The Saddest Fascists

You may have heard, the President gave a speech the night before last. It made a lot of maga republicans sad and angry.

What mean things did he say?

Well he said that maga republicans are a threat to democracy. They have many hurt feelings about that. But, the thing is, the threat they pose is an objective fact. They deny election outcomes, claim without evidence that they are rigged, incite violence to overturn elections, and work to pass state an local election laws designed to disenfranchise voters.

Biden said they want to take America backwards. This, again, is plainly true. It’s inherent in the mantra to “make America great again.” They say it was great, and now it isn’t, so obviously they must be hearkening back to a “great” past. They have been pretty clear that this past is pre-civil rights, as well. The maga movement is dominated by openly white supremacist groups and actors, ans now many self identify as “christian nationalists,” making clear their intention to establish a theocratic government.

Their worship for trump is cult-like. There is no indefensible crime he can commit that they will not either defend or simply embrace. Their dream is a fascist regime, led by trump, where “undesirables” are deported, jailed, or summarily executed. Very few of them even bother to hide this anymore.

When Biden called this very real threat out, they were outraged. They responded in the typical “I’m rubber/you’re glue” fashion, saying the Biden and democrats are the real fascists for calling them fascists.

So now the “fuck your feelings” crowd is having a sad. They’re also threatening more violence, so stay alert. Since they’re also complaining about unity, we’re bumping our unity commentary back up for your reading pleasure.

About That Unity…

Posted on by The View from the Armchair

Unity is a worthy goal, and one that will require a great deal of effort from all of us to achieve given how divided we have become. Let’s not confuse what unity means, though. We can work to find common ground and solve problems in ways that benefit us all, but we can’t simply pretend that there wasn’t a violent insurrection fueled by a four-year campaign of lies, nativism, and white supremacy.

As divided as we are, there is a tendency to adopt a both-sides-ist view of what healing and unity mean going forward. That view must be replaced by a reality-based view. The bad-faith calls for healing as a means to avoid accountability from the party and individuals that stoked race-based hate, undermined our elections and constitutional processes, and incited a violent insurrection don’t get to sweep that under the rug now.

I don’t think we need to analogize this kind of criminality, but some people can’t seem to get their head around the fact that there are consequences for criminal conduct on the order of storming the capitol to try and derail a constitutionally mandated process and install an unelected leader. The argument that we should let that slide for the sake of healing is obviously absurd. But, some folks don’t seem to get it. So, to borrow some analogies circulating the interwebs:

Suggesting that holding people accountable for incitement to insurrection impairs healing is analogous to an abuser telling you that you’re tearing the family apart when you call the cops to stop the abuse. Stating that there’s no point in holding the outgoing administration accountable because they’re already leaving or gone is like deciding not to pursue the criminals that broke in and robbed your house because they left anyway.

It’s the pinnacle of hypocrisy for the “law and order” partisans to tell us we shouldn’t pursue either the criminals that broke into the capitol and beat police to death or the people that incited this violence. It seems the love of “law and order” only applies when people of color are upsetting them.

And while there are other bad-faith comparisons made between the insurrection and the violence that occurred during some protests over the summer, it is appropriate to address the systemic racism apparent in both instances. In response to what seems a never-ending stream of cases of police killing unarmed people of color, we saw protests all over America and the world. The police response to the protest of police brutality was ironically swift and brutal. Some of the protests turned violent; in some cases that violence was instigated by the police. When it comes to silencing people of color, it seems we have unending resources. On the other hand, when white supremacists plan publicly to storm the capitol and kill/capture members of Congress and the White House staff, the response is quite tepid. The lack of preparation and timely response led to the deaths of protestors and police officers, and the police still managed to conduct the clearing of the Capitol and arrest after the fact of suspects with little violence.

So why does protesting for equitable treatment, even when there is violence, warrant a more violent response than attempting to overthrow the government? I think the answer is a simple as black and white.

The lies of the last administration not only resulted in a violent insurrection, but also led to an abominable response to a pandemic, resulting in hundreds of thousands of deaths that might have been avoided. Racist and xenophobic immigration policies, based again on lies related to the impacts of immigration and immigrants, resulted in families permanently torn apart. Lies about threats faced from abroad resulted in a policy targeting a religious and ethnic demographic, which not only provided no additional short-term security but also served as fodder for radicalization efforts.

So when we talk about unity and healing, please realize that does not mean a blanket forgive and forget for the people that pushed the demonstrably harmful lies on which that last administration was built. It does not mean meeting violent white supremacists half-way. We must reject white supremacy. We must reject “alternative facts” and rely on objective reality. We can make efforts to reach out to those that were taken in by the con, but the unrepentant promulgators of hate, fear, and violence are not team players. If we lack unity with these people, it is because of their actions.

We don’t have to meet lies and hate with lies and hate. We shouldn’t. And we don’t have to accept it as the norm.

We won’t.