Are We There Yet ? Don’t Worry….. America Is Not There , Yet.



Fascism and Authoritarianism are words that are now being thrown around  to describe the administration of the current president of the US.  I had a lengthy conversation with my parents   regarding this matter, and though they are not experts on fascism and authoritarianism,  they did live under dictatorship/authoritarianism in the Philippines  for 16 years.  Not only that, they joined the underground opposition and fought bravely  against the dictatorship , until  Dictator  Ferdinand Marcos and his family were kicked out of the country in 1986 through the People Power Revolution.  As the cliché goes, been there, done that.



So, I asked my parents, “are we there yet ?”  Their verdict :  NO, because luckily, check and balances are  firmly entrenched in American  democracy.  However,  there are hints that POTUS is trying to undermine  the powers of   the Legislative and Judiciary, especially that of the Legislative by bamboozling the members  to rubber stamp the laws  he wants passed, doing away  with  the ethics commitees , or asking the Department of Justice officials investigating him, ” Are you on my team ? ” If not, you’re fired. ( Notice to non- American readers….. POTUS means President of the United States.)


What then is Authoritarianism ? Simply defined, it is a government where power is centralized in one leader. It is safe to assume  that  the leader or president can pretty much do whatever he or she likes, with no constitutional accountability.


POTUS is indeed corrupt,  morally  bankrupt, shamelessly unethical, but, to his credit, he is  not  authoritarian. Not yet, anyway.


Going by the definition of Fascism,   POTUS is not a Fascist, either , and though there are signs  of fascism ,  my parents think  there is no chance he will ever be one.


What is Fascism ? This form of government was started by Benito Mussolini in Italy.  His right – wing authoritarian  government  , supported by armed militia called ” blackshirts ” (  similar to Hitler’s brownshirts ) was , unfortunately, also supported  by  grassroots movements ( peasants, urban poor, even the middle class )  that turned  violent on those who were caught in the middle. So what are these signs of fascism that my parents are hinting at ?  This administration is , without a doubt, a right- wing government, and by all accounts,   is  being supported by people  of  the   ” white supremacist  ” types as Neo- Nazis, the Klan, anti- immigrants , anti- gays,   and , despite POTUS’ un-Christian values and behavior,  has an unwavering support of    Evangelicals.    It is, however,   these white supremacist groups ‘ predilection for violence ( they openly carry high powered weapons at their rallies ) and this president’s public call to ” take care ” of those who protest at his rallies (  ” don’t worry, I’ll pay for your lawyers ” )   that we should pay attention to.  It is akin to Philippine Dictator Ferdinand Marcos’  military knocking on doors of  anti-Marcos  people in the middle of the night and taking them away , never to be seen again. Filipinos called this ” salvaging “.  (  my parents had  to ” hide ” at one point ) .  It is fascism when there are political  human rights violations perpetrated by the powers-that be. Though it is unfair and inaccurate  to compare POTUS to Philippine President Marcos,  the image of  the white supremacy rally at Charlottesville nevertheless  has  a chilling effect on my parents’ sensibility.


There is one ” ism”  that I have not heard of that can very well  describe this  presidency.  It’s called Populism. What is Populism? According to Wikipedia,  it is a political philosophy supporting the rights and powers of the people in their struggle against a privileged elite. This definition  seems to describe the political philosophy  of the Democratic Party.  The Democratic Party is also about Social Security, clean air and water, protection of the environment, affordable health care, protection of workers , LBGTQ rights, etc.    But for decades,  the Republicans have been spreading false narratives that the Democratic Party is all about unfeterred  immigration, ( code for brown skinned immigrants who are rapists , criminals, Musim terrorists ) dole-outs, welfare ,( code for African -Americans ) ,  coddling the ” lazy ” poor, ” they will take away your guns” thing and free stuff.  POTUS  is able to articulate  what has been festering on everyone’s mind in a straight, politically incorrect, and brash manner.


Populism is not only a political philosophy, but is more a rhetorical style wherein Potus, in his demagoguery and rhetorics, clearly  divides the citizens between the elite and the masses….. the elite are the liberal academe/  inteligencia/ bleeding heart Democrats/ the OTHER, ( either non-white or non- Christian )  and the masses   are those who don’t fit into the former category (and that includes the rich and Wall Street )   POTUS speeches have endeared him to racists , to those who fear the surge in immigration and increase in foreign -born citizens who don’t share the  true American value,   and to white, ” hard- working ” blue -collar workers who are traditionally Democrats, but who now feel the party has either forgotten them, or they’ve been put on the back burner, only to be called upon during election time.


So, what exactly is the president of the U.S.?


After a long discussion with my parents  , I am of the opinion that  the current President of the United States is a POPULIST.


This is all for now. Peace and stay cool.  And thank you for reading.


Bye !


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47 responses to this post.

  1. I generally agree with what you say. However, if Trump is not yet an authoritarian ruler, he certainly would like to be. Let’s hope the institutions of democracy are able to withstand the damage he does.


