Let me start by stating that in the past, in my younger days, I was an uber-radical…..I protested and I Worked for radical change for America. Never in our radicalized dreams that we ever considered doing what was done by the Right on 06 January….NEVER!
Since 1980 I have been saying and writing that the rise of certain groups would not end well for the country……I said then that the Right was a simmering stew of far Right leaning supporters and that it would only get worse if things did not change.
It seem that my fears were well founded.
Social scientists have long warned about the problem of “asymmetric polarization” in the United States, with the bulk of growing political extremism happening on the American right, rather than on the left. This one-sided polarization is observed in numerous academic studies, documenting the concentration of authoritarianism on the American right, via rising extremism in Republican Party politics, and related to the growing propensity of the right to use violence. My own research utilizing public opinion surveys reinforces the asymmetric polarization finding, as consumption of right-wing media is far more strongly associated with pulling Americans news consumers to the right than consumption of liberal media content is in pulling Americans to the left.
The large majority of mainstream journalists, public intellectuals, and scholars working in the field of fascism studies, have all been careful over the years to avoid characterizing Trump or U.S. politics as fascistic. Only a handful of scholars and other intellectuals, for example Henry Giroux, Jason Stanley, Carl Boggs, Paul Street, and a few others, have been sounding the fascism alarm bell for the last few years. These people were largely ignored by mainstream public intellectuals and scholars, despite recognizing the dangers of what’s been happening in real time.
The problem with American denialism is that it’s meant the circumvention of an important and necessary discussion about rising fascism that needed to happen following Trump’s rise to power, and in the wake of the terrorist white supremacist violence in Charlottesville, El Paso, and elsewhere. Now that Americans are finally waking up from their slumber regarding the threat of rightwing extremism, we find ourselves in the uncomfortable position of rushing from fascism denialism, to rapidly mobilizing law enforcement to disrupt, combat, and dismantle that fascist threat. This dramatically shifting reality speaks to the wholesale failure of American political discourse. This discussion should have been taking place in a very open and visible way over the last four years, before we reached a full-on crisis involving American fascistic violence.
This chapter in American history is not concluded….I believe it is far from over.
I Read, I Write, You Know
“lego ergo scribo”