A lot of people are pointing at the election of Donald Trump as proof America is lurching towards fascism. The truth is that thanks in part to fake news and voter apathy, we’ve been headed that way for the last two decades. If there is a single point in our history where I believe America began to skid off the rails, it would be 9/11 and our over-reaction to it that launched us into 2 misguided wars and the appropriation of patriotism by the far-right.
9/11 laid the foundation for our march towards fascism. George W. Bush famously announced to the world that they were either with us or against us, then invaded Afghanistan, and then Iraq while ignoring everything in military history that said not to get involved in a ground war in Asia.
The rise of right-wing nationalism isn’t just unique to the 2016 election in the United States. It is evident in the Brexit vote in the UK, the dictatorship of Putin in Russia, and the rebirth of right-wing groups across Europe.
The state of fascism that we are headed towards isn’t the genocidal fascism of Nazi Germany. It definitely has some similarities, but it is fascism carefully crafted for mass consumption, and maximum profit for the billionaires who will bow and kiss the ring of Donald Trump.
Anti-intellectualism is a cornerstone of the idiocracy that we are in now. Social media, hyper-partisan clickbait, fake news, and voter apathy set the stage for the election of Donald Trump. Now that he has been elected, the media will be careful not to upset the alleged billionaire because they’re too afraid to lose ratings and have their press credentials revoked.
Osama Bin Laden wanted to destroy the United States, and we took his bait as he intended. 15 years after 9/11, America’s global standing has begun to wane, we’re a laughingstock for having elected a thin-skinned alleged billionaire who can be provoked with a Tweet, and our problem with radical Islamic terrorism is even worse now then it was then. In our own country, we have right-wing terrorists that aren’t just bombing women’s health clinics, they’ve hijacked our government to impose their agendas. If he could see what we have become now, I’m sure he would have considered his actions as mission accomplished.
It isn’t too late to turn this around, but it is going to be an epic struggle that may not succeed. It is going to take all of us working together – rational conservatives like Evan McMullin, independents, and liberals who can put ideologies aside to save our experiment in democracy. Or we can lurch on further towards fascism and the continued decline of our great country. That choice is up to all of us, and sacrifices will have to be made.
It’s not about you, it’s not about me, it’s about all of us.