Fascism, Trumpolini, and “Gin Blossoms” Bannon

BY ED (((SIKOV))) | The amazing Jennifer Finney Boylan, a transgender woman on the Barnard College faculty who is also an opinion writer for the Times, got off to a rollicking start in a recent column about the trans Republican Caitlyn Jenner.

“I asked her how she could possibly be a Republican,” Boylan writes. “She replied, ‘Every conservative guy out there believes in everybody’s rights.’ I shouted back, ‘That is a lie!’ Then I hit her with a rolled-up newspaper, demonstrating exactly how bad I am at the whole listening thing.”

Jenner’s wealth and fame have clearly blinded her to the struggles of regular trans folks, who admittedly don’t have to contend with a scrum of reporters and photographers chronicling their every move; they face more quotidian wretchedness, like physical attacks, and murders, and losing jobs, and families who toss their teenage trans kids out of their homes like yesterday’s coffee grounds.


Boylan continues: “As a friend once observed, queer Republicans remind him of ‘the pig in the chef’s hat and apron holding a fork and knife on the front of a sign for a barbecue joint.’ Surely that pig must know that things aren’t going to end well.”

She points out that Jenner is scarcely alone in her incipient fascism.

“According to Gallup, 21 percent of LGBT Americans are or lean Republican.”

Obviously we’re not just talking about members of the small, immaterial, and inadvertent comedy troupe, the Log Cabin Republicans, who are to politics what Log Cabin Syrup is to real maple. I’m ashamed to acknowledge it, but a full 21 percent of us are just bat-shit crazy.

“I could never see myself voting for a Democrat, especially right now,” Jenner declared. “I think we’ve lost the Democratic Party. I think it has been hijacked by left-wing, radical agendas.”

“Including LGBT rights?” Boylan asked.

“‘Boy,’ said Caitlyn. ‘You keep going back to LGBT rights.’ Yeah, I told her. I do,” Boylan writes.

The inevitable answer these so-called people on the right supply is, of course, that they aren’t “single-issue voters.” Single-issue, my ass. Human rights are scarcely a single issue. And, of course, anyone with half a brain wants to see workers make more money, international relations that don’t involve war, better education for our country’s children, and a host of other issues on the basis of which we choose our candidates and vote.

Understand that I write this as a non-Democrat. I left the party in disgust and up and joined the Working Families Party.

Recently, however, a new political organization has formed, and though it’s not a political party, its message is one I can — and do — get behind. Refusefascism.org began by running a shocking full-page ad in the Times. It simply stated the blunt fact: “the Trump-Pence regime,” as the group always calls it, is fascism. And Americans must not accept it. “Two essential points,” the website reads. “This is fascism and must be defeated. And there are millions who can be potentially mobilized to do that.” (Sorry to ask, but what exactly is potential mobilization? The “can be” covers the conditional nature of the call to arms, rendering the “potential” redundant. Yeah, I know — picky, picky.)

As it turns out, Steve “Gin Blossoms” Bannon, the Trump advisor most often associated with fascism, is all agog over a heretofore obscure fascist theorist named Julius Evola (Evola is to be distinguished from Ebola, though not by much): “Evola, who died in 1974, wrote on everything from Eastern religions to the metaphysics of sex to alchemy. But he is best known as a leading proponent of Traditionalism, a worldview popular in far-right and alternative religious circles that believes progress and equality are poisonous illusions,” writes the Times reporter Jason (((Horowitz))). (Note: the triple parentheses are the alt-right’s way of identifying suspected Jews. I’m using it in my byline as well.)

The “traditions” behind Traditionalism must include the ideas that Jews have horns and manipulate the world’s banking system to their own advantage and the disadvantage of everyone else (I’d better finish this column quick ‘cause I’ve got an, um, meeting to attend); that gay people are perverts and don’t deserve “special rights” like the right to marry; and that black people are no better than monkeys and should be enslaved. Charming.

Il Duce was apparently a big fan of Evola. It stands to reason that Trumpolini’s most trusted advisor would fall into line as well.

I’m growing quite fond of Jason (((Horowitz))). Before the Evola piece, the Times ran a piece about “Gin Blossoms” Bannon’s alliance with the most right-wing elements of the Catholic Church: “While Mr. Trump, a twice-divorced president who has boasted of groping women, may seem an unlikely ally of traditionalists in the Vatican, many of them regard his election and the ascendance of Mr. Bannon as potentially game-changing breakthroughs. Just as Mr. Bannon has connected with far-right parties threatening to topple governments throughout Western Europe, he has also made common cause with elements in the Roman Catholic Church who oppose the direction Francis is taking them. Many share Mr. Bannon’s suspicion of Pope Francis as a dangerously misguided, and probably socialist, pontiff.”

I like how he fits in the “twice-divorced” and “groping women” bits. There’s no doubt that these facts about Trump are germane to a story about Bannon’s brand of religion, but I’m sorry to say that many journalists wouldn’t dare mention them.

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