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What to Expect in the Final Days of Trump’s Fascist Reign

What to Expect in the Final Days of Trump’s Fascist Reign from @truthout
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As Trump’s reality TV presidency comes to an end, Kelly Hayes and author Sarah Kendzior talk about what to expect in these final days, and what the future might hold.

TRANSCRIPT

Note: This a rush transcript and has been lightly edited for clarity. Copy may not be in its final form.

Kelly Hayes: Welcome to “Movement Memos,” a Truthout podcast about things you should know if you want to change the world. I’m your host, Kelly Hayes.

It’s been just over a week since a fascist assault on the Capitol demonstrated what some of us have warned throughout the Trump administration: that you cannot simply vote away a fascist mass movement. It took days for most people to realize how close we came to a hostage situation, or even a mass murder, on the floor of Congress. The Vice President could have been assassinated. A Republican member of Congress offered clues on social media as to the location of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. A police officer, who was a Trump supporter himself, was beaten to death with a fire extinguisher. Meanwhile, police from around the country could be found among those rioting, along with wealthy white Republicans, elected officials, and active members of the U.S. military.

The House of Representatives voted on Wednesday to impeach president Trump for incitement of insurrection, making Trump the only president in history to be impeached twice. So what will the last days of the Trump administration look like, and what should we expect from Trump and his supporters during this turbulent time?

On Sunday, I got a chance to discuss these events with my friend Sarah Kendzior. Sarah is a journalist, co-host of the podcast Gaslit Nation and author of the book Hiding in Plain Sight: The Invention of Donald Trump and the Erosion of America. Sarah has been trying to warn the public about Trump’s authoritarian trajectory since 2015, and she also predicted last week’s attack on the Capitol. So I hope you all will hear her out in this moment, as we try to navigate this next week and our escape from Trumpism.

[musical interlude]

KH: Many people were shocked last week when a right-wing mob raided the Capitol building in a violent spectacle that left five people dead. Others were less shocked by these events.

One of those decidedly unshocked people is author and journalist Sarah Kendzior, who is with us on the show today. Sarah is the co-host of the podcast “Gaslit Nation” and a regular guest on “Movement Memos.” Sarah, welcome back to the show.

Sarah Kendzior: Oh, thank you for having me.

KH: I say you’re a regular guest, but I feel like some of you are sort of roving co-hosts at this point.

SK: [Laughing] Pretty much

KH: I seriously just love the conversations we have. And I’m so glad you’re here today.

SK: Oh well, thank you for having me back. It’s honestly therapeutic to talk to somebody else who actually understands what’s going on, so that’s great. It’s one good thing.

KH: I hear that., well we have watched people react to this in a variety of ways. We have seen people acting shocked and surprised. We have seen a lot of nonsense about unity. And we have seen a lot of obfuscation of the severity and character of what really happened that day. As someone who has been painstakingly trying to warn and educate people about Trump longer than anyone I know, what was your gut reaction when this happened?

SK: I was expecting this to happen because they had announced it, you know, the perpetrators had announced it. You know, the Proud Boys, members of Q Anon, various militants had given out the date, the time, the place. Even before they had done that, there were people making statements that were making me concerned. Michael Cohen, for example, kept talking about January 6th as a day that Trump did not want to be in DC. And something about the way he kept repeating the date and saying that made me think, “Well you know, perhaps something very bad is in store for that day.” And this was long before it was announced, but it was not just the attack itself that I dreaded, but this sort of reaction to it, this sort of hesitancy, this ticking clock. It’s extraordinarily dangerous. It’s been dangerous the whole time, but the danger has been maximized now. If they do this kind of violent attack with five people dead, including a police officer, and there are no repercussions, then what are there repercussions for? How far will they take it?

