How to fight fascism in the US

02.24.17

It’s time to stop pointing out all the ways that Donald Trump is turning the US into a fascist state at worryingly break-neck speed. Fascism is here.

The question is, what are we going to do about it?

Let’s look at history to see what has worked to successfully fight fascist / totalitarian regimes.

Option #1: War
Worked for: Germany, Italy and Japan circa WWII, among others.
Pros: Not many, but sometimes in history there hasn’t been much of a choice. The above examples did ultimately re-emerge as successful democracies.
Cons: Lots and lots of dead people. Plus, y’know, the US is the world’s biggest military superpower. There aren’t really any powers that could fight the US, even if they wanted to. And the only ones who could (Russia, China) mostly have worse political systems than the US does. Not to mention the pesky little problem of nuclear weapons.
Chances of success vs Trump: Virtually nil.

Option #2: Waiting for the leader to croak (of natural causes)
Worked for: Spain
Pros: Well, Trump *is* 70, and isn’t exactly in peak physical condition. Even if — as I fear — 2016 was the last real US election and Trump is positioning himself as dictator-for-life, statistically, how long could he really last? A decade? Maybe two? Once he’s gone, so is the demagogue-like power of his cult of personality.
Cons: Look at how much damage he’s done in a month. Just imagine where we’ll be in a decade. By then, will there be any pieces left of US democracy to even pick up?
Chances of success vs Trump: Ehhh, moderate. His supporters would probably claim that reports of his death were “fake news”.

Option #3: Voting out the leader
Worked for: Um…? Can’t think of any.
Pros: Technically the US *is* still a democracy. It’s only two years ’til the midterms, and four ’til the next general election. Peacefully voting out Trump would be a nicely nonviolent way to end the problems.
Cons: It’s highly unlikely the US will still be a real democracy by then. Already, so many people are being stripped of their right to vote that I’m sure there won’t be anything but a puppet election by then. (Dictators routinely get 95-99% of the vote… that’s how you know those elections are bogus.) Plus, the people who voted for Trump — and their hatred, racism and anger — aren’t going away. Scary as Trump is, there’s a whole party full of equally awful people in the GOP just waiting for their turn. President Palin? President Bachmann? President Bannon?
Chances of success vs Trump: Started off high, but getting slimmer by the day.

Option #4: Civil war
Worked for: The US, among others.
Pros: Avoids getting other countries involved in this mess. States hold a lot of power to counterbalance the federal government. Blue states like California and New York have a lot of money, power and influence. They could break off on their own, or, y’know, join Canada. Along with Vermont. We’d be happy to take Vermont. They have Ben & Jerry’s.
Cons: The federal government controls the army. And, again, those pesky nuclear weapons.
Chances of success vs Trump: Not very good.

Option #5: Nonviolent resistance
Worked for: Colonial countries achieving independence against empires, e.g. India, much of Africa, etc. Also the Civil Rights movement in the US.
Pros: There’s a huge progressive machine already in place fighting the good fight in the courts, at protests, in the media and on the streets. Americans have never taken shit lying down. Everyone from women to minorities to EPA scientists to librarians is picking up a picket sign.
Cons: Trump controls the courts (or will, once he appoints enough justices). He’s virtually discredited the media in about a month. The right to peaceful assembly is being legislated away as we speak. Mass roundups and deportations have already begun — so far of “illegal” immigrants, but first they came for the Communists and all that. At some point, peaceful resistance may not be enough.
Chances of success vs Trump: Probably the best of all the above options.

Have I missed anything?

Note: In case it wasn’t clear from the tone of this post, of course I’m not really advocating violence, and war is horrible. These are scary times, though.

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