Skip to main content

tv   Democracy Now  LINKTV  March 15, 2016 3:00pm-4:01pm PDT

3:00 pm
[captioning made possible by democracy now!] ♪ amy: from pacifica, this is democracy now! seeing withine the republican party is, to some degree, all those efforts over the course of time creating an environment where somebody like donald trump can thrive. of whatst doing more
3:01 pm
has been done for the last 7.5 years. amy: as voters had for the polls andsuper tuesday 3 president obama prepares to nominate a replacement for antonin scalia a, we will speak to former republican congressman mickey edwards of oklahoma. we will talk to him about donald trump, climate change, and why he feels political parties have become the cancer at the heart of our democracy. could fascism come to the united states? >> you reach we did a famous mussolini quote. >> it is ok to know it is mussolini. it is a very good quote. callss robert reich donald trump "the american fascist," we will speak with columbia university professor robert paxton. all that and more coming up. ♪
3:02 pm
amy: welcome to democracy now!, democracynow.org, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman. in what is being billed super tuesday 3, democratic and republican voters head to the polls today for primaries and caucuses in florida, illinois, missouri, north carolina, ohio, and the commonwealth of northern mariana islands. all eyespublican race, will be on florida and ohio. marco rubio and john kasich are hoping to defeat donald trump in their home states. on the democratic side, hillary clinton and bernie sanders are locked in close races in ohio, illinois, and missouri. sanders said he can defeat donald trump. bernie sanders: one of the arguments made against the say, bernieeople sanders, nice guy, nice ideas, but he can't win the general
3:03 pm
election. that's wrong. that is factually incorrect. take a look at all of the polls. almost all of the polls that have been taken over the last several months -- the last national poll done by nbc "wall street journal," bernie sanders versus donald trump -- sanders wins by 18 points. amy: donald trump has continued to face condemnation for violence at his rallies. in north carolina, the cumberland county sheriff's office considered charging him after oneing a riot of his supporters punched a protester in the face at a rally last week. the office decided not to move forward with charges. in tampa, florida, trump faced protests outside and inside the venue. >> get out of here. these people are crazy. they are crazy.
3:04 pm
i didn't know this happened in tampa. i love tampa. i didn't know this happened. they will go home to their moms soon. let me ask you, i don't want to ruin somebody's life, but do we prosecute him but he like that? [cheers and applause] amy: sarah palin joined trump on stage and condemned the demonstrators who have peacefully disrupted his rallies. >> what we don't have time for is all of that petty, punk ass thuggery stuff that has been going on with these whoe-unquote protesters, are doing nothing but wasting your time and trying to take away your first amendment rights, you're right to assemble peacefully, and the media being on the thugs' side, what the heck are you thinking, media?
3:05 pm
has a reporter at breitbart resigned, along with a number of her colleagues, saying the organization has become a show for donald trump. campaigned trump's manager of grabbing and shoving her at a florida rally. the incident was witnessed by a "washington post" journalist, but breitbart cast doubt on its own reporter's claims. speaking on fox news monday, michelle fields set her editors failed to support her. >> what we don't have time for is all of that -- >> i think the worship of the some campaign leading to people covering up the truth is in major story and i think it is a story because the trump campaign never acknowledges mistakes, the responsibility for violence, anything that they do wrong. it is a no apologies campaign,
3:06 pm
that is why he is popular. but that does have victims. there are other cases where it is more than a bruise on the arm. amy: that was then schapiro -- ben shapiro of breitbart. this is michelle fields. >> when matthew boyle was telling me, don't worry, this is going to be great because donald trump is going to give us so many exclusives because they feel like they have to do it because of what they did, this is how my company was looking at this. instead of saying, are you ok? they were thinking this was a good thing because we would get more access to donald trump. amy: a national security reporter -- that was michelle fields on fox. a muslim student in kansas says end wereis latino fri beaten up by a man who shouted "trump, trump, trump" and shouted racial slurs.
