There is less difference between these two than you might initially think.
So, FUX Snooze has its underoos in a twist because the “once reputable Newsweek” has likened the late, largely unlamented Charles Milles (or Maddox, depending who you ask) Manson to their God-Emperor, Donnie Fucking Drumpf. Brian Flood is all in a tizzy because Melissa Matthews had the temerity to interview a number of psychological experts who noted what’s obvious to any lay person: Manson and Drumpf share, at a bare minimum, an ability to evoke a slavish cultism among their followers through their use of rhetoric. Flood, marshalling a less reputable “expert” panel of his own, takes his best stab at the piece to discredit it, but stumbles and falls on his own sword at the end:
The article’s comment section includes messages from people that realize how absurd the comparison is. One reader called it “hilariously pathetic” and another said it’s “the dumbest thing I’ve read in a while.”
A third reader perhaps summed it up best: “Wow, both Manson and Trump used language to gain followers? Next you’re going to tell me that they both drank water to quench thirst. You’ve cracked the case Newsweek. Now every leader will be using language to gain follows.”
Thou shalt not commit psychology. Or, Bog forbid, JOURNALISM.
But hey. At least Newsweek noted that there are similarities between the respective cults of Manson and Drumpf. And if anything, Melissa Matthews went the conservative route, only comparing their undeniably similar uses of rhetoric to persuade the unwary to abandon good sense and follow, follow, follow. There are other parallels between Charlie and Donnie, and they point to a common origin: the fascistic undercurrent in the US right.
Let’s start with what should be obvious: Both of these men are (or were) racist as hell. And racism is as US-American as apple pie and turkey trots. Its roots are in the slave era, and its branches stretch up through Reconstruction, Jim Crow, and the still-incomplete achievements of the Civil Rights era. It drove indigenous peoples off their lands and onto the Trail of Tears, with smallpox-contaminated blankets to accompany them to what Bruce Cockburn so aptly called “the local Third world” of the reservations. It was the inspiration for Adolf Hitler himself. And it’s significant that the same country that furnished Hitler with the basis for his ideology recently voted against a UN resolution against the glorification thereof.
That same ideology gave birth not only to Manson’s twisted visions of his future as a dictatorial cult-king, but also the all-too-real cult of Drumpf.
When called upon to condemn the white supremacists who hijacked Charlottesville’s fusty old Confederate statuary as a focal point for their “Unite the Right” rallies, Donnie hesitated. (He who hesitates is worse than lost.) Then he tap-danced around the issue, saying that there were “very fine people on both sides”. He was notably slow and reluctant to condemn what any decent person would have condemned outright, without even putting much thought into the matter. His “both sides” equivocation makes one wonder which “sides” he was referring to: the KKK and the neo-Nazis? The so-called “Alt-Right” and “Alt-Lite”? Because there is certainly no equivalence between those rotters and the motley crowd of antifascists who turned out to oppose them. Fascists endorse racism and genocide (even when claiming to protest “white genocide”, their ludicrous and unfounded belief that people of other colors are being trucked in by a cabal of Jews to “replace” an under-reproducing, demoralized white race).
Antifascists oppose all that, upholding the right of people of every color to exist, side by side, in peace, as equals. There is no “alt-left”. Anti-fascism is, or ought to be, the default position for anyone with a conscience. There are only truly fine people on one side here, and it’s not the right. This should be a no-brainer.
But then again, the cultists of Drumpf aren’t exactly what you’d call smart. Hearing them talk, it’s hard to believe they haven’t been brainwashed. And the weasel words that washed their brains, which Donnie calls the “best words”, are little better than kindergarten level.
As for Charles Manson, he was a bit less weaselly than Donnie about his racism. He took the title of a Beatles song — Helter Skelter — and applied it to his vision of a race war which blacks might initially seem to win, but from which Manson himself, leading a band of murderous, amoral white cultists, would ultimately emerge victorious. The New York Times, in its review of Vincent Bugliosi’s book, called it “the most repugnant and meaningless crime of our era”, but they were only half right. It was repugnant, yes, but hardly meaningless: Manson had the whole Rahowa notion down pat in his own mind, long before actual swastika-wearing backwoodsmen would take it up formally and in earnest twenty years later. (It’s worth noting, too, that Manson even went to the trouble of branding himself with a swastika in prison, right on the forehead where no one could miss it. And no, he was not being ironic.)
There are other parallels between the two, too. Sexism intertwines with racism in both men’s strains of thought. Compare Donnie’s “racehorse breeding” notions of what constitutes a ruling class (he considers this highly artificial institution to be a “natural” one; remind you of anybody?) and the Manson ideology of reproduction, as recounted by Ed Sanders in The Family:
Charlie encouraged childbirth. Rubbers, pills, IUDs, diaphragms and, Lord forbid, vasectomy were not allowed. Women, according to the Manson hype, had no souls but were super-aware slaves whose duties were to whelp and to serve men. Ironically, there were actually very few pregnancies in the Family, a fact, according to Sandy Good, that used to upset Charlie.
It stands to reason that Charlie would have had a special dislike for birth control. After all, how much of a master race can one man breed if his female followers aren’t sufficiently fertile — or, heaven forfend, he himself isn’t, either? And how likely would such a small elite group be to take over once the Helter Skelter race-war had died down and the cult emerged from seclusion to take back the reins of power once and for all, in a Thousand-Year Reich fantasy to rival Hitler’s own?
Compare that to the “white genocide”/”white ethnostate” fever dreams of Donnie’s “fine people” of the “Unite the Right” rabble. Go on. Dare to see the parallels. They are there.
So, dear far-righturds of the US of Amnesia, face facts: Charles Milles/Maddox Manson is your boy, just as much as Donnie is. But since Manson landed in prison for orchestrating a series of murders designed to be blamed on imaginary black criminals, none of you want to claim him. Like FUX Snooze, you shrink and screech when confronted with even a tiny amount of evidence of the undeniable parallels between the two men.
Satirists are doing a better job than your own so-called journalists of tallying it all up. That’s pitiful, but hardly surprising. Like the Helter Skelter fantasy, what passes for Deep and Serious Thought on the right is abortive and farcical, when not in blatant denial of the facts. Nevertheless, the fact remains that dear dead Charlie is all yours. Deal with it.
After all, it’s not like anyone else could claim him.