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Commentary :: DNC : Politics
Trump SOTU Pushes "Nationals Unity" Around War, Racism and Anti-Socialism
05 Feb 2019
Trump's speech tapped far-right ideas of "national greatness," racism, militarism and anti-communism, drawing applause from his party and the centrist, collaborationist Democratic Party
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Donald Trump's State of the Union address was packed full of appeals to nationalism, anti-refugee bigotry, and anti-socialism, underlying the fascist characteristics of his rule and the cravenness of the Democratic Party in one fell swoop.

"Tonight I ask you to choose greatness," Trump said, beginning a nationalistic tirade. His message was clear: "America above all." Although many commentators saw his appeals to bipartisanship as a moderate stance, his calls for "national unity" in fact slot neatly into nationalist and militarist traditions. Rather than unity around climate change or the perils posed by massive tech giants, Trump's appeal was that America "must be united at home to defeat our adversaries abroad, ie Russia and China, along with smaller powers like Iran, which Trump warmongered loudly against throughout his address.

In a racist. anti-refugee rant, Trump conflated the MS-13 gang with "illegal aliens." With no evidence that this is part of a larger trend, Trump said "year after year, countless Americans are murdered by criminal illegal aliens," ie migrants fleeing economic conditions caused by US intervention and multinational corporate control.

Trump bragged about the hundreds of thousands of arrests made by ICE, now notorious around the world for their role in the imprisonment of children in cages, force-feeding of immigrants, child separation, and thuggish behaviour. In a reality-show-meets-Mussolini stunt, he once again invited alleged "victims of illegal immigrants" and ICE troopers to make his point.

Portions of Trump's address were simply bizarre. He again mentioned "ruthless coyotes" as a border threat, and said that he would put them "out of business." Trump also hyped the "energy revolution" of fracking and shale, well-known as environmentally catastrophic. This comment, like many of his others, received no opposition from Democrats.

The most disturbing portions of Trump's speech focused on Venezuela and socialism. Trump demanded the illegal removal of President Nicolas Maduro and blamed socialism for that country's sanctions-induced economic wipeout. His themes resemble classical extreme right appeals to socialism and communism as the greatest enemy, most recently expressed by Brazil's Jair Bolsonaro.

"Here in the United States, we are alarmed by new calls to adopt socialism in our country...we were born free and will stay free. Tonight, we renew our resolve that America will never be a socialist country."

Trump's cheerleading about America's alleged "triumph over communism" drew massive applause from the Democrats, who fell into line with the far-right dogma of Trump. Party grandees had spent more time attacking the decision of Senator Bernie Sanders to deliver a rebuttal to Trump, fearing a distraction from their identity-politics oriented trotting out of Stacey Abrams, who lost her Senate race to an extreme-right anti-abortion zealot.
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