:

    "That's a confession of deliberate, corrupt, obstruction of justice."

    https://www.theguardian.com/australi...ion-of-justice

    In view of Trump's ongoing, and increasing, assaults against the principle of racial justice and equality in immigration which has been at the foundation of US immigration law and policy for the past half century (if not always strictly followed in actual practice); as well as the constantly unfolding evidence of abuses of power which run counter to the basic principles of American democracy, why have the leaders of America's governing party, which controls both houses of Congress and a majority of America's state houses and state legislatures, as well as the White House itself, been so reluctant to speak out against the president's abuses?

    The answer is in what the German magazine Der Spiegel, in two articles cited in my initial comment, calls the Faustian Bargain with Donald Trump. For any readers who may not be familiar with this epic poem by the greatest of all German writers, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, Faust is the story of an individual who made a bargain with the Devil in the hope of achieving his (Faust's) wishes. Events did not work out exactly as Faust has hoped they would.

    The second of two articles (dated August 19) in the English-language edition of this magazine, one of the most respected throughout Europe and the world, which I cited in my initial comment, describes the Republican leaders' bargain with Trump as follows:

    "The chasm between Trump and the Republican mainstream has also become deeper. Allies are stunned at their president's willingness to protect violent racists...

    The
    problem is that conservatives have been unable to find a way out of the Faustian bargain they made with Trump. If they let him fall, they are almost certain to suffer mightily in midterm elections next autumn. But the party has also become increasingly concerned that there is no way to control this president ..."

    It is not only a foreign magazine that has used the term Faustian Bargain to describe the Republican party's relationship with Donald Trump, however. A leading Republican Senator, Jeff Flake (Arizona), has also used the same expression.

    Flake, who, not coincidentally, was as a member of the bipartisan Republican "Gang of Eight" which attempted to bring about Comprehensive Immigration Reform in 2013 said, of the Republicans' support for Donald Trump:

    "If this was our Faustian bargain, then it was not worth it."

    https://www.politico.com/magazine/st...d-trump-215442

    But what exactly does this Faustian Bargain consist of? And why does it recall a similar alliance between a conservative establishment and an ultra-nationalist racist movement which enabled Adolf Hitler's rise to power in Germany in 1933?

    The answer is in the tax bill which the Republican-controlled Senate has just passed. The Republicans' wealthy individuals and corporate backers are the ones who stand to benefit from huge tax cuts which will ultimately be paid for by middle class and less affluent American in the form of higher tax rates for themselves and severe cuts in or elimination of essential government programs and services, such as, very possibly, Social Security, Medicare and the Affordable Care Act. As financial expert John Wasik writes in forbes.com on December 1:

    "After doling out outlandish tax breaks to corporations and the ultra-affluent, fiscal conservatives will demand that future tax legislation 'pay for itself'. This will lead to cutting social programs that the majority of retired and poor Americans need and want."

    https://www.forbes.com/sites/johnwas...e/#71fc5414deb

    The Republican Senators and Representative who depend on campaign donations from those wealthy individuals and interests are perfectly willing to go along with Trump's white nationalist, authoritarian, anti-immigrant agenda as long as they get their tax cuts (and gutting of environmental and other regulations hated by wealthy corporate interests) enacted, signed by the president and/or promulgated by his administration, as the case may be.

    A precient article in vox.com put it bluntly just over a year ago, about three weeks after the 2016 election:

    "Normalization...is typically cast as a form of complicity with Trump...

    Trump
    genuinely does pose threats to the integrity of American institutions and political norms. But he does so largely because his nascent administration is sustained by support from the institutional Republican party and its standard interest and business group supporters. Alongside the wacky tweets and personal feuds [now, one year later, morphed into openly racist tweets, speeches and executive orders full of hatred and venom against Muslim and other non-white immigrants, as well as authoritarian conduct coming closer and closer to actual obstruction of justice] Trump is pursuing a policy agenda whose implications are overwhelmingly favorable to rich people and business owners."

    https://www.vox.com/policy-and-polit...malizing-trump

    In other words, to put it in plainer language, Republicans and their wealthy financial backers are willing to put up with, to the point of enabling or even actively aiding and abetting a president and administration that pursue an openly radical right race-based agenda of keeping non-white immigrants out of the United States; while conducting mass deportation and ethnic cleansing of those who are already in the country. These same wealthy interests and their Republican supporters in Congress are also willing to tern a blind eye toward a president who is methodically destroying our system of checks and balances and other institutions which place limits and controls on his power.

