The New Normal

10-15-18 NY Times ran an op ed video entitled If You’re Not Scared About Fascism in the U.S., You Should Be. It starred and was by Jason Stanley, with the video by Adam Westbrook and Japhet Weeks. It is only about  5 minutes. Stanley makes it clear throughout that he is a professor of philosophy at Yale and has studied Fascism a lot. OK, the last ten years (he’s not that old). He gives insights about what makes for fascism and why it’s concerning. Analysis shows that what makes for Fascism IS what is concerning! Professor Stanley gives the following “indicators” of Fascism: Usually, if not always, a male leader. There is an emphasis, and reliance, on a mythic past (MAGA), There is a need, and reliance, on creating division within the state (people, culture, etc.). And finally, there is an unrelenting attack on the truth (Giuliani’s “Truth isn’t truth.”). Stanley ends the short flick with the acknowledgement that “When Fascism starts to feel normal, we’re all in trouble.” Analysis can’t lay claim to Jason Stanley’s bona fide’s though it has written about Fascism several times and referenced Stanley’s colleague, Timothy Snyder, in passing. Analysis believes that the kernel of Fascism can be summed up with even more brevity than that of the learned philosophy professor. We’ve all experienced it at some point in our lives, usually in our youth, even early youth. “Do what we want or you will get hurt.” Stings, doesn’t it? Today’s Washington Examiner headline reads “Trump threatens to pull aid from Honduras if caravan isn’t stopped.” The caravan is in Guatemala, not Honduras (though it was in Honduras before entering Guatemala). No need to go into the details. The NY Daily news ran “Trump’s long history of mocking the appearances of women” after he called his former mistress “Horseface.” And then there’s the archival video of offering to pay a million bucks to Senator Warren’s charity if she took a DNA test, only to find the latest video showing him claiming he never said that. Denials of this sort are not exceptional, more the rule like the Daily News suggests. And rules are the norm, the new normal. “When Fascism starts to feel normal, we’re all in trouble.”

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