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William Gibson on Donald Trump

Written By: - Date published: 8:00 am, May 24th, 2016 - 30 comments
Categories: us politics - Tags: ,

William Gibson, creator of Cyberpunk, the person who came up with the word cyberspace, author of Neuromancer which is credited with inspiring the Matrix movies as well as much more, is worried that Donald Trump may be the American fascist real deal. Hat tip Gareth M. Skarka.

30 comments on “William Gibson on Donald Trump ”

  1. Colonial Viper 1

    The left wing liberal establishment and hierarchy in the USA could easily stop Trump, according to new polls.

    The latest NBC/WSJ poll looks at the Clinton/Trump presidential match and now has Clinton up by only 3% at 46%/43%.

    In other words, she has lost the double digit lead that she has held over Trump for most of the year.

    In a Sanders vs Trump match up, Sanders is leading Trump by 15%: 54% to 39%.

    But you know what, the so-called Left wing liberal Democratic establishment would prefer to risk a fascist Trump take power in the USA, than to let the people have a true left wing leader like Bernie Sanders.

    • Kevin 1.1

      Oh yes, best not let that evil socialism (communism in their eyes) take a foothold.

    • adam 1.2

      Just the same old, same old Colonial Viper – It’s just history repeating itself. Look at what the Zentrum party did in Germany, it was the failure of the opposition, and the desire to hold fast to their own fiefdoms which led to the Enabling act.

      I wonder, if Trump will go for one of those?

      Probably, as he gets offended easily – my guess Seth Meyers will get it first.

    • dukeofurl 1.3

      Thats just a common polling bump once all Trumps opposition pulled out. It hasnt happened yet for Hilary but it too will once Bernie gets burned.

  2. Wayne 2

    The left wing establishment of the Democratic Party does not want a self declared socialist, isolationist as their candidate. Hardly surprising.
    Of course they will accept him if he wins the pledged delegates, but he trails in that regard. It would be anti democratic if the unpledged delegates supported a candidate who had lost the popular primary vote.

    In any event if Sanders is the Deomocratic candidate, for the first time he will face attack ads. In my view his supposed lead would pretty quickly evaporate. To me Sanders is further away from the mainstream than Trump.

    So Hillary is the best bet. The alternate is a Belessconi type President (as opposed to Mussolini which in my view is not the appropriate analogy).

    • Colonial Viper 2.1

      The left wing establishment of the Democratic Party does not want a self declared socialist, isolationist as their candidate. Hardly surprising.

      How unfortunate then for the bankster subservient Democratic Party establishment that the young Americans screwed over by the US elite would far prefer Sanders.

      PS Sanders is keen for the US to continue engaging in the Middle East and with allies around the world, so how do you justify calling him “isolationist”? Because he is against the thievery of transnational corporations?

      • dukeofurl 2.1.1

        Interesting opinion piece here from the Bernie leaning NY Times

        Do Sanders Supporters Favor His Policies
        http://www.nytimes.com/2016/05/23/opinion/campaign-stops/do-sanders-supporters-favor-his-policies.html?ref=politics

        Can explain a lot about how political preferences in general dont necessarily follow the detailed policies.

        “For example, young Democrats were less likely than older Democrats to support increased government funding of health care, substantially less likely to favor a higher minimum wage and less likely to support expanding government services. Their distinctive liberalism is mostly a matter of adopting campaign labels, not policy preferences.”

    • dukeofurl 2.2

      Manhattan Mussolini is exactly the analogy that Trump should be described.

      • Wayne 2.2.1

        Dukeofurl,

        Mussolini was a dictator who got power through an armed revolution. Belessconi got it in exactly the same way as Trump. A populist used to modern media.

        In my view it does no good to over-hype the demonic comparison (ie use Hitler or Mussolini). Instead of persuading swinging voters, it puts them off, and makes it more likely they will support the person you are opposed to.

        CV

        You did not address the fact that Hillary is winning the pledged delegates by winning more primary votes than Sanders. Is that irrelevant to you?

        • dukeofurl 2.2.1.1

          I dont have a problem with Hilary. Sanders is just a puff ball ( probably supported by black GOP money ie to wreck Clintons chances)
          Everything about Italian politics seems crazy inour eyes, in fact the King asked him to form a government after the coalition government he was part of became chaotic. Hitler for a brief period was the largest elected party as well.
          The comparison is they both followed the existing path to power.
          Trump has only won the nomination by having a minority of the GOP primary votes, which is unusual.

          • Wayne 2.2.1.1.1

            dukeofurl and McFlock,

            When I look at Trump and hear and read what he says, it all seems more representative of Belesconni to me. However while Belesconni might be OK in Italy (though he wasn’t) we don’t expect the US to elect someone like that. If he does get in and proves to be hopeless, I guess they can correct it in 2020.

            Mussolini, and Franco operated differently (the Hitler comparison being absurd). Once in power, they could not be voted out. They were also obsessed by military power, uniforms, strutting etc. Trump is simply not in that league. But if that is what Gibson and Kagan think, that’s fine. It is their view, but it is not mine. It is also a pretty dim view of their fellow citizens.

