A Nazi’s best hope is the same as a Ku Klux Klansman’s best hope. Finding individuals so moved by terror and rage that they will neither question nor shrink from doing whatever you convince them must be done, and rallying millions, if possible, around this righteous work. Not everyone can tie a man to a tree, bullwhip him, break his fingers and then take a blow torch to him. You have to be a certain kind of person to do that kind of work. There are many, however, who will stand by enthusiastically watching the torturer do his job, yelling encouragement, if they truly believe the person catching hell is some kind of devil. Some in the crowd might have to laugh a giddy, drunken laugh to choke down the inner revulsion it would be natural for them to feel, but they’ll be part of the mob that drags the man to the tree, they’ll talk about it with their buddies afterwards, the great thing that was done.
A Nazi’s best hope is convincing enough people, hearing about this lighting up of the night with the burnt flesh of another human, to feel the dead man “had it coming because he was evil.” That’s what propaganda is for. You need to convince enough people, usually not the best or the brightest, doesn’t matter, really, just make enough people willing to act believe, deep down, that they are the instrument of justice, the people singled out for torture deserve it. Once you have enough people on board, more respectable people will finance it, begin signing on for leadership positions, you’ll have all the funding and legitimacy you need. History proves that unscrupulous wealthy people who want unlimited power can always use a violent mob, as long as its violence can be directed toward the right enemies.
Who were the killers of my great-aunts and great-uncles, my mother’s many cousins? Neither Nazis nor klansman as such. They were a members of persecuted nationality who had the misfortune to live in the fertile breadbasket of Europe. They were fucked generation after generation, slaughtered and enslaved for hundreds of years by the Mongols, the Poles, the Russians, whoever had the more powerful military. Stalin, between 1932 and 1933, starved millions of them to death, in the Holodomor, the deadliest man-made famine in history. As many as four million Ukrainians were deliberately starved to death, by a totalitarian Communist madman, while their grain sat in huge piles, guarded by Stalin’s soldiers, waiting for Soviet authorities to take the grain back to the motherland to feed to their citizens . Any hungry Ukrainian who moved toward these mountains of Ukrainian wheat was shot on the spot.
The Ukrainians who scrambled over the corpses of my people, after shooting them, had been arguably driven to their depravity by recent history (the mass starvation had been a decade earlier). The murderous Ukrainians who killed my family don’t get off the hook because so many of them had been murdered, of course (you know what they say about two wrongs…), but you can understand how the despised of the earth might feel like taking it out on a group even more despised, while getting pats on the back from those with the power to exterminate everybody in their path. Ukrainians who opposed the sort of thing that was done to my family, who took what history would regard as a more heroic stance, often found themselves hanging from trees, disemboweled, their children butchered. Makes you think.
Makes me think how often the party that is willing to employ ruthless terror, to lie, threaten, sponsor gruesome violence, often has the final word, at least for a time.
I think of this as I watch the increasingly dangerous American dance of division that has been escalating now for decades, the one funded by our most unscrupulous and well-born right-wing citizens, enlisting a vast, angry army of the easily duped. You can watch it playing out in real time, more and more insanely violent rhetoric and behavior increasingly normalized. You wonder, as a humanist, what is it with the the ubiquity of these Nazi/klan motherfuckers?
Good, constant advertising is the key. Keep the message simple, first of all. Liberty and freedom are the most important American values, everything else comes after that. Americans do not tolerate being coerced, ever, we fought a revolution and countless wars against tyranny of all forms. Tell me to do something I don’t want to, I’ll tell you about my freedom to tell you to shut the fuck up, and if you don’t shut up, I have my freedom to shoot you in your big mouth if you look like you pose any kind of threat to me, my family or my property. You see, that’s freedom and if you want to take it, come on and try. Want to try to make me wear a face mask during an infectious worldwide plague? We’ll see what the Second Amendment has to say about that!
You hear right wing blowhards echoing this very point daily, even after the violent right-wing assault on the Capitol. A defiant Madison Cawthorn stands up in Congress, after being elected in his carefully gerrymandered district, and trumpets this heroic rightwing trope, weeks after a violent, armed mob (arrested insurrectionists in the “peaceful” mob had enough ammunition to kill everyone in the Capitol several times over) took over the Capitol building disrupting the final certification of an election that wasn’t close, or, in their phrase, “stop the steal”. Bellicose, unrepentant, violent rhetoric, tough talk, is a proven winner for fundraising: Cawthorn, Taylor Greene, Hawley, Cruz, and other GOP tough guys are raking it in these days, based on their proud defense of violent extremism, even armed sedition, in defense of liberty, which is no vice, to some.
The so-called decisive victory of Joe Biden, and the narrow Senate majority by Democrats when they got that Black preacher and the Jewish journalist “elected” in the Georgia runoff? Obviously the result of stolen elections, it’s common sense. Besides, all those patriots were doing on January 6th when they overran the Capitol was spontaneously fighting this sickening injustice, in the name of freedom. They paraded through the halls of the Capitol because their freedom and liberty had been stolen from them. They didn’t do anything Jesus Christ Himself didn’t do when He finally had enough and threw the corrupt moneychangers out of the Temple.
