Not-for-Profit, Award-Winning Community News and Views for Windham County, Vermont • Since 2006
Photo 1

Bundesarchiv/via Wiklimedia Commons

German police round up Romani in Asperg, Germany in May 1940

Voices / Viewpoint

The signs of impending fascism

For anyone who thinks that we will survive as a unified country if Donald Trump is re-elected, think again

Nancy Braus is a bookseller and longtime activist who contributes frequently to these pages.

Putney

There are many signs of impending fascism that we need to stop sooner rather than later.

The Black Lives Matter protests have highlighted one of the major features of a fascist state: one set of laws that apply to the elites and those who are part of the prevailing right-wing party in power, and another set of laws that apply to the rest of us.

When we see Black men and women murdered, paralyzed, and jailed for no crime except possession of a small amount of marijuana, possibly passing a counterfeit $20, selling single cigarettes, and so many more petty acts, it is truly painful to see the alternative treatment of the killer Trump supporters who get treated with kid gloves by law enforcement.

This was in stark relief when the monstrous teenager who murdered two activists in cold blood was allowed to go home with “mommy” and sleep in his own bed before being arrested at his home.

And, even more outrageous, this teen is now being heralded as a hero by much of the far right, who are now arguing that someone who drove into a community he does not live in, who did so while carrying a weapon that, because of his age, is illegal for him to possess, and who went on a random shooting spree was acting in self-defense.

This is absolutely unacceptable.

And so unlike the police killing of Breonna Taylor or so many other totally innocent Black folks who get murdered for absolutely no reason other than the color of their skin.

* * *

Meanwhile, the right wing “militias,” which really look to this observer like Aryan brotherhood prison gangs, have been able to take over places like the Michigan State House, the wildlife refuge a few years ago in Oregon, and so many other places.

Nobody minds if these thugs are spreading disease (“Masks? Who — us?”) and kill a few left-wing protesters on the way.

Another fascist goal of this crew is the attempts to make protest illegal and dangerous. One of the hallmarks of democracy is supposed to be an ability to express political differences with the government without being gassed and bombed by the president’s Homeland Security private army, without encountering the harsh punishments that some Republican-run states are implementing — like changing certain acts of peaceful protest into felonies.

* * *

Like many readers, I have visited the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington D.C. I did so a decade ago, but I recall the floor that dealt with the rise of Hitler in the 1930s very clearly.

The murder of the Jews — the “final solution” — was not a swift process. Just as Trump and his cult are vilifying people of color and especially immigrants and Black folk, the Nazis spent a decade or so creating the hatred of Jews, the Roma, and Communists so that when the time came for mass murder, the Hitler cult, just like the Trump cult, was all in.

When people who are ignorant suck up propaganda from Fox News, One America News Network, and other state news outlets falsely reporting terrible crimes committed by immigrants, the jobs they are taking from good Americans, and acts by rioters (who are a tiny percentage of the peaceful protesters), as well as the vicious words used by Trump and his surrogates about Black people, Jews, and anyone not in their orbit, they are trying to go someplace with this.

Trump and his cult are trying to bend the curve, to attempt to recreate the United States into the country that existed in the 1950s, when white people really were the majority of babies born.

This is happening now, and this will happen again, only with a genocidal movement to murder people of color and those who do not belong to the cult, as well as with measures to block all immigration.

One of the main ways Trump has created this group of supporters — some of whom are just plain greedy and don’t believe in paying taxes, others of whom are too poor to even benefit from the vile tax cut for the wealthy that these Republicans pushed through — is by appealing to those who long for the white, middle-class culture of the 1950s which is not coming back.

The culture wars, which were even more generational in the ’60s than they are now, are the reason for Trump’s talk of “grabbing them by the pussy” and his copious use of inflammatory insults for reporters, athletes, actors, political figures, and intellectuals of color.

This stuff was acceptable to a certain element in the population in the ’50s and early ’60s, and that same element is feeling like they have one last shot at moving the country backwards into the stone age.

* * *

For anyone who thinks that we will survive as a unified country if Trump is re-elected, think again.

Fascism is rising in a fragile world where we need to pull together to save the climate, the species, and the food supply, to smartly deal with the future pandemics and so many elements.

The kind of world that Trump and his followers want will be one where it will be ever more challenging for all but the most financially comfortable to survive.

It is time for everyone who believes in community, in justice, in fairness, and in any sort of democracy to vote Donald Trump out, and to get out in the streets and create the rebellion we will need if he and his lowlife followers steal this election.

Like what we do? Help us keep doing it!

We rely on the donations and financial support of our readers to help make The Commons available to all. Please join us today.

What do you think? Leave us a comment

Editor’s note: Our terms of service require you to use your real names. We will remove anonymous or pseudonymous comments that come to our attention. We rely on our readers’ personal integrity to stand behind what they say; please do not write anything to someone that you wouldn’t say to his or her face without your needing to wear a ski mask while saying it. Thanks for doing your part to make your responses forceful, thoughtful, provocative, and civil. We also consider your comments for the letters column in the print newspaper.

Comments

We are currently reconfiguring our comments software. Please check back if you’d like to read or leave comments on this story. —The editors

Originally published in The Commons issue #579 (Wednesday, September 16, 2020). This story appeared on page C4.

Share this story

Links

0

Related stories

More by Nancy Braus