Some of those voices point to the actions taken by the states and local governments during the pandemic. They demand that no government should ever tell anyone to stay home and do not work. They refuse to don masks, social distance, and even, to compel social tracing. Despite the existence of health crises that has already killed over one-hundred six thousand Americans, they are fighting against social tracing and some even insist they will never allow the vaccination assuming we are even lucky to create the fix. Some of their protest signs or Facebook posts declare the state and local governments fascist and even give Dr. Anthony Faucui that tag, despite that scientists have absolutely no control over governmental policies. They’re willing to grant the current president total control over the nation’s recovery because they tell us we’re in a national emergency, but surely not any other government agency despite constitutional permissions.
Now that peaceful protests have turned cities into flames, has resulted in selfish looting and mindless terror by an extreme and absolute minority hitting the streets, many on the right are adamant that it is time to draw the line. They see carnage in the street and fear only severe law and order will quell the riots. A quick glance at some social media posts reveals an alarming “Johnny-get-your-gun” mentality,
They don’t stand alone. Many on the left proclaim “fascism is coming, fascism is coming” but are adamant that the threat comes from the right. To them, President Donald Trump is leading the fascist charge. They have always equated Trump with fascism with many references to Hitler. But there’s more. They cite a long history for proof: Many on the left and members of the media refer to his fascination with the world’s worst strongmen, his continuous attack upon the media, and now social media, his demands for absolute loyalty to him rather than to the country. He seems to fan the flames with his acts of revenge against those who blow whistles.
Recent events have made the allegations of fascism that much louder. Detractors say he has no compassion for African Americans seething in pain and anger. Instead, his opponents feel Trump only shows one public face, that of anger, brute strength and resolve. After all, he won’t say he’s sorry, never says he’s wrong. Instead, he doubles down, scowls, grits his teeth, and casts blame onto others. Always. Governors recoil from his bullying of them and his insistence that if they don’t immediately take care of the riots and looting, “only he can fix it, and he will--just get out of the way” Adding even greater fuel to the fire has been the outrageous abrupt and violent episode in which his administration violently cleared out the park so he could display the confluence of God and country. In stunning rebukes, religious and top military leaders have publicly denounced his words and actions. Like those on the right, the left and the Trump critics insist he is abusing the constitution, is engaging in tyrannical behavior and like fascists in the past will violently turn upon his own people.
Both sides warn that the clouds of fascism are darkening and the glorious American experiment of this democratic republic to be fighting desperately for survival, screaming ever so loudly, “I can’t breathe”.
Which all makes me wonder: What happens when the polar opposites are absolutely convinced that their own personal and constitutional rights are being mutilated by the others? What happens when either side asserts that the status quo does not and that lawbreaking, or worse, violence is a legitimate, even worse, necessary course of action?
Needless to say, based upon recent events, I am afraid. So many respected yet strident voices blame the other side as danger personified, deprived of morality and willing to destroy the country to achieve political ends. Consequently,I am deeply concerned that reason is becoming a casualty.
I shudder when I hear others proclaim that violence is justified or that laws can be broken because their cause is right. When that happens, after the fog of battle clears, chaos always dances with anarchy.
Hopefully, in our collective anger, we will remember one rule of nature--acts cause reactions. Precedents are set. Those willing to ignore laws’ rules, insisting that right demands might, must ultimately accept the inevitable. If one believes law-breaking or violence is justified, one better accepts the probability of the reaction. The other side can justify their dangerous behaviors too, so when hell breaks loose, better not complain.
History has proven that people, at times of great anger and despair, open the door when the government control knocks. It doesn’t just happen abruptly. The entry is quiet but welcoming. The soldiers are willing because relief always seems brighter than sorrow.
It is Fascism that is the opiate of the masses. It is most available when the cause seems just and essential and as a legitimate way to silence pain, anger and great sorrow.
It pounds loudly at our doors. Which one of us will let it in?