The November 3, 2020 election will be the most consequential election of my lifetime. It is possibly the most important election for American democracy since the inception of American democracy. Elections have consequences, as evidenced by the 2016 election. Elections are also about the future, as many Americans are hoping for a different future than the one Trump is promising to bring if reelected. Some have suggested that the actions and words of president trump are similar to that of former fascist dictator of Italy Benito Mussolini.
“Capitalism is a successful form of government…. while it might degenerate into fascism and the rule of wealth.” W.E.B DuBois
“The American negro must know what’s going on in the world today and learn for themselves….and help America live up to at least a shadow of its vain boast as the land of the free and home of the brave.” W.E.B DuBois
“A government led by a dictator having complete power, forcibly suppressing opposition and criticism, regimenting all industry, commerce, etc.; (control of the political system, courts, police, and military) and emphasizing an aggressive nationalism and often racism.” Dictionary.com
Characteristics of fascism:
“Extreme militaristic nationalism, contempt for electoral democracy and political cultural liberalism, a belief in natural social hierarchy and the rule of elites, and in which individual interests would be subordinated to the good of the nation”. Britanica
The similarities between Trump and Mussolini, as well as the conditions that facilitated the rise of fascism in Italy are remarkable:
In 1922 at the end of WWI centrist and moderate conservative politicians in Italy appointed Benito Mussolini, a former socialist, the prime minister of Italy, thinking they could control him. Mussolini turned on them and created a dictatorial state and called himself “IL DUCE” (Italian: the leader), he crushed his opposition and created the first fascist state in 1924.
- Mussolini and Trump received overwhelming support and was elected (Trump) or appointed (Mussolini) to power by conservatives.
- Mussolini was a former socialist before becoming Prime Minister of Italy. Trump is a former democrat and didn’t run as a conservative but received support from the vast majority of conservatives to become president.
- The opposition and non-supporters are seen as a threat and are retaliated against, arrested or killed.
- Mussolini launched a program of terrorism and intimidation against his opponents using group of fascist militiamen known as the “Black Shirts.)
- Trump routinely attacks his opponents and non-supporters, calling them evil. He constantly lashes out at democrats and non-supporters, through twitter while on the campaign trail, at rallies, during debates and at press conferences. Trump asked for opponents to be arrested.
- The media is viewed as an enemy and ultimately controlled by the ruler.
- Mussolini insisted that the country’s newspapers be committed to the “cause” (fascism) and to obscure or outright bury any fact or story antithetical to it.
- Trump attacks the media when it reports unfavorable and opposing information about him. Trump has called for the boycott of news organizations such as CNN for news coverage that’s unfavorable to him or his policies.
- Unions and strikes are outlawed. Fascism reduces everything in society to complete state control.
- Mussolini banned unions and waged war on them by burning trade union offices, jailing unionist and beating and torturing them.
- A leaked white house memo discusses a plan by President Trump to destroy unions.
- Secret police are created and/or police/military are used to serve the interested of the ruler
- Mussolini formed a paramilitary squad of men known as “Black Shirts,” a military tool of his movement, and posed as champions of law and order, violently crushed Mussolini’s enemies, opponents and non-supporter.
- Trump dispatched armed forces to violently clear away peaceful protesters (using American military to move against American people) outside the White House simply to look tough and to stage a photo opportunity. Trump has threatened to invoke the Insurrection Act which provides broad authority to the president to deploy military.
- Democracy is under attack and eventually abolished
- Mussolini took control of the Parliament and imposed a dictatorship in Italy
- Trump has consistently claimed the 2020 election is rigged against him. He has indicated that he wouldn’t accept the results of the election if he doesn’t win. Trump has floated the idea of delaying the election.
Fascism insist that the people have obligation first and foremost to the nation and the ruler.
The conditions which allow for fascism to arise is: the mobilization of real or perceived fear that someone is going to harm you or destroy your way of life. Anger about the real or perceived bad economy. Sense of loss because of the belief -true or untrue- that something is being taken from you by someone else. Racism. Uncertainty about the future because of a real or perceived bad economy. The feeling of being slighted -true or untrue- or seen as weak.
Fascist leaders have no respect for the law, tradition, history, customs or principles. The only thing that matters to a fascist leader is doing whatever it takes to “rebuilding the country.” And contend that they are the only ones that can fix it.
- “Trump was very brilliant at arguing that America had been in decline over the last 8 years or more, which was an artificial construction. But there were enough people who weren’t doing so well and enough people who didn’t like a black president and that the message rang a bell.” Noam Chomisky, author of Fascism: Could it Happen here, in a 2017 interview with Democracy Now,
To prevent America from “degenerating” into fascism, it is your responsibility to vote. A non-vote is a vote. An indecision is a decision. We cannot take supporters of Trump lightly.
Voting is the First Thing, Not the Last Thing. Voting is the Beginning, Not the End. Voting is the Start, Not the Finish.
If you are black, brown and native and don’t like the direction America is going under the leadership of Donald Trump and the GOP lead senate and are eligible to vote Tuesday November 3, 2020, you are responsible to vote. Fascism is knocking at the door vociferously and your vote can prevent a dictatorial form of government in America.
Election day: Tuesday November 3, 2020
What you need to know to vote and to check to see if you are registered or allowed to vote:
VOTE! VOTE! VOTE! VOTE! VOTE! VOTE! VOTE! VOTE! VOTE! VOTE!