KH: I think Trump really thought it was a win-win situation for him. If he really stopped the certification that day, maybe he would get to stay in power. But as a showman, I think he was really counting on the spectacle, as much as anything. Presidents tend to legacy shop late in their terms, but I think Trump is more of a legend shopper. I think he thought that even if the siege failed, it would be the, “Remember the Alamo!” call of 2024. I also think he wanted his supporters to get hurt. I don’t think he considered the possibility that they would kill members of law enforcement, because, for one, I don’t think he’s much of a thinker, but I think he really thought that some of his fans would get mowed down, and that he would have the upper hand in some way, with that martyr narrative. What do you think is happening with him right now and how he is processing how this actually played out?

SK: Well first, I think you’re absolutely right. I think they were looking for martyrs. Trump has never cared what happens to his own supporters; they’re just background players in the reality TV show of Donald Trump. And that’s how he thinks about everything. You know, he plays himself, he plays a fictional version of Donald Trump. You know, whether it’s a big business tycoon or whether it’s this outsider renegade president, which is how he tried to portray himself despite running for the presidency, or nearly running five times and being immersed in politics as well as Kremlin activity for 40 years. Nonetheless, that is exactly what he was doing. He was trying to create images. He was trying to create a mythology around himself. He was trying to push the destruction of the United States forward because that’s the key thing to understand is that he does not care if this country survives.

He would in fact prefer that it doesn’t so that he and his oligarch and plutocrat backers can basically take what remains, can take what’s left of the United States, divide it amongst themselves, sell off the resources and so forth, and make a lot of money. So that’s what has distinguished him from similar past autocratic leaders.

And so some of this is pragmatic. I mean, they really want the United States to collapse. They don’t want to collapse personally. That’s the only thing they care about is their individual survival. And that puts us as citizens in an extremely vulnerable and dangerous position. It puts officials in the United States government who are actually trying to do their job in a terrible position.

And I also think this was an opening salvo for a number of reasons — in part, because they’ve announced further attacks on January 17th and of course on inauguration day. But also because, for all of the carnage on display, there was some restraint. There wasn’t, you know, as much gun violence as there could have been, as one might’ve expected at an event like this. And I’ve worried that they’re saving that level of carnage for closer to the inauguration.

You know, Trump does want to maintain power. He doesn’t want to maintain it to govern. He wants to maintain it to continue this heist and to remain immune from prosecution. That was the case from the very start. And he will keep doing that unless there are serious consequences. And among the things that they need to do is make it legally impossible for him to ever run for any governmental position again. I mean, he should be in prison. He should be in prison for a variety of things. And that would also protect the public from his influence. It won’t curtail the movement. He’ll become the martyr of his own lost cause, but it’s very important to remove him from power, because the way that this could go, it’s not just about domestic attacks. I’ve also been worried about him starting a war with Iran, releasing weaponry. There are all sorts of very destructive things he could do, some of which would lead to irreparable damage.

KH: Absolutely, not to mention that every day he’s there, the situation is getting worse with COVID and this botched vaccine rollout. Experts are saying the new strain will be dominant in the U.S. in February or March, which means we really don’t have a minute more to lose to this tragic circus.

In terms of the violence that’s coming, you know, I’m personally less concerned about concerted mobilization at this point than I am about the more unpredictable stuff, because something I’m seeing in kind of observing how Trump’s people are reacting to all of this — I don’t think that they are any match for the FBI or the Secret Service in terms of taking on the inauguration itself, but I am concerned about the safety of leftist activists and writers, democratic state officials, and also just people at large. I am concerned about the Trump fans who are very loudly looking to double down, and planning upcoming mobilizations, but also about the people who are disillusioned. Because if you look at these right-wing forms, there are a lot of people who were ready to take violent action for Trump who now feel betrayed. So what happens with those people? Because I don’t think they’re just going to go get therapy and put their lives back together. I mean, here’s hoping, but I am concerned that even those who are breaking with Trump over this, those people aren’t just losing a leader, they are losing a worldview. Because they detached themselves, long ago, from any reality they share with you and me to anchor themselves to Trump. They let Trump tell them what was real, even when he was rewriting weather reports, or telling them not to believe their own lying eyes. They gave him that loyalty, because he fed their delusions about themselves. That their humiliation and sense of victimhood is real, that they are the victims of this society, that marginalized people robbed them of greatness — all of these really narcissistic ideas, and I don’t think those ideas go away because Trump failed them. I am worried about the people who are out there looking for a new messiah who might tell them that the problem with Trumpism is that it wasn’t radical enough.

