by Shelton Bumgarner
Fascism has come to America. There was a novel in the 1930s entitled, “It Can’t Happen Here.” It was about the rise of a fascist state in the America. Given the Right’s to the recent “Prosecution Initiative” it is clear that MAGA has is, in fact, America’s version of fascism.
As I understand it, fascism is, as a concept, rather nebulous. Each state where it takes hold puts it’s own spin on the concept while there are some general overlapping beliefs associated with them. But talking to people who are MAGAists or sympathetic to it’s aims has left me shaken.
These people are completely devoid of simple, basic human empathy. They are devoid of that deep, visceral kick in the gut you get when you hear a baby’s cries for its parents. When I talk to them about changing Trump’s policy, they are either so busy scoring political points or talking about the need to for immigration reform, that they completely refuse to simply say, “This is enough. Change the policy back to what it was before April 2018.”
They simply can’t, or won’t, do it.
In all honesty, there’s no difference between that and being in Germany in 1939 debating with a Good German the need to finally solve the “Jewish Problem.” The difference — at least for now — is only a matter of degree. With the recent reports that Trump wants to place as many as 20,000 unattended minors on American M=military bases across the country. One you establish a system that can do that, it’s extremely difficult not to assume that such a system of mass detainment couldn’t be used for other “undesirables.”
MAGAist collaborators I’ve spoken to tell me I’m “grasping at straws” to suggest such a thing. But am I? Once you make the cognitive leap to ignore the cries of a child simply because of their lack of documentation or skin tone and lack of documentation, the pot is officially boiling. We’ve officially reached the point where we’re in a fascist state. As I keep sayings, what’s to stop MAGAists at the behest of Der Fuhrer to demand the mentally ill join undocumented people in the camps in an effort to address the gun issue once and for all. I’m not saying it’s going to happen over night and I’m not saying it won’t be difficult to implement.
But it’s officially within the realm of possibility, if nothing else. It’s not off the table.
The American Constitutional system has rotted to such an extent that literally the only thing standing between America and a Russian-style “managed democracy” is the pure, unadulterated rage of people who do, in fact, have common human compassion and empathy. People who don’t care about the finer points of immigration reform, or who quibble about the details of what’s going on at the border.
I mean, there are roughly 2,000 children missing within the system who we may never be able to be reunited with their families. But because the images aren’t there to help engage the American populace to rage against their plight, it appears as though this will fall into the typical partisan debate and nothing, really, will happen.
MAGAists simply lack basic human empathy and compassion. They are completely devoid of it. They just don’t care. And so, that, if noting else, is why MAGAists are modern day fascists. That’s what we’re up against. They completely control the government at this point for various reasons and there honestly isn’t anything we can do.
Things are going to get worse, much worse, before they get better and the only thing that may save us — and I hate to mention this at all — is simple civil disobedience. The pot is officially boiling and if we don’t hop out, if we don’t take a stand now, then the frog is cooked. I have suggested in the past that maybe someone might design an app to facilitate mass protests across the country.
Only through massive, regular protests across the country will there be anything close to an end to this. The electoral system is so completely broken that I just don’t see there being a “Blue Wave.” We have to see this as a marathon, not a sprint and we have to do some serious triage of the enormous number of problems the Trump Administration is throwing at us. I want to have hope, I really do. If I have hope, then I stay angry.
But honestly, I don’t have hope anymore. It’s just a matter of degree now. Either MAGAists push this as far as they can, or we come to some sort of stalemate. The decision, I guess, is ours at this point.
Shelton Bumgarner is a writer and photographer living in Richmond, Va. He may be reached at migukin (at) gmail (dot) com.