IS THIS TRUMP’S REICHSTAG FIRE MOMENT? Deconstructed June 4 2020, 5:15 a.m.
This is a QUIZ with only one question and one correct answer — how many will get it WRONG? IT IS A QUESTION.. LOL
Deconstructed with Mehdi Hasan
Is This Trump’s Reichstag Fire Moment?
Is the president taking advantage of nationwide protests to advance an even more authoritarian agenda?
PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP HAS seized on the nationwide protest movement that followed the killing of George Floyd at the hands of a Minneapolis police officer to advance his most authoritarian political instincts. This week he threatened to deploy the military to cities whose leaders were unable to contain the violence themselves. Could this be an inflection point in his presidency? And is it time to finally use the F-word in discussing Trump? Fascism scholar Ruth Ben-Ghiat joins Mehdi Hasan to discuss.
Ruth Ben-Ghiat: If we wait around for a certain kind of violence that we associate with fascism to be worried, we’re gonna wake up one day and find an authoritarian state in the 21st century manner and not have understood how it got there.
Mehdi Hasan: Welcome to Deconstructed. I’m Mehdi Hasan.
Is it time to call Trump the ‘f’-word? Because what we’ve seen in recent days is the behavior of a deranged demagogue, someone who is following almost chapter by chapter the playbook of fascists.
RBG: A lot of the mainstream liberal politicians are in denial about this because it means that you have to come to terms with very unpleasant truths about America.
MH: That’s my guest today, fascism scholar and Mussolini expert Ruth Ben-Ghiat. We’ll be discussing Trump’s assault on the rule of law, on democracy, on actual Americans in the streets; his naked attempt to seize more powers for himself; and asking: Is this Trump’s Reichstag Fire moment?
Newsreel: Here you’ll see the Reichstag, the German House of Parliament in Berlin, which has been seriously destroyed by fire. Hitler, now chancellor, has announced that the fire was the work of communists, and was intended to be the signal for a Bolshevist uprising throughout the country. In consequence, Germany has been placed under a system of Martial law, a decree having been signed, which aims at the total destruction of communism.
MH: On February 27, 1933, the German parliament, the Reichstag, was burned down. Adolf Hitler, then in coalition government, used the fire to claim that the Communists were planning a violent coup and passed an emergency decree permitting his government to arrest and detain political opponents without trial, to disband political organizations, to confiscate private property, and to overrule state and local laws.
That fire, and the decree that followed, paved the way for Hitler’s Nazi dictatorship, for World War 2, for the Holocaust…