I’m worried about people committing random acts of violence to reassert themselves, whether it’s in Trump’s name, or in the name of a movement they believe he’s failed.

SK: Yes, absolutely. I see that playing out, unfortunately every day with the targeting of people who have been right, who have issued warnings and who are trying to, you know, act in the name of the public good. I also agree that this is a disparate movement, if you can call it even a movement. You know, it’s not monolithic. When people would talk about there being a second civil war, they sometimes would frame it in this kind of 19th century fashion of, you know, Union vs. Confederacy or, you know, across geographic lines.

I never envisioned that. I saw a danger more of you know, many, many Timothy McVeigh type actors. And that’s the thing is that it just takes one person to cause an incredible amount of damage. And we just had the bombing in Nashville, you know, and it’s incredible that that happened, and it’s basically just been forgotten. It’s dropped off the news cycle in part, because no one died because of his bizarre warning beforehand, but it seems that he was motivated by a lot of the same online conspiracies, I guess in this case about 5G, that motivate some of Trump’s acolytes. And he did blow out infrastructure for, I believe it was a 180 mile radius around Nashville, which itself is a threat, you know, it is a danger. That was not a nonviolent bombing or whatever euphemism pundits like to throw out there to call him anything other than what he was, which was a suicide bomber. So I could definitely see more activity like that.

You’re also seeing people like Lin Wood pushing, you know, like this is the final countdown, like, “We’ve got to give it our all now because they’re really coming after us. They’ve taken away our social media, you know, they’re trying to take away Trump illegally,” as he always claims it.

So there are people going through incredible emotional turmoil. I also see people expressing regret in some cases, I’m sure it’s because they simply don’t want to be arrested. But I think that, you know, it’s one thing to live out a kind of vigilante fantasy on the internet. It’s another thing to do that in real life and know that you’ve contributed to the deaths of five people and that that is going to be true for the rest of your life. There’s nothing you can do to get those people back or take away what you’ve done. And so I do think it’s hitting home for some people.

But I also think it’s, you know, it’s probably useful in this situation to speak to experts who studied cults like Jim Jones’ cult, for example. And what happens when the leader knows that things are closing in on them. I’m not sure Trump actually feels that way. I feel like he doesn’t have the capacity to realize it, or in his view, if he’s going to go down, he’s going to blow everything up. And that of course includes blowing up his own followers, you know, using them as cannon fodder, which is essentially what he’s doing now.

But I think that people may be going through that very confusing, emotional process. Many of them truly believed the lies that they were told. I was reading about the woman who was killed, what I had read about her was interesting, is that she started out as an Obama voter. She was kind of lured into the disinformation wormhole of QAnon. And one of the things that clinched it for her, that what they were saying was true, was the Epstein case and his arrest. And then suddenly, all of the other fatuous claims that QAnon makes, you know, for example, that Trump is a great savior and he’s rescuing America from rampant criminality, from elite sexual predators and blackmail schemes, it all seemed validated by Epstein’s arrest. That that case validated a worldview that was not based in factual reality, for the most part. You know, QAnon takes grains of truth and then smothers them and propaganda. And the propaganda is what they swallowed and that’s why they were willing to believe so many lies, you know, about the legality of the election, the need for insurrection, and so forth. And obviously there are other things contributing to this. There’s a culture of white supremacy. There’s a culture of domination. There’s this kind of exaltation and abuse. There are a lot of things going on and I’m not excusing them, but I think one part of the propaganda operation may fall apart. If our government simply comes clean about all of the crimes that it’s committed throughout its history. Whether that will happen, I really doubt it, but I think it’s what’s necessary.