3:07 pm
,n a surprise announcement russian president vladimir putin said that russia will withdraw the bull noia forces from syria forces fromts syria. >> i believe the goals set out by the ministry of defense and the armed forces have been fulfilled in large part and that is why i ordered the ministry of defense to start the pullout of the main part of our military grouping from the syrian arab republic. amy: russian troops have reportedly already begun to depart syria with the first planes leaving today. russia helped bolster the regime of president assad. said they hoped this would have a positive impact on syrian peace talks entering their second day in geneva. at least three afghan refugees have drowned while attempting to cross a river from greece to
3:08 pm
macedonia after a closure of the main border left them stranded. the refugees were among about a thousand who tried to make it to macedonia amid harsh restrictions along the route. chain over a human coursing river waters. a top u.s. general as proposed resuming offensive strikes against the taliban in afghanistan. top pentagon officials have accused general john f. campbell of breaking with procedure by forwarding his proposal directly to the white house without the knowledge of defense secretary carter. campbell denies the claim. current policy allows the united states to strike the taliban only under certain conditions. , cars exploded, killing the driver, after authorities say that a bomb detonated. few details have been released
3:09 pm
so far. inbox wayne, police -- in bahrain, police of detained a woman and her son. 's arrest cameaja on the fifth anniversary of a violent crackdown of the arab spring -- on the arab spring. human rights groups have called for her release. bahrain is a close u.s. ally. the obama administration is poised to withdraw its plan to allow oil and gas drilling off the coast of the southeastern united states following mass opposition from coastal communities. "the new york times" reports that the announcement could come as soon as today. the plan was backed by governors and lawmakers in southeastern states, but opposed by more than 100 coastal communities and environmentalists.
3:10 pm
a new study shows the number of people who could be displaced by sea level rise due to global warming is much higher than previously thought, with more than 13 million people at risk, nearly half of them in florida. those numbers are three times higher than previous numbers for displacement. >> i think there are certain layered approaches that can stem from this research. for example, if you tell people they are ok, 85 years down the road, 13 million people will be affected -- if we take the most extreme projection. i think we need to take this study forward by doing another study of what is the impact of sea level rise right now, in terms of frequent coastal flooding? amy: the study on u.s. coastal
3:11 pm
comes amid devastating flooding in louisiana that has damaged thousands of homes and caused president obama to declare a major disaster. in brazil, the former president luiz inacio lula da silva has reportedly accepted a ministerial role in the new president's cabinet. this will protect him to a degree from money-laundering charges. more than one million people took to the streets last week to protest of the new government amid a corruption scandal and economic crisis. in argentina, human rights groups have called on the united states to declassify thousands of documents related to argentina's military dictatorship as president obama prepares to visit argentina next week. groups including the grandmothers of the plaza de mayo submitted a petition to the u.s. embassy.
3:12 pm
hope the documents could help identify missing family members. the documents could help compensate for the u.s. role in the so-called dirty war which began 40 years ago. i think that the declassification of information in different areas of the region could shed light on serious human rights violations. i think the united states can help compensate for the role they had at that time. our center has always highlighted the context of u.s. support for military dictatorships across the region, including argentina. during the carter administration, the embassy with a key location, which received a lot of complaints. the u.s. senate has voted to confirm john king is the new secretary of education.
