American Culture

Vote Democratic as if lives depend on it, because they probably do

Donald claimed the mantle of a “nationalist” last night in Texas. He’s called his political opponents criminals and a mob. This is fascist rhetoric, and the only chance we have to stop America’s tilt toward fascism (short of violence) is voting in the Democratic Party everywhere.

Lightly edited from my Twitter thread last night.

Donald proclaimed at his Texas rally that he’s a “nationalist.” This isn’t a surprise to anyone who’s been paying attention. He’s not merely a nationalist, though – he’s a fascist, and that was clear way back in 2016 to those of us who have studied our history.

Back in 2016, though, there was still a few open questions. Donald didn’t match every characteristic of every definition of fascism, only most of them. So even historians who should have known better could claim Donald wasn’t yet a fascist.

But since taking office, Donald has shifted further rightward in both his rhetoric and his policies. And his party, blind to their own slide away from conservatism and into radicalism, has embraced the rightward shift into fascism.

At this point, even some historians who claimed that Donald wasn’t a fascist before he was elected are starting to come around to the idea. The concentration camps for immigrant children were a rather large clue.

But now Donald is going beyond merely insulting his political opponents. He’s calling Democrats a violent mob, yet it’s his supporters like the Proud Boys and Patriot Prayer (PB&PP) that are calling for, and relying on, street violence.

I had hoped to complete my eight-part revisit of my original 2016 series about how Donald is still a fascist before the midterms, but that’s not going to happen. I got halfway done, though, and in every case the evidence is overwhelming.

With respect to every historical definition I’ve revisited so far, Donald has become more fascistin some cases much more – since taking office. And now he’s happy to be claiming the mantle of “nationalist.”

We have a very small window left to save our nation, to save the ideals of America, before Donald and his fellow radical right-wing Republicans and fascists destroy America, all while dishonestly claiming to be saving it.

If we don’t stop Donald in the midterms, I’m afraid there will be precious few remaining avenues by which we can avoid widespread violence – Republican vs. Democrat, white vs. brown, hetero/cis vs. LGBTQ, christian against non-christian.

So I ask all of you to please, vote, and vote Democratic. Help other registered voters get to the polls. Vote Democratic up and down the ballot – for Congress, for governor, for state legislature, for county commissioner, for mayor, for city council, for sheriff.

I realize that the Democratic Party has not always upheld its promises, that it has too often taken minority votes for granted, and so on. But this election is too critical to sit on the sidelines or to protest vote for a third party candidate.

So vote Democratic as if your life, your children’s lives, your partner’s, brother’s, sister’s, mother’s, father’s, cousin’s, aunt’s, uncle’s, and friends’ lives depend on it. Because with fascists taking power in America, their freedom, their rights, their lives very well may.

And if the Democrats fail to take control of the House in November, or if Donald rejects the results of the election, be prepared to defend whatever hill you are willing to die upon, whether it be LGBTQ rights or birthright citizenship or marriage equality or access to abortion or MeToo.

Historians will likely look back at the 2016 election as the most consequential Presidential election since the pre-Civil War period. We have a chance to make the 2018 election about turning back the tide of American fascism and restoring American ideals.

We can’t afford to blow it.

PS: I’d love to offer those who protest voted or didn’t vote at all in 2016 something uplifting that they can vote for. All I have to offer is their freedom, their equality, their civil liberties, their civil rights. Because those will fall if Republicans retain control.