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Maximum disruption, promise made and promise kept

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Let’s make one thing clear: I am not defending Donald Trump.

But I’ve got a couple observations to pass along that may give that impression. If so, my apologies in advance. That’s not my intention.

First observation:

Sorry, folks, but Trump is doing exactly what he said he would do, from the earliest days of his candidacy. The Muslim ban, in fact, was the very first promise he made – he did not hide it.

As the condemnations and protests grow, Trump can be counted on to shrug and say: “I’m doing what I said I would do. I’ve got a mandate to do this. Promise made, promise kept.”

And he will be right. “Promise kept” is a powerful message in politics. Don’t ever underestimate it.

Second observation:

There’s a theory that Trump’s most influential adviser, Steve Bannon – who has been reported as saying that he doesn’t think it’s so bad if blacks can’t vote and who doesn’t want his kids near Jews – is actually the president. He’s the one really in charge, goes this theory.

Moreover – and this is fact – Bannon wants precisely the kind of chaos we’re now witnessing. Don’t believe it? Here’s what he told a writer at the Daily Beast: “Lenin wanted to destroy the state and that’s my goal, too. I want to bring everything crashing down and destroy all of today’s establishment.”

I’ve spent decades writing about the racist right in North America and Europe, and the sentiment in that quote was very familiar to me. The far right know they usually lack the means to take down the system democratically.

So all of them – from the loneliest skinhead on the street to the most powerful Grand Wizard to even the top adviser to the president of the United States, apparently – favour chaos. They favour anarchy. They favour maximum disruption, as they call it.

This concept is real. It has been at the very centre of far right strategy for generations. My newest book, to be published by Dundurn Press in the fall – X: Recipe for Hate – is all about maximum disruption, in fact. It’s their recipe.

Some of us have written about it before, too. Here’s a bit from my 2001 book, Web of Hate, about just one Canadian neo-Nazi group, the Aryan Resistance Movement:

ARM’s Nazi “literature,” as they call it, is among the most venomous in the country. When ARM was based in Mission, B.C., in the late 1980s, for example, it published posters that became nationally renowned for their viciousness. “Fight terror with terror,” one poster reads, above a drawing of an SS soldier in uniform. “We do not wish for law and order, for law and order means the continued existence of this rotten, rip-off, Capitalist Jew System. We wish for anarchy and chaos which will enable us to attack the System while the Big Brother Pigs are trying to keep the pieces from falling apart.”

Another poster, which depicts four skinheads standing around a peace activist who has been lynched and castrated, reads: “Smash communism with some good old-fashioned justice! Are you going to let Canada become a defenceless nation governed by spineless wimps and heterophobic, disease-ridden perverts? Canada’s forefathers would be spinning in their graves if they could witness Canada’s castrated society, infested with hordes of creatures of indistinguishable racial origin. … Are we going to let the Socialist-Communist mobs march in our streets or are we going to deal with the problem and hang red scum!”

Don’t get me wrong. I’m not defending Trump and Bannon. I think there is a good case to be made that they have violated the U.S. Constitution – and I think they’re racists who belong in a jail cell, not the Oval Office.

But they’re doing exactly what they said they were going to do. And they’re doing it in a way that will disrupt, and ultimately destroy, liberal democratic society.

If we let them, that is.

Warren Kinsella is a Canadian journalist, political adviser and commentator.

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The views, opinions and positions expressed by columnists and contributors are the author’s alone. They do not inherently or expressly reflect the views, opinions and/or positions of our publication.

Warren Kinsella

Warren Kinsella is a Canadian journalist, political adviser and commentator.

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