A new Trump-corroborating troll, one I hadn’t seen before, recently occasioned the comment area of one of my articles. I was going to give him my usual shrift, a short one, when I noticed two out-of-the-ordinary things concerning him and his comment.
The first thing I noticed was that he’d gone to college. I don’t know about you but I would be disturbed to discover I belonged to a system of beliefs or political thought that shocked people to discover I was college-educated. As anyone who routinely attends the Facebook profiles of others will tell you, Trump-supporters seldom serve up such surprises.
The second thing that surprised me was, in his comment, he actually got something right. He said, “If I were you, I’d start deleting all your oppositonal [sic] posts on social media because they’re gonna start rounding you up soon.”
I would say my troll was enunciating an almost foregone tenet of fascism. It is never enough for the fascist to control and harm certain kinds of people, they also have a pathological need (and an undeniable history) to hunt down and punish people who disagreed with them during their rise to power. Many such are also fundamentalists, so you’d think hellfire would constitute sufficient blood-letting vengeance for them, but it does not. (Would it do me any good to assert that hell is unconstitutional, in that it represents torture without end, and is therefore “cruel and unusual”? Probably not.)
Ergo, should the fascists come to full power, my troll is correct to aver that all forms of opposition will probably be hunted down and dealt with in some draconian fashion. It will not be pretty. During an alumnae event Saturday at Wellesley College, Hillary Clinton sounded a grim warning about the disturbing possibility of a fascist takeover of democracy. Citing Madeleine Albright’s book, “Fascism: a Warning,” Clinton said, “There is nothing normal about attacking the press. There is nothing normal about trying to undermine another branch of government. There is nothing normal about trying to use the political system to go after your enemies. There is nothing normal about any of that. And so, I think Madeline’s book is really well named: “Fascism: A Warning.” And the idea that it can’t happen here is just old fashioned, my friends. So there is so much at stake and so much that people should be trying to sort through for themselves, and perhaps joining for action together to speak out.”
As usual, Hillary got it exactly right. So we have our marching orders. It’s a gamble I’m willing to take. Not so very long ago others rose to the duty that history is once again asking of us. We may count ourselves in good company amongst those who went before us and risked, “our lives, our fortunes and our sacred honor.”
Robert Harrington is an American expat living in Britain. He is a portrait painter.