Fascism and Aliens

Things are escalating for the worse, but... them aliens?

Fascism and Aliens

What’s up, readers! We’re back with another newsletter. If you want to get these to your inbox, subscribe with that button right down there. Episode 64 of the podcast comes to you from this year’s Netroots Nation conference.

This is an escalation.

At President Trump’s rally in North Carolina on Wednesday night, he ragged on Rep. Ilhan Omar from the podium, following in the footsteps of his right-wing media allies. His supporters responded by chanting “Send her back!”

It was a horrifying moment. Right-wing media figures, who tilled the soil and planted the seeds for this exact sentiment to grow, gazed at their creation and claimed they were aghast at what they had witnessed. (They are either lying or stupid.) In the Oval Office today, the president offered a mealy-mouthed condemnation of the chants; he said he didn’t like that it happened. "I was not happy with it. I disagree with it," Trump said.

But it’s not an anomaly; it’s the point. And Trump’s supporters were simply repeating his words back to him.  On Sunday, Trump fired up his racism brain and slugged out these words about Omar and other progressive members of the so-called “squad”:

So interesting to see “Progressive” Democrat Congresswomen, who originally came from countries whose governments are a complete and total catastrophe, the worst, most corrupt and inept anywhere in the world (if they even have a functioning government at all), now loudly and viciously telling the people of the United States, the greatest and most powerful Nation on earth, how our government is to be run. Why don’t they go back and help fix the totally broken and crime infested places from which they came. Then come back and show us how it is done. These places need your help badly, you can’t leave fast enough. I’m sure that Nancy Pelosi would be very happy to quickly work out free travel arrangements!

Telling immigrants to “go back” is classic racism—the oldies, if you will. And the rhetoric about loving America or leaving it? Well, if you need a historical reference, here’s—um—a Klan billboard from the 1970s?

A billboard in North Carolina circa 1970s
Image Source

But don’t take my word for it. Scholars of fascism are concerned about the sharp turn we’ve taken, too. From Chris Mathias at HuffPost:

To scholars of fascism — who have been ringing the alarm bells since Trump began his climb to power in 2015 — the rally in Greenville felt like an escalation. Like the U.S. just made another leap toward outright fascism.

“I am not easily shocked. But we are facing an emergency,” tweeted Jason Stanley, a Yale University philosophy professor and author of the book “How Fascism Works.”

“Journalists must not get away with sugar coating this,” Stanley wrote. “This is the face of evil.”

We are witnessing a terrifying moment in American history that should bring shame to every person with a conscious in this country. Criticizing the United States government is an act of patriotism, full stop, and a right guaranteed to us by our founding documents. If we allow those who are critical of our leaders and functions to be threatened, our democracy will be placed at further risk.

This is an escalation. This is dangerous.

I didn’t mean to ruin your night

It’s a Meme. Calm Down.

Here’s a CNN lede I never thought I’d read: “It's all fun and games until you accidentally incite a giant mob to raid a top-secret military base.”

More than 1.7 million people have RSVP’d to a Facebook event called “Storm Area 51, They Can't Stop All of Us” at the time of this newsletter. “If we naruto run, we can move faster than their bullets. Lets see them aliens,” the event page reads.

The satirical event, scheduled to take place in the dead of night on September 20, has drawn the attention of national news outlets and the military. A spokeswoman for the U.S. Air Force told The Washington Post that it is “ready to protect America and its assets” from whatever shitposters actually turn up in the desert later this year.

Casual reminder: The military can kill you and that’s it, end of story, you’re just dead now.

Now, the creator of the event page appears to be having some regrets. The 20-year-old who created the Facebook event told NPR: "I just thought it would be a funny idea for the meme page. And it just took off like wildfire. It's entirely satirical though, and most people seem to understand that."

I can already anticipate a news story coming down the pipe that embarrasses me for saying this, but: The worst case scenario I can envision is some YouTube influencers yelling into their GoPro cameras a couple miles away from Area 51. The whole situation reeks of the existential nihilism that defines Gen Z, aka “zoomers.”

But really, let’s see them aliens.

Good Stuff

Who can forget this infamous time Shapringle DESTROYED his SJW brother?

Every photo except this one sucks.

My favorite video from the last week.

I really felt this one.

Who says life doesn’t contain multitudes?