You Call People Stupid?
Recently, during a Facebook exchange, in which I was hopelessly trying to get a conservative to understand the threat of fascism that is on us right now, I was accused of using my education to “call people stupid”.
This was from a conservative who was complaining that I hurt his feelings with the data and facts I was showering on him and others about the horrible predicament America finds itself in the era of Trump!
Trump lies all the time. The most recent one, I just read before I sat down to write this, is “I have totally destroyed ISIS”.
Now that is a flat lie. The number of ISIS fighters is about the same today as it was two years ago. ISIS attacks have not diminished, the threat is still real.
But to know that you have to read several sources, some to get the news, others to substantiate the reality that is being reported.
And sometimes that is not easy.
I read three newspapers a day still, one news Magazine (Time) a week, the Nation Magazine (yes it is liberal) and The Atlantic. This is along with other periodicals. In short I am fact checking all the time.
And I tell my readers of my qualifications, a BA and MA in Political Science plus a resume of teaching and school leadership that is decades long.
And I get, from Trumpsters, that I am an intellectual elite and should not be listened to.
So having valid, fact checked information in the face of a serial liar is somehow disqualifying?
Think about that for a minute. It is classic fascist behavior.
The “Triumph of the Will” the famous documentary of pre-WWII Germany, was celebrating the Triumph of the Will over rational thought.
Hitler knew that rational thought would bring his movement down. The irrational was celebrated, might makes right; (it doesn’t).
Might does not make right, it never has. Sooner or later, usually after much human suffering, might is defeated by right, because people do have a better nature. Sometimes the culture will be totally destroyed before people wake up.
And example would be the Confederacy. The Confederacy was based on slavery. It existed through massive injustice in a vain attempt to defend an inhuman system of human abuse to build an economy and an aristocracy.
And thousands of people died in the struggle that ultimately saw the end of slavery. Now the South could have won, but slavery was still doomed, because meanwhile the rest of the world outlawed it. The United States could not have maintained slavery because it was an outlaw nation.
So did 600,000 die for nothing? Yes as a matter of fact.
That is what irrational behavior does.
Look, political philosophy from the dawn of man, has fought with irrational and rational thought.
After the Dark Ages (and they were very dark), the Crusades, a Renaissance occurred, that began to teach that rational thought, political ethics, human society that was just, was a better way to organize society. The democratic tradition was born from the idea that ordinary people could govern themselves.
Unfortunately this is constantly under attack from those who believe authoritarianism is better, that people cannot rule themselves through a system like approach (politics as science) but force, irrational thought is better.
WWII proved once again it isn’t. Japan, Italy and Germany all at once, in the face of the Worldwide Depression, swung once again to authoritarianism (a new title for it is totalitarianism), based on the irrational.
And the enemy of this is rational thought, education and yes, justice and mercy. In fact, this is in the teachings of Jesus Christ, Grandy, M.L. King, etc., etc.
And fascism stands as the epitome of irrational thought being somehow a solution to human problems.
As usual the “simple solution”, the emotional response, the easy answer is the way that is sold by the authoritarian. As usual it will result in chaos, disaster and death.
Trump is a great example, and his followers are more examples of the almost hypnotic power of authoritarian fascism.
But we have a template, an historical example of the incredible danger of this form of governing. Nazi Germany used to be one of the most studied example of what can go horribly wrong with an irrational social/political structure.
But that was many years ago and people forget. The “Greatest Generation” who sacrificed millions in fighting worldwide fascism are almost all gone now.
Their sons and daughters, the Baby Boom, are aging. And that generation were directly protected by their parents from the horrors of the catastrophe that happened to mankind (WWII).
And my generation (the boomers) wound up producing Trumps, privileged elites who turned their backs on democracy and are leading us down the fascist path once again.
It happened by accident; by a system of election that goes back to when slavery dominate America. The Electoral College was developed to defend the slave system in an in out numbered south. It has worked several times to elect a person who actually loses the popular vote for a position (President) that the Constitution sets up as a popular vote position (along with the Vice President).
Think about it. The Supreme Court is selected. The House and the Senate are elected by the states, not by the general population (Senators were elected by state legislatures until a Constitutional Amendment changed that). The reason? To continue slavery.
Slavery did not have popular support overall even in 1850.
The Civil War and the 13th, 14th and 15th Amendments changed that, but missed the undemocratic Electoral College, that gave us Trump.
In short, Trump’s election was an error of an outmoded section of the Constitution.
And he is taking advantage of it; using his minority status to recruit radical right extremists, who are racist and authoritarian and intend to take away our free society.
Make no mistake, that is why Trump hates intellectualism (he calls it political correctness) and trains his followers to hate colleges; etc.
Schools are the enemy. He even wants to arm teachers!
It is fascist authoritarianism.
I had a Facebook conservative friend recently rant about how “universal college educations” somehow is bad and “runs up a college debt they want the taxpayer to pay for”. The Intellectual Snobs (that Nixon once railed against) are a threat to authoritarians for one simple reason, rational thought, educated guided thought, sooner or later becomes the enemy of irrational.
It took over 50,000,000 lives last time to stop this insanity. The battle has begun again, this time starting in Russia with Putin and now the United States with Trump.
Two nuclear armed nations turning fascist. This is not a good thing. What could possibly go wrong.
But it is a good time to go back to the lessons authoritarianism has taught us the hard way before. It is time for the summer soldier and the part time patriot to stand up and resist.
What is at stake is the future of the human species.