Well, the electoral college failed yesterday to do what it was put in place to do – to save the republic from the election of a madman, demagogue, or simply one unqualified to hold the office.
it-cant-happen-hereAnd we now have all three, plus his coterie of supremely unqualified department heads. No, they’re all qualified, and sworn, to destroy the very agencies they’ve been chosen to lead. There’s the treasonous way in which he was ‘elected’ and the questionably legal means by which the Trump organisation has prevented effective recounts in states he ‘won’ by small margins.
I’m not the only Cassandra predicting that fascism has finally come to the US. I’d like to believe I’m wrong. I’d love to be proven wrong, but all evidence seems to point to the last nails being hammered into the coffin of the American experiment.
And the election of someone who can be baited in less than 140 characters to say and do things that are (to say the least) diplomatically unsound at a time of such global uncertainty, leads me to consider (not for the first time) that if we’re not already in World War III, we’re not far from it. The assassination of Russia’s ambassador to Turkey yesterday would indicate a step closer to that horrible scenario if it weren’t for a weird history of assassinations of Turkish diplomats. (I hadn’t recalled the spate of these things that occurred in the 70s and 80s, but Rachel Maddow enumerated them on last night’s programme.)
It’s possible that the fall of Aleppo might signal something resembling the fall of Poland in 1939, but history doesn’t repeat that cleanly, and obviously no one has signed on to an agreement that would only now precipitate a wider conflict. Given Russia’s role in both Syria and in the US election, it’s not as though we’d be entering on the opposing side at this point.
The Trump election and Farage’s victory in the Brexit vote and a few other western political occurrences seem to argue for a rise in right-wing populism. Austria managed not to elect a fascist leader president a few weeks ago in a runoff election and the victory of a gent to the left was hailed as a triumph of sanity. Yeah, but the fascist still got 47% of the vote. And now that same fascist, Heinz-Christian Strache, is in talks with Trump’s new national security adviser. In the last couple weeks Geert Wilders, the bleach blond leader of the Dutch fascists (Partij Voor Vrijheid – the party for freedom, whatever that means) has been seeing a rise in his prospects. Elections for the Dutch lower house (tweede kamer) occur next year. I need to do some research, but I think that the current PM is not running again.
And, in the category of fascist power grabs, we have that craziness in North Carolina. Republican governor loses race, so Republican legislature passes a bunch of laws stripping the new governor of most of the governor’s power, just in time for the outgoing guy to sign them.