So what can you “do” about all this? Well, you can take it seriously. As in, understand the stakes here. They are not going to be solved simply by voting, though you must vote. It’s likely that the next six months or longer of American history are going to be a particularly challenging, demanding, scary, and brutal time, in which authoritarian-fascists contest power in increasingly overt and violent ways.
If we’re going to talk about America’s coming tidal wave of death seriously, then you have to understand all the above: that the hardcore Trumpist fringe is totally desensitized to death by now. They don’t just go to pool parties in the middle of a lethal pandemic because they don’t get it, or because they don’t care, but for a darker reason still: that’s how they prove they’re strong, fit, worthy. By being the ones the virus doesn’t kill. But to get there, you have to do three things. One, risk getting infected. Two, spread it. Three, accept being a martyr.
And yet America’s situation couldn’t be more dire, or more real. Re-elect this Prez — and it’s game over for democracy. Yes, really. The sky’s the limit. Maybe he’ll try to abolish term limits. Maybe he’ll declare martial law. Maybe he’ll start a war and then declare martial law. Maybe he’ll start putting Americans in those camps. Maybe those Americans will be dissidents — critics, opponents, adversaries. All those maybes aren’t…
Are Americans (really) so stupid they don’t even know fascism when they see it? Is that where we are? Who we are? Why the world laughs at us, not knowing whether to be horrified, amused, or entertained? Why is it not a single person of repute has used the word “fascism” to describe what’s happened to America…even on the day the Prez literally says the word “animals”?
Instead, our challenge is to really begin to lay the foundations of a better future. Doing those great, noble, and wise things that promise higher qualities and quantities of life tomorrow. What are they, concretely? They are things that matter, put simply. As big as curing diseases, feeding the poor, mitigating climate change, addressing inequality — or as tiny but vast as giving a handful of people a sense of meaning, purpose, and belonging again. Then we give people a reason to realize themselves — and in that pursuit, they feel optimism.