3:13 pm
king had been serving as acting secretary since arne duncan stepped down at the end of last year. consider ausing to supreme court nominee, some senate republicans voted to confirm king, saying they wanted a secretary accountable to the senate. he served as new york state's education secretary. in sports news, a top national football league official has, for the first time, publicly acknowledged the link between football-related head injuries and the brain disease cte. the nfl has never admitted the link before. jeff miller, the senior vice president for health and safety, was asked by a congress member if there is an established link between cte and football. he responded, yes. the family of an african-american college student
3:14 pm
fatally shot by police in 2010 has reached a $6 million settlement with the village and the officer. dj henry was shot while driving away from a party. a police officer approached his car. a friend who was with him believed the officer was telling them to move the car. as henry pulled away, the officer told him to stop and stepped in front of the car. carorities found henry's was breaking when it struck the officer, who wound up on the hood and fired through the windshield, killing henry. a number of witnesses said hess jumped onto the hood. a grand jury declined to indict him. those are some of the headlines. this is democracy now!, democracynow.org, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman. in what is being billed super tuesday 3, voters head to the polls for primaries and caucuses in florida, illinois, missouri, illinois, and ohio. in the republican race, all eyes
3:15 pm
will be on ohio and florida. can john kasich or marco rubio pull off a victory in their home states or with donald trump move closer to securing the republican nomination? in the democratic race, can bernie sanders a lot more upsets like he did last week in michigan? polls show he and hillary clinton locked in close races in ohio, illinois, and missouri. a political battle is playing out in washington as the republican-controlled congress white house are locked in a battle over the supreme court. obama is expected to nominate a replacement for justice scalia in the next week. the congress has said they will not hold hearings for any nominee put forward. only 13% of americans approve of congress's performance. both parties blame each other for the increasing partisan divide. bobby jindal recently blamed
3:16 pm
obama for the rise of trump. he wrote that there would be no donald trump dominating the political scene if it were not for president obama. president obama said republicans themselves are to blame for trump. objectivy, ita: fair to say that the republican political elites and many of the information outlets, social media, talk radio, television stations have been feeding the republican base for the last seven years a notion that everything i do is to be cooration o comprose someh is a
3:17 pm
betrayal, that absolutst areons isss thatically advantageous, there is a them out there and an are the folks causing whatever problems you are experiencing. , what you are seeing within the republican party is, to some degree, all of those timets over a course of creating an environment where somebody like a donald trump can thrive. doing more of what has been done for the last 7.5 years. in terms of his positions on a whole range of issues, they are
3:18 pm
not very different from a lot of the other candidates. amy: some in the media are celebrating the rise of in the political campaigns. this is the cbs ceo speaking recently. >> who would have thought this circus would come to town? it may not be good for america, but it is dam good for cbs. that's all i've got to say. [laughter] >> what can i say? the money is rolling in and the polls are up. i've never seen anything like this. this is going to be a very good year for us. [laughter] >> sorry. it is a terrible thing to say, but bring it on, donald. keep going. polishediscuss further -- partisan politics, we are joined by former republican oklahoma congressman mickey edwards. he served 16 years as congressman, from 1977 through
3:19 pm
1993, during which time he chaired the house republican policy committee. he was founding trustee of the conservative heritage foundation. his most recent book is "the parties versus the people: how to turn republicans and democrats into americans." let's start there. "the parties versus the people"? mr. edwards: what has happened is we have set up a structure through the closed primaries that elevates sore loser laws. amy: explain what you mean by that. mr. edwards: in 46 states, if you were running against me in a , youry for whatever party might be far more popular in the state or in the congressional district, but if i beat you, even if only 25 people showed up , you cannot run in the general election. -- wek about democracy don't have one in our political system. the result of it is that who
3:20 pm
