Monday, August 14, 2017

Land of the sucker, home of the coward

You know about Charlottesville. You know what President Trump said (or, rather, didn't say) about Charlottesville.

You probably have heard some Trump-addled right-wing ditwad blame the neo-Nazi riot in the Virginia college town on former President Barack Obama, or Black Lives Matter . . . or on any damned thing apart from the neo-Nazis and their chief enabler and encourager, Donald Trump.

You even might have heard some Trump-loving American fascists -- and make no mistake, to love Donald Trump and his agenda is to be an American fascist -- blame Heather Heyer, 32, for her own death in an act of neo-Nazi domestic terrorism. I have heard just that. Then again, I am originally from the fascist stronghold of Baton Rouge, La., and sometimes read the comments on local news stories there.  (I need to quit doing that.)

Heather Heyer
As the demented Nazi-apologist argument (such as it is) goes, Heyer is to blame for her own demise . . . because she was there. And for being a hateful "libtard" who had the gall to protest against white-supremacists who, after all, were exercising their First Amendment rights.

In the words of the American troll's favorite American antihero, "BAD!" Or was it "SAD!" ? I forget.

THIS BRINGS me to something Al Jazeera English dug from the depths of YouTube. I hesitate to bring Al Jazeera into this, because someone sees "Al Jazeera," thinks "MUSLIN TERRORISS!!!" and what's left of their brain freezes up. Anyway. . . .

What the cable-news outlet found and posted to social media was a clip from the 1947 reissue of Don't Be a Sucker, a 1943 anti-fascist propaganda film produced by the U.S. War Department. Cliff's Notes version: The film opens with a montage of all the ways one can be suckered, segues into a fascist stump speaker on the courthouse square in Anytown, U.S.A., then outlines the rise and fall (and toll) of Nazi rule in Germany.

The clip going around Facebook, et al, was supposed to be a history-based argument on the evils of fascism and white supremacy. And that it indeed is. But if you hunt down Don't Be a Sucker on the Internet -- a high-quality version is downloadable from the Internet Archive -- and watch the whole thing, much more becomes clear. Clear as someone caught in the high-wattage beam of a concentration-camp spotlight.

Cleaned-up a bit for 21st-century consumption, the fascist agitator's spiel in the public square is a remarkable facsimile of a Donald Trump campaign speech. The National Socialists' tactics to divide and conquer German society resemble something as contemporary, and Trumpian, as today's headlines. And our divided, faltering American society today is ripe for the conquering.

DONALD TRUMP knew that two years ago. American Nazis and other assorted white supremacists know it today. It is no accident that many of the racist rabble on parade in Virginia were chanting "Heil, Trump!" as they gave their stiff-armed Nazi salutes.

What the government of the United States warned its citizens about more than 70 years ago now is running the United States government. American voters who damn well ought to have known better -- been better -- put fascism in that high position.

Think about that, if you can stomach it.

Then think about what the hell you're going to do about it.

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