Many years ago I read a book titled “The Emperor: Downfall of an Autocrat“, by Ryszard Kapuscinski, which chronicles the dictatorship of Haile Selassie, “King of Kings, Elect of God, Lion of Judah, His Most Puissant Majesty and Distinguished Highness the Emperor of Ethiopia” who reigned from 1930 until he was overthrown by the army in 1974.
Something about the way the far-right talks always reminds me of one line in the book:
“Hailu must have started to think. You can see that he’s sad.”
Fascists always talk the same. Always. And the rhetoric and distractions always produce followers are always angry. But you can always tell the ones who truly love their country and seeks to promote the general welfare for as many of their fellow Americans and citizens of the world as possible. You can tell who they are, because they’re the ones who feel sad.
Some people today truly believe the world is ending because the other candidate was black, or the current candidate used their own email server (legally), or because healthcare, or because the other “side” just proposed or said anything whatsoever. It doesn’t matter.
The end of the world, however, doesn’t come from any of these things. It comes from those who, either by ignorance or intent, do evil things.
Evil tells you to trust no one but them. Don’t think, they say. Don’t believe scientists, or the Pope, or teachers, or any experts in any field. Don’t believe the same numbers that have been used to assess unemployment and economic growth for decades. Don’t believe the free press, unless they agree with us. They say anyone who disagrees with us is a traitor and someone to be feared. Anyone who might have been helped by the policies of the other side is somehow less than you — including immigrants (like your own grandparents, most likely), anyone who’s received public benefits, anyone who was raped, hungry children, people dying from American healthcare, and American heroes including Captain Humayun Khan, John Kerry, Tammy Duckworth, Max Cleland or even someone from your own party, like John McCain).
This is how the fascists, dictators, plutocrats, and autocrats talk. And just thinking about how easily so many people have been duped by the same old rhetoric is depressing, alarming, frightening, and in terms of American history, totally unprecedented.
Let us hope and pray the thinkers once again prevail two days from now.