Saturday, March 12, 2016

Fascism in America?

Until the events of the last couple of days in Chicago and St. Louis, I hadn't realized how many people were going to protest at Trump rallies, and how violent the rallies had gotten.

From David Neiwart:
Watching the scenes unfold last night from Chicago and elsewhere, it became obvious that, largely as many of us have feared, Donald Trump is indeed leading the United States merrily down the path to an outbreak of not-kidding-honest-to-God-real thing fascism or proto-fascism, all without himself being a hardened fascist ideologue, but rather a right-wing populist demagogue. Then again, the two phenomena are only degrees apart, and that is what we are now seeing on the streets of the American political landscape.

Of course, while it was fairly clear that the protesters were peaceful until attacked by the Trump rally-goers, the reality also was that fighting eventually broke out on all sides and there was violence all around. Naturally, that meant that the media were already out there flogging their favorite "both sides do it" narrative.

Never mind that Trump has specifically encouraged the violence, telling reporters at a press conference that "we need a little bit more of that." The story we'll be fed as at least "the other side" will be Trump's: that the leftist "thugs" were responsible for the violence. And we all can see where this is going: As justification for further and more intense violence.

There is a long history of this with the fascist and proto-fascist right. Indeed, martyrdom at the hands of the "violent left" was a cornerstone of early Nazi propaganda, of which the above poster is only a small sample. And a version of it helped fuel the post-Civil War Jim-Crow-and-Klan rule of the South.

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