In the final week of August, the United States saw its biggest deterioration in societal norms and steps toward outright fascism since President Donald Trump came to office four years ago under a mantle of barely veiled authoritarianism. The troubling developments of the past week are almost too many to count.
On Tuesday, 17-year-old Kyle Rittenhouse allegedly crossed state lines with his automatic rifle and murdered two demonstrators at a protest of another horrific police shooting of a Black man. Police did nothing…
It was also the week of the Republican National Convention, which culminated with a grand and illegal presidential acceptance speech with the backdrop of the taxpayer-funded White House decked out in Trump-Pence 2020 propaganda…Congress did nothing…
…The president is enabling and encouraging the formation of armed forces, outside the control of the state, with his uniforms and loyalty only to him. He’s further pushing loyal state forces to either acquiesce to the vigilante demands or outright support them. Amenable law enforcement—from Kenosha to Portland—have proven eager to abide.
As senior Holocaust historian Christopher Browning put it in 2018:
If people do not accept the ground rules by which democracy operates and winning at all costs and incivility become the norm, then things fall apart. … We see that falling apart with political polarization now. And that was true in the 1930s with the rise of authoritarianism and fascism in Europe and elsewhere.
Trump’s call for 12 more years in office is more than Mussolini or Hitler ever publicly asked for…at the beginning of their takeover of democratic governments. If you think he’s kidding around, if you think the least-knowledgeable voters in this Brave New World will come to their senses on their own…I presume you’re spending lots of time, now, on your knees praying for divine intervention. You’ll be spending even longer in the same position, silent and obedient, sometime down the road.
10 thoughts on “We’re reaching the tipping point into fascism”
September 29, 2020: An exchange between debate moderator Chris Wallace and Trump during the Presidential Debates:
WALLACE: Will you urge your supporters to stay calm during this extended period, not to engage in any civil unrest? And will you pledge tonight that you will not declare victory until the election has been independently certified? President Trump, you go first.
TRUMP I’m urging my supporters to go into the polls and watch very carefully. Because that’s what has to happen. I am urging them to do it. As you know, today, there was a big problem. In Philadelphia they went in to watch. They were called poll watchers — a very safe, very nice thing. They were thrown out. They weren’t allowed to watch. You know why? Because bad things happen in Philadelphia, bad things. And I — I am urging — I am urging my people. I hope it’s going to be a fair election. If it’s a fair election…
WALLACE: You’re urging them what?
TRUMP: … I am 100% on board. But if I see tens of thousands of ballots being manipulated, I can’t go along with that. And I’ll tell you what. From a common-sense…
Wallace: What does that mean, you can’t go along? Does that mean you’re going to tell your people to take to the streets?
TRUMP: I’ll tell you what it means. It means you have a fraudulent election. You’re sending out 80 million ballots.
“Asked directly whether he will tell his voters not to engage in any sort of violence or “civil unrest” while the votes are being counted on and beyond November 3, the President of the United States not only refused to do so but also reiterated his call to his supporters to go to polling places and “watch” people casting votes.” (CNN 10/1/20) https://www.cnn.com/2020/09/30/politics/polls-donald-trump-election-first-debate/index.html
Fox News (10/1/20) “Why Trump blew up the debate, triggering a media backlash : The former reality show star is used to commanding the stage” https://www.foxnews.com/media/why-trump-blew-up-the-debate-triggering-a-media-backlash
Trump ‘Will Not Accept Any Result That Is Not A Victory’ https://www.npr.org/2020/10/01/919023364/trump-will-not-accept-any-result-that-is-not-a-victory-atlantic-writer-says
“State and local officials across the country are scrambling to respond to the potential for voter intimidation and violence on Election Day in the wake of President Donald Trump’s calls during Tuesday’s debate for his supporters to “go into the polls.”
