... the more they remain the same.
In Sinclair Lewis's 1935 "It Can't Happen Here" (performed on stage) a demagogic President, feigning populism, arrests political opponents (as shown here) and jailed, conspires with domestic terrorists, cracks down on business and finance, crushes liberties for women and others. pic.twitter.com/5kSNnakAcd— Michael Beschloss (@BeschlossDC) July 17, 2022
Sunday, July 17, 2022
The More Things Change…
Trump wanted to lock people up. Unfortunately the entire law enforcement and judicial system stood in his way. (Or was that just a chant he liked to hear at his little ego-boost sessions/political rallies?).
He clearly conspired with political terrorists who stormed the Capitol, controlled the building for a few hours, then went home after Trump told them to. They committed a number of crimes, but otherwise accomplished nothing.
Trump made a lot of noise about cracking down on Amazon and the Washington Post because he hated Jeff Bezos. But the apex of Trump’s ineffectiveness came during Covid when he tweeted “INVOKE P!” Which he apparently thought was enough to engage the Defense Protection Act and address the then shortage of masks and other medical equipment.
It was several weeks later before his administration finally figured out how to actually do that.
He wanted to crush the liberties of everyone who didn’t praise him, but he didn’t even know how to get the government to do what it legitimately could do.
Yeah, it could happen here. But it would take the almost complete collapse of military authority, the judiciary, and abdication by federal law enforcement across the board, combined with the acquiescence of at least 3/4’s of the governments of the 50 states, and passive acceptance of all of this by nearly all of the people. Not to mention acceptance of this total chaos by Wall Street, finance, and the other major interests of this country.
The Civil War had financial backing in the South largely because cotton was the petroleum of the 19th century, and the Southern states were Saudi Arabia. The conditions of the war itself were set by the compromises on slavery and slave states that led to the adoption of the constitution. So it was a long time coming, and still it took almost 90 years to happen. The only common thread between now is the persistence of racism in America, and its persistence as our “hidden wound.” All of the pushback in American politics since 1964 stems from the Civil Rights Act, although arguably it began with Eisenhower’s enforcement of Brown v Board. Ike was pretty much the last decent GOP President in modern history. After him came the race-baiting that every GOP President won office on: Nixon’s Southern strategy; Reagan’s welfare queens; Poppy’s Willie Horton; Rove’s Southern Strategy 2.0; and Trump’s birtherism, as well as his simply blatant racist remarks.
Is any of this leading to Civil War II? We’d have to recognize it for what it is, first. Slavery was an on/off switch; an either/or. Voter suppression is in the eye of the beholder. Government is the problem; or government is the people together. Social spending helps us all; social spending makes money go where the socks go in the dryer. Spending on people is bad; money to businesses is good. And ‘round and ‘round it goes. These things are argued over, but slavery was a concrete evil. The only argument was: are slaves as human as white people? (Yes, that argument still goes on, but the 13th Amendment settled the question of whether humans could be chattel. It was a much easier answer than: “What is voter suppression?”) Trump encouraged anarchy, but only about 1200 people answered; and they didn’t know what they were doing, and about 800 of them are in jail or under arrest. Proud Boys is attacking libraries (occasionally) to protest men in costumes reading books to children. Is it the clothes they object to, or children hearing books read aloud? It’s all rather like Korg’s story in “Ragnarok,” when he passed out fliers for a revolution, and nobody came. Honestly the anti-war activists (a minority of the population of college students, themselves a minority of the population) had more effect on ending the war (protests pretty much ended with Kent State in 1970. The war ended in 1975.). And the civil rights protesters, after a decade of effort, at least got the Civil Rights Act and the Voting Rights Act, and still have one of those left enforceable.
The Proud Boys and the Oath Keepers have seditious conspiracy charges, and jail. That’s the revolution they sparked. Will they finally really get their revolution in 80 or 90 more years, a la the first Civil War?
I kinda doubt it. And, as I said, the South had cotton, for a brief while, paying for their military. Who’s going to fund the war of the Proud Boys? Wars don’t pay for themselves.
The financiers are not a small part of this equation.
Posted by Rmj at 3:48 PM