There are a lot of different ways to look at Donald Trump: some see a man trying to exploit American democracy; some see a man that America needs as a leader; I see a man who looks like an orange, toad-like alien whose entire culture is based on greed, capitalism, and a dash of misogyny (but that’s just me).
Do yourself a favor and watch Star Trek: it’ll make much more sense.
Now, no matter which of those ways you look at it, there is some truth behind each one, but not in the way you’d expect.
When you look at history, you see that Donald Trump is nothing new: a demagogue inciting the people to violence and paranoia, all the while trying to increase his own power. This kind of behavior dates as far back as the Roman Empire, and like all empires, it is doomed to collapse.
What we need to remember is that Donald Trump is neither a disease nor a cure: he is simply a symptom, a bad rash that should neither be ignored nor aggravated.
Now, for the Trump supporters in the audience, let’s stop for a moment and think: this is a man that has incited war crimes, premeditated calling Mexicans rapists, and openly stated support for the violent acts committed by his supporters .
If this were to happen in any other country, we’d all be seething; now, we’re on the brink of making this man one of the most powerful people on the planet. Something is clearly wrong here.
And it all starts with the Roman Empire.
We all know that the Romans were the founding fathers of Western Civilization, but the only way they were able to do that was by having a military that could kill everything in their way. Remember the use of the word “crucifixion” by Christianity? They got that from the Romans, and it was far more painful than we’d like it to be.
A new definition for “Bloody Hell!”
The Romans used techniques like this to astimulate every nation along the Mediterranean, and since every Western nation since has based their government on them, all of Western Civilization has since inherited their potential for imperialism.
Including the U.S.
Now, whether the U.S. is an empire is an entirely different discussion, but it is true that we, as a nation, have always held some level of imperialism in our nature. Britannica.com defines Imperialism as, “Practice or advocacy of extending power and dominion, especially by direct territorial acquisition or by gaining political or economic control over other areas,” and we do see signs of this in both the past and present.
The concept of manifest destiny, the belief that America was ordained by God to expand throughout the world, has its origins in an interpretation of an account of Plymouth Rock, and today, we spend more on military than China, Russia, and Saudi Arabia combined.
Even economically, the U.S. is fertile ground for imperialism: with the Supreme Court ruling of Citizens United, large companies can effectively bribe politicians into supporting their corporate interests. These corporations are practically given incentive to take control of every aspect of our lives for their own personal gain.
Like it or not, we have become the most recent successors to the Imperialist Legacy, and if that doesn’t worry you, it should.
Because that’s how we got Donald Trump.
Today, Trump is the very embodiment of the imperialist technique: he has put his name on everything from vodka to universities and flippantly threatens to file lawsuit against anyone who dares insult the Trump brand. He lives by the Pyrrhic Victory, trying again and again to expand his empire, despite each attempt’s failure, until his enemies have no choice but to yield from exhaustion.
Even in his supporters, we see the same devotion to conquering from the day when Julius Caesar built the Rhine Bridge in little more than a week. He has gained the support of the most desperate and most dangerous citizens in America, including former KKK leader, David Duke. They believe him to be a good leader, despite the facts that prove him to be anything but. One begins to question whether the practice of decimation is beyond them.
And these were supposed to be your closest friends.
The truth of the matter is, if Trump were to be elected, we could be facing an American Caligula. The main difference: we might take it a step further.
As mentioned above, Empires control their territories through political, economic, and military means, but what about social? At this point, the Empire in question would have full authority over how its citizens live and what they say, where even vocally disagreeing with the government is outlawed.
That is the definition of Fascism.
In 2003, Britt Laurence published an article in Free Inquiry Magazine. In it, he detailed a list of 14 of the defining characteristics of Fascism in an attempt to make the rise of authoritarian societies easier to diagnose.
Debatable, but Valuable.
Many of you may disagree with the list, but, knowing the impact imperialism can have on societies, both enforcing and subjugated, we see the very formation of an empire fulfill requirements 1, 2, 3, 4, 7, 10, 12, and partly 14.
It is also worth noting that Trump fulfills all requirements but the last: rigging the elections, although he will most likely claim that if he were to lose the election.
So, to reiterate, I ask you, the American People: are we really willing to repeat the past?