Trump as a Fascist --

If you have what Joe McCarthy called "fellow travelers" as your Facebook friends, you've heard this narrative: "Omigod we all have to vote for Joe Biden because Donald Trump is a FASCIST!" I wrote a diary about this topic back in April: "The Trump-As-Dictator narrative." In this old diary, I wrote:

And you also don't see the Dems resisting in situations where they obviously could -- but instead back in January you read headlines such as this one: Democrats just handed Trump more domestic surveillance powers. They should know better. They could also balk at passing Trump's defense budgets, but they haven't done that either. They don't seem terribly worried about any of the stuff described in this article either. And there's more they could do -- they could investigate Trump's personnel actions.

To be honest, the Democrats in power don't seem terribly afraid of a second Trump term. It's these offhand whispers that you read on Facebook and elsewhere from Biden supporters: "Omigod if Trump won we might not have a democracy anymore!" The people suggesting that stuff are afraid. As I suggested above, such utterances are weaponized to deter us from saying we won't vote for Joe Biden.

So that's the basic gist of it -- the Dem elites are totally okay with Trump being a Fascist dictator. Doesn't that make them Fascists too? Oh of course not! scream the Dem faithful. We're going to vote for them and they're going to beat Trump in free and fair elections because of course that's what Fascists do -- compete in free and fair elections. That's how we got rid of Hitler and Mussolini, right? We ran neoliberals with dementia against each of them and the neoliberals won. Right?

Uh-huh. The fact that they continue to use this sort of rhetoric without any sort of understanding of what it means to be a Fascist might be puzzling if you don't remember that Americans don't really think carefully about history while invoking it all the time.

At any rate, the current invasions of American cities (Chicago, Albuquerque, Portland, with more to come) in a sort of Police State Tour sponsored by Donald Trump and Betsy DeVos's brother Erik Prince has caused me to modify my opinion. Donald Trump is a Fascist -- but Donald Trump is a Showbiz Fascist, or a Teevee Fascist, choose your term.

Donald Trump has never made any of the preparations that actual Fascists have made for rule as Fascists. He has no plan for being dictator, he has no legion of brownshirts ready to enforce direct tyrannical rule (buying mercenaries from Erik Prince is the best cheap substitute he could find, and it came through the legacy of Bush Junior), he has no legal mandate for tyrannical rule (the NDAA Obama signed does not necessarily apply), he has no ideology of dictatorship (his two books are basically full of Republican pablum, and maybe he's spiced it up with a little anti-immigrant rhetoric, but that was about getting mere racists to vote for him), and he can't seem to get the masses in the blue states to be quiet about the fact that he's a Fascist and he can't get them to stop resisting him and his crap. Rather, Trump needs to be playing a Fascist on TV, and so to make his cinematic appearances believable, he's putting on a Fascist show in the abovenamed cities. He tried the Trump stage show, and that only succeeded in bringing more attention to COVID-19. He tried not wearing a mask, and that theater failed too, so he told everyone to wear a mask. He's canceled the Jacksonville convention. So he needs a theater, and this is it.

People who think that Trump policy has a point beyond the projection of his beloved theater miss the point. For instance, there are theories being circulated about how Trump wants to reopen the schools to kill people off. Reopening the schools may in fact kill people off. And Trump certainly doesn't care if they do. But that's not the point. The point is to give Trump a role to play. He made the trains run on time! (see e.g. Mussolini). He opened the schools despite a pandemic! Our hero -- let's make a movie about him or something. The fact that he has to lie about what's going on all the time should be a clue as to his general inattention to on-the-ground facts. Look, for instance, at the border wall. Obama paid more actual attention to it than he did!

This was, moreover, always the point. Trump was out there playing a role, because that was what this was to him -- reality TV. Being President had to be like doing The Apprentice or WWE Smackdown, because that's what Donald Trump knew. And it's still that way. You all don't seriously think anything has changed in that regard over the past four years, do you?

By the way, it's really hard for me to see how a Joe Biden Presidency is going to be all that much better than the one we're experiencing now. Oh, I'm sure it will make better TV, because one thing that distinguishes Donald Trump from the rest is that he can't tell the difference between good TV and bad TV, and so he is bad TV. So we can't help but get better TV from Biden, because Trump TV is so very very bad. But as for policy? On-the-ground reality? Only a truly heroic effort from the mass public will force the elites to change their current, bad, direction, regardless of who is or who becomes President. Voting for Joe Biden? Award yourself a trophy or something, and leave it at that. We need you for a different role.