shows up? the more extreme, the more ideological -- those are the people that you are accountable to if you are in office. they can take you out, as they took out robert bennett in utah. amy: how did what you are describing help ted cruz become senator? mr. edwards: you wonder how some buddy like ted cruz got to be a senator. god help if he runs for president. what happens is they had a primary against the lieutenant governor and he carried texas overwhelmingly three times. ted cruz was be badly. they had to have a runoff. , the total vote that ted cruz got amounted to 2% of the population of texas. because of that law, the lieutenant governor was not allowed to run, so ted cruz became the only republican
3:21 pm
allowed on the ballot in a heavily republican state. that is all across america. that is how mike lee, who helped ted cruz have the temporary government shutdown, that is how he got elected by convention with 1/10 of 1% of the vote. think people-- i don't quite understand, if they are not in an open primary state like ohio -- what that is. mr. edwards: you can only vote in one. amy: so, explain. as a democrat in ohio, you can vote for donald trump. mr. edwards: yes, but if you do that, you can't vote in the democratic primary. open primaries in california, washington state, everyone runs on the same ballot and every single voter gets to choose among all their options. that is a much more democratic system. amy: explain how all of these
3:22 pm
evolved. mr. edwards: in the progressive movement -- it was a correct decision to give the people more voice, not closed rooms with a few people smoking cigars deciding who is going to be the nominees. the unintended consequence is that because most americans don't vote in primaries and are not aware there are primaries, state-by-state, they stay home and the extremes dominate who can be on the ballot. if we saw that a small group of people could keep others off the ballot, in peru, we would condemn it. but that is our system. we have small groups of people in this legislature deciding who can vote, by gerrymandering. amy: explain what you mean. this is another critical point. the issue of redistricting. is edwards: in 37 states, it
3:23 pm
whoever controls the state legislature. you have may be hundred people in the state legislature. they have their own partisan agenda. they draw congressional district lines to make sure that the people who they agree with win by taking the other people out of the district. again, if this were some other country -- i was the ranking member of the foreign operations subcommittee in congress. we made foreign aid decisions. we had a bias in favor of democracies. i'm not sure americans qualify. it is not the way the constitution is set up, but it is the way we have allowed our political parties to dominate our process and decide who can run, who can be on the ballot, who can vote. it is absurd. to talk donald trump, climate change, supreme court nominations. we are talking to former republican congressman mickey
3:24 pm
edwards, who served 16 years from oklahoma. he chaired the republican policy committee, a founding trustee of the heritage foundation. this is democracy now! we will be back. ♪ [music break]
3:25 pm
amy: "l youascists und to lose." woodie ghrie coved. thsemocracyow!, decracynowrg, the r and ace repo. i'm amy goman. we wl be speing abou fascism our lassegment. right w, we artalking mickey edwar -served 1 years a repubcan congssman from lahoma. he wroteheook "thearties rsus theeople: h to turn republics and decrats in americs." t's lk donalrump.
3:26 pm
how did he rise to this point? as it surprised you? mr. edwards: it bothers me a lot, the things he says. i don't think comparing him to the rise of mussolini is unfair. i think there is this bias, this bigotry, this roughing up people who come to primaries -- i mean, to his rallies. i think that is valid. i do think that when people like obama and the left try to say this is republicans, i think they undermine their own credibility. if you look, there have been 23 republican primaries and caucuses. not one of them has trumped got got arity. -- trump majority. had 70% ofem, he has republicans voting against him.
3:27 pm
this is not the republican party, but there is some force out there that is angry, they are outraged about something. who knows what. it is dangerous. amy: there are more republicans coming out to vote than ever before. still, that is only something like 17%. he is getting less than half of that. democrats are also out. less than 12% of democrats are coming out to vote in primaries. mr. edwards: part of it is that hillary does not generate as much as enthusiasm. keep -- theave to fact that donald trump -- he is winning because he has all of these people running against him and they are defining -- dividing up the vote. the overwhelming majority in state after state cannot stand donald trump.
3:28 pm
when people try to say this is republicans, republicans brought this on themselves, that is nonsense. donald trump is a standalone, scary dude. he really is. amy: did you know him? mr. edwards: are you kidding me? i try to be more careful about the people i associate with. not aloned trump is when talking about scorched-earth policies after 9/11 in talking about foreign policy. he is not alone when talking about waterboarding. >> we are going to rebuild our military. we are going to knock out isis so violently and so fast. they chop off heads, they do things that we haven't seen since medieval times and we are worried about waterboarding. sit down. let me just tell you. excuse me. i want to stay within the laws. right now, we have the laws.
