[Marxism] Fwd: Frank Rich: What Comes After Trump Could Be More Dangerous

Louis Proyect lnp3 at panix.com
Mon Nov 13 06:14:20 MST 2017

To appreciate the tenacity and enduring political constancy of Trumpism, 
George Wallace’s story is the essential text. Soon after Trump started 
running in 2015, commentators started to clock the uncanny parallels 
with his southern predecessor. As Trump’s path into presidential 
politics was greased by birtherism, so Wallace commandeered the national 
spotlight by playing the race card, showboating before television 
cameras to try to block black students from attending class at the 
University of Alabama in 1963. As Trump’s followers came for the racism 
but stayed for the nationalism and populism, so had Wallace’s. His 
presidential campaign slogan was “Stand Up for America.” He inveighed 
against “pointy-headed professors,” the “filthy rich in Wall Street,” 
and Washington’s “briefcase-totin’ bureaucrats” while supporting 
big-government programs like Social Security and Medicare that benefited 
his base. Wallace, again anticipating Trump, decried the two parties as 
interchangeable while refusing to offer anything beyond anger and 
complaints as an alternative. Wallace was “interested in exploiting 
issues, not solving problems,” as the Times put it in 1972. He “has no 
real policies, plans, or platforms,” observed the contemporaneous 
journalist Kirkpatrick Sale, perceptively adding that “no one expects 
them from him.” That he lost all his crusades against the federal 
government, including his signature battle against desegregation, didn’t 
faze his followers either. “What matters is that he fought and continues 
to fight,” wrote the early Wallace biographer Marshall Frady.


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