American fascism is in vogue again. For casual viewers, it’s something to try on, like a costume. For the dogmatists in the room, authoritarian rule by white men is the philosophy that guides them. It’s not fashion for them, it’s the helping hand out of their miserable mental and emotional states.
Before we ask why let’s define terms. Fascism is the new “F” word for a reason. This is the reason: (fascism: noun) A governmental structure led by a dictator having complete power, forcibly suppressing opposition and criticism, regimenting all industry, commerce, etc., and emphasizing an aggressive nationalism and often racism.
Why would anyone favor this kind of authoritarian system over democratic governance? Because democracy is slow and messy, and most importantly, democracy honors the collective, not just the most powerful voices and that is fundamentally what we’re fighting over. Progressives want to expand liberty to all Americans. Violent authoritarians believe that “liberty and justice for all” somehow limits their own freedom. It’s one of a dozen or more lies they tell themselves. This pernicious lie also forms the bedrock of modern anarchy and distrust of government, media, educators, or anyone with common sense who reads books.
War Isn’t A Rhetorical Device, It’s a Real Bloodbath
The last time that fascism reared its ugly head in Europe and then in Japan, my two grandfathers were there to meet it head-on. Eldon Burn was a chief gunner on the USS California, a battleship, which sunk to the bottom of Pearl Harbor with many of his friends and colleagues on board. He survived, but he also lost the capacity to see in one eye and to hear in one ear on that day. Eldon paid an immense price for America.
My maternal grandfather, Gerald Daugherty, was a Marine Sergeant at the battles on Midway Island and at Guadalcanal. He trained dogs to find Japanese snipers hiding in trees firing on the advancing American forces. Taking prisoners was not their primary goal. My point is death and destruction reign down in a big way when we do not mind the store. And we have not been minding the store.
We knew who Don Trump was and we know what he is today. We know what his followers are too, even if we can’t understand the attraction to such a dangerous loser and sad clown.
What’s easier to understand is this hard fact: there are millions of anti-freedom anti-American fascists in our midst today. They live on our streets, work in our businesses, serve on school boards, and they serve us cheeseburgers. It’s not just the asinine elected officials who are guilty of sedition here. Millions of deeply deluded Americans believe the lies they’ve been fed for decades.
I see these bottom feeders as both victims of the propaganda they swallow whole and as perpetrators of evil. They’re innocent and guilty, all at once. Clearly, the people are pawns in a larger game played by dunces like Don. That they can’t or won’t see it doesn’t change the facts in the case. Decades of hate radio and Faux News have rotted our collective to its core. Today, the damage is done and the stench of the rot is global in reach.
How Do We Snap Out of This Nonsense?
Civil discourse doesn’t work when the other side calls for civil war. Can we put a stop all the soft liberal appeasing now? This is not the time. It’s time to call a fascist a fascist and to treat them accordingly.
If the domestic terrorists who killed a policeman at the US Capitol last week were brown or black people who posed a threat, they would have been dead on arrival. Meanwhile, we let these white men walk into the seat of “the peoples’ house,” smear feces, ransack offices, fire weapons, hurt and kill people and freely walk back to their cars, unscathed. It’s not just maddening. It’s utter madness, and it’s all our fault.
This hard break didn’t need to happen, but it’s been coming for years. Ever since Ron and Nancy arrived in DC and deregulated media, which pulled the plug on truth and decency. Now, here we are—trapped in a made-for-TV and made-for-the-Internet illusion. If you choose to read books and learn to dig for the real story, the fascists see you as a danger, which you are. For a fascist the truth doesn’t just hurt, it leaves the traitors wearing no clothes.
These delusional attackers of our democratic norms and institutions do not have the faintest clue about what “liberty and justice for all” means. They parade around and drape themselves in the American flag. But these men and women are not Americans. They’re Confederate criminals drooling over the idea that the Old South has risen again.
You may wonder where these people are coming from. It’s a good question and one that’s easy to answer. The racists who want to live in the Confederate States of America again have been procreating and making baby racists for generations. They’re not about to stop now.
For the rest of us believers in our better selves, we will keep fighting for liberty and justice for all. And the white supremacists will continue to be narrow-minded pricks. Somehow we need to co-exist on this highly contested land. But how? While those who prefer fascism to democracy are in the minority, they are are armed to the teeth and seething with unrighteous anger. These are dangerous people, like all fascists, a.k.a. white nationalists. Let’s admit this now and take aggressive action to fight this virus that’s infected our nation from day one.