—Corrected from Original—
If you live in the west, you know the cliche, history repeats itself. And, if you have read anything, anything at all, in the discipline of history, you know this proverbial warning rings true. In fact, you can say history echoes with the cries of mankind’s folly. Times change, but people do not.
Look I’m not writing in the abstract. I have a clear case to make. Today, I’m talking about the resurgence of fascism inside the U.S.A.
A very wealthy man, mentor, and close friend of mine once told me a new rise in fascism will be the inevitable by-product of late-stage capitalism under threat. When those who hold power have to share their power with the common people, and a time will come when the people, average citizen, no longer accepts the ineptitude of their government. The powerful at the top will begin to feel threatened by those demanding their nation put people before profits. That’s how society collapses into authoritarianism. Hence, the rise of Mussolini, Hitler, etcetera. Today, we call fascists in America white nationalist, because their views and rhetoric closely mirror the Nazi party of 1930’s and 40’s Germany, which by the way, actual Nazism, by its name, also thrives inside the ideology of white nationalism here in the U.S.
These people aren’t even clever enough to rebrand. They still blame minorities for their angst, immigrants for their disenfranchisements, society’s progress for brainwashing their children—ironic that one—, and like all terrorist ideologies, they rank and file behind false patriotism and twisted scriptures—regardless of religion. These fascists, although many of them are too close to the fire to see that they are indeed fascist, believe they will be counted on the right side of history. Well, they have that last one partly right: the right, when it shifts too far right, always ends up on the fascist side of history, which is to say, the wrong side. A democracy not slipping into chaos is indeed a walk across the tightrope.
A big difference between Isis and Q is Isis didn’t target baby boomers with propaganda.
These people are not patriots, they are terrorists; they are intellectually manipulated, susceptible to lies, and readers, mostly watchers, of fake news. The problem isn’t they have their own fake reality, but their false ideology threatens the stability of our democracy. The only smart one’s in their movement are the leaders, because they know full well what they are doing. If you think might proves right, chances are, you fall in line with this budding American fascism.
Think about this: how many grandparents, parents, and friends have you heard say the press/media should be filtered? That’s a violation of the first-amendment. How many of these same people complain protestors should be shot? Protesting is the foundation of our democracy—Boston Tea Party, American Revolution, Civil Rights, etcetera anyone? How many of these people go on and on about how the use-of-force will solve their problems. Name one time in history where getting tougher on people actually worked. Go ahead and name one. Don’t be shy. I’ll give you a hint: they weren’t democracies. Comment your findings below. Come on. Do it! Yes, that’s right, I’m coming for you QAnon believers.
Fascism, historically speaking, is rarely elected but arrives in watershed moments of turmoil, and takes the form of a coupe, which can be election fraud, or sewing doubt in election integrity, or more likely, fear politics—that’s when people are told their false reality, which they believe is real, cannot be compatible with their leaders and experts.
The latest fascist threat we faced was January 6, 2021—the Capitol building riot. Another key marker of fascism, and remember: we are using the historical method to look back and use comparable events, is disinformation. Or, better put, misinformation, a.k.a. fake news and false narratives. No one falls in love with a dictator style government, but they do fall in love with a person, and that’s how you get dictators. 100% of the time that’s how you get dictators. Hitler is famous for saying, “if you tell a lie loud enough and long enough, it will become truth.” You don’t need me to draw a line from Nazi Germany propaganda to today’s election lies from the Q’s and other Trump supporters to know the power of misinformation. Book burning is around the corner—the first cancel culture. Albeit, today, it will look more like not allowing certain books to be taught because it doesn’t work with many of the false historical ideologies they use to uphold their worldview. But trust me, their world is built on sand. It will not last. We just have to outlast them.
Fascism roots in the minds of those who can’t reasonably connect with reality. Therefore, fascist governments are infamous for attracting those who believe in simple answers for complex problems.
Why am I ranting about fascism today? It’s ugly face continues to show up in my life. I have family, friends, and members in my own community bathing themselves every night in the lies they read on the internet, swallowing every fear-written piece of propaganda they can find, and fact-checking their stuff only with the information they already agree with. Terms for this phenomenon are coined confirmation bias, naive realism, and, of course, cognitive dissonance. It’s scary and heartbreaking. What’s worse, is these folks think they are truly right. They are in a political cult. Another by-product of fascism.
I want to make one point clear, before I finish. I am not accusing the Republican party of fascism. I am a Democratic-centrist, but before that I was a Republican, and I live with that, like an inmate lives with the memory of his crimes. There are Republicans who do not pledge their allegiance to any single man, but continue to serve the greater ideals of our great country—meaning, the Constitution comes before politics. The problem is there are few of them left. The Mitt Romney’s of the world are out of any real power.
Yes, I know there are Democrats that are so far left, they get confused with Communism, but that’s not only a false narrative, it is one that will require a different post. One, I am unlikely to write, because I hope this is the only political post of 2022. No, anyone with two-brain cells rubbing together knows Communism and Socialism are not allies, but, economically and politically and historically speaking, they are enemies. Whether you support one of the other, has nothing to do with reality. And, that’s my point. Half of our nation has decided to create their own reality—hence, the slip towards fascism. Again!
Do you think Germany elected Hitler as Chancellor because they wanted a World War? No, he promised to make Germany Great Again. I kid you not, he said it over and over and over, “Make Germany Great Again.” Go inside any holocaust museum, and chances are you will see those words stitched or printed to old propaganda—some of it in English. Their blame victims: the Jews. Our nation’s blame victims: immigrants.
History indeed repeats itself, and in our case, it hasn’t even changed from the same old tactics. Like I said, these people didn’t even rebrand. They will say, well, we don’t believe in concentration camps. To which I reply, children and mothers are in cages all along our borders. That’s when they usually attack me on a personal level. “You think you know everything,” kind of arguments. Remember, personal attacks are the refuge of the simple. Violence is the refuge of the simple when angry. Aristotle said, find the man that yells he is right in assembly, and never allow him to achieve his ambitions. Meaning—he is a threat to peace.
Facts do not, in themselves, have the capacity to convey emotions. If you or someone you know gets frustrated with reality, it is because reality doesn’t fit with yours or their worldview. I already mentioned how reality becomes distorted through propaganda, which is the purpose of such tactics.
All this said, however, does not change the fact they these people are human beings and deserve respect, even if they cannot or will not show it back. We must love our neighbors, but we cannot continue to allow them to believe every belief has equal weight. It does not. Slavery for example is wrong, and few would say otherwise. But, the person who does believe slavery is okay has the right to believe that, but their belief is not an equal opinion to that of the abolitionist. Truth and justice is not relevant to an individual. Reality is sculpted by reason, justice, and a respect for all peoples and all histories.
So, stand firm on truth, but always meet hate with love. For love is the only way to penetrate the minds of those lost to false causes. They want violence. They want control. They want to force the world to make sense to them, but you, I, and everyone else must reach out and offer them your arm, praying they will allow you to pull them back into reality. Until they do so, if they ever do, you are under no obligation to share your life with them, but, by God’s decree, you are to love them, forgive them, and pray for their return to sanity. For hell, if it is real, is full of those who bear false witness. Proverbs 6.
Or, as my grandfather once said, a Democrat will come clean about not knowing what to do, a Republican will do it anyway and blame the Democrats if it fails. Whoever sits in the middle is the experiment.
That makes me a nail between hammers. Oh well! It is the price of living with my eyes-wide-open.
Next time, we will get back to writing.
God bless you all forty-thousand of you who read me regularly. You are more than a number.