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magiamma's picture

And Heras we must be

The point is to give Trump a role to play. He made the trains run on time! (see e.g. Mussolini). He opened the schools despite a pandemic! Our hero -- let's make a movie about it or something.

Yeppers. Heroic effort or planet melt down or economic crashburn. Maybe all three.

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Stop Climate Change Silence - Start the Conversation

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Cassiodorus's picture

@magiamma to what, we know not. Which makes all of the idiots who think we can just go back to what it was before the pandemic so frustrating.

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"Every election is fake." -- Janna Ordonia, from "Star vs. the Forces of Evil"

magiamma's picture

@Cassiodorus
Life's but a walking shadow, a poor player That struts and frets his hour upon the stage And then is heard no more: it is a tale told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, Signifying nothing.

And I might add, no one is listening so it seems.

And there’s this. Are the meme makers prepping us.

From Reuters, one of the three meme makers

Explainer: Why Election Day could be just the start of a long battle over the U.S. presidency

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-election-contested-explainer/expl...

President Donald Trump’s refusal this week to say if he would accept the results of November’s election, and his repeated assertions that the vote will be “rigged” because of mail-in ballots, have raised the specter of a disputed election that could take weeks, or even months, to resolve.

Even absent allegations of fraud, the deluge of mail ballots due to the coronavirus pandemic could take weeks to tally, making it less likely a winner is declared on Election Day in the contest between Trump and Democrat Joe Biden. The former vice president currently leads Trump in opinion polls.

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Stop Climate Change Silence - Start the Conversation

Hot Air Website, Twitter, Facebook

Indeed he is.

And Trump's main goal---ok---only goal is to get his contract renewed. Which he may very well do despite the current polls.

I don't see that clear intention to win the part from the Democrats. They seem more interested in winning an obscure Identity argument. That failed 4 years ago and I can't see it succeeding now.

If winning the Presidency was what they cared about most we wouldn't be hearing about 4 Black women on the VP short list. Biden would be focusing on who can help him win in Texas and Florida.

I don't think his current short list will help him at all. Unless there are some hidden gems we don't know about on it. But a Latino on the ticket just might help Biden cross the finish line.

I've been considering Julian Castro for Veep. Not a Progressive. But he is the twice-elected former Mayor of San Antonio. His brother is a Texas Congressman.

If I have a blindspot regarding this idea, please let me know.

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NYCVG

snoopydawg's picture

@NYCVG

destroyed Bernie. Twice. I see people saying that democrats didn’t learn anything from Herheinous losing to Trump. Bull. There was no lesson to be learned because they know what they need to do if they actually wanted back in power. They don’t because then they’d be under pressure to do something for us. They sighed in relief when they lost the senate during Obama’s tenure because then they could hide behind McConnell blocking everything.

Also instead of Biden needing to wheedle his way through which corporate democrat for VP he could ask Nina Turner if he wanted unity. Lmao of course he doesn’t.

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“Restoring the soul of this nation” is just MAGA with more words

Twitter is like a game of telephone

@snoopydawg
to make enough of a showing to keep the cash rolling in, and keep some token power. They could have impeached Rump long ago for his many many crimes; instead, they did a half-assed rush job. If the rethugs could manage to cripple Obama, even while the donorcrats held the house, the senate, and the white house, why couldn't they have crippled Rump's abuses? No, they wanted to keep him in power so they could bludgeon us with him. They're complicit in the horrors of 2020.

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If I'm wrong, it's the first time I'm happy to be confused. -Don Van Vliet

snoopydawg's picture

@pindar's revenge

Funny isn’t it that only the republicans can block bills from passing when they are the minority party. This is the question I keep asking Bernie when he comes to Twitter to tell us what congress needs to do or to bitch about what republicans did. I don’t know how many times I’ve asked him why he didn’t block the bill he’s complaining about. Many times though that’s for sure. It’s getting more people to see how much kabuki goes on there. This same thing can happen in the house too, but I don’t remember when’s the last time a democrat did it in either house.

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“Restoring the soul of this nation” is just MAGA with more words

Twitter is like a game of telephone

@NYCVG
His job is to pretend to not be too threatening, then resign in late January so that a real fascist can elevate to the Presidency without the risk of losing like plan A. (Hillary) The problem is that the people on the "short list" aren't textbook fascists, they are all opportunists who will take orders from the true fascists. (can you say Obama?)Fascism will not came to America wrapped in a flag and carrying a bible, because the fascists control the tv networks and they know what will happen if the revolution is televised.