  2. I am hoping for the day when he will be impeached. but I think he will be carrying out his term. Gah.
    it is funny, my parents think he is a god-fearing man. I tell them the president is not god-fearing. Then my parents ask why do the evangelists always pray over him every morning.
    my reply “They pray so he doesnt open up his big mouth and screw up anymore than he has.” and they have to keep praying because their prayers are falling on deaf ears.
    Ha ha my parents nearly kicked me out of the moving vehicle on that one.


    • I believe he won’t be impeached , either. His party controls all 3 branches of the government.


    • Posted by marple25mary on February 13, 2018 at 5:10 pm

      I know people who think Trump is a ‘good Christian’ also. I tell then that’s a giant load of bullshit. He doesn’t have any idea what it means to be a Christian. I think Trump is unhinged and dangerous. Then they look at me like I’M the one who is nuts…


  3. Uggh…I definitely feel for your country 😢😢 How this man ever got elected is certainly beyond me. I just hope that he doesn’t ruin your country in the upcoming years of his term.


  4. Year 1970 I was first year college at FEATI UNIVERSITY . We always join the demonstration in front of the congress building . Soldiers are shooting with tear gas bomb and once in while with their armalite . That year is the peak of the demonstration against Marcos . A lot of student died and tortured . Here in America still the best place in the world to live . Potus or fascism will not work here . There is democrat and republican to balance the power . I can imagine if you studied during my time in Manila . I can see you are leading group of students protesting against Marcos .


    • My parents were students in college when Martial Law was declared. Prior to that, my mother was an activist who joined protest rallies. She studied at the University of the Philippines and was at the Barricade , and had a friend who was shot while manning the barricade. He was confined in a wheelchair for life. A first cousin was detained , tortured, and while in detention, died of heart attack. He was only 22 years old.

      Yes, fascism /authoritarianism/dictatorship will not work here in the US. It’s not going happen.


  5. Not sure about the populist label (certainly not for Democrats and double that for Republicans).

    Sure, they’re labeling him such, but I challenge anyone to explain and point out how he is supporting the struggle against the privileged elites. Like the Democratic Party, Republicans too are made up of privileged elites. The people who support and give money to both Republicans and Democrats are privileged elites. Trumps has placed nothing but privileged elites in positions of power in his administration. Almost everything he had done helps the privileged elites.

    I say he is an Ignorantlist supported by every-day Ignorantlists who I hope will eventually wake up to the fact they elected someone who will deteriorate the quality of their lives and those of their children.

    Unfortunately, the key features of Ignorantlism are not having a clue and being easily manipulated, and that’s on top of being highly resistant to reason, facts, logic, and education.

    . . . I bet they also like broccoli! The horror!


    • You know, I actually wrote The horror ! but deleted it to save on # of words. This is so far my longest post.

      Anyways, you’re right. His rhetoric doesn’t fit the definition of a populism…. elite and the masses. But he does thrive in dividing the country into 2, although in reverse. I definitely cannot place his mass base in ” elite” category, because UGH.


  6. I think pinsan ata niya yung presidente dito….haha!


    • More like soulmates, Tita Arlene. Grabe. When I was writing this post, I was thinking of Duterte , as well. Comusta na sya ?


      • Haha, getting worse everyday. Now in his speech in Cebuano,he told the soldiers to shoot the vaginas of NPA women. he’s acting like he just rules a small community. Or that is his way of diverting all the issues about him. Pero nagtataka ako, mga babae lang kaya niya.


        • Tita Arlene, his remark about that is already on print news and on TV.

          I’m wondering why 70% of Filipinos still support him. This is my take…. what kind of a person supports a leader like this guy ? I believe it reflects on his/her personality. He should be an embarrassment ( just like POTUS ) to every Filipino . He represents over 100 M Filipinos. I am deeply ashamed .He’s worse than our US president. And to think the Philippines is a Christian country. Nakakahiya talaga , Tita Arlene.


  7. […] Source: Are We There Yet ? Don’t Worry….. America Is Not There , Yet. […]


  8. I’ve said this before, but I’ll say it once more: Any analysis of Trump begins and ends with “It’s all about ME” — once we understand that, we see the reason for everything he says, tweets and does .


  9. Nicely put, and I’m sad to say that I think you have described the situation correctly.


  10. Posted by Francey Jesson on February 13, 2018 at 7:11 pm

    Very well articulated. I think it is so important that folks like your parents, who have seen true tyranny, weight in as they have. I was born here, but I consider myself very well read on both US and world history. Trump scares the bejeezus out of me. It’s comforting to hear your parents say, “not yet.” It means there is still hope for us. Keep up the good work. These things need to be said.