KH: One thing that I find absolutely alarming right now are the calls for unity, because…

SK: God, yes

KH: … from where I’m sitting, a mob of white supremacists stormed the Capitol in the hopes of creating an autocratic, fascist state because their leader told them to. And we’re being encouraged to find common ground with these folks, as opposed to recognizing the severity of the threat they pose. For the Republicans, the calls for unity for unity are like their only real option, they have nothing else. But calls to let bygones be bygones will be bi-partisan. We’re already seeing the every man mythologies people are building around the demonstrators, uh the raiders. To me, one of the worst things the media could do right now is pour fabric softener over fascism. Trying to normalize these folks and where they were coming from is dishonest and dangerous. In decades past in the United States, there were people who brought picnic baskets to lynchings.

SK: Mmhmm

KH: They didn’t get their hands dirty, but they were still part of the lynching. So all this stuff about how some people were just there to go to the demonstration, like I can’t handle it. This isn’t a vigil where violence unpredictably broke out. Those people who went to DC to “stop the steal” went there to halt a transition of power. They rallied around Hitler quotes and calls for trial by combat and then they marched to the Capitol, and could have wound up with a lot of dead congresspeople and Capitol workers. As is, five lives were lost. But we are being told we have some shared social essence with these folks that somehow overrides the fact that they raided the Capitol to hunt legislators so that white supremacists could keep a fascist president. The idea of unity is obviously about restoring order, but at what cost? I find it absolutely terrifying.

SK: Yeah, it’s awful. The only unity we can have is against fascism. You cannot have a kumbaya moment with a mafia state, and that’s what this is. You know, some of these people are just, I don’t know, they’re not held in any regard by the movement that they claim to support and that claims to support them. They’re expendable, you know, they’re propaganda images, and that’s all they actually are to Trump.

Their backers are — you know, that’s where I really get nervous. And I want all of these people held accountable. I don’t think that there is any excuse for this, obviously. I mean, these are all things that should go without saying, but we unfortunately have to respond to the Bidens and Pelosis of the world.

And to the media, you know, which is kind of reverting to form. They used to put out these little soft focus profiles of Nazis, and now we’re getting the same about, you know, the rioters that stormed the Capitol. And I think it’s important to understand how these people got to the place that they did because we need to see what kind of disinformation mechanisms and other mechanisms are effective in converting somebody into a terrorist. Like it’s really no different than studying, you know, how did people join Al-Qaeda or ISIS or any kind of white militant group, white supremacist group. You know, you need to learn it for the matter of prevention, but not for the matter of unity.

I mean, it’s absolutely insane. It’s such a vacant word in the way that they use it. They never say, you know, on what principles is our unity formed. And obviously you cannot have unity with people who think it’s fine to murder our representatives in government. You cannot have a democracy with people who support fascism. I mean, we’re simply not on the same page.

And you know, one of the outcomes of Trump’s assault on truth has been an assault on law, you know, often in a very literal way where he has his henchman, rewriting laws, bending laws. There are judges that are appointed strictly to carry out his desires. You saw this in the Manafort case, you know, where a Manafort, a career criminal who ran a group called the torturers’s lobby, was called by the judge someone who led a quote, “otherwise blameless life.” He then gets pardoned. We’ve seen rampant abuse of the legal system. But we’ve also seen, you know, people just kind of lose their conception of, “Ooh, you know, what do laws really mean, anyway?”

And this of course is exacerbated by the fact that we never have had one rule of law for this country. You know, Black Americans, Native Americans, other marginalized groups of Americans were subjected to one justice system and white people, rich people, were subjected to another. And we see that in an incredibly clear cut way. We obviously see that with these protests, if you want to compare them to the Black Lives Matter protests over the summer.

And I think all of that combined with the utter immorality or amorality of the media, take your pick. You know, but just basically a moral void in which journalists don’t seem to have any obligation to just describe what’s clearly a lie, what’s clearly a crime. They’re still “both sides”-ing everything. You get a really terrible discussion.