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A PROUD Hillary hater since 1993

Cassiodorus's picture

@NYCVG Joe Biden's big lead over Donald Trump in the opinion polls appears to be a byproduct of Joe Biden hiding in a basement and letting Donald Trump destroy himself.

Maybe things will even out when Joe Biden is obliged to appear in public, almost never a good thing for his campaign.

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12 users have voted.

"Every election is fake." -- Janna Ordonia, from "Star vs. the Forces of Evil"

travelerxxx's picture

@Cassiodorus

Maybe things will even out when Joe Biden is obliged to appear in public ...

It's looking as though they're going to keep him in the basement to the bitter end. Looks bad, I know, but letting him loose in front of microphones and cameras is likely worse.

Maybe the Dems should take advantage of technology and use some holography. I mean, why not? Surely, with all the Silicon Valley support the Democrats have they can find some folks who can easily gin up a hologram of Biden reading an old Harry Truman speech or something. Can't be that tough, can it?

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snoopydawg's picture

@travelerxxx

basement and he had problems putting coherent words together.

So which Joe Biden is going to appear once he gets out of the basement and has to campaign against Trump without having a teleprompter to show him what he is supposed to say? Even with it he was having a very difficult time following the words.

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“Restoring the soul of this nation” is just MAGA with more words

Twitter is like a game of telephone

Unabashed Liberal's picture

@snoopydawg

before the election.

Quite a number of big name Dems and talking heads on Cable teevee, including Terry McAuliffe, are openly stating that he should stay in his basement--in light of his poll advantage.

They also openly state that it's the only way that he can avoid making gaffes--never acknowledging, of course, that he's clearly mentally defective. You know--he's always put his foot in the mouth when going off script--nothing to see here. Biggrin

BTW, Biden's camp is debating (according to anonymous reporting, of course) just having him participate in a 'virtual' debate with DT. Figures. He'll be less intimidated and/or distracted, that way.

If it were me, and Biden refused to debate in person, I'd make a big deal of it, and, refuse to debate--unless it was in person. (honoring all the recommended social distancing protocols, of course)

I say that, because it would be easy for Biden's team to use cue cards, and who knows what, if he's debating from the safety of his basement. It'd be ripe for cheating galore, IOW.

Hope Charlie's progressing well. Keep us all posted, and give her beau coup XOXOXOXOXOXOXO's for me!

Pleasantry

Mollie

"The leaders of this new movement are replacing traditional liberal beliefs about tolerance, free inquiry, and even racial harmony with ideas so toxic and unattractive that they eschew debate, moving straight to shaming, threats, and intimidation."
~~Matt Taibbi, The American Press Is Destroying Itself, June 12, 2020

"I know, I know. All passion; no street smarts."
~~Captain West, 1992 Rob Reiner/Aaron Sorkin Movie, A Few Good Men

“If there are no dogs in Heaven, then when I die, I want to go where they went.”
~~Will Rogers, Actor & Social Commentator (1856-1950)

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Everyone thinks they have the best dog, and none of them are wrong.

@Cassiodorus public" exactly how, in the current conditions? I can easily see the virus situation remaining dangerous for the next 3 months until the election, so no campaign rallies, no in-person events or conventions. If there is an in-person debate, it might be time-limited to 90 or even 60 min, for safety reasons.

Biden is well ahead now just letting Trump alone to bumble and stumble and backtrack on his handling of the virus. Why get in the way when your opponent is busy making a fool of himself? Biden may need to speak up more forcefully when Trump makes a Fascist of himself, as with his federal goons going into D-controlled cities. Otherwise, the basement strategy seems to be working.

Meanwhile Trump hasn't exactly been steady on his feet lately, and what comes out of his mouth is every bit as bizarre as some word salads Biden has offered. Unfortunately for him and his loyal pod people, he will have limited or no opportunity to hold his usual cult public rallies in the near future.

He knows he's losing and probably has been told he needs a game changer to avoid a major defeat in Nov. He's capable of doing anything to get that game changer. Very dangerous situation.

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Cassiodorus's picture

@wokkamile that Donald Trump is looking for a "game-changer." Rather, he feels the need to put some Fascist reality TV out there to excite the base. If he wanted a "game-changer," he'd run to Biden's left.

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8 users have voted.

"Every election is fake." -- Janna Ordonia, from "Star vs. the Forces of Evil"

@Cassiodorus @Cassiodorus to go left on the latest relief bill, by getting out there 3 weeks ago in favor of a major relief bill for the people, and now. Instead, he and Mitch have dragged their feet -- golly, almost like they don't care. So far, across the board on all issues, he's staying to Biden's right, and far-right. And it appears he feels he's "going left" by finally acknowledging the seriousness of the virus and the need to wear masks. But for most people this is just recognizing reality, something Donald is dimly aware of.

