Someone in my community who I used to respect is still loudly voicing her support for Donald Trump. She earned that respect through her volunteerism, her commitment to our community, and her concern for our community's children. But consider: If someone's legacy is that she started great programs for kids, but she also supports a regime that destroys the schools where she's volunteered, deports the parents of some of the children she's served, annuls the marriages of the parents of others, and ultimately gets a few of those students killed either in wars or in gulags at home, will all her good work mean much? We are fast approaching the point where the compliments read a lot like, "She always made such a nice lasagna for the church potluck. Too bad she supported Mussolini." I'm sure some people will think any reference to fascism is hyperbolic. After all, we don't have secret police or executed journalists or people on cattle cars. But we're ten days in, and we do have ICE holding legal residents without trial or access to lawyers, journalists being hand picked for press conferences, an order to take healthcare away from tens of millions of people, and legislation moving through the pipeline to turn our national parks over to corporations and to enshrine the right to discriminate against the LGBTQ into law. It's been 10 days. How many days will it take until "hyperbole" becomes "unavoidable," becomes "entrenched," becomes "history"?
There is a poster for sale in the Holocaust Museum in Washington DC that identifies the following "Early Warning Signs of Fascism":
*Powerful and continuing nationalism
*Disdain for human rights
*Identification of enemies as a unifying cause
*Supremacy of the military
*Controlled mass media
*Obsession with national security
*Religion and government intertwined
*Corporate power protected
*Labor power suppressed
*Disdain for intellectuals & the arts
*Obsession with crime & punishment
*Rampant cronyism & corruption
Please note: This is not for sale in the "What Makes America Great Museum" or the "American Exceptionalism Museum" or even the "Make America Great Again Museum" where you have to wear those special rose tinted glasses they give you and squint your eyes just right to see the exhibits. No, this poster is for sale in the Holocaust Museum.
If you are still supporting Trump after the last two weeks, either you haven't been paying attention or you are taking the side of fascism. I'm sure you were once a kind and caring person who has simply forgotten how to care about the people Trump or right-wing media tell you not to care about. You can choose to remember, to care enough to investigate for yourself, to push through the misinformation meant to deceive and the disinformation meant to confuse and sow doubt. You can still choose that. But right now, if you are supporting Trump, whether through apathy or ignorance or self-protection or spite toward liberals, you are not a kind or loving or good person. Not right now, anyway. I know that might be hard to hear, and I'm sure you'll hate me a bit for writing it. And many if my liberal friends who want us all to hold hands and get along won't like me writing it, either. But read that list again. This is fascism we're dealing with. Not fake news. Not alternative facts. Not normal partisanship or ideological differences that people can discuss politely over a beer. Fascism.
This is the moment when we decide how the museums of the future will remember us.