3:29 pm
i want to make those laws stronger, so that we can better compete with a vicious group of animals. ok? amy: that is donald trump. former congress member mickey edwards. mr. edwards: he wants to deal with the animals by making us animals. the fact of the matter is they may cut off heads, but we don't waterboards because we -- waterboard because we are different. our constitution prohibits habeas corpus from being suspended, even though george w. bush ignored that. we don't commit torture. we are not isis. amy: george w. bush was in power for eight years. mr. edwards: i know. and some of the stuff he did was outrageous, too. this is not republican or democrat. this is a problem with people who forget what american values are supposed to be. amy: soon after you left office,
3:30 pm
timothy mcveigh blew up the building in oklahoma city. mr. edwards: i have friends who died. that was my district. amy: the horror of that. 163 people died. mr. edwards: children, babies. amy: talk about how the oklahoma city bombing was treated differently than any other terrorist attack. he was a white, christian, army vet. mr. edwards: and he was on trial in the united states in our court system and he was found guilty and he was executed. what i compare that to is now the argument that is being made by a lot of people in my party that you can't close guantánamo and bring people back to stand trial, as though our court systems don't work. it certainly worked in the case of timothy mcveigh. it works in the case of the
3:31 pm
boston marathon bombers. our court systems can work. some of this stuff like we can't bring them here and put them on trial, we've got people in my party who are acting like absolute cowards. do they still believe in america? do they still believe in our justice system? i don't know. i'm worried about what is driving this willingness to set aside all of our values in order to --because we are terrified. amy: what happened to the heritage foundation? what did you establish it as, where do you think it is? mr. edwards: interesting story. i wrote a book before this book called "reclaiming conservatism." it was looking at how american conservatism changed over the years. i gave a speech at the heritage foundation. they were not going to invite me.
3:32 pm
i said, i was one of your founders, you are not going to not let me come. the person who introduced me with telling people in the audience about what the heritage foundation was. for traditional social values. i got up and said, wait a minute -- i helped write the mission statement in 1973 and there was nothing about traditional social values until 1993. the heritage foundation started -- it was a think tank. that is all it was. a think tank to come up with a way to frame conservative views in policy terms. amy: what is it today? took itrds: jim demint over and has turned it into an activist group for the far right. ite, i don't recognize anymore and i was one of the founders. it was a totally different organization when we founded it in 1973. amy: i want to turn to the issue
3:33 pm
of climate change. this was a pretty interesting moment. in last week's cnn debate, climate change came up -- which is very rare in these debates. this is moderator jake tapper addressing marco rubio. >> i reached out to the republican mayor of miami to find out what he wanted to hear from you this evening. he told me, "climate change means rising ocean levels, which in south florida, means flooding downtown and in our neighborhoods." senator rubio, will you honor his request for a pledge and acknowledge the reality of the scientific consensus of climate change? >> sure, the climate is changing. becausehe reasons is the climate has always been changing. the flooding is caused by two things. south florida is built on land that was once a swamp. ,f there are higher sea levels
3:34 pm
we do need to deal with that through mitigation. i've long supported mitigation efforts. pass tos a law to change the weather, there is no such thing. [applause] >> on the contrary, there are laws that would be devastating for our economy that they want us to pass or the laws that the president has put in like the clean power act or the war on coal. americans are going to pay the price of that. the cost of doing that is going to be rammed down the throats of the american consumer, the single-parent, the working family. amy: that is marco rubio, who is hoping to win his home state of florida. mr. edwards: little marco, as he is called. amy: you are quoting the man you don't like very much, donald trump. can you talk about republicans and climate change? mr. edwards: i think republicans have been looking at climate any of thely as how
3:35 pm
changes or any of the mitigation are going to affect economics -- how it is going to affect growth, jobs. amy: they deny the science. mr. edwards: it is a legitimate concern. let's say that there is only 5% chance that it is human activity. only 5% chance it is human activity that is affecting changes in the climate -- then you still do something about it, right? if there was a 5% chance of anything else that could be really dramatic and bad, you would do something. amy: like a terrorist attack. mr. edwards: exactly. dick cheney and george w. bush, if there was a 1% chance that there could be a terrorist attack, you've got to do something to prevent it. this is pretty serious stuff. if there was a 5% chance that what we are doing is contributing to the change, even
3:36 pm
just a partial contribution, then you have to take some action to try to deal with it. denial -- itmate is not scientific denial -- it is a refusal to look at the whole picture and all it is is about how do you create jobs? that is a piece of the puzzle. seriously.e marco amy: and it is across the board. donald trump said he was refusing to see the pope because the pope was talking about climate change. mr. edwards: i don't include donald trump and any other category. donald trumpe -- scares me. you know what scares me more? it is the tens of thousands of people who come out to those rallies and cheer for him. that is scary. that is a really scary development in american politics. we have seen it happen before. we have seen it happen in europe .
