When I watch the news and other reports on the crazy rhetoric and violence going on in our country today, I see far too many who have lost all perspective on what is happening here. For a better idea of what I am talking about, view this recent PBS Frontline where the reporter interviews many members of anti-democratic and fascist militia members and how they see “the revolution” that needs to happen, according to them. For your information, fascism is a form of far-right, authoritarian ultra-nationalism characterized by dictatorial power, forcible suppression of opposition, and strong regimentation of society and the economy that rose to prominence in early 20th-century Europe.
When I listened to these interviewers with members of the various militia groups, I found their perception of our life today to be completely out of touch with anything I have experienced in my 66+ years of living in the USA. Are they living in a different world than me? Obviously. But what has happened to them to convince them that we are now in need of authoritarianism and dictatorial power instead of democracy? Is being encouraged to wear a mask or get a vaccine anti-democratic? It is to this group. How can they find the inhumanity of the most outrageously evil chapter in modern world history (Nazism) appealing? How is that possible? What is it about their life that makes them worship such an evil malignant narcissist as Trump and hate our democracy?
Their answer, which was repeated over and over again in their interviews, is that they were raised to love guns and to be anti-government. They were so pleased when President Trump agreed with their plan to reduce the USA to an authoritarian state, not that most of them even know what that word means. They said over and over again, “Hey, if our President agrees, we must be right!” Trump has weaponized the lunatic fringe.
I take all of this information in and find it frightfully possible that January 6th was this groups’ version of the Nazi Kristallnacht. Yes, if you research further into Trump’s family history, you will find a powerful foundation of German elitism and authoritarianism. Perhaps our Oath keepers and Boogaloo Bois will be seen in history as Trump’s “brown shirts” or Sturmabteilung. These young Nazi ‘stormtroopers’ “provided protection for Nazi rallies and assemblies, disrupting the meetings of opposing parties, fighting against the paramilitary units of the opposing parties…” (Wikipedia)
When I add in the fact that there are an estimated 630,000 fully automatic weapons (ATF estimate from 2017) and Trump’s father died of Alzheimer’s disease, I cannot help but wonder if these very young extremists might lead us into “revolution” and chaos under the leadership of a mentally unstable leader. I mean, how stable was Hitler? And yet millions of Germans followed him until he finally shot himself and left a totally obliterated Germany .
I know. Most of us don’t want to think about this or watch things like Frontline to try and understand what’s going on, but this is not a good time to blow off thinking about our future as a democratic nation. Do you love democracy? Then vote while it may still count. Many, if not most Republicans no longer believe in voting rights or fair elections.