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Trump sucks his followers in by using the language of fascists: Yale linguistics expert

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In an interview with the Washington Post’s Dana Milbank, the author of “How Fascism Works”, explained that Donald Trump may not be a fascist — but he sure talks like one.

According to Jason Stanley, a Yale philosopher specializing in language, Trump — wittingly or not — indulges in rhetoric that uses “emotion to circumvent reason, to overwhelm reason.”

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“He wants to get the situation such that it’s a crisis and there’s such fear and suspicion that the only happiness, the delivery, is winning over his enemies,” Stanley explained, adding that is why Trump makes great pains to praise his supporters and turn them against his perceived foes.

“Goebbels talks about propaganda being best when it appeals to straightforward emotion: fear, suspicion, anger, and then it would be culminated with ‘we’re winning,’ ‘we’re going to get them,’ ” Stanley elaborated, citing the Nazi propaganda specialist. A speech of this method was often very long, “with extremes of paranoia and then praise of ‘us,’ ‘our’ greatness, and a desire for revenge for lost greatness. . . . When our emotions are being overwhelmed, it’s because people are trying to manipulate us and drive us toward a desired goal.”

Columnist Milbank added, “His supporters, lovingly embraced, feel as though they’re in on the joke; they know he often lies, but they believe he’s lying for them — lying to the liars. Us-vs.-them thinking becomes so powerful that the enemy’s humiliation can be more gratifying than one’s own betterment.”

He then warned, “How to counter this extreme emotion? The evidence that not a single member of Congress comes close to Trump’s rhetorical excess raises hope that this will pass. The best opponents can do until then is to cling to truth. Emotion can overwhelm reason for only so long.”

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The Trump murder video is no joke: It’s an encouragement to ramp up the violence

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Donald Trump is not a “friendly fascist.” Unlike Ronald Reagan, the prototype for that concept, Trump does not pretend to be harmless. He does not offer up fake smiles and a cheerful nature, or display empathy and human concern for others, feigned or otherwise.

This article first appeared in Salon.

Donald Trump is direct, obvious and public in his threats against democracy, the Constitution and the rule of law. Trump and his movement are working to destroy America’s multiracial democracy through appeals to a mythic past that will “Make America Great Again.” In practice this means undoing all the social progress and democratic reforms of the last century or more and returning to a society where white people — rich white male Christians, in particular — are fully in control over all aspects of American society for all time.

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Nancy Pelosi goes there: Trump’s White House ‘meltdown’ is a sign he’s cracking under pressure

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We’ve reached the season where faithful viewers are forced to quit the series. If this were a Tom Clancy novel, it wouldn’t be believable. Day 1,000 of the Trump presidency has jumped the shark.This article first appeared in Salon.

“I think now we have to pray,” House Speaker Nancy Pelosi told reporters upon returning to Capitol Hill from the White House late Wednesday. Along with other Democratic leaders from Congress, Pelosi had earlier walked out of a White House meeting after what she described as "a very serious meltdown on the part of the president.”

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‘Take that down!’ Morning Joe demands producer yank ugly Trump tweet attacking Pelosi after meltdown meeting

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During a "Morning Joe" segment on Donald Trump's highly contentious meeting with House Majority Leader Nancy Pelosi, host Joe Scarborough grew so disgusted with a tweet the president aimed at the California Democrat that he demanded his producer pull it from view for viewers.

After sharing what he called a "now iconic" photo of Pelosi confronting the president in the meeting and pointing out that people on Trump's side of the table were uniformly hanging their heads in shame, the show then shared Trump's Twitter interpretation of the meeting which included an ugly smear of Pelosi.

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