“There are many who do not know they are fascists but they will discover it when the time comes.”
— Ernest Hemingway, For Whom the Bell Tolls.
“And the riot squad they’re restless
They need somewhere to go
As Lady and I look out tonight
From Desolation Row.”
— Bob Dylan, Desolation Row
Jo Cox was a member of the parliment of the United Kingdom. She was murdered by a neo-fascist who had been ginned up by the systemic hatred of the UK’s right wing, irriesponsible members of the media and the febrile atmosphere in which violent atavism has become normal.
Giacomo Matteotti was a member of Italy’s parliament in the 1920s. He was murdered by right wing thugs who had been ginned up by the systemic hatred of Italy’s right wing, irresponsible members of the media and the febrile atmosphere in which violent atavism had become normal.
Ilhan Omar has displayed an unfortunate habit of choosing her words poorly. She may not be a bigot but she keeps saying things that make it difficult to tell the difference. She has apologized for her previous statements and she sounds sincere.
Regardless of that or perhaps precisely because of it, she is entitled to be safe from deliberate attempts to spark violence against her.
Donald Trump also has an unfortunate habit of choosing his words poorly. He is, unlike Omar, absolutely a bigot, catastrophically incompetent, a demagogue and a neo-fascist who would declare himself the dictator of the country if he could figure out how to get away with it.
Amid this epic display of ineptitude, depravity and the long shadows of history, one must also make room for the utterly spineless, feckless and ineffectual opposition led by the Democratic establishment which seems to have long ago traded its soul for a bowl of jello and has substituted a sense of ethics for a pollster and a corner in which to hide.
When Heather Heyer was murdered by fascists, and Trump slithered out from his roach motel to declare there were good people on both sides, the Democrats repeated their ritual hand wringing, admonished the malignant troll that his words have consequences and then said that impeachment was impossible and would be too politically divisive.
Technically they are correct about the politics of it as the Senate is controlled by the fascists and the crypto-Confederates and evangelical fascists. Using Trump as a cudgel, they are to our times as the German aristocrats and industrialists were to Hitler and the Nazis.
What goes missing in the cold calculations of Nancy Pelosi is that even if impeachment is technically impossible so long as Mitch McConnell runs the Senate, is that it is also a moral argument.
It is a moral and righteous argument to declare Trump poses a clear and present danger to the safety of minorities both in the government and outside of it.
It is a moral and righteous argument to declare that Trump is a bigot, and a demagogue and a fascist who poses a clear and present danger to the national security of the country, once you recognize that the safety of minorities both in the government and outside of it is essential to the well being of the nation.
It is a moral and righteous argument to declare that the Democratic party is committed to making Trump’s tyrannical behavior a central issue of the campaign to remove him.
If it is not Ilhan Omar it will be someone else.
Donald Trump is a terrorist.
Donald Trump is screaming fire in the theater of the nation.
Nancy Pelosi has called for increased police protection of Ilhan Omar.
That’s the right thing to do.
It is also right to call for increased protection of the Constitution.
But that requires leadership and leadership requires courage.
Leaders know they may fail but they believe that it is better to try and fail then to define success as doing nothing or doing what is required to keep their job and raise money while a gangster sets the country on fire.
If it’s not Ilhan Omar it will be someone else.
There will be another Heather Heyer, or Jo Cox because Trump is a monster, the Republicans are fanatics and the Democrats are cowards.