Let's Fix This Country

A Fascist Symbol Boldly Displayed at Conservative Convention

Over the past year we began filling a file of incidents, statements, policies in the Trump ambit that had seeming fascist overtones. Charlottesville, of course, Trump's signaling the Proud Boys to "stand back and stand by", and so on. Thinking it too inconclusive, we never wrote it up.

But the president's campaign of lies to claim a fraudulent election culminating with his
Variations on the odal rune symbol
and World War II units that wore them..

telling the faithful to come to Washington, to "Be there, will be wild" on January 6th, and the elements attracted by the president's call, made it clear that Trump was turning a corner for the Republican Party, and he continues to lead it.

On the last day of February the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC), a must-attend for all on the right to show their bona fides, held its annual get together in Orlando, its usual locus, D.C., having become to fraught with risk (see above). It was discovered that the design of the stage was in the same pattern as an "odal rune" (photo next page). Derived from languages such as Old High German and relating to nobility, inheritance, and landowning from a time when the Teutonic landscape was filled with hundreds of principalities and their serfs, the symbol would much later be worn as insignia by certain German military units in World War II as shown in the illustration. In its various mutations, the rune has been adopted in the U.S. by white supremacist groups as seen in their tattoos, war paint, and clothing patches. When the National Socialist Movement, one of the largest neo-Nazi organizations in the country, decided to do some rebranding, they replaced the swastika with the odal rune to make white supremacy more “mainstream”.

The rune has a distinctive shape. To arrive at that shape for the CPAC stage by chance is risible. It was clearly deliberate, and points up that Trump's riding roughshod over laws, denigrating the courts, attempting to overthrow the government, and so on, have inspired in the extremist wings of the Republican Party a yearning for authoritarianism — and they decided to semaphore that to the white supremacists and white nationalist groups. The Department of Homeland Security and the FBI have identified these hate groups as the “most persistent and lethal" domestic terror threat facing the United States.

Protesting angrily, CPAC chairman Matt Schlapp tweeted "Stage design conspiracies
Difficult to make out in the dark photo, but the feet or wings at left and right rear of the stage match the officer's insignia below.

are outrageous and slanderous” and "Cancel culture extremists must address anti-Semitism within their own ranks", a whatabout deviation that hadn't been anyone's subject.

Charles Johnson of the 20-year-old commentary and humor site Little Green Footballs, tweeted back that Schlapp's reaction made it more likely that the rune's use was deliberate: "Who the hell learns they're using a Nazi symbol inadvertently…makes excuses and pretends it's a conspiracy to persecute them".

Design firm Design Foundry said it "intended to provide the best use of space, given the constraints of the ballroom and social distancing requirements", and a design of runways that require people to pass one another in close proximity would surely be better that a full and roomy stage.

1 Comment for “A Fascist Symbol Boldly Displayed at Conservative Convention”

  1. While the design of the stage at the CPAC Conference seems accidental on the surface, the 2016 campaign and conduct of Trump as President are so replete with authoritarian overtones and obvious parallels to the actions and policies of fascist predecessors, it cannot be coincidental. If it looks like a duck, walks like a duck and talks like a duck, its a duck!

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