On FP he's running to Biden's right in the treatment of China, which is starting to look scary. Closing consulates isn't quite the same as closing the country's embassy, but it's the step before that, which is usually the point where we start considering actual war.

He again had an opening to the left in, say, completely pulling out of Afghan and removing US troops from several other hot spots in the ME and Africa, and even Germany and Japan. But the bully wimped out when the national security state objected.

But game changer he will need given the consistent poor polls, and he's probably already being advised about it. And Rs have a tendency, more than Ds, to go for the political Hail Mary pass. In 1976, Ford seriously offered the VP spot to Reagan, but RR wanted too much, and again in 1980 when Reagan offered Ford the VP, but the latter wanted a co-president slot apparently, and so we got Bush. Palin of course in 2008. The only instance I can think of Ds going so bold in recent decades is Geraldine Ferraro in 1984.

ETA: Maybe Trump has decided on the fed brownshirts as his game changer. Occupy "Democrat"-run cities to look like Mr Law and Order as he fights the hippies, terrorists, anarchists and various lawless rioters in order to protect Normal Law-Abiding Americans and their property. Maybe this is the "war" type of game changer he prefers -- not dealing with the war against a deadly virus, that's too difficult, but war against those violent terrorists in US cities, the ones the Democrats and Biden coddle and encourage. Portland today. Next up apparently: Seattle and Chicago, and maybe Philly.

Here's a take on all this from people who are painfully familiar with this drift into fascism.

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snoopydawg's picture

@wokkamile

He again had an opening to the left in, say, completely pulling out of Afghan and removing US troops from several other hot spots in the ME and Africa, and even Germany and Japan. But the bully wimped out when the national security state objected.

Democrats joined with the Cheney spawn Liz to keep him from removing troops from Afghanistand and Romney got his bill passed that prevents him from removing them from Germany. There was a chance that those troops would have gone to Poland (on Putin's orders doncha know) to join with the ones from NATO that were sent there during Obama's tenure.

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“Restoring the soul of this nation” is just MAGA with more words

Twitter is like a game of telephone

Cassiodorus's picture

@wokkamile Please read the diary. Trump is a Teevee Fascist -- he likes the spectacle but is unwilling to do the hard work necessary to be a real Fascist. He's always been a Teevee Fascist -- he's not drifting into anything.

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"Every election is fake." -- Janna Ordonia, from "Star vs. the Forces of Evil"

@Cassiodorus disagree with your take on Trump as merely a lazy frivolous political tv personality.

He may not have any ideology except for the one he thinks his base has and what's good politically for him, but the only ideology authoritarians and dictators need is the one that says I have total power. He may not be hardworking but that's why he has all the Yesmen and women around to do his bidding. This may not be full-blown fascism right now, but he's just getting warmed up with his federal goon squad, heavily armed apparently, to go with his frequent talk about maybe not accepting the results of the "rigged" election.

His niece, Mary Trump, among many others has recently warned that if he gets re-elected, that will mean the end of democracy in this country. Similar take from his former lawyer Michael Cohen. I take these insider accounts seriously as these people are in the best position obviously to give us an accurate take on him, and would not benefit from lying about this or greatly exaggerating. One has already suffered extra unnecessary prison time, and the other worries about her personal security as a result of her book.

All clear signals that we are looking at a dangerous situation with Trump.

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@NYCVG 4 black women on his short list means Biden isn't interested in winning. The major point of that is to improve turnout by a group that was less than excited over Hillary in key cities last time, costing her several states and the presidency. It would also acknowledge AAs as the key factor which propelled Biden to the nomination. Apparently Rep Karen Bass is quietly showing strength as the favorite among many elected Ds. I know little about her, but would likely prefer her to Kamala or Val Demings, who both have too much baggage from their prosecution/LE backgrounds where they didn't exactly distinguish themselves.

A black woman would help in tossup states like GA and NC, and also enhance black turnout in key cities like Milwaukee, Detroit and Philly.

Nothing wrong with a Latina pick -- I really like the Latina gov of NM -- but Julian Castro is not a Latina. Biden has made clear it will be a woman, and there's no going back now.

Whoever it is, it's got to be someone who could plausibly be seen as an equal partner in governing with Biden and who could take over if there is a health problem.

All that said, Biden's VP pick is less important than it was 3 months ago, as his lead in the polls over Donald is consistent and keeps growing.

