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.
Trump supporters in the US states of Ohio, Michigan and North Carolina who are unhappy with the strict lockdown laws that have been imposed upon them, have staged protests to get the sanctions lifted…
However, the demonstrators in Columbus, Ohio have turned into a comical affair after photographer Joshua A Bickel captured a snap of a group of protestors congregating outside the statehouse atrium…
People immediately noticed that this had a striking similarity to imagery from various zombie horror movies and TV shows like Dawn of the Dead, Shaun of the Dead and The Walking Dead and thus a meme was born.
Yes, the similarity is more than superficial. They share the politics of death.
Erik S Lesser/EPA
On Saturday, addressing the biggest annual gathering of US grassroots conservatives, Trump wondered aloud at it being “sort of a miracle” he has got so much done despite all he’s been through.
“Maybe it’s right there, right?” he asked, pointing to the heavens. “Thank you, God.”
The crowd loved it. Trump stayed away from a sceptical Conservative Political Action Conference in 2016 but now he is its sun king. Supporters in a palatial ballroom at the National Harbour leaped to their feet, whooping and cheering, many wearing “Make America great again” and “Keep America great” caps.
They roared their approval when, like a medieval monarch who has survived a bloody insurrection, Trump vowed revenge.
“They’re coming after me and we fight them back,” he said. “And now we’re going after them because we have no choice. We have to straighten out our country. But despite the best efforts of the leftwing fanatics, their scams, schemes, slanders, they’ve all been discredited, totally discredited.”…
In a characteristically rambling monologue, he seemed genuinely unable to comprehend how teenage climate activist Greta Thunberg beat him to the precious title of Time magazine person of the year.
But he finished his speech by hugging and kissing the flag – a familiar move which elicited a huge cheer from his devoted subjects.
You can assume the audience bent over to give their all to Il Duce.
❝…After interfering with military justice in the case of Eddie Gallagher, and issuing pardons to Clint Lorance and Matthew Golsteyn, the president has reportedly been suggesting to allies that he’d like all three to become a fixture of his 2020 campaign…critics, including some military members and veterans, have suggested the pardons are a slap in the face to those who have served honorably and give soldiers carte blanche to commit heinous acts…
Trump clearly believes that campaigning with people like Gallagher—whose own ranks accused him of gunning down civilians, threatening to shoot other SEALs if they reported him, and stabbing a detainee to death—will help his reelection prospects. In the case of his base, he might be right…
I expect nothing less than obedience to their master’s voice from repeat Trump voters. Honesty, historic American values, the rule of law – all mean nothing to Trump’s “little people”. Followers of a hero without merit, courage, intelligence or principle. I’m afraid what most of them want is soothing syrup to coat their bigotry and fear.