This is Your October Surprise

Feeling paralyzed by the endless string of horrific events, deranged world-views, endless lies, and soul-killing policies? Feeling powerless? If so, then their plan is working. It’s how every fascist movement works–by intimidation and a constant wearing down of a weary electorate.

You have one great power left – use it now.

Coming on the heels of last week’s right-wing mail bomb terror campaign conducted against the president’s declared enemies, the race-hatred murders this week of two African Americans out shopping and eleven Jews practicing their faith–this is your October surprise. The president’s bid to upend the Constitution by fiat is just the kicker, timed to exploit these events for maximum hate-mongering.

Blame is meaningless. VOTE accordingly. You can vote for reason, or you can vote for white nationalist authoritarianism unleashed on a soon-to-be-former democratic republic.

There is no equivalence. Unless you consider it a crisis of law (or even formal Democratic party policy) that a few unhinged leftist protesters have verbally harassed public officials in elevators and restaurants, or that a few anti-fascist rebels meeting the “fine people” with swastikas on their helmets in mutual battle is a crisis of law—unless you believe that lie–you know from documented events that only one “side” is conducting a coordinated war on American norms and values, ginning up white paranoia and spreading bald-faced lies for political gain,  then refusing to respond when their lies are corrected by the press.

Only one side’s populist figurehead is exhorting racial animus and fanning its flames at Nuremberg-style populist rallies soaked in hate–and has been for years. Only one side’s figurehead tried for eight years to spread “birtherism” nonsense about an African-American president, convincing a sizeable (racist) portion of  the country that the president was “not a real American”–not because of where he was born, but because he is black.

Only one side’s figurehead is celebrating political violence and hate speech at these rallies, later reading condemnations of the same, in a listless monotone, a teleprompter’s canned words rather than his own, when such violence is carried out in his name. These condemnations are read in that slow, robotic manner as if to impart the coded message that “They’re making me say this snowflake stuff – for now”. And for all that, such statements are usually undermined quickly with an impromptu speech from the “heart” [sic] that erases any vestiges of human feeling that might have been found in the original statement prepared by his handlers. Because the president does not really believe in mercy or tolerance or sympathy–these are the qualities of the weak. He believes only in strength, power, and dominance over one’s enemies. 

Only one side is characterizing refugees fleeing violence and crippling poverty as some kind of military invasion requiring a military response. This tactic supports American white nationalist/neo-Nazi philosophy as promulgated through “Storm Front” and other hate groups—i.e., that multicultural Democrats led by “globalist” Jews like George Soros are organizing immigrants/refugees to “take over” the US and wipe out the “white race,” whatever that is. It matters not that the president’s son-in-law is a Jew; Jared and the kids are safe in the White House, and the president believes he can “use” such support to maintain his power–the only thing that matters–which is why he has praised white supremacists and neo-Nazis as “good people” and recently referred to himself as a “_____ Nationalist” (fill in the blank). He does not waste time pondering how the cavalier political use–and social elevation–of dangerous shadow groups dedicated to mayhem steeped in anti-Semitism may affect–or in the case of this week, how it has affected–the lives of “ordinary” American Jews.

Only one side is ignoring the Constitution in its pursuit of power, threatening extra-Constitutional executive orders and legislation to strip Americans of the rights they are born with. Only one side abrogated their duty under the Constitution by ignoring a Supreme Court nomination by the sitting president in order to steal that seat for Republicans. Only one side is seeking to disenfranchise minority voters and actively suppressing their right to vote, then defending this criminality as a remedy for a proven-to-be-fake “voter fraud” crisis they refuse to acknowledge is fake (because they don’t want to). Only one side is ignoring the clanging alarm bells of global climate change in favor of the next quarter’s balance sheet. Only one side risks bankrupting the nation with irresponsible, unnecessary tax cuts, transferring over a trillion dollars in (borrowed) wealth from ordinary citizens’ future earnings to their ultra-wealthy donors who prop them up in Congress. Only one side is systematically dismantling women’s access to reproductive health care bit by bit–endangering millions of non-wealthy women’s lives–all in the name of “life”. Only one side is publicly calling the other side “evil” and “corrupt” at its figurehead’s political rallies. Only one side’s frothing arena denizens scream “LOCK THEM UP” about former US leaders and the press, indeed about any and all political opponents the figurehead cares to name, people guilty of no crime save being a political threat to the promised new order. Only one side’s figurehead is fomenting widespread mistrust of the free press in favor of his proven lies. Only one side is encouraging the belief that the free press is the “enemy of the people.”

This is not a culture war with two “sides” seeking political advantage. This is an assault by a white nationalist insurgency, which has captured a major political party and, with help from America’s geopolitical foes, installed a selfish, uncaring, willfully ignorant narcissist figurehead in the White House. It is an assault by a powerful, paranoid minority on the principles and institutions of the United States, a group that has decided the only way to preserve white power is to bring about an end to democratically administered rule of law via a “post-truth” philosophy of white hegemony at all costs. They mouth support for the “rule of law” only in regard to laws they like, laws that restrict freedoms rather than grant them. The first and fourteenth amendments are suspect. Non-corporate speech should be “controlled,” mosques “monitored,” protests “outlawed”. Citizenship is fluid, not defined by the Constitution; it is to be defined by them once power is consolidated. Laws enacted by the “evil” Democrats and bench legislation from “activist” (i.e. liberal/moderate) judges are suspect. The very truth of the law is suspect–their may be “alternative facts” to support another interpretation of its plain words.

Reason and fealty to the law are not their priorities–the constant lying about what the law is demonstrates this. They are driven by fear–fear of the “other”, fear of retribution at the hands of those they now oppress and relegate to the margins of society, a fear stoked daily by their former reality show star and leader, fear that has–as it has in so many places in the past–metastasized into a deep hatred of all who oppose them. And wherever this philosophy of a “strongman” who will protect Us from Them presides or looms large–be it Russia, North Korea, Poland, Hungary, Brazil, the Philippines or anywhere else–they find fast friends. Where freedom reigns–Canada, the EU, Japan, France, Germany–they see the enemy.

The other “side”—though nearly powerless at this point—is simply trying to stop them. No amount of threats, ridicule, sarcasm, lies or “whataboutism” changes these truths. One side is trying to destroy what we are and remake us in the fear-mongering, hate-filled, paranoid image of their irrational, ignorant, lying reality show star. The other is trying to preserve our freedoms and our dignity, and to prevent this descent into authoritarian nationalism. It is not a Republican thing. It is not a Democrat thing. It is an American thing.

Don’t vote like a party member. Vote like an American–like a Pennsylvania Jew at worship or an African-American out shopping. Vote like an American Muslim whose mosque was burned down. Vote like a journalist, caged in Trump’s arena with thousands mocking you, threatening you for telling the truth about their golden calf. Vote like a poor working single mother with a pre-existing condition. Vote like a senior depending on Medicare. Vote like a refugee fleeing violence, locked in a cage, your children locked in another cage, a “kinder” cage. Vote like your life depends on the outcome. Because it does. 

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