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@wokkamile and votes of the Black community. If he keeps Obama by his side, he will keep that vote.

Latinos are another matter.

A Latino running mate grows his voter base. Julian is a familiar face from the Obama administration.

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NYCVG

@NYCVG but not quite the enthusiasm he could have with an AA pick. That's the argument for it anyway. And it would ensure he gets WI, MI and PN, unless the GOP voter suppression is massive there.

Re the hispanic vote, do you have anyone else in mind besides JCastro? Because Biden is only going to pick a woman. That is a firm public pledge and Julian Castro is not quite the major superstar name nor a person the public is clamoring for which could get Biden to change course.

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There are sources all over the web giving 14 identifying points of fascism, including from Umberto Eco, who lived under Mussolini, but I leave finding that material as an exercise. Rump's a close fit. My take right now is more personal.

My father left Europe when Hitler came to power. Dad had wandered into one of his early rallies and heard him speak, and it scared him when he assumed power. I heard these stories growing up, and I've had a terrible sinking feeling for the last 4 years. Yeah, Rump is a tv era artifact (like Reagan was a movie era artifact), with no true power or talent except manipulating, but the occupant of that house is always a figurehead for the ruling class. There are truly frightening people invested in his "movement", like the aforementioned Erik Prince. I've been saying for years that Rump has been grooming CBP and ICE as his personal force, loyal to him and not the nation, and we're seeing the fruition.

(added)
It's not so much that Rump is a fascist. He's a seed crystal for the American propensity for fascism.
Americans have always had a soft spot for fascism. I am frightened. I remember the stories.

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If I'm wrong, it's the first time I'm happy to be confused. -Don Van Vliet

Anyone with a link about Prince involvement? A living Prince of Darkness.

sponsored by Donald Trump and Betsy DeVos's hubby Erik Prince

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Orwell: Where's the omelette?

snoopydawg's picture

@jim p

I haven’t heard that Trump is using mercenaries. Just federal officers and most are from border patrol and a few others. Prince was used after Katrina though IIRC.

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“Restoring the soul of this nation” is just MAGA with more words

Twitter is like a game of telephone

WoodsDweller's picture

Something like 10% of the population is facing eviction unless Congress does something significant soon. Voting is tied to your address. If millions are tossed into the street in October, will they be able to vote? If you cast a mail-in ballot and are evicted before election day, does it still count? What's the Republican/Democrat breakdown among those affected? That 10% polling advantage Biden is enjoying may vanish, not because anyone changed their minds, but because they've been tossed out into the street.

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"The greatest shortcoming of the human race is our inability to understand the exponential function." -- Albert Bartlett
"A species that is hurtling toward extinction has no business promoting slow incremental change." -- Caitlin Johnstone

@WoodsDweller in all the polls? If I remember right, her last numbers were in the 80% or so range to win up until the bitter end. I for one do not trust any polls that show a lead for Biden, but I could obviously be wrong in that belief. I guess we will see.

Now does a Biden "victory" really matter one tiny bit? What changes? I for one highly doubt Dementia Joe does one damned thing about the massive and deep depression coming, really already here, maybe he'll tweak around the edges a bit to soften some of the blow, but he'll not change the trajectory of where we are heading, his donors will NEVER allow that. This is their golden goose to consolidate their holdings on the cheap, Biden will do nothing to stop them and more than likely he'll make sure to help them out. He might make it all sound a little less horrifying, but the results will surely be the same. And if you are correct and he loses voters due to eviction, that will give Democrats 4 more years to scream about Rump while doing nothing. Their faithful will shake their heads and blame it all on the nasty old Right Wing, but again, the results will speak for themselves to anyone listening.

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Only a fool lets someone else tell him who his enemy is. Assata Shakur

OzoneTom's picture

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I cannot remember if Matt Taibbi or Glenn Greenwald said it, but either way, it was noted that Trump is simply too lazy to be a fascist. But yah, he does play a good up and coming fascist on TV--very good point. For example, instead of assigning more DHS cops to guard a federally owned building, he could have invoked the Insurrection Act and sent troops into Portland. The democrat or republican who could be an effective fascist maybe on the scene soon enough.

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@MrWebster Powerful but lazy people always have the sycophants around them to do the heavy lifting. Reagan was lazy too, maybe not quite in Trump's league, but he nevertheless was able to accomplish quite a bit -- in his right-wing way. Trump has Barr, his CoS, Pompeo, Jared and Pence and all the GOP in Congress, among others, to carry his water. and carry out his wishes.

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