Trump Fascism: Trump’s Redshirts
From Trump Fascism at
As early as March 2017, Drumpf started setting up his own enforcers. Drumpf and his followers had never been shy about their fascist tendencies and practices. The red “Make America Great Again” caps and red shirts were the first steps toward a uniform for Drumpf’s storm troopers.
Red was also the main color in the Confederate battle flag, beloved by both white racists and those naïve or ignorant enough to not see how the flag had always been a symbol of slavery and white supremacy. The flag made for a natural tie in to Drumpf. Though he was from New York and with an obvious New York accent, white southerners were Drumpf’s main supporters. They often flew the battle flag and wore it on caps, belt buckles, t shirts, jackets, had it on bumper sticker on their trucks and SUVs, and even tattooed it on themselves. They considered it the “rebel” flag, even though it had been the flag of a white supremacist slave owning elite, and even though there is nothing more conformist and un-rebellious than being a racist and believing in a rigid unthinking form of blind patriotism.
Drumpf’s followers tried to form their own militia early in the election, in March 2016, to go after protesters. They set up a website where they proposed symbols modeled on Mussolini’s Italian Fascist Party and the British Union of Fascists. Drumpf kept a book of Hitler speeches by his bedside, according to his wife. Drumpf loved tweeting white supremacist or Mussolini quotes. One of those quotes, “Better to live as a lion for a day than a sheep for 100 years,” inspired the would be militia’s name, the Lion’s Guard.
On his third day in office, Drumpf called for Second Amendment rallies across America for, “Three weeks from now, on Valentine’s Day to show our love for America and for the God given guns by which we defend her.” A typical gun rights rally at a state capital usually draws 200 to 300 people. Drumpf was able to get double or more that number in most of the 50 state capitals and almost 50 of the country’s largest cities. Over half a million people were at the demonstrations.
About half of them were armed. Some of the guns were loaded, some not, with some of the “unloaded” carrying visible clips separately. Drumpf made the announcement by satellite to all the rallies:
“Everyone here, raise your guns up high! Yeeeeaaaahhh! Don’t ever put them down! Never give in to the politically correct who want to take away your God given guns, your guns protected by our beloved Declaration, our magnificent Second Amendment. Stand strong and proud, people!
I want all of you to pledge to always stand up for guns and stand up for America. Take the pledge with me now. Take the oath and sign up for the new proud American militia! The Make America Great Again militia! Go to the sign-up tables now! Take the oath, the same kind of oath said by our armed forces. You will be a line of defense for America, against all enemies foreign or domestic.”
The MAGA militia signed up over 70,000 members that day. By the end of the year, they had over 100,000 members ages 17 to 55, plus auxiliaries for seniors, teens, and kids aged eight to twelve that numbered over 50,000 for seniors and over 20,000 each for kids and teens. The auxiliaries were not expected to take part in raids or fighting. But they were informers that gathered intelligence. The seniors were also used to pressure Congress and other elected officials, harass reporters, and threaten teachers and professors with firings, all with massed phone calling campaigns. Teens and kids were also used for social media campaigns, including hacking and cyberbullying Drumpf’s opponents and dissidents. Teens received basic drill, marksmanship, and indoctrination, and were expected to join the regular MAGA militia when they turned 17.
The “Make America Great Again” caps became part of the uniforms. Their shirts were red also, giving them the popular name of Redshirts. This included T-shirts (including tank tops or “wife beaters”) or polo shirts in the summer, and solid red long sleeved shirts and jackets in the winter. The Redshirts could choose their own pants or shorts to wear, from jeans to khaki or Docker pants, anything but sweat pants or skirts. In some ways they looked like groups of warehouse workers.
The Redshirts had a military structure, squads of ten headed by a corporal. Four squads to a platoon of 40 headed by a sergeant. Five platoons to a company of 200 headed by a captain with a lieutenant assisting. Five companies to a battalion of 1,000 headed by a colonel assisted by a major. Five battalions to a brigade of 5,000 headed by a brigadier general. Four brigades to a division of 20,000 headed by a major general.
Each division was responsible for a section of the United States, Northeast, South, Midwest, Rocky Mountains, and West Coast including Alaska and Hawaii. (The US territories of Guam, Samoa, Puerto Rico, and Virgin Islands they neglected.) Washington, DC was on the border between the Northeast and South divisions. So a brigade from each division was stationed there. The Redshirts were charged with seeking out and defeating all enemies of America, broadly defined. They answered to Drumpf alone, and swore personal loyalty to him. They were fanatics, and proud of it.
Here is the usual oath of an enlisted soldier, sailor, airman, or marine:
“I, [your name], do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; and that I will obey the orders of the President of the United States and the orders of the officers appointed over me, according to regulations and the Uniform Code of Military Justice. So help me God.”
But just as Drumpf changed his own oath as president, the Redshirt oath was dramatically different from a soldier’s:
“I, [your name], do solemnly swear and affirm that I will support and defend the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic, whether they are terrorists, invaders, communists, socialists, Muslims, drug dealers, other criminals, and all others disloyal to the America that we hold dear. I will bear true faith and allegiance to America, American free enterprise, Jesus Christ, and the Bible. I will obey the orders of President Trump and the orders of the Make America Great Again militia officers appointed over me, according to our laws and bylaws. I swear to God this sacred oath to the leader of the American nation and people, Donald Trump, supreme commander of the armed forces, that I shall render unconditional obedience and that as a brave militia member I shall at all times be prepared to give my life for this oath. So help me, God.”
The last part was somewhat modeled on Nazi Party oaths. The Redshirt oath had a long list of presumed enemies, and each Redshirt swore to defend not the Constitution or American democracy, just “free enterprise” and Drumpf personally. They swore not to be Christian or carry out Christian principles, but to a bizarre form of prosperity gospel that tied belief in Jesus and the Bible (which few of them knew or read) to a belief in private profit. Unlike the military, Redshirts did not swear to obey the law and codes of conduct, only orders from Drumpf and MAGA militia officers.