3:37 pm
i don't think we should take it likely -- lightly. if there is a chance through brokered convention to stop that man from becoming one of the two candidates for president, we've got to do it. amy: explain what a brokered convention would look like. a lot of people have under -- trouble understanding it. mr. edwards: this is why john kasich's race in ohio is so important. to win the nomination at the convention, trump needs to receive a certain number of delegates. you've got to keep him from getting there. once that happens, there are so many republicans opposed to trump that if he has not sewn it up, you can start working on the floor and you can say, amy, you are committed, you have a commitment, but after the first ballot, when he fall short, you are not committed any more. let's talk to you about what is realistic. who can win the election? hearinghers me is
3:38 pm
fellow republicans talk about donald trump being bad for the party. who cares about the party? he's bad for america. the idea that some of our candidates who have accurately talked about his bigotry and all of that stuff then say, we will support him if he gets the nomination, that is absurd. mr. edwards: ted cruz won wonhoma -- amy: ted cruz oklahoma. mr. edwards: yes, he did. i don't like ted cruz at all, but i'm glad he stopped donald trump. amy: what do you object most to about ted cruz? mr. edwards: there are 320 million americans. we are very diverse. the only way you can govern a country like this is through compromise, through being able to sit down together, nobody gets all that they want. he doesn't believe in compromise. this is my plan,
3:39 pm
this is what we are going to do. that is what people like bob dole and other members of congress would rather even have trump then ted cruz because they think they can deal with trump, they can't deal with ted cruz. he is like a block of concrete. amy: if donald trump got the republican nomination, would you vote for him? mr. edwards: never. amy: who would you vote for? mr. edwards: at that point, my choices would be to not vote at all or to vote for the democratic candidate, if i thought not voting at all would increase the chances of trump winning. you come from the state of woodie guthrie. mr. edwards: i do. although i can't sing. [laughter] mr. edwards: i come from the state of woodie guthrie, but also a lot of the top country-western people. the i want to ask you about
3:40 pm
supreme court. mitch mcconnell said his party would not hold hearings to consider any nominee put forward by president obama to replace antonin scalia. >> it has been more than 80 years since a supreme court vacancy arose and was filled in a presidential election year. that, mr. president, was when the senate majority and the president were from the same political party. the same political party. in 80 years. since we have divided government , it means we have to look back almost 130 years to the last time a nominee was confirmed in similar circumstances. politicians when were debating policies like free silver and a guy named grover ran the country. think about that. as senators, it leaves us with a
3:41 pm
choice, will we allow the people to continue deciding who will nominate the next justice or will we empower a lame-duck president to make that decision on his way out the door instead? amy: mitch mcconnell. your response. mr. edwards: how mitch mcconnell can become a spokesman for a national party is beyond me. question -- yes, the president should nominate somebody. amy: wouldn't he be guilty of dereliction of duty? mr. edwards: if there is a vacancy and he refuses to nominate somebody. the senate can turn the person down. but the president has an obligation to do it. there is a bigger problem here, amy. it is not about a successor to scalia. both parties, republican and democrat, have stopped thinking
3:42 pm
of the supreme court as a judicial branch that has the job of determining what is constitutional and what is not. th repubcans and democrats treat thsupreme court is a third bran of the gislature. .illary has a litmus test bernie has a litmus test. cruz has a litmus test. rubio has a litmus test. as though they are electing another senator. if you can't get it through the regular congress, they have a super congress. that is not the role of the court. that is why you have this battle. neither side wants to give in because they see it as how they are going to win the political battle. amy: 40 years ago, there was another supreme court nominee, lewis powell, who had something to do with the founding of the heritage foundation. can you talk about lewis powell and the howell memo? mr. edwards: can you talk about
3:43 pm
