Hello cats and kittens, Cranky Bear coming at you here with a pot of black coffee and righteous anger seeping through my pores. I have seen a lot of awful shit in my time on this earth when it comes to this nation's politics. I remember the Reagan years' happy face on top of human misery. I remember the hysteria after 9/11 and the calls to war by our feckless idiot of president and how people actually listened to this lobotomized manchild. I have seen the rise of the Tea Party and have witnessed the racist backlash against the Black Lives Matter movement. Nothing could prepare me, however, for what has happened this week.
We are seeing fascism, pure fascism red in tooth and claw openly shouted from the rooftops by elected officials and contestants for the presidency. On Monday Republican governors fