(Written on Facebook early Saturday morning; updated below) (UPDATED AGAIN): American nazis (many of them no doubt radicalized by the self-proclaimed “godfather of the alt-right,” Steve Bannon) were on the march Friday night, chanting the actual Nazi slogan, “Blood and Soil.” Close-ups reveal most of them to be young white college-boy types, pudgy, coddled, comfortable, smug. They’re not driven by, say, economic privation or lack of opportunity or lack of education or dire threat or any of the other reasons often adduced for people turning to extremism. No: these smug, well-wadded bastards are driven solely by cankered bigotry & their delusions of racial superiority. You can look in their faces and see what quivering cowards they all are, weak and stunted souls too stupid and too scared to see themselves for what they really are. It’s like an oozing sludge of Stephen Miller clones.
This is actually the beating heart of Trumpism; both of the chief presidential advisers I’ve just named would fit seamlessly into this group and endorse their “blood and soil” bullshit. But of course “Trumpism” is just the latest embodiment of a deep and abiding element in America’s history, culture and politics. The liberal obsession with removing Trump “by any means necessary” (see below) simply obscures — and exacerbates — this fundamental fact. You can get rid of Trump (maybe); but as long as you keep concentrating on these rancid postules that keep erupting on the skin of the body politic — while ignoring the deeper disease within — we will all keep going from worse to worse.
UPDATE (Saturday night): As expected, many many hours after the “American carnage” set loose by his supporters erupted in Virginia, Trump issued a statement condemning … not his white nationalist Bannonite supporters, not the rise of armed Nazi militias on American streets, not the vile racist hatred of the “alt-right” who deliberately fomented the violent chaos with their armed marches shouting actual Nazi slogans. No, he issued a boilerplate message condemning … the “bigotry, hatred and violence” on “all sides.” Which “side” was showing bigotry and hatred in Charlottesville? The armed whie nationalist thugs literally marching with Nazi flags and chanting hate slogans? Or the multiracial messangers of tolerance and the avowed opponents of hatred and bigotry who came out in large numbers to resist the Nazis?
With even hard-right nabobs like Paul Ryan condemning the sickening display of outright Nazism in Virginia, Trump had to say *something*. But he said the very least, the very minimum possible in this situation. The “both sides do it” trope is actually a clear absolution of his Nazi supporters; it seeks to muddy the waters by equating *resistance* to evil with the evil itself. To all this I can only say: Damn Trump. Damn the putrid thugs who bring out the flags of mass murderers to assert their own specious “superiority.” And damn our bipartisan political/media elites for their brutalizing, dehumanizing economic and militarist policies that have fed the growth of every noxious element of American society while destroying the very notion of a greater common good. Damn them all.
(UPDATED AGAIN): In Charlottesville, a car drove into a group of counter-protestors who were cheering the retreat of the white nationalist thugs. One person was killed, many were injured. Let’s remember that SEVERAL Republican-controlled states have introduced bills to make it legal to run over protestors who are “blocking traffic.” Let’s remember the “leaders” who have been actively abetting a culture of violence and bigotry for many years. Including the “progressive” leaders who have waged nation-destroying wars, child-killing drone raids and weekly meetings to sign off on death lists of people (including American citizens) to be killed outside any legal or constitutional process. Let’s remember all those who for years have taught by example that violence and brutality are “legitimate” means of advancing your political/ideological agenda. The American fish has been rotting from the head for decades, and now we are seeing it stripped raw.