Content Warning: Political Despair
Michael Moore recently had some dire predictions for us:
“I think if the election were held tonight, Trump would win. Not in the popular vote. Oh, no. Hillary won by 3 million votes? Whoever the Democratic nominee is, is going to win by 4 or 5 million votes. The gap will be even larger. The popular vote is going to be huge. But Trump has not lost his base. They’ve gotten bigger, and angrier, and whiter, and madder.”
I know this. I’m not sure if most people are noticing the extent of the problem here. The narrative has turned against progress. Public discourse in America and places like it around the world has been soaked in fascist propaganda for long enough that even some of the best of us regurgitate “common sense” we got third hand from neo nazis via our friends, family, lovers, the comedians and cultural figures we grew up with. Chris Rock, Jerry Seinfeld, harmless innocent funny people are telling us social justice has gone too far, people are too entitled, etc etc.
Kind and reasonable (but naive) people have been drinking from this cyanide well for so long there are young voters who have grown up knowing nothing else. Progressive movements like BLM get exploited by corporations to sell shit like Netflix TV shows that admit, yeah, maybe there’s some problems and you should stand up in some ambiguous way, but at the end of the day your political opponents are good people who can be reasoned with. You don’t need to do anything truly radical. You don’t need to care or to fight *that* much.
So the middle is kept too passive to vote, while conservatives are feeling more empowered and engaged than ever. Literal nazi propaganda has normalized so much that Fox news might as well fly the swastika. White people are gagging for it like sweet ambrosia. They believe it, they buy it, they sell it, they wallow in it. The belief that all of the woes of the world are the fault of outsiders, interlopers, anyone but themselves and the institutions they’ve been trained to revere.
Together with the fruit of decades of racist vote suppression, gerrymandering, and prison industry, that can sew it up for Trump – or his successor, whoever that great white fuck happens to be.
I’ve said it before and Mr. Moore reminded me today to say it again: Be ready to lose. To live under full bore fascism. To struggle to do right with no reward in sight, no light at the end of the tunnel. I wonder what it will look like from the inside, rather than from stories about other countries and other times in history. Some of it is already here, but when the scale tips – when we don’t even get the half-assed power to wag our fingers publicly at the tyrants, like at the impeachment – what will that feel like for us? I hope we don’t get to find out.