    They are also perfectly willing to leave the president free, allegedly, to obstruct justice by firing or threatening to fire any government official who stands in the way of his climb toward absolute one-man rule.

    As indicated above, all that these wealthy backers and their Republican allies in Congress ask in return to remaining silent in the face of the president's return to a whites only immigration agenda similar to the one which was set in place in the US more than 90 years ago, in 1924, and which Adolf Hitler wrote about favorably in Mein Kampf, as well as the destruction of our democracy and its replacement by a 21st century version of fascist rule, is for the president to help enact their tax cuts and gut the environmental, consumer protection and other regulations which stand in the way of making these wealthy individual and corporate interests even richer than before.

    This may indeed be radical in a democracy such as America as we know it, but there is a precedent for this kind of Faustian Bargain - going back to Hitler's rise to power in 1933.

    This alliance between traditional conservative big business interests in Germany and the Nazis' radical racist and authoritarian agenda is described as follows in a May 20, 2016 article by Ciara Torres-Spelliscy published by the Brennan Center for Justice, called:

    How Big Business Bailed Out the Nazis

    https://www.brennancenter.org/blog/h...iled-out-nazis

    Torres-Spelliscy's article, which I also mentioned in the first part of my comment on this issue on December 2, begins:

    "it's a largely forgotten piece of history, but in 1932 the German Nazi Party was facing financial ruin. How did the Nazis move from being broke to being in control of the German government just a year later? The Nazi party was bailed out by German industrialists in early 1933."

    She continues:

    "The industrialists who led the way were two huge German firms, I.G. Farben and Krupp...According to
    The Arms of Krupp, the Nazi Party was essentially bankrupt in 1932...

    Regardless of the party's financial problems, Hitler was named Chancellor in late January, 1933. He called for elections in early March. With less than two weeks left before the vote, Herman Goering sent telegrams to Germany's 25 leading industrialists, inviting them to a secret meeting on February 20, 1933...Hitler addressed the group, saying 'private enterprise cannot be maintained in a democracy.' He also told the men he would eliminate trade unions and communists. Hitler asked for their financial support and to back his vision for Germany."

    The result, according to the article, was as follows:

    "[T]he industrialists became so enthusiastic that they set about to raise 3 million Reichsmarks...to strengthen and confirm the Nazi Party in power...

    At the February meeting, the I.G. Farben executives gave the Nazis 400,000 marks, and a total of 4.5 million marks by the end of 1933...This infusion of corporate cash saved the Nazi Party from financial disaster."

    Of course there are important differences between Germany in 1933 and America as it approaches 2018, 85 years later. Donald Trump is not a Nazi (despite his reluctance to condemn American neo-Nazis for their violence in Charlottesville). His targets are primarily Muslim, Latin American and Asian immigrants, not Jews. (He is vehemently pro-Israel, and his influential daughter and son-in-law are both Jewish).

    Unlike Hitler and the Nazis, America's president does not support genocide or mass murder against anyone; nor is he interested in a war of conquest or in expanding American territory. (North Korea is a different matter.)

    Nor has Trump ever openly expressed a belief in racial superiority of any group of people as a matter of ideology, even though his immigration policies would clearly have the effect of turning the US back to a system that would favor white European immigrants over all others, in keeping with his July 6 Warsaw address which I have commented on previously.

    But despite the above clear and very important differences between Donald Trump and Adolf Hitler, and between 21st century America and 1930's Germany, Torres-Spellicy's concluding comment is a grim warning about what the current Faustian Bargain between establishment Republican politicians seeking tax and regulatory benefits for their billionaire financial backers on the one hand, and Trump, with his authoritarian abuses of power and his coterie of white nationalist anti-immigrant zealots on the other, can lead to. She writes:

    "As the book Hell's Cartel explains, the history of the German industrialists' support of Hitler shows 'what can go wrong when political objectives and the pursuit of profit become dangerously entwined'. One can only surmise what might have happened if the businessmen had simply said 'no' to Hitler that night."

    What will happen to America if the political leaders in a party which now controls all levels of power in this country are so eager to gain benefits for their billionaire financial backers that they are unable to say "no" to Donald Trump's move toward the destruction of America's democratic institutions, fueled by his white supremacist immigration agenda?

    Roger Algase
    Attorney at Law
    algaselex@gmail.com




    Updated 12-04-2017 at 11:51 AM by ImmigrationLawBlogs

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