And it’s the job of officials to rise above that and to talk about these matters with clarity and with integrity and to state clearly what the consequences of this kind of violence will be. And some leaders are doing that, you know, Jamie Raskin is doing that. AOC is doing that. Ted Lieu is doing that. But the ones who are holding positions of power, like Pelosi does now and like Biden will soon, are absolutely not doing that. Instead, they’re issuing this empty call for unity. And that frightens me because of the level of power that they hold, because it’ll be taken from them or they’ll just continue to act as chamberlains, you know, as accomplices to fascism, which doesn’t make you any better than the fascists that you superficially claim you’re fighting. You’re on their side if you’re not using every mechanism at your disposal to get rid of them. And Wednesday should’ve made this abundantly clear. There should have been impeachment immediately after. Congress should be working nonstop to fight this, and they’re just not.

And it leaves the public feeling so scared and then ultimately so confused. They start to second guess themselves. They think, “Well, was this really a big deal, or was this just a fluke, or do I really need to worry about this?” That’s where people take their cues, you know, it’s normalcy bias. They go in and they think, “Well, if this was really a problem, surely somebody would do something about it.” That’s how Trump, who had been immersed in organized crime for decades, was able to get into office is because so many people thought, “Well, that can’t be true. If that was true, the FBI would have done something. The police would have done something, you know, certainly prior administrations would have done it, and the Republicans wouldn’t have let him run for president,” but they absolutely did. And it’s chilling to think that the same thing could happen now in an event that’s really unparalleled in American history, but that’s the direction they’re heading in. I hope this week they had in a different direction because this is, you know, the acquiescence that leads to a truly autocratic state and to more acts of violence because people feel they can get away with it.

KH: Well, this is going to be a time of dangerous mythologies. The neoliberals now have theirs, they already did: the rescue narrative. But now it’s going to be bigger. And it’s also going to be about domestic terrorism in a bigger way. This country has been rerouting resources for years for the purpose of thwarting internal insurrection. And while people are saying the word insurrection with a lot of contempt right now, my feeling is this is no time to fawn over institutions, or neoliberals; it’s a time to look at the board.

The United States government is afraid of its residents, so afraid that it has a fairly uninterrupted history of infiltrating and violently dismantling groups that pose any ideological opposition. The U.S. has been increasingly militarizing its police for decades. This is an era of collapse and the entire U.S. mythology is grounded in the idea that people have the right to overthrow their government when it sufficiently displeases them. So in a sense, the government is in a kind of a constant PR war with its own premise. It has to be considered unreasonable to challenge this government. That always has to be the characterization. That’s why the only good movements are past movements and all present movements are considered misguided if they don’t fade quickly

So we are already hearing talk of anti-terror legislation and we should know from history, from what happened after 9/11, like you wrote about in your book, that this country can be very effectively manipulated to giving away the farm civil liberties-wise, and in other ways. A lot of activists went down because laws that were supposedly created to stop terrorists were enacted against them, and actually crafted to attack them. A lot of Muslim activists and community members suffered because of those laws, as did many others. I feel like the public has a short memory and I’m afraid that people have forgotten how all of that worked. I’m also worried that if we get through this terrible week ahead and come out the other side, people are going to be so ready to throw their arms around Biden that they will let him get away with anything. Could you say a bit about your concerns on that front?

SK: Yeah, I’ve been very worried about that. And that’s actually a tactic that the Trump administration has been doing the whole time is to just exhaust people to the point that they’ll accept anything. And they want them to accept anything from Trump. You know, this is why if Trump manages to read coherently off a teleprompter, you see all these pundits, you know, exuberantly claiming that he’s pivoted, it’s all different now, it’s a new tone. I mean, God, we even saw that this week.

But one of the effects of that is that it then lends to Biden this, you know, halo of relief over him that’s undeserved. You know, Biden should be judged on his actual actions, on what he does, not just that he’s not Trump. Him being not Trump was a reason to vote for him in the election. You know, it was absolutely necessary to vote for him because it was a vote against a fascist system. You know, it was not a vote for a candidate or a party. It was a vote for democratic continuity in a rejection of autocracy. But when he’s in power, he needs to represent the American people and he needs to protect the American people.

And we have seen the failed policies of prior administrations. Like you just pointed out with the 9/11 aftermath. We’ve seen the failures of the Patriot Act. You know, and so many people nowadays, they like to pretend that they weren’t in favor of this. You particularly see this with people who try to get away from their past of being Iraq War cheerleaders, and whatnot.

You know, we need utter honesty, and we really need a strict chronology of decisions. You know, I think you’re right that Americans have a very short memory. And I think that that memory has been bludgeoned by the trauma of the Trump administration. There’s going to be a push to try to forget for that reason, because people simply don’t want to remember the trauma. I mean, unfortunately I think the trauma is really just going to continue in a straight line. It’s not like this all magically goes away as you know, on Biden’s inauguration.

But there’s also going to be people who want Americans to forget because they don’t want Americans to recognize similarities in a way that different administrations run. You know, it’s the same people who like to portray Trump as a fluke instead of a culmination, where you could really see the roots of Trump in the Reagan era, and then just go right through the Clinton and Bush and Obama eras. You know, sometimes you’re dealing with complicity and malice, and sometimes you’re dealing with negligence, but it all adds up to an assault on our country and on our rights. And so, yes, I am afraid of that.

I’ve also noticed just incredible aggression from certain supporters of Biden that doesn’t look entirely organic to me. You know, I think that there are troll farms, bot farms and so forth, being unleashed on social media to defend Joe Biden and Kamala Harris on really spurious grounds. And some of these individuals, I’m not even sure if they’re real people or if they’re paid actors, have been making threats. There’ve been articles about this and, you know, reference to KHive. It’s a very minor thing compared to, obviously, what we’re dealing with with these Trump domestic terrorists, but it’s still there. And I think the goal is just to silence discourse and to do this whole kind of like, “If you’re not with us, you’re against us,” thing to people who are just progressives and good citizens, and who want the right thing for their country. And who are looking honestly at the severity of our problems and wanting to know, “Well, what can we do to remedy these crises?” I mean, we just have so many: we have COVID, we have climate change, we have domestic terrorism, we have rising fascism, we have systemic racism. They all need to be taken care of. And I feel like there’s this encouragement to coddle our leaders, to treat them like little babies, like, “Oh, they’re so worn out, they’re so traumatized from this year.”

It’s like, “Guess what? You know, so of the rest of us, like much more so we don’t have your money. We don’t have your resources. We don’t have your power. We’re just getting fucked over, you know, time and time again, while you sit there and say that you’ll do something later.” It’s like, later’s now. We’ve run out of time and I’m not sure they grasp that. And I don’t think that Biden is the man for the moment, but he’s what we have. So our job, I think, is to push this administration in that direction and to speak with those representatives who are willing to listen and willing to act on behalf of the American people instead of on behalf of donors or on behalf of some sort of mythology of American exceptionalism that they like to perpetuate to justify terrible acts.

KH: Do you think he will pardon himself? And do you think he will pardon the people who are being charged with the Capitol raid?

SK: I do think he will try to pardon himself. Legally, I am not quite sure how that works. I mean, it’s also possible he’ll resign very quickly before he’s about to go out and have Pence pardon him. I mean, he will do anything that his lawyers advise in terms of how to get immunity from prosecution, because he is a career criminal and there is a lot that he can be charged with.

As for the people at the siege of the Capitol, I’m not sure. It depends what he wants to do with them going forward. You know, I think he holds them in contempt. He holds his own followers in contempt because he thinks, you know, “You were stupid enough to fall for my schtick. Like, I literally live in a golden tower in New York City, and you think I’m a man of the people and you think that I care about you.” And so there’s some element of that, where I think he would kind of get off on the idea of abandoning someone just for sadistic pleasure. Also, if he does see his fans pulling away from these extremist movements, having second thoughts, expressing those thoughts on social media, if he sees that he may think that they need collective punishment, and so therefore they don’t get a pardon. But if he thinks that the wind is blowing his way, that he’s leading a successful quote unquote “insurrection,” and that a pardon of these individuals will help stimulate that, will help continue the chaos and destruction, then yeah. It’s just, whatever is of greatest utility to him at the time. He’s a transactional figure. So I think it could really go either way, depending on how the next two weeks play out.

