Where We Heil One, We Heil All!
Ever since Donald Trump first crawled out of New York City’s sewer system seven and a half years ago, like the mythical alligators that are said to live there, and began devouring America, pedantic academic historians have been scolding those of us who warned that Trump is a fascist and the MAGA movement he has launched unvarnished fascism. So let’s take stock, shall we? Demonization of minorities, so often the precursor to genocide, led to crimes against humanity as babies were ripped from their mothers’ arms. Nazis and their ilk were given the presidential seal of approval as “very fine people,” leading to tremendous growth in their ranks and deadly attacks on Blacks, Jews, and Latinos. The Leader ordered a violent coup attempt meant to keep him in power despite his losing an election, and has yet to be held accountable for it.
And now, actually for the second time, his followers at one of his rallies gave a version of the fascist and Nazi stiff-arm salute in his honor. When they did it on March 5, 2016, it did nothing to slow his march to power; arguably, the gesture accelerated it. He himself denied that the coordinated mass gesture had anything to do with the fascist salute, just like he denied later knowing who David Duke is. No matter; just more of his lies. When his followers performed the salute again this past Saturday, it was in the midst of the former president’s intensified encouragement of the QAnon movement, which holds that there will be a violent “storm” with mass executions to bring their Leader back to power.
The obfuscating and petty distinction making must stop. Of course we are not seeing an exact repetition of the Nazi rise to power in Germany, or any other historical period or process. Trump is a little like Hitler, a little like Mussolini, a little like the Argentinian dictator Juan Perón, and most like himself. He is the curse of our times, the all-American fascist that prophets from Sinclair Lewis on warned us would arise among us. He and his followers must be stopped, or the nation is lost. So stop quibbling, and start fighting back.