American fascism has led to this: Trump is the Republican candidate for the 2016 presidential election. He shows all the signs of a wannabe fascist leader. Have we passed the point of no return?
(05-30-2016, updated 07-14-2018) I’ve got nothing left to say other than “I told you so, America”. Too bad that it took Trump to open some eyes. Glad as I am that eyes are opening, it’s hard to remain optimistic.
For decades, I have been railing against the American political system, American authoritarianism, America’s flirtation with fascism, the dangerous lack of education and critical thinking skills.
I have alienated people–my husband’s high school friends, teachers at my kids’ Montessori school, and I forget who all else–by comparing the Pledge of Allegiance in Pre-K to Hitler Youth indoctrination. I have gone on and on about the uncritical or, at best, complacent way (white) Americans accept fascist police behavior, etc, etc, etc.
I have often wondered if I was going crazy because it felt like I was the only one who got incensed about any of it. Whenever I brought these issues up, the best I could hope for was blank expressions, as if I was speaking through an airplane window. Now Donald Trump is the Republican candidate for the 2016 presidential election.
Since I started my blog, about five years ago now, many of my posts have been about the same issues. Now we’re in the middle of the 2016 presidential election campaign. When Trump first began running for president, I described him as a fascist while at the same time wondering if I was exaggerating, knowing that almost everyone I know would be sure that I was. Nah, the sky wasn’t falling–sure, Trump had instigated some immigrant bashing here and there, but overall he was still not much more than grist on Jon Stewart’s mill.
When he lost the Iowa primary and most pundits were convinced that that was the beginning of the end for Trump, and I described a scenario of his thugs intimidating anyone who stood up against him, I may have sounded crazy, but at least I still had something original to say. And again I was proved right when, a short time later, he began to openly encourage his supporters to use violence against protesters at his rallies and he threatened riots if he didn’t get the nomination at the convention in June.
But gradually, falteringly, grudgingly, folks started cottoning on, and now that Trump is the Republican candidate, now that it might be too late, now every other article I read is talking about American fascism, saying what I’ve been saying all this time. It’s the lack of education, it’s the notion that facts are just opinions (we have the Christian fundamentalists to thank for a lot of that), it’s the unquestioning authoritarianism, it’s the dysfunctional political system, it’s …
For a while I still posted articles that said what I had been saying for so long, only much, much better, on the Resident Alien Facebook page. I was excited to finally see others, Americans, saying the same things, and I wanted to show that, see, it’s not just me; here’s one of your fellow Americans saying it! American fascism exists! But even that gets old.
So I’ve been quiet. I’m drawing a blank when I think of possible new posts. To write about anything other than these big issues that have led to a Trump presidential candidacy would seem tone deaf, and yet I wouldn’t be saying anything new in yet another post.
Of course the whole disaster is not merely something for us bloggers to write about, to show off our insight or lack of it. This is real. It has been for a long time, but it took this thug, as the logical next step in the downward spiral in American fascism, to open some eyes. Glad as I am that eyes are opening, it’s hard to remain optimistic. Trump is the Republican candidate for the 2016 presidential election! I wonder if we’ve passed the point of no return, at least until we’ve really hit rock bottom. And this… person seems fathomless–in his stupidity, his ignorance, his hatefulness, and in his ability to keep millions in witless adoration despite it all–so hitting rock bottom could take a while.
To end on an upbeat note, at least for me: here’s one last link to a told-you-so article, which even addresses the role of the Pledge of Allegiance in this whole mess. I never thought I’d see the day!
Anyway, enjoy your barbecues, America.
(This post was first published on the blog Resident Alien: Being Dutch in America, under the title: Empty, Spent, Blank, While the Pundits Catch Up, 05-30-2016)
- Niose, David. “Our Memorial Day collision course with fascism”. Salon, May 30, 2016 10:00AM (UTC). https://www.salon.com/2016/05/30/our_memorial_day_collision_course_with_fascism_donald_trump_and_the_new_american_militarism/
Header image: during a campaign stop in Tampa, Florida February 12, 2016. REUTERS/Mike Carlson – RTX26Q44