  11. Wow amazing..

    Following your site .. do follow back please


  12. I live in the UK but even from there Trump seems like a dangerous horror story on legs. I too have read that whatever he says or does his hard line supporters back him because he “One of us.” He is a very gifted populist without integrity, hour or decency it seems to me, who lies and changes his mind without thought. Its so hard to imagine such a person has been elected to that office and he is doing untold damage to it. I am just praying that the Democrats have a huge victory in November and can stifle any further attempts to turn the US into a racist fascist state. I always love your blog and fresh and honest way you address issues. We agree about a lot of things I am pleased to say 🙂


  13. I’m agreed with you


  14. The United States will never have a tyrannical system, thankfully. Right wing is fine as a form of, extreme right wing isn’t, just as Antifa isn’t acceptable with its violence, which is ironically fascistic in itself, maybe they just have a weird sense of humour.

    Trump is right to be afraid of immigration, either it legal or illegal. Europe shows this, the Swedish experiment failed (which is why the mainstream media doesn’t talk about it), crimes are directly correlated to mass immigrations, most notably Germany. Stringent checks are needed, more careful checks at any rate. As somebody who is looking to stay in The Philippines I can see the importance more readily these days for myself and also for the country.

    American values don’t need to be shared by immigrants but there needs to be a respecting and understanding of them. A large problem in Europe is the lack of integration, governments spend millions on it but it needs to be a two way street, to be embraced by both sides.


  15. A good lesson, but it’s sad and scary that we are here, learning it, because we have to.


  16. Well argued–and my admiration to your parents.


  17. Posted by Jared on February 26, 2018 at 5:30 am

    Great insights. It’s important to remember to get perspective. If you see one right taken away, people flip out and think we’re suddenly under a dictatorship. People start comparing life to George Orwell’s 1984! I tell them to get a grip and get some perspective. You do just that, by asking your parents who have seen what true authoritarian settings are like.


  18. Posted by survivethehorror on February 27, 2018 at 1:17 am

    I’m not into politics whatsoever, but I can see the big difference with this new government system compared to any other presidents times in office. All of a sudden everybody has a voice, you will hear from people that used to despise mentioning politics, but now they’re the loudest ones in the room all because Trump is crazy. And reading your article, you worded it perfectly. Like I said, I’m not political whatsoever, yet almost everyday, I find myself having a family dinner chat with my mother about Donald Trump deporting US Iraq war military veterans who have been living in the US for 30+ years. And when I tell her these things, her mouth opens in shock. Keep doing what you do. Don’t ever be afraid to speak your mind.


  19. I beg to disagree but I think Trump is more of a Fascist in his ideology and because of his rabid, right wing following.


  20. I disagree with you, but (I sincerely mean this), I’m glad that I came across your post. I think one thing we desperately need in America is people willing to exchange ideas, and although I may not agree, you did bring up perspectives I hadn’t considered in that way. Unless the POTUS does change course as you’re suggesting, decentralization of government, and an armed citizenry, are two things never found in the aspiring tyrant’s playbook.


    • That’s okay if you disagree. I wonder though where you disagree… the whole post or with some of the points that I discussed here?

      The leader of China has just made himself practically president for life, and the Potus was in awe of what China’s president did, and said, to paraphrase, the US should try that, as well.

      I shiver at the thought. Less than a year, and already, his family ( his and his son- in law’s ) had made it such a profitable year for them.


      • I am far more worried about the policy directions advocated by Democrats than I am of President Trump’s off the cuff comments. However, the moment I see him pushing for actual policy changes conducive to a dictatorial regime, then I’ll be the first to protest, but as I said, decentralizing power and encouraging an armed citizenry isn’t the way to secure a dictatorship power structure.


  21. I really hope he gets voted out in the next presidential election. And as horrible as it is that this disgusting human being became president, something good has come out of it. People are finally waking up and taking a stand for things they believe in. Two immediate things come to mind. The #MeToo movement, and now the students standing up to the NRA. Hopefully the #MeToo movement will help create more equality. And, I never thought that the NRA would ever lose their grip over the politicians. After all of these school shootings over all these years, nothing has changed, and actually has gotten worse. Now, we finally had the straw that broke the camel’s back with the Florida school shooting, and people’s voices are finally being heard. All it took was a big mouth bully in the White House to bring out enough outrage in people to finally stand up and fight back..


  22. Is Trump not 100% better than Buhari ,in Nigeria. At least he can offer The USA a little, although at moment USA doesn’t need little. In Nigeria we have got nothing since 2015. Just a high lot of killing that has been politicised.


  23. Hi Renxkyoko, only today I could read your post. I mainly agree with your judgement. But all in all, I think much to much attention is paid to Trump. At the end, only a tiny footnote in the book of history will remain from the 4 years (I hope even less) of his presidency. In general, mankind is on a continous path to perfection and enlightment. Even if Trump tries every day to damage the values of a free and liberal society, he is nothing than a singular event. What makes the US really great is its capacity to integrate differenet cultures, and to give creative people the best environment. Trump does not understand anything of this. I hope he will feel quite soon how much of an alien he is in this position, and how much the people despise him. The only good service he could provide to his people is to resign as soon as possible.


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