It Can’t Happen Here: Unless It’s Aliens or Has Orange Hair (Audio)/ Or Maybe It Can

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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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Meryl Streep Makes Impassioned Speech Calling for Empathy and Vigilance at Golden Globes Ceremony (VIDEO)

Tonight (Sunday, 1/8/17), Meryl Streep was presented with the Cecille B. DeMille Award at the Golden Globe Awards Ceremony for her decades of achievements as an actress. She chose to use the time set aside for her thank you speech to speak as a citizen of the United States and the world, imploring the artists in the room and the people watching to use the arts to fight repression of free speech and the press, and the humiliation and oppression of all types of people targeted by the alt right. She specifically brought up the 2015 incident when Donald Trump mocked chronically ill, physically disabled reporter Serge Kovaleski. Streep asked that we support the Committee to Protect Journalists,” an independent, nonprofit organization that promotes press freedom worldwide. We defend the right of journalists to report the news without fear of reprisal. Every year, hundreds of journalists are attacked, imprisoned, or killed. For more than 30 years, CPJ has been there to defend them and fight for press freedom.” With far right conservative governments being elected in countries around the world, the repression of free speech and the free press are going to get worse before they get better.

A partial transcript of Meryl’s speech under the cut.

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It Can’t Happen Here: Unless It’s Aliens or Has Orange Hair (Audio)

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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.

This may sound like a drastic scenario, something that “can’t happen here,” but Lewis wrote the novel originally because he was watching this very thing happen in Nazi Germany at the time. The original stage adaptation was created the following year. The original 1983 TV miniseries about an alien invasion,V, was also based on It Can’t Happen Here (and the later reboot series). V’s creator, Kenneth Johnson, was inspired by Lewis’ work, but the network executives at NBC thought the story would be more interesting if the American fascists from the book were turned into aliens for TV.

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Fewer Than 10% of the World’s Countries Are Led by Women, and the Washington Post Thinks This Is Good News

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Better Than Nothing Should Not Be Enough

This map is from an article on the Washington Post website titled Here are the dozens of democracies that have elected a female leader. The article is ostensibly an attempt to make women feel better about the fact that Hillary Clinton just barely missed shattering the glass ceiling separating her, and all women, from the White House by looking to other countries’ successful elections. I’m not quite sure how that article, or that map, are supposed to make me feel like the rest of the world is any more than marginally more advanced than we are.

The authors say:

But why hasn’t the United States had a female president? There may be as many theories as there are reasons, one of which may be that it is harder to achieve something without precedent. This map just asks that American girls and women look beyond their country’s borders, for the time being.

But this is meaningless. The first woman elected to lead her country in every instance has done something without precedence. It is not an explanation as to why it is harder in a country that likes to think of itself as one of the most advanced in the world.

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