BY MARK Y.A. DAVIES
For decades in the United States we have experienced a kind of national political neurosis in which millions of people have continued to vote against their own interests based on their perception of how the Republican Party was protecting their religious and cultural values. This did not just happen. It was the result of an extremely well-funded and well-organized strategy that focused on reshaping government, the media, higher education, public education, religious institutions, and the courts to be more supportive of corporate interests.
Now we have seen our country enter into a state of national political psychosis that is rightly called fascism – with all of the fascist trimmings of authoritarianism, nationalism, racial and religious scapegoating, attacking the free press, and xenophobia.
In a democratic country of our size, it takes tens of million of people who either knowingly vote for or who are duped into voting for a fascist for fascism to come into being. As our current president continues to govern on the fascist principles upon which he campaigned, the millions of people who may have knowingly voted for this are extremely pleased, and the millions of supporters who may have been duped no longer can use the excuse that they do not know what is happening now that “this” is actually happening.
In other words, if you keep on supporting a fascist even after he makes his fascism explicit, not only in word but also in deed, then you might very well be and probably are a fascist, and history eventually will not look kindly on you. Your continued support of a fascist will contribute to horrific suffering of both people and the planet. This will be something that your children and grandchildren will eventually want to forget about you, and for those who become even more complicit in this evil by acting out the worst of what this president wants to achieve, your children and grandchildren may not want to remember you at all.
Many of you who for some reason are still supporting this fascist president are not bad or evil people, but the longer you hold on to your support for him, the more difficult it is to describe you in that way. He is making it crystal clear who he is and what he will do as long as he is in power, and at some point you become a part of the evil, not just an innocent bystander. Everyone who is paying attention now has a clear choice: to be a fascist, or not to be fascist.
Oh, and if you think that you cannot be a fascist because so many of your Christian friends support this president, and you think that it is not possible that so many Christians would support a fascist, I direct your attention to the image below. The fascist they are hailing did well with the “Christian” vote, too.
Fascist leaders cannot accomplish want they want to do alone. They need true believer propagandists like Bannon and Miller. They need those who will simply do what they say like Priebus, Conway, and Spicer. They need opportunists like Pence, Ryan, McConnell, and Chaffetz who think they or their agenda can benefit from the situation. They need the backing of powerful corporations and industry who see an opportunity for profit. They need millions of people who will believe their alternative facts and be willing to act to defend them, millions of persons who are too scared to resist, courts that will rubber stamp their directives, a press that will acquiesce to authoritarianism, and millions of persons who just don’t care enough to resist.
Our fascist president has almost all of these things going for him. It is up to the courts, the press, and the millions of people who do care enough to resist and stop him. The longer he is in power, the more he will weaken the free press and the courts, and it will be very difficult for the people to stop this fall into the fascist abyss.
– Mark Y.A. Davies is the Wimberly Professor of Social and Ecological Ethics and director of the World House Institute for Social and Ecological Responsibility at Oklahoma City University. Click here for more of his essays.