The Rise of American Fascism

“I hear Donald Trump really hates this photo. So make sure not to retweet it. Ever.” –Charles Johnson

I will always call Trump and his new Republican party what they really are: the American version of fascism. I wrote a while ago about the common features of fascist regimes and how Trump ticks every box, and since then this lawless party of political thugs and con men has only increased in its depravity. They’re not even trying to hide it anymore.

They attempted to eliminate independent oversight of Congress by putting the Office of Congressional Ethics under their control. In North Carolina they tried to reorganize the very structure of government to strip the powers they enjoyed from the incoming Democratic governor, including reversing some changes that they originally made for their own benefit. Reports of harassment and crime against people of color and LGBT people spiked after election day, both nationally and among my personal friends, and violence against Muslims in particular has sharply increased in recent years. White supremacists and Christian extremists have been emboldened by the vulgarity and immorality of their orange führer, and his cruel, theocratic vice president. Trump eagerly attacks good people who fight for civil rights while playing dumb about his support from white supremacists, preferring to halfheartedly disavow and then ignore the discrimination and hatred done in his name, and instead continue to heap his condemnation on the people who fight those things.

There’s simply too much to list. Seems like every day Trump and his minions spew more falsehoods, advocate for more oppression, or otherwise continue acting like the slimy predators they are. And their loyal voters, either still misled by the propaganda or being authoritarian bullies themselves, continue to spread their hatred throughout society.

This election has laid bare the ugly pettiness of many Republicans, and their feckless projection of all their own flaws onto their enemies. They have spent so much energy attacking “political correctness”, insulting young people and progressives as whiny crybabies who can’t handle being insulted, and proudly campaigning for their supposed right to bully and intimidate anyone they want. Yet as soon as the tables are turned, and they are called out as the selfish and insecure brats they are, we see the truth in their raging responses. They’re the thin-skinned crybabies who can’t handle the idea of people who disagree with them having the same freedoms they do. They’re the whiners who try to shut down anyone who criticizes them, who gossip and lie about their opponents even after “winning”. They’re the vicious bullies who openly call for oppression of dissenting views. They’re the corrupt and short-sighted reactionaries whose ultimate goals are the accumulation of wealth and power. And with few exceptions, conservative regions are the real “welfare queens” who mooch off the prosperity of economic centers that are heavily progressive.

This new Republican party has founded their ideology on a quicksand of lies, a self-sabotaging mess of hypocrisy and evil which, once and for all, destroys any claim to moral authority or political credibility. That white conservative Christians supported and voted for this cabal of thieves in huge numbers only reinforces the criticism I’ve been heaping on them and their twisted authoritarian “morality” for several years.

A lot of conservatives have taken to defending the electoral college and Trump’s huge loss in the popular vote by simply dismissing the fact that more than twelve percent of Americans live in California. They seem to think it’s a good thing that twelve percent of our nation is not only supporting numerous poor conservative states with their plentiful tax dollars, but are also given significantly less representation per capita in the federal government. Why do they love this unfair arrangement? Because it benefits them in the short term. They act like urban populations are not fellow citizens, but machines to serve them. They are happy to benefit from the hard work of others while denying them equality. This argument in favor of inequality is a disingenuous appeal to arbitrary borders to justify the oppression of the people they hate…progressives, people of color, non-Christians.

Do you think if the roles were reversed, and conservatives were concentrated in cities, that they would be eager to provide rural progressive states with up to four times as much voting power per capita? Do you think they would accept winning the popular vote by a significant margin and still losing the election? Of course not. They would argue that voting is done by people, not land area. They would do everything in their power to eliminate the electoral college. I know they would because it is precisely what they always do; they always take action to protect their own power and privilege, and suppress the freedom of everyone they hate. Sadly, it’s this single-minded focus that makes them successful. People who actually care about improving the world are too divided on which issues deserve the most attention, or how to deal with them.

Trump and his cult are traitors to the principles of freedom that millions of Americans have fought and died for during our relatively short time as a nation. They are tyrants, a bitter minority hoarding wealth taken from the majority they exploit. They cling to power by perpetuating injustice, and as MLK Jr. wrote, injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere. This vile branch of conservatism is a threat to every American citizen, if not every human on the planet, and must be stopped as swiftly and firmly as possible. Otherwise they will consume until there is nothing left to consume, oppress until there is nobody left to oppress, and then we all die together in the ashes of their stolen wealth.

They should have listened to Nick Hanauer. The pitchforks are coming, indeed. I was raised to fight these “culture wars” from the other side, but I prefer living in reality and fighting for freedom rather than oppressing millions of fellow citizens. I am now an official member of the local Democratic party, and we are working hard to change it from the bottom up. For more information on standing against this fascist movement and reforming politics, check out the Indivisible Guide at www.indivisibleguide.com. If you’re a conservative who is disgusted with Trump, it’s time to abandon the party that abandoned you and join forces with anyone who recognizes how dangerous he is.

If you’re a fan of Trump, I honestly hope you’re the one who gets to say “I told you so” after this drama plays out. I would prefer to see Trump succeed, and eat my words, rather than watch my fellow Americans suffer through the disaster I’ve seen coming for years. But it seems a foolish hope, when I already had three major “I told you so” moments long before he was even sworn in. It’s difficult to have much hope for being wrong when you’re repeatedly proven right.

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4 responses to “The Rise of American Fascism

  1. I don’t know what the norm is but my brother voted for Trump and identifies with many aspects of being alt-right and I believe also embraces full-heartedly that he is a fascist now. He’s not even denying it??

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    • I know a few people who are proud to wear the badge of authoritarianism and wish harm upon others, and make excuses for fascism as if it’s a legitimate model of government. I’m proud to be counted their enemy.

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      • I think in most cases they won’t openly wish harm on others, they’re just okay with it as long as it doesn’t affect them. Part of that attitude arises from enduring hardship, as people under duress tend to extend compassion to a smaller group and become more likely to approve of things that harm others in exchange for protecting their own tribe. Part of it is also having those views supported by people in power, which makes it seem more acceptable.

        Liked by 1 person

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