Trump’s comments have energized far-right groups and sparked new warnings from state election officials about the potential for voter intimidation and conflict that could create chaos on Election Day. It’s one more factor threatening to disrupt an election that Trump has been claiming for months — without evidence — will be fraudulent if he is not declared the winner.” https://www.cnn.com/2020/10/01/politics/voting-polls-trump-intimidation/index.html
“The president of the United States has whipped up an elaborate and thoroughly false description of how the election is unfolding that is being treated as a sincere assessment of a real threat by a large group of people. He had the chance Tuesday to lower the temperature. Instead, he pulled out a blowtorch.” https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/2020/09/30/it-wasnt-just-proud-boys-trump-refused-dissuade-supporters-violent-response-election/
Meanwhile: “Firearm, ammunition sales skyrocket heading into the presidential election https://www.12news.com/article/news/local/valley/firearm-and-ammunition-sales-skyrocket-heading-into-the-election/75-03f6ec3f-d68e-4d40-891a-4858026f5556 According to the FBI, there have been more than 25,934,334 background checks through August, which provides a window into gun sales this year. Reportedly there’s been a 95% increase in gun sales compared to this time last year and a 139% increase for ammunition.
“The president can, and should, order the extrajudicial assassination of U.S. citizens.” https://slate.com/news-and-politics/2020/09/trump-debate-lowlights-forest-cities-reverse-racism-summary-executions.html
During the Presidential debate September 29, 2020 moderator Chris Wallace set out to press Biden on whether he was reluctant to call out the National Guard. When Biden argued that Trump’s federal interventions in Portland, Oregon, had made things worse, Trump jumped in to boast about his performance: “I sent in the U.S. Marshals to get the killer of a young man in the middle of the street, and they shot him. For three days, Portland didn’t do anything. I sent in the U.S. Marshals, they took care of business.” The “business” the president was referring to was the killing of Michael Forest Reinoehl, a suspect in the shooting of a far-right protester in Portland. After initial reports that Reinoehl had died in a gun battle with the authorities, one witness told reporters he was “clutching a cellphone and eating a gummy worm” when the marshals opened fire on him without warning.
“Police shot Portland slaying suspect without warning or trying to arrest him first, witness says” https://www.washingtonpost.com/nation/2020/09/10/reinoehl-portland-antifa-killing-police/
“Witness says officers never gave commands before firing at Michael Reinoehl outside WA apartment” https://www.oregonlive.com/crime/2020/09/witness-says-officers-never-gave-commands-before-firing-at-michael-reinoehl-outside-wa-apartment.html
“A mentally ill man, a heavily armed teenager and the night Kenosha burned : Cast by conservatives as a battle between antifa agitators and a right-wing ‘patriot,’ this summer’s deadliest protest-related incident was not quite what it seemed” (Washington Post 10/3/20) https://www.washingtonpost.com/nation/2020/10/03/kenosha-shooting-victims/?arc404=true
“American fascism will be ultra-American. It will reject the atheism and statism of European models; it will be self-righteous, certain of its own innocence, and understand itself as libertarian. Nativist agrarianism goes to the heart of these American populist mythologies, as it did to the rhetoric of both Mussolini and Hitler, promising to regenerate the nation – to make it great again. It elevates an authentic, preferably rural, national folk and defines them as “real Americans”, while denying first the loyalty, then the citizenship, then the humanity of everyone else.”
Sarah Churchill, “The return of American fascism.” New Statesman (9/2/20) https://www.newstatesman.com/international/places/2020/09/return-american-fascism
“Kenosha shooting victim’s father blasts accused teen — and Trump — at court hearing” https://www.cbsnews.com/news/kyle-rittenhouse-kenosha-shooting-bail-victim-father-speaks/
“Trump suggests Wisconsin protest murder suspect Kyle Rittenhouse acted in self defense” (9/1/20) https://www.cbsnews.com/news/trump-kyle-rittenhouse-self-defense-wisconsin-teen-protest-shooting-suspect/
“Nearly $1 million has been raised for Kenosha shooting suspect Kyle Rittenhouse, according to a Christian fundraising site and the teen’s lawyers” (9/3/20) https://www.insider.com/fundraising-efforts-kyle-rittenhouse-hit-nearly-1-million-2020-9
“Mussolini Speaks.” A 1933 documentary directed by Edgar G. Ulmer with narration by Lowell Thomas, produced by Jack Cohn for Columbia Pictures. “This picture is dedicated to a man of the people whose deeds for his people will ever be an inspiration to all mankind” (opening caption)
10:04 clip https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O1ZJVgB8POg&feature=emb_logo
Mussolini Speaks (Wikipedia) https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mussolini_Speaks
8AM MST, this morning, 5th
“If you want a vision of the future, imagine a boot stamping on a human face–forever.”
George Orwell (“1984”)