KH: I absolutely agree. I think he will take steps to try to ensure his own immunity, and I think he is probably equally willing to sacrifice or spare his supporters who have been arrested, depending on what he thinks will serve his self interest.

For Biden supporters, I think we’re definitely going to see a lot of 9/11 energy at work here. We were already in trouble in terms of folks wanting to invest in Biden as a savior figure. People really want to believe they’re being rescued right now. So they are poised to accept a lot of things as necessary that are not necessary. And the world is in a terrible place for people to get into that mindset. A lot of leftist protestors and dissidents are going to be thrown under the bus with that energy, so we need to interrupt that. But we’re also in a place where people are going to be increasingly treated as expendable, because that’s the reality of how things are playing out under the pandemic. We’re already seeing that impact and that’s consistent with the general narrative of neoliberalism of disposable people, of unavoidable costs. So all of you listening, this is a really important moment, and I need you to hear me on this. You have to be an ambassador for reality, because a lot of people aren’t going to want anything to do with it in the coming months. You have to hold on to facts and you have to be someone who reminds people of what makes sense and what does not. This is going to be a war of mythologies, neoliberal, and right-wing whatever shape that takes in the coming months. And the end game of both of those mythologies is that you lose. If you allow the neoliberal narrative, and the fascist narrative to duke it out for dominance without intervention, we are all fucked.

But the good news is that there are better narratives. Those narratives already exist. We have persuasive storytellers in our movements, and we have people who want to learn to be persuasive. We have people who know how to organize other human beings and people who want to learn to do that. All of you listening, you have to be storytellers. You have to tell the truth and hold onto its value and insist upon that value.

In 2016, Sarah warned us about the horrors that would be sold to us as normal. Under Biden, we must be prepared to face horrors that will be sold to us as inevitable, because that’s what neoliberalism will do, if we allow it. There is already an expendable class in this society that encompasses numerous communities, and that class will widen. You cannot maintain the current norms of capitalism and not have widespread, unnecessary suffering and mass death under the conditions we are about to be faced with, you simply can’t. It’s a fantasy. There are very dark and frightening times ahead, and to make it we are going to need to be more invested in each other than we are in the system or any politician. We need solidarity, not saviors. Austerity kills, and we are going to have to live in opposition to that. Sarah, Is there anything else that you would like to add to that?

SK: No, that was beautifully said, and I hope that everybody takes that to heart. I mean that, I couldn’t agree more. Make that an audio clip or something, seriously, and spread it around Twitter because that is exactly what everyone needs to hear right now.

KH: Well, Sarah, I want to thank you so much for joining us today. I always look forward to talking to you.

SK: Oh, same. Thank you very much.

KH: I also want to thank our listeners for joining us today, and for your patience with our somewhat irregular schedule. My health has had a lot of ups and downs this year, and our air dates have fluctuated right along with it. But as we approach the end of this season, I just want to say I am so grateful for the support and solidarity our audience has shown during this first year of the show. I will have more to say about that in our season finale, but for now, I want to thank you all, and to invite you to join us for the two remaining episodes of this season. Next week, you will be hearing from me and Shane Burley about what you need to know about fascism in this new era. Until then, let’s make it through this week, friends. And remember, our best defense against cynicism is to do good and to remember that the good we do matters. Until next time, I’ll see you in the streets.

Show Notes

Further reading:

“Empowering Law Enforcement Is Not the Solution” Says Former FBI Agent by Candice Bernd

GOP Reps Accused of Giving “Reconnaissance” Tours of Capitol Before Mob Attack by Sharon Zhang

Podcast:

Gaslit Nation with Andrea Chalupa and Sarah Kendzior





Originally posted by Truth Out on 2021-01-14 08:44:29

In a Year Full of Loss, a Big Win for our VITA Field 20

In a Year Full of Loss, a Big Win for our VITA Field

How do we fix the race problem in America? By eliminating the racial classification system 21

How do we fix the race problem in America? By eliminating the racial classification system