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The Rapidly Mutating Fascist Threat

It seems we are fated, dear reader, to live in a time of rapidly mutating threats. First there was the rapidly mutating terrorist threat, from Al Qaeda to ISIS and now “stochastic terrorism,” the latter type destroying or ruining so many more Americans’ lives than the first two ever did. Then we had COVID-19 and the weird and horrible world of all its new variants. And now there is Trumpism which, as many of us feared and have been trying to warn you about all along, will long outlive the Very Stable Genius himself.

It’s been evident for a while that Trump seems to be going down in a death of a thousand cuts. A criminal indictment, if and when it comes, now appears somewhat less likely to trigger a catastrophic, violent breakdown in American society than it did six months or a year ago, given the steady drip-drip-drip of damaging news about him that is penetrating all but the most brainwashed minds. If there is no indictment, the failure of his handpicked candidates in the midterm elections and his increasing crankery are tarnishing his “brand” among Republican politicians and voters, making it less and less likely that he would actually win the 2024 nomination, if an alternative such as DeSantis who is politically palatable to MAGAs and supposedly more electable by normal people is on offer. However, Trump should not be counted out unless he dies or is incapacitated. If he is actually indicted and arrested, as he should be, there is still a significant chance of major trouble.

But Trump will not be around forever, and many political provocateurs are already hard at work trying to meet the demand for racist grievance-mongering, misogyny, rage against religious and sexual minorities, and general hatefulness that Trump illuminated with his “Dumpster fire.” The most dangerous are those with money and power to start or buy propaganda outfits spewing bigotry and inciting violence at a high volume, twenty-four hours a day. The Murdoch family and Elon Musk’s recent acquisition of Twitter are the leading culprits here. Almost as dangerous is the Supreme Court’s six-member fascist junta, installed by Trump and his Republican predecessors, which the Democrats did not even try to dismantle by expanding the number of justices in the Congressional session now ending. Then we have the plethora of elected MAGAs like Marjorie Taylor Greene, Ted Cruz, and let’s give a big welcome to J.D. Vance, who are working to normalize bigotry and undermine American democracy, with the shameless collaboration of quislings like Mitch McConnell and Kevin McCarthy. Do not forget the damage that Q-Anons and election deniers can do from state legislatures all the way down to your local school board. It will be a long, hard fight until we vanquish all these figures and start rebuilding a better American society.

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