Update 1/7/21: “When Fascism comes to America, it will be wrapped in the flag and carrying the cross.” Sinclair Lewis, It Can’t Happen Here
It happened, at the Capitol Building of the United States. Good luck to us all. Biden was eventually certified as the President Elect, but we have a madman in the White House who leads a violent cult that’s at least 73 million strong. If this country doesn’t get them under control and change direction so that people are supported like human beings, removing the need to find fulfillment in a violent cult, our democracy is over for the foreseeable future.
People always forget that the French Revolution wasn’t directly followed by a continuous constitutional democracy the way we’ve had here in the US. The French First Republic lasted for 12 years, until the final leader, Napoleon Bonaparte, who had taken control of the Republic using a coup to begin with, finally declared himself emperor after 5 years of leadership. This began decades of back and forth between Emperor Napoleon, a restored monarchy and a brief period called the 2nd Republic. The Third Republic wasn’t established until 1870.
Hitler also came into power as a legitimate leader, who then slowly chipped away at the norms of his society until he disposed of his enemies and established the Third Reich. Trump and his people have studied this history and understand the process. Losing power or leaving the White House will not stop them. They will continue to plan their come back and incite their millions of followers as long as they are allowed to speak, move and spend resources freely.
They must be stopped. But in addition to that, the societal conditions that lead people to rebel also need to be addressed. Americans need our living and working conditions restored and improved and corporate personhood revoked. Human and environmental rights need to come first- all humans, not just the rich, white ones.
Original Post: On October 24, 2016, 2 weeks before Election Day, we both attended a local staged reading of the play It Can’t Happen Here, based on the 1936 novel by Sinclair Lewis. The novel, and the play, describe the rise and rule of a charismatic, dogmatic, conservative politician who is eventually elected president. He promises a return to traditional values, but reneges on his promises soon after he takes office, turning the country into a totalitarian regime within a period of a few months. Anyone who doesn’t offer complete, unquestioning loyalty to the new regime is imprisoned or executed.
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