I feel uneasy reading all the liberal and ‘moderate’ consternation over the continuing potency of political tourists Donald Trump and Ben Carson. I want to ask every critic of Trump’s gleeful xenophobia and Carson’s pathologically clueless reactionism if their sensibilities transcend partisan constraints.
Were the presumptive Democratic faithful as offended by Hillary Clinton’s blithe bloodlust as they are about Carson’s apparent vapidity on foreign policy? Does Trump’s bellicose call for ‘bringing back waterboarding’ bother them more than Obama’s matter-of-fact refusal to prosecute the Bush administration’s torture artists and architects? (Never mind that Obama has apparently eschewed widespread kidnapping and torture in favor of a clumsy, high-tech assassination program that kills far more innocents per targeted ‘terrorist.’)
My patience with this atmosphere of moral inconsistency is running thin today, so I’ll make my point as briefly as I can. Trump and Carson (along with the rest of the crowded GOP presidential field) offer more extreme expressions of fascism, but liberals evidently find it gauche to address their own complicity in feathering the vile nest in which the darkly clownish GOP frontrunners aim to lay their rotten eggs.
Successful fascist movements have relied heavily on bullying, demagoguery, and other expressions of organized aggression, but they might all have died in their nurseries if not for the polite acquiescence and occasional collaboration of the liberal bourgeoisie. Today’s liberals are far more effective at squelching and sidelining principled leftist opposition to fascism than they are at opposing fascism itself. Though I’ll likely be voting Green next November, I won’t pretend to be outraged at the very real prospect of a satirically fascistic GOP victor. It would be better than this country deserves.