it -- i can't remember it. amy: talk about where you see the country going. mr. edwards: i think we have a lot of problems. the problems are not just politics. we have systemic problems in politics. the fact that the parties are able to decide what bills will be considered, the parties are able to decide who can be on the general election ballot, the parties can decide who can vote in wt electi. that is no the only oblem. have anducation system that does not teach the humanities, does not teach art, literature, poetry, science. we are treating people to be cogs in an economic machine. all of our colleges are becoming tech schools about how you make it living. the way you make people citizens is with philosophy and literature and critical thinking. that is a problem. majorlya has been
3:44 pm
complicit in the rise of trump. just like cbs said -- we are making money. donald trump was given all this time on "60 minutes." he was given all this time on "saturday night live." who cares about america? let's make money. amy: finally, could you see yourself voting for bernie sanders? mr. edwards: well, you know, i like bernie. i think he is honest. , think most of his solutions most of his perceptions of the problem are pretty good. amy: you agree with his assessment of wall street? mr. edwards: yeah. i think most of his prescriptions are wrong, but that does not matter because most of it would not pass. it would not matter anyway. getting rid of glass-steagall was a serious problem. , if you are too big to
3:45 pm
fail, you are too big to exist. amy: do you see the republican party is possibly breaking apart? mr. edwards: my earlier book about reclaiming conservatism -- the republican party used to be the party of small business, not corporate america. it used to be the business of main street, not wall street. you --w, let me caution the idea that the republican party is about to god of business and breakup -- go out of business and break up -- this is the party that controls all of the state legislatures, most of the governorships, and congress. in danger ofty is becoming not a national party, it is the democrats. amy: we are going to leave it there. thank you, mickey edwards. he served as a congressman from oklahoma for 16 years and is a founding trustee of the heritage foundation. his latest book is "the parties
3:46 pm
versus the people: how to turn republicans and democrats into americans." can you call donald trump a fascist? that is the question we will put two professor robert paxton, who is an expert on fascism. stay with us. ♪ [music bak]
3:47 pm
amy: "breaking the code" by andrew parker.
3:48 pm
this is democracy now!, democracynow.org, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman. fascism. as actor george ,looney, comedian lewis c.k. haveobert reich suggested that donald trump is a fascist. there have been episodes in human history, unfortunately, were these expressions of strident rhetoric have only lead to very ominous situations in the history of humanity. that is how mussolini got in. that is how hitler got in. they took advantage of a situation. a problem which humanity was going through at a time after an economic crisis. i think what they put forward ended up as what we know today from history in global
quote
3:49 pm
conflagration. amy: rublican front-runner donald trump has retweeted quotes by italian fascist leader benito mussolini. >> the famous mussolini quote you read tweeted -- re-tweeted. >> it is ok to know what was mussolini. it is a very good quote. amy: donald trump has walled on accepting support from white supremacist groups like the kkk and has even encouraged hand salutes at his rally that some say are reminiscent of adolf hitler. is he a fascist? could fascism come to america? for more, we are joined by the father of fascism studies, professor robert paxton. he is the author of several books including "the anatomy of fascism." he wrote a piece on the five stages of fascism. welcome to democracy now!
3:50 pm
prof. paxton: thank you very much. amy: is donald trump a fascist? prof. paxton: i think he shows a rather alarming willingness to use fascist teams and fascist styles. the response this gets is a lot. amy: what is fascism? prof. paxton: it is a mass nationalist movement intended to restore a country that has been damaged or is in decline by expansion, by violent attacks on enemies, internal, as well as external, and measures of authority, the replacement of democracy by authoritarian dictatorship. amy: explain what happened in nazi germany and with adolf hitler. he did not start by killing 6 million jews. there was a buildup. talk about how it started. in italy and you particularly
3:51 pm
looked at france. prof. paxton: it ok hitle13 year minorrted in munich as a fringe movement of disgruntled war veterans. it percolated along. amy: that was from world war i. prof. paxton: this was in the early 1920's. in 1929,the depression 1930. is thise two things huge economic crisis of millions of unemployed and there was also a governmental deadlock. you cannot get any legislation passed without bringing in the social democrats. the middle, center, and right won't work with social democrats. amy: are you describing the united states? [laughter] prof. paxton: i'm describing the german weimar republic.
