Why we fight

1929 Auf Nach Nürnberg, 1-4 August, 1929, Reichsparteitag der N.S.D.A.P

Fascism has been working itself into the American arena for a couple of decades now. Like a lot of people, I prefer to think it can’t happen here — but I know that’s not true. We’re uncomfortably close these days.

And last night’s chants of “Lock her up!” at the RNC made that clear. We are now at the point in our political discourse where Democrats are not just opponents, they are enemies. They are criminals.

Josh Marshall, who trained as a historian and recognizes historical patterns, wrote:

This is not a disagreement about a matter of law: it is a demand for vengeance and punishment, one rooted in the pathologies of the current Trumpite right and inevitably to some extent about the fact that Clinton is a woman. If you have a chance, rewatch the speeches by Rudy Giuliani or even more ret. Lt. Gen Michael Flynn. These are not normal convention speeches. It is only a small skip and a jump to the state legislator in West Virginia who demanded Clinton be executed by hanging on the National Mall. In such a climate, don’t fool yourself: worse can happen.’

This is the way authoritarians think, to be sure. And the Trump Party is authoritarian through and through. But this sloganeering about how Clinton belongs in jail is sadly not confined to the right. There is an element of the left which consistently says the same thing, at least if my social media feeds are any example, with certain members of my own tribe calling for Clinton to be dragged off in chains for … well, the crimes don’t really matter.

I know most of you aren’t watching the Republican convention. God knows, I wouldn’t if I didn’t have to. But I have to tell you, there’s something really disturbing going on out there. I am actually afraid for my country — and maybe my own physical safety.

Look at the plagiarism story. I don’t think Trump is actually trying to gaslight us with his obvious lies — it’s about breaking the standards of national dialogue. It’s about eroding our collective will to fight against his lies, and bending it to his. I can’t tell you how many interviews I’ve read with reporters who admit they’re too afraid of what the Trump organization will do to them if they aggressively question him.

This is how totalitarianism worms its way in.

And this is why, for all these years, I have fought the media narratives. Whether it’s pushed by individuals or groups, false narratives are destructive to a democracy. And if we lose that, what do we have left?

One thought on “Why we fight

  1. I’m actually watching this convention – first time ever for a Republican one for me. I sort of figured it’d be a train wreck mashed up with a clown show. It has not disappointed although I fell asleep last night during Pence’s speech. Missed Ingraham’s Nazi salute with Drumpf dammit.

    Susie I am sorry you are feeling vulnerable. I think journalists who are afraid to do their job should find another one. Cowards. You are brave and I think Clinton is incredibly brave. I’ve been very afraid for her for a while now. Stay safe! If you ever need a hideout you can come visit me (lots of cats here though.)

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