These days I’m hearing a lot about Trump’s progress toward fascism. I hear Trump and his supporters denouncing “antifa,” apparently an organized group of violent Trump opponents. So I did some research.
Merriam-Webster online defines fascism as “a political philosophy, movement, or regime (such as that of the Fascisti) that exalts nation and often race above the individual and that stands for a centralized autocratic government headed by a dictatorial leader, severe economic and social regimentation, and forcible suppression of opposition.” That does sound an awful lot like the direction the Trump administration is going.
Merriam-Webster online defines “antifa” as “a person or group actively opposing fascism.” Wikipedia says that “Antifa (/ænˈtiːfə, ˈæntiˌfɑː/) is an anti-fascist political movement in the United States comprising a diverse array of autonomous groups that aim to achieve their objectives through the use of both non-violent and violent direct action rather than through policy reform. Antifa political activists engage in protest tactics such as digital activism and militancy against fascists and racists such as neo-Nazis, white supremacists and other far-right extremists whom they seek to combat. This may sometimes involve property damage, physical violence and harassment against those whom they identify as belonging to the far-right.”
There is certainly no question that I am strongly opposed to Trump’s slide toward fascism, but I am equally opposed to political violence. Trump on numerous occasions has encouraged his followers to use violence again the opposition. Biden, in contrast, has consistently decried violence.
So what does that make me? A pro-Biden anti-Trump nonviolent antifa practitioner who doesn’t belong to any organized group.
As it becomes clearer that Trump will lose the election in November, maybe by historical proportions, Trump shocked me by refusing to commit to abiding by the election’s outcome and leave the White House if he is defeated. That’s fascism writ large. It amounts to a coup d’etat. I am equally shocked that the Republicans have maintained their silence—and therefore their complicity—in the face of Trump’s stance.
These are the seeds of civil war.