The neocons are pissed now that they’re getting a taste of their own medicine.
There is an F-word in the present political campaign, and it is “fascist.” Some people say, “Trump is a fascist. Or if he’s not, he has fascist tendencies.” Others say, “Come now. He may be many things — a lout, a nationalist, a demagogue — but he’s not a fascist. Let’s not get carried away.” I am not in favor of getting carried away. But I think there are grounds for concern: concern that Trump is something other than an exponent of liberal democracy. I will list some of those grounds. Not a single one will mean all that much. But taken together, they may give a person pause. He mainly talks of “strong” versus “weak.” Strength is better than weakness, of course. But an exaltation of strength can be strange.
In 1990, he gave an interview to Playboy magazine. The Soviet Union was in interesting, uncertain condition. Democratic protesters were getting bolder. Trump said, “Russia is out of control and the leadership knows it. That’s my problem with Gorbachev. Not a firm enough hand.” His interviewer asked, “You mean firm hand as in China?” Trump answered, “When the students poured into Tiananmen Square, the Chinese government almost blew it. Then they were vicious, they were horrible, but they put it down with strength. That shows you the power of strength.” This sounds admiring to me. And think of it: “The Chinese government almost blew it.” I wish they had, and so does every other well-wisher of democracy, human rights, and freedom. Trump said, “That’s my problem with Gorbachev. Not a firm enough hand.” For 70-plus years, democrats had been wishing for a less “firm” hand in the Soviet Union. Gorbachev killed a relative few in the Baltics. And then drew back. Wasn’t that something to celebrate?