Monday, November 7, 2016

Will the US slip into Fascism?

Well, we survived another long American political campaign and tomorrow it will (we hope) all be over. I believe it is pretty simple, people who are voting for Trump are crazy and/or stupid. At this point I really don't know how to sugarcoat it. This is a racist, misogynistic, profoundly crooked, tax evading, violence inciting, serial lying, sexual predator, with the attention span of a gnat, and an anger management problem, who has actually called for nuclear proliferation. And if anyone thinks, at this point, that Hillary Clinton's faults are even vaguely comparable to Trump's they are deeply delusional.

Make no mistake, Trump could turn the United States into a fascist bloodbath. The scenario could play out multiple ways - here's one way: Trump comes to office and actually believes that he can deport the 30 million or more undocumented immigrants. He starts the process and it becomes clear fairly quickly that the US is not logistically prepared to undertake such a massive effort. To complete such a task the federal government would literally need hundreds of thousands of INS officers working around the clock, and even then it is not clear it could be done. In his frustration (an emotion that he seems to have in the same abundance as a three year old), Trump makes an off the cuff remark, maybe on twitter, that the government needs the help of patriots to complete the task. Armed vigilante groups appear overnight all over the country, but especially in the southwest. In their patriotic fervor they begin rounding up anyone who looks vaguely like they are from south of the boarder. In an effort to defend themselves, racialized people begin to band together in groups, some of them armed. Sporadic violence begins to break out. Many law enforcement agencies who clearly side with Trump and the vigilantes refuse to act in their roles as police. The violence quickly escalates and spins out of control. When it becomes clear that it is out of control, bang, Trump calls out the national guard and declares martial law under the NDAA. Now, provided that the military was willing to stand with him, this would be the beginning of a de facto fascist government.

If you have spent any time in the US, you know that this is not a wildly far fetched scenario, particularly given Trump's rhetoric so far. It's not complicated. It's fairly simple. It is already clear that Trump says that he will do things that he clearly has no right to do under the Constitution. You can't, for example, restrict people from entering the country based on religion. The president has no authority to build a wall on the border of Mexico. The president certainly has no authority to restrict press freedoms, as well as no authority to put opponents in jail on a whim.

I'm not saying that this is exactly what would happen if Trump were elected president. I'm saying that this is a perfectly believable scenario given what we know so far about him and the people he has empowered.

I don't know how the vote will go tomorrow, but I hope calmer heads will prevail. And even if Trump loses, it is clear that the US is teetering on the brink of disaster and the next decade or so will be a make or break point for the nation and maybe the world.