Wednesday, November 15, 2023

Notes From The Vermin


If there remain people who don’t believe the survival of democracy is on the ballot next year, either they’re unreachably Foxotrumpified or blind, deaf, and dumb (in its more common meaning). Or find it to their liking. Which describes Trump supporters and lookers the other way.

They must welcome the similarities to Hitlerian Germany, because there’s no denying what’s in store if Trump becomes der Fuhrer, as he intends. He’s made it clear. Brags about it. Promises to “root out... the radical left thugs that live like vermin within the confines of our country.” “Vermin,” he said. “Root out.” So did Hitler. And Mussolini.

And, as reported in the New York Times, “he’ll round up millions of undocumented people and put them in detention camps while they await deportation...” That, presumably, is how he’ll “root out” us vermin, too. And he’ll “deny visas to people with ideological views Trump does not like.”

We pause for Trumpists’ cheers to subside. And for the rest of us to consider the implications of his Holocaust-echoing plans. Here’s his spokesman, referring to those who’ve criticized his Hitlerian language: “...[T]heir entire existence will be crushed when President Trump returns to the White House.” For real.

Nor will Trump let truth block his path to authoritarian control. “I’m a very proud election denier,” he effluxed. After the recent thrashing Republicans received in much of the country, he retrumped that it’s more proof elections can’t be trusted. Then, repeating the next-biggest rightwing lie, to credulous adoration from his delirious followers, he continued, “... [W]e were able to stop a very radical agenda. The Democrats were killing babies after birth, killing babies in the ninth month...”

There’s no lie too outrageous, too easily debunked to be deployed, swallowed by Trumpists. It’s 1930s Germany and 2020s America. This is NOT hyperbole. It’s observation. Trumpism is proof it CAN happen here. Unstopped, it WILL. Ever since Trump’s “fine people on both sides” declaration and his “stand by” to white supremacists, antisemitism, racism, and xenophobia have been on the rise in America. Now, bearing Trump’s imprimatur, it’s everywhere.

“Vermin,” he said. “Root out.”

In red states, they’re not waiting to Don brown shirts. A strong majority of Ohio voters amended their constitution, guaranteeing the right to birth control and abortion. Their Republican legislature immediately announced plans simply to ignore it, and to legislate away the judiciary’s ability to enforce it. No doubt they’ll continue to proclaim singular love for America, but there’s nothing about America they do love. Not, certainly, its diversity. Not its lack of a state religion. Not, even more certainly, its democracy. No election results will be accepted which don’t go their way. Nothing is more contrary to democracy than that, and it’s become MAGA Republican doctrine. Again, not hyperbole. Direct observation.

All of this ought to be profoundly frightening to everyone disinclined toward totalitarianism. It’s the existential question, now, facing all Americans: are you or aren’t you?

In the Republican-controlled House, rather than addressing America’s real problems, like climate change, healthcare access, poverty, or passing a budget rather than yet another continuing resolution, they’re signing meaningless bills, lowering the pay of various Biden administration officials, including Vice-President Harris, to one dollar, and proposing groundless, Foxophilic impeachments. It’s useless and stupid; embarrassing to all Americans, except their intentionally endumbed voters.

Speaker-from-God Mike Johnson adjourned his Congress for three days so he could address a far-right gathering in Paris which included some very nasty people.

By doing nothing, they’re biding time for the hoped-for government takeover by Trump, and his promised purge of the imaginary “deep state.” And liberals. It’s a reverse Rapture: Trump returns and all non-Christians, non-white, non-Trumpists, all people with expertise will be borne away, shuttered and silenced, ushering in a biblical Paradise on Earth for the Trumpically embittered and Foxically brainwashed. Substituting Trump “I’m being indicted for you” for Jesus, it’s the “greatness” they’ve prayed for and which never was.

If that’s what his acolytes are hoping for, Trump, who knows he’s guilty of multiple crimes and possibly prison-bound, is hoping to pardon himself and fire everyone holding him to account.

He needn’t worry. Even if found guilty, it’s clear he’ll be the Republican nominee despite the “debates” in which unserious also-rans try to out-MAGA-mouth each other. And, given the “conservative” money funding third-party candidates meant to rob progressive votes and bring Trump upon us, plus the programmed ignorance of President Biden’s enormously impactful successes, he well could win. 

“Vermin,” he said. “Root out.”

Presidents don’t talk like that. Malicious dictators, bent on dehumanizing scapegoats to consolidate power, do. Knowing this, anyone who votes for Trump may as well raise their right arm and shout “Sieg Heil.” In Congress and around the country, Americans are metaphorically preparing to do just that, and they’re exactly to whom Trump is speaking. “Now or never” has never been more now.

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