            No matter what you think of the US, I do not think they want fascists in control, they value their own personal freedom too much, and their constitution, plus their democratic tradition, pretty much prevents it.

            But apparently they seem (or at least a large number of them) happy enough with a Belessconi type. After all California elected Schwarzenegger with no governance experience, though in fact he proved harmless enough.

            • dukeofurl 2.2.1.1.1.1

              “They were also obsessed by military power, uniforms, strutting etc. Trump is simply not in that league.”????

              Uniformed private militias were a bit of a craze at the time, not applicable now. Even the UK had its Blackshirts ( and support from Daily Mail).

              Umberto Eco called the Italian fascism as a “beehive of contradictions”. Thats Trump to a tee.

              http://www.salon.com/2016/03/11/trumps_not_hitler_hes_mussolini_how_gop_anti_intellectualism_created_a_modern_fascist_movement_in_america/

              This is a laugh:
              “For one, Mussolini was better read and more articulate than Trump. Starting out as a schoolteacher, the Italian Fascist read voraciously and was heavily influenced by the German and French philosophers Friedrich Nietzsche and Jean-Marie Guyau, respectively. I doubt Trump would know who either of these two people were. According to the Boston Globe, Trump speaks at the level of a fourth grader.”

              But this is the zinger

              “Fascism was not just different type of politics, but anti-politics.”

              Forget the uniforms and marching, better indicators are there.

            • McFlock 2.2.1.1.1.2

              see, the thing is that Gibson actually experienced those regimes.
              Have you? I haven’t, but I’ll take the word of those who have.

              The comparison isn’t about the differences, it’s about the commonalities Trump has with other demagogues, even H-man. America has sunk. Needs to be great again. I can make it great again. I can make you great again. Ignore the liberals and their legal protections for criminals. America needs to take what it needs. Fear the outsider. Build a wall. Take from the outsider to build that wall. Ignore the laws of war: target men, women and children whose only offense was to be the family of a person we don’t like. Use overwhelming force. Kill them.

              And so on…

        • McFlock 2.2.1.2

          Gibson thought like you did about “the demonic comparison”, having spent time in two fascist states.

          But he sees strong similarities in Trump. Or didn’t you read the post?

          • dukeofurl 2.2.1.2.1

            Yes , path to power through existing means is the normal method of facists ( except Franco of course)

            “The March on Rome was not the conquest of power which Fascism later celebrated but rather the precipitating force behind a transfer of power within the framework of the constitution. This transition was made possible by the surrender of public authorities in the face of fascist intimidation. Many business and financial leaders believed it would be possible to manipulate Mussolini, whose early speeches and policies emphasized free market and laissez faire economics”

            “General elections were held in Italy on 6 April 1924. They were held under the Acerbo Law, which stated that the party with the largest share of the votes would automatically receive two-thirds of the seats in Parliament as long as they received over 25% of the vote.
            The National List of Benito Mussolini (an alliance with Liberals and Conservatives) used intimidation tactics, resulting in a landslide victory and a subsequent two-thirds majority. This is the last free election in Italy before World War II.” wiki

            • dukeofurl 2.2.1.2.1.1

              Another facist who rose to power through existing means

              Austria’s Dolfuss
              “Dollfuss’ majority in Parliament was marginal; his government had only a one-vote majority”
              didnt stop him becoming a fascist dictator

        • Colonial Viper 2.2.1.3

          So, Clinton and her superdelegates are whipping local party organisations into line, as well as excluding Independents where possible. That’s been understood for months.

          Fact is though, if she could have won by now, she would have. Bernie has won 19 states. California results to come.

  3. joe90 3

    NYT editor Jonathan Weisman tweeted about Robert Kagan’s opinion piece on Trump’s nomination and the fans came out of the woodwork. If you have the stomach, scroll down.

  4. dukeofurl 4

    How many of those states were ‘caucus only’ states. not exactly popular will.
    Thats 11 contests in caucus states that Sanders has won.

    In states that run elections Bernie is 3 mill votes behind Clinton

    California and New Jersey are the large states remaining, and polls there are bad for Sanders.

    I dont understand your reasoning, Sanders cant win all the remaining delegates, cant win the popular vote in primaries, cant win a majority in super delegates.
    And yet your rationale is Clinton ‘should have won by now’- hello Sanders should have pulled out by now as well ( not that he has too)

  5. save nz 5

    Cornel West: Trump is a “narcissistic neo-fascist in the making”; Clinton is a hawkish “milquetoast neoliberal”
    http://www.salon.com/2016/05/23/cornel_west_trump_is_a_narcissistic_neo_fascist_in_the_making_clinton_is_a_hawkish_milquetoast_neoliberal/

  6. dukeofurl 6

    Someone in the US even set up a ‘parody Trump’ account on twitter which would tweet stuff from Mussolini speeches.

    Guess who fell for it and retweeted ?