This accursed pandemic has provided a kind of high octane fuel to this crazy upping the ante on anything that will up the stakes. We are socially disoriented, frightened, thrown out of normal social and recreational routines, our interactions limited, interpersonal skills frayed, we are all isolated and connected more and more to disembodied voices on the devices we carry with us all the time. Every few minutes we get a notification beep from some opinionated source we may have recently consulted.
Here’s a hot question for your favorite pundit: in light of increased vaccinations, is it reasonable for states to ban all scientific precautions proven to halt community spread? Well, that would depend on who y’all trust, wouldn’t it? Is it crazy or smart politics to weaponize prudent easy to follow precautions to slow the spread of a deadly disease before we actually achieve herd immunity? That would depend on who y’all trust, wouldn’t it?
Depending on what we prefer to hear, we may eagerly learn about more evidence that the former president and an organized group planned, funded, advertised for and incited the January 6th riot, while ordering federal troops to stand down for 3 hours and 19 minutes during the riot, imagining a kind of Alamo (nothing glorious about the original one staged by a bunch of violent American slavery advocates, go google that shit show…) that would galvanize their faithful to obey a higher law, perhaps creating a glorious pantheon of martyrs to rally around. Or, in the alternative, that the patriots who took the corrupt bull by the horns on January 6 were merely spontaneous heroes, acting courageously to prevent the fraud of millions of irrationally angry N-words.
Is there middle ground here? Not really. It was either a riot, an insurrection desperately launched by a powerful madman and his associates to retain power after losing an election by an indisputable margin or an outpouring of spontaneous American devotion to liberty proving that Jesus Christ and the White Race really are the masters of the greatest country in history and cucks who don’t believe that can just suck it.
A study came out Tuesday that concludes that while early in the pandemic the infection and death rates were much higher in Democratically run states (being on the coasts, more densely populated, more tourism, larger airports, more international travelers, etc.) than in less populous Republican ones, by July 4 (neat irony) Blue states had started to control the spread of the disease, while Red states took the lead in infections and death and have surpassed those infection and death rates since .
Or, depending on your source of trusted news, the “study” was fake and partisan, paid for by wealthy pedophile blood drinkers like Michael Bloomberg (it was by the “Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health and the Medical University of South Carolina” — duh!) intent on destroying our freedom by convincing us to keep our distance from others, wash our hands and wear masks, depriving us of our God-given freedom to spread whatever invisible so-called disease we want to whoever we want. Who are goddamned child-raping, blood-swilling pedophiles to tell us what to do?
Or, as the governor of Texas might say: y’all hate our freedom. After he reopened the state for business, parties and everything else, no strings attached, his attorney general (the one who brought the Supreme Court lawsuit attempting to throw out millions of votes in states Trump “lost”– the deranged suit signed on to by other Republican attorneys general and members of Congress) is now threatening to sue the city of Austin for trying to mandate reasonable COVID safety precautions like mask wearing and social distancing.
A Nazi’s best bet? That a lie will prove more powerful than any fact anybody can prove with other facts. Once you’ve got that, the sky’s the limit, dream big, any horrible problem in the world, real or simply perceived, will suddenly have a final solution, inspired by the intoxicating liberty of absolute power.
Our best bet? Working together, paying close attention, using the tools we have to organize, make our voices heard, to make sure these autocratic anti-science, alternative reality trumpeting minoritarian motherfucker’s stay in their holes.
At the very least by putting the burden back on the 40 minority party members trying to block debate by making them actively hold the floor continuously in a traditional filibuster rather than forcing the majority to get to 60 by finding 10 votes among a solid block of craven conformists who will not even vote to condemn a president for organizing, funding and inciting a violent riot in their own house — a riot that saw chants to hang their Vice President, suddenly an enemy of their party leader.
That is, you return to the old filibuster rules if you can’t finally get two conservative “moderate” “centrists” in your own party to go along with killing that relic of slavery and white supremacy in the Senate. The filibuster was created by Senators and put into the Senate rules. It takes a 1 vote majority to change the prime tool of obstruction into something that allows legislative debate to take place and laws to be passed and sent to the president for his or her signature.
The anti-fascist party is likely to have only one shot at this preservation of democracy business. It’s going to be a short window. Then we get massive voter suppression in a majority of states, gerrymandered voting for state court judges, to guarantee party loyalists get elected in state as well as federal courts, and, The Thousand Year Reich.
The Ukrainian famine—known as the Holodomor, a combination of the Ukrainian words for “starvation” and “to inflict death”—by one estimate claimed the lives of 3.9 million people, about 13 percent of the population. And, unlike other famines in history caused by blight or drought, this was caused when a dictator wanted both to replace Ukraine’s small farms with state-run collectives and punish independence-minded Ukrainians who posed a threat to his totalitarian authority.source
States with Democratic governors had the highest incidence and death rates from Covid-19 in the first months of the coronavirus pandemic, but states with Republican governors surpassed those rates as the crisis dragged on, a study released Tuesday found.
“From March to early June, Republican-led states had lower Covid-19 incidence rates compared with Democratic-led states. On June 3, the association reversed, and Republican-led states had higher incidence,” the study by researchers at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health and the Medical University of South Carolina showed.
“For death rates, Republican-led states had lower rates early in the pandemic, but higher rates from July 4 through mid-December,” the study found.source