3:52 pm
passed, nothing could be and the president acted under article 48 of the constitution, which gave him powers to rule by decree. 1933, the30 and president ruled by decree. arepolitical elites desperate to get out of the situation and here is hitle who hamore votes than anybody else. he never gets a majority. he gets up to 37%. they want to bring that into their tent and get a solid mass backing him. they co-opt hitler, they bring him in, the other party growing is a communist party. that is very different from today. the communist party and the nazi party are growing. if you don't bring in the nazi party, maybe the communists come in. there is a dynamic of social panic. hitler does not have full power when he is chancellor. powern takes over full
3:53 pm
and nobody is willing to fight him. amy: then what happens. prof. paxton: then he becomes a dictator. he gets the parliament to pass a act, whichnabling allows them to govern without consulting parliament. he uses that to build an unbeatable machine. he does not bother to get it renewed -- he gets it renewed, but it is meaningless. he does what he wants. he has these huge rallies. he is successful in restoring the economy and in bringing german our -- power back. he has these delirious mass rallies and no one will dare try to stop him because it is either him or the communists. amy: the half-sister of anne f remarried --ank
3:54 pm
she was quoted as saying that of donald trump was elected the next president of the united states, it would be a complete disaster. she said, "i remember how upset the world was when the berlin , and nowerected everyone is building walls to keep people out -- it is absurd." prof. paxton: we don't know what donald trump would do if elected president. self-centeredghly and aggressive personality. be that in aems to deadlock between trump and the congress, he would indeed take some kind of unconstitutional action and people would be afraid to say no. amy: you talk about the fi stagesf fascis explain. prof. paxton: fascism confuses a lot of people. is ae very beginning, it
3:55 pm
handful of people who sound radical. when it is in power, it relies on banks, the army, the churches. as it comes close to power and makes the bid for power, there is an opportunist adjustment. it gets along with the previous, hated conservatives. you have to look at each stage somewhat separately. leery ofl, i'm very the use of the term to casually and i do see big differences between trump and fascism. amy: let me ask you about the violence at the trump rallies. march 9, the black protester's supper punched. then you have the photographer slammed on the ground. november 21, a black protester is punched, kicked, briefly choked. you have a latino protester kicked. you have immigration activists spit on. donald trump talks about paying
3:56 pm
the legal fees those brought up on charges, most recently the men who suck her punched -- mablackunched the protester. prof. paxton: donald trump is pandering to hatred and violent instincts. in a longer perspective, we have had greater acts of violence during the civil rights campaigns. people were shot, dogs were put on them, fire hoses were put on them, people were killed. this is relatively small potatoes. it reveals a man of violent temperament and a dangerous person, but i think it is still on a relatively small scale. mussolini and hitler fought in the streets with the socialists and the communists. there were more dead in italy when mussolini was conquering the streets with his black
3:57 pm
shirts. that is real political violence. if donald trump puts his followers in colored shirts and has them fight in the streets, then you have fascism. amy: in this country, the growing disparity between rich and poor, do you think a kind of foundation is being laid that he is playing on? prof. paxton: i think there is a public key is speaking to. -- he is speaking to. after the first world war, there was a global depression. everybody was worse off. now, we have this strange dichotom a w people are doing incredibly well, amassing wealth . most people in the middle are doing somewhat better. a group of people doing worse, with stagnant wages, with job opportunities limited to people with technical skills. whoave a group of people
3:58 pm
see the others getting ahead by and sometimesds they think that black people are getting unfair advantages and they are slipping behind. this is a very angry crowd. amy: do you think donald trump is a danger to america or represents a danger that is already here? prof. paxton: i think his violent and aggressive temperament installed in the powers of the president of the united states is unpredictable and frightening. amy: you are an historian, but you are looking at politics today. prof. paxton: yes, we don't know what he would do. his temperament is such that we would have foreign-policy crises that we should not have and we will have domestic conflicts that we should not have. amy: i want to thank you very much for joining us, professor robert paxton. "the anatomylude of fascism." his recent piece -- and that
3:59 pm
does it for our broadcast. democracy now! is hiring a broadcast engineer, a director of finance and operations and a director of development. visit democracynow.org for more
4:00 pm

56 Views

info Stream Only

Uploaded by TV Archive on