If you don’t know by now you need to wake-up to the realization that Trump’s “movement” is shot through with fascism. “It’s futile to pinpoint when exactly Trump’s America left the community of civilized peoples. It’s more important and useful to explain how we kid ourselves about the fascist impulses of his “ordinary” supporters that hide in plain sight.”
Rank and file GOP voters are proto-fascists, and they have been cultivated deliberately by the leadership of the GOP to be receptive to a fascist autocracy for decades. These folks are not amenable to patient listening and reasoned discourse. In fact, patient listening and reasoned discourse are precisely the sort of displays that a conservative proto-fascist will respond to with disgust and hostility.
Try to understand them, reason with them, and you will be met with either dismissive contempt, or violent hate. Sixty million of your fellow citizens don’t think any of us, who call ourselves liberal — especially those who are not white heterosexual Christian males –deserve any place in society, are entitled to political representation, or equal protection of the law.
Believing otherwise, no matter how much you want to will eventually get many of us imprisoned or killed. One need only look at Weimar.
In order to win the next presidential contest, liberals need to accept that Trump supporters do not care if he scraps millions of mail-in votes or welcomes Russian interference for his cause. Not only do some Trump supporters understand that he is an autocrat who will cheat the rules to stay in power, that’s precisely what they like about him. The left should understand that many Trump supporters inherently believe that they would fare better under a autocratic system of white supremacy than under a multiracial democracy
In his seminal, if hotly debated, book, “Hitler’s Willing Executioners: Ordinary Germans and the Holocaust,” Daniel Jonah Goldhagen disputes all the myths that historians previously offered to explain Germans’ willing participation in such an atrocity.
Germans weren’t automatons. It wasn’t situational pressure. They weren’t just trying to get by or survive. It wasn’t misinformation, or the fuehrer’s charisma or Leni Riefenstahl’s movies.
Today’s GOP voters have not been tricked into voting against their own interests. It’s not because the left “doesn’t try to understand them. We can’t dismiss Trump’s Willing Executioners as mindless victims to the president’s charisma and Fox disinformation.
Recall that the pro-fascist groups in America during the 1930s wore their brown or black shirts and along with their Christian Front allies declared their hatred of “alien” elements and ideas, including not only other religions (primarily Judaism) and races, but also liberalism, socialism and communism, all of which they lumped together in the name of jingoist nationalism: such groups always declared themselves “pro-American”.
Any of these groups would be comfortable in contemporary Charlottesville. In fact, one could make a credible argument that fascism in Hungary has been following in the footprints of the GOP.
“Fascism is not a principled or ideological stand; it is the politics of grievance, a response to a political situation it perceives as unacceptable. Fascism is the counter-revolutionary politics of force, justified by ultra-nationalism, glorified by myths of regeneration and purification, performed by masculine cults of personality and sold as the will of the people.”
“Has it occurred to you that our American Fascisti are the gentlemen of the Ku Klux Klan?” the Washington Times asked its readers at the end of 1922. as Mussolini consolidated his power in Italy.
“We have failed to call them out, Failed to name them for what they are, decade after decade, letting the dangerous fiction persist that rank and file GOP voters share our core values of representative democracy, equal justice, equal opportunity, and a respect for the dignity of every person, or that they agree that every person shares fundamental human rights.”
They don’t. You can see it with your own eyes and hear it in your ears every day.
So media moguls, journalists, commentators and assorted talking heads, let’s stop calling them “conservatives” (while they call us communists) and call them what they are.
They are not Barry Goldwater. Everett Dirksen or William Buckley.
They are fascists.