    “”@ilduce2016: “It is better to live one day as a lion than 100 years as a sheep.” – @realDonaldTrump #MakeAmericaGreatAgain

  7. Chooky 7

    I do not know who this guy Rush Limburgh is but he makes a lot of sense

    (btw I don’t think Trump is a real fascist…he is a deal maker and is skilled at feints…he is a postmodern pragmatist and changes his position constantly)

    ‘Rush Limbaugh Reveals The Reason Hillary Clinton Will Lose The Election’

    Read more: http://dailycaller.com/2016/05/23/rush-limbaugh-reveals-the-reason-hillary-clinton-will-lose-the-election/#ixzz49YunpOVk

    • UncookedSelachimorpha 7.1

      Rush Limbaugh is a right-wing populist broadcaster / talk back host, very rich and an unpleasant character by my reading. Think Hosking times 100. I remember a bumper sticker in the states

      LISTEN to Rush…it’s easier than thinking

      • Chooky 7.1.1

        Well I guess that makes it all the more interesting that he, a right winger, argues her taking money from the banks is the reason Trump will beat her:

        Read more: http://dailycaller.com/2016/05/23/rush-limbaugh-reveals-the-reason-hillary-clinton-will-lose-the-election/#ixzz49ZCPoGcy

        ““Do you realize that this woman, in the last two years, has made $21 million delivering speeches, mostly to banks? Twenty-one mil! I don’t think there’s a speech for less than $225,000 on the list, and they’re all listed. Some of them are as high as $400,000, but it’s generally in that range of 225, 250, up to $400,000. It’s every bank you’ve ever heard of )and then some), and every hedge fund that you’ve ever heard of (and then some). Every investment house that you’ve ever heard of. It’s $21 million in two years, speeches alone.”

        http://dailycaller.com/2016/05/04/limbaugh-trump-is-gonna-win-beat-hillary-badly/

        …”Clinton has “already been bought” by Wall Street giving credence to recent poll that has “something like 20 percent of Bernie voters claim they’re gonna vote for Trump” if Sanders isn’t the nominee.”

        http://dailycaller.com/2016/05/11/exclusive-persian-gulf-sheikhs-gave-bill-hillary-100-million/

        (btw : I think Sanders would beat Trump…but Trump will trump Hillary)

      • dukeofurl 7.1.2

        The Clinton Foundation employs over 400 and is a major international donor. Bill and Hilary are the fund raisers through their speeches and approaching donors.
        Up till 2014 it had raised $2 bill.

        The US speeches circuit certainly is a money making opportunity. And the price for top tier speakers is high.
        WE have the same sort of thing here but the price is much lower, and often is more an MC thing. Hosking is for sale along with many other.

        Darling of the far left in the UK George Galloway makes £300,000 from his appearances. Im sure he donates to worthy causes too.

        • Ad 7.1.2.1

          Obama was elected with a large percentage of smaller donations, but that was before the Supreme Court enabled SuperPacs to aggregate massive funding that could attack opposing candidates.

          Sanders would not have a shit show against Trump in the money-organizational stakes.
          Meantime we can see his true measure as he goes into fabulous sore-loser mode. Want to see Presidential-quality grace in action? Just compare Sanders’ behavior over the last two weeks to Hilary Clinton’s concession remarks when losing the nomination to Obama.

          And we won’t see that funding arrangement change until there is a more liberal bias in the Supreme Court to overturn the constitutionality of SuperPacs’ capacity to alter whole elections.

          And in case you haven’t figured out the corollary, it’s pretty close to the same with donor capacity in New Zealand. National’s donor capacity has a very strong and meaningful effect in our own elections.

  8. mikesh 8

    I thought the US was already a fascist state, and that Hilary “Mushroom Cloud” Clinton was promising more of the same, only worse. Once upon a time we considered Obama the “great white hope”, (despite his negro origins), but we seem to have been mistaken. Are we equally mistaken about Trump when we regard him as the devil incarnate.

    • Chooky 8.1

      at least both Sanders and Trump are their own man

      ….Hillary seems to have been bought ….she is a career politician …. it seems she belongs to the corporates and the banks….and the Saudis …and the Israelis…and whoever will pay her the highest

  9. Siobhan 9

    The whole US primary race has been an fascinating and informative spectacle so far.
    What have we learnt.
    1. The Democratic Party is anything but democratic ie Super delegates not falling in with their constituents in states that Sanders has won, ie Debbie Wasserman Schultz
    2.Mainstream (so called) American liberal media is only liberal it seems if the views expressed doesn’t effect the editors share portfolio’s, and doesn’t mean any real changes in the system, note their almost complete and unashamed bias toward Clinton, ie the status quo.
    3. In American as in the UK, people are sick and tired of bullshit centre right politics from BOTH parties ( I just wish we could get to the same place).
    4. Left wing socialist politics appeal to thinking people in a way that has gone completely undetected by all political commentators and media, and with an enthusiasm that all existing parties have not seen for decades.
    5. Trump is the result of decades of an aggressive and incredibly negative GOP that hasn’t done one positive thing for working families, enabled by a mind-blowingly compliant media, for whom critical thinking seems to be a dirty word (But then our media isn’t much better).
    I just hope all the centrists from our Labour Party will just piss off, and let out party become again what it always should be, a real peoples party, built on a foundation of high minded principles with a unwavering social moral code. A real defense against this sort of mad swing to the right, instead of being essentially just a softer version of Key’s National.

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