Trump Promises to Make Fascism Great Again

As I have often noted, there is perhaps only one political issue on which Donald Trump has been relatively consistent throughout his public life, including during his presidential campaign: socialized medicine. He loves it, thinks it is the greatest thing, and has frequently promised universal health care coverage, provided by the federal government, as his policy goal. That, after all, is why the GOP establishment supported him during the primaries, as they (and Trump, by the way) supported Mitt Romney, the godfather of ObamaCare, in 2012.

Now, having vowed to steal the glory of being America’s Party of Universal Healthcare from the Democrats — he and his millions of clapping seals call that “winning” — Trump is trying to carry the old McConnell-Boehner lie of “Repeal and Replace” right through the 2020 election. (Trump supporters sold their pre-2015 memories to the devil when they signed on with the cult, but the rest of us remember that Repeal and Replace was the GOP establishment’s health care slogan long before Trump adopted it during his campaign.)

In other words, “Vote for Republicans in 2020, and we promise to give you that great health care plan that we’ve promised during each of the past four elections — and which we didn’t give you back when we actually did hold the White House and both chambers of Congress just a few months ago.”

(I notice that the editor-in-chief over at Right Scoop thinks this is a very clever move on Trump’s part — “I like what Trump is doing here” — because, although previously a pretty harsh Trump critic, he has since sold his principles for clicks and cash, a move made much easier on his conscience, one assumes, by the world class example set by his good friend Mark Levin, who wins the prize for making personal cowardice and greed look like a principled “Reagan conservative” position.)

But the fact that Trump is a sniveling GOP establishment puppet and compulsive shell-game-playing conman hardly needs to be pointed out yet again. That is just Trump — there is no “real Trump” behind that mask.

So let’s leave that old news aside and get to the real nub of the issue revealed in these latest tweets: Donald Trump is the perfect leader for today’s Republican Party because today’s Republican Party is the party of an Americanized form of corporate fascism, while Trump is, by aspiration and character, a dollar store knock-off of Mussolini.

The Republicans “are developing a really great HealthCare Plan” — why does Trump capitalize random words? (oh, right, he’s a genius) — and this Republican plan will be much better than ObamaCare, because it will allow Americans to keep their “private insurance” but at the same time will “always support Pre-Existing Conditions” — really, what is it with Trump and capitalization? — because he wants the Republican Party to be “known as the Party of Great HealtCare” (sic).

In other words, the Republican plan, which does not yet exist (so there is obviously no way to know that it will reduce costs as Trump promises), will be exactly what you always knew McConnell and Boehner used to mean when they spoke of “repealing and replacing ObamaCare.” They are going to build a hybrid national health care system that allows for some simulacrum of a private insurance market, but imposes requirements and regulations as to how that market will work, and what purposes it must serve, so that it will be a de facto universal health care system, but managed at the transaction level by (government-approved and -licensed) business entities. And it will protect the corporate fat cats involved in designing it, and limit real competition, partly by forcing everyone to conform to federal regulatory guidelines so irrational that only those who are already billionaires will be able to survive in that market. (Do you think embedding a health insurance scheme in federal law will open up the market to alternative payment methods and incentivize providers specializing in serving the uninsured?)

In other words, Trump, who personally favors some form of socialism, has been persuaded to settle for a variant of fascism. For all that matters to him in the end, as to the rest of the GOP leadership, is that the federal government never relinquish any of its fundamental control over the health and welfare of the American citizenry. That is the one result no establishmentarian will ever have the principle or nerve to propose. Yet it is the one and only result that anyone has any legitimate business proposing: Get the federal government out of health care, period.

The GOP favors “market solutions” in health care just as they favor “choice” in schooling. They favor the pretense of free markets, but only ones infused with public money, and operating on conditions, and in accordance with arbitrary rules, set by the government. Trump is promising a quasi-market in which the government determines the goals and premises of trade, for the sake of ensuring that this quasi-market serves the greater good (which of course un-micromanaged freedom never does, in the minds of progressive authoritarians).

Oh, and as for whether any of this will be consistent with the limited role of the federal government as set out in the U.S. Constitution — please, that Constitution mumbo-jumbo is so 2014. Right, “conservatives”?

As a lifelong member of the political establishment, specifically from the perspective of a major donor to both sides of the aisle, i.e., one expert at greasing elected palms in order to grease the skids for his own business interests, Trump is well-placed, ideologically and morally, to advocate for corporate fascism. And he has found his political home at last within the Republican Party, which at this point has no other coherent agenda. I am quite sure that once the lobbyists and Chamber of Commerce types get their hands on it, government-controlled health care, GOP-style, will turn out to be a beautiful thing for all Americans.

We just want what’s best for you and your family, little birdie — honestly!

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