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Wed Jul 17, 2019, 12:01 PM

Josh Marshall @TPM: Leader Principle

I mentioned this yesterday on the Chris Hayes show. We can see how President Trump has united the GOP behind his openly and aggressively racist attacks on four freshman congresswomen of color. Yesterday all but four Republican members of the House voted against a formal criticism of the President’s attacks. Two of those are retiring. So they barely even count. What jumps out to me though is this. I suspect if any Republican member of Congress said exactly the same things he or she wouldn’t have survived the controversy. At a minimum they would have been roundly denounced and forced to apologize.
If some garden variety GOP senator had gone off on this rant I doubt he’d have survived it. So what we’re seeing here is not only the white nationalist grievance politics that Trump has made explicit and open and really at the core on present-day GOP politics. Just as much and perhaps more this episode is an example of the ‘leader principle’ at the heart of the Trump GOP. If Trump says it, the GOP will fall in line behind him, either with cowed silence or explicit assent, usually trending from the former to the latter. That applies to really anything Trump says. No matter what.

What we’re seeing here is more the authoritarianism of Trumpism than the racism, though of course it’s both. Like all personality cult political movements, party or movement ideology is defined by what the leader is saying on that given day. Think about Trump/GOP policy today on North Korea and how mind-bogglingly different that is from anything any Republican has said over decades or what Trump himself was saying until he decided to switch. The limits of the acceptable or standards of behavior are defined simply by what the leader does. Period.


The original language for the phrase, of course, puts it as Führerprinzip

Means Used by the Nazi Conspiractors in Gaining Control of the German State (Part 4 of 55)

(2) The Fuehrerprinzip (Fuehrer Principle). (a) Essential elements. 1. Complete and total authority is vested in the Fuehrer. "The Fuehrer Principle requires a pyramidal organization structure in the details as well as in its entirety. "The Fuehrer is at the top. "He nominates the necessary leaders for the various spheres of work of the Reichs direction, the Party apparatus and the State administration." (1814-PS)

"He shapes the collective will of the people within himself and he enjoys the political unity and entirety of the people in opposition to individual interests. "The Fuehrer unites in himself all the sovereign authority of the Reich; all public authority in the state as well as in the movement is derived from the authority of the Fuehrer. We must speak not of the states authority but of the Fuehrers authority if we wish to designate the character of the political authority within the Reich correctly. The state does not hold political authority as an impersonal unit but receives it from the Fuehrer as the executor of the national will. The authority of the Fuehrer is complete and all-embracing; it unites in itself all the means of political direction; it extends into all fields of national life; it embraces the entire people, which is bound to the Fuehrer in loyalty and obedience. The authority of the Fuehrer is not limited by checks and controls, by special autonomous bodies or individual rights, but it is free and independent, all-inclusive and unlimited. "The Fuehrer-Reich of the (German) people is founded on the recognition that the true will of the people cannot be disclosed through parliamentary votes and plebiscites but that the will of the people in its pure and uncorrupted form can only be expressed through the Fuehrer." (2771-PS)

"Thus at the head of the Reich, stands a single Fuehrer, who in his personality embodies the idea which sustains all and whose spirit and will therefore animate the entire community." (2780-PS) As stated in the Organization Book of the Nazi Party: [Page 192] "The will of the Fuehrer is the Party's law." (1814-PS) The first commandment for the Party members declares "The Fuehrer is always right." (1814-PS) "He (the Fuehrer) is responsible only to his conscience and the German people." (1814-PS)


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Reply Josh Marshall @TPM: Leader Principle (Original post)
muriel_volestrangler Jul 17 OP
tblue37 Jul 17 #1

Response to muriel_volestrangler (Original post)

Wed Jul 17, 2019, 12:11 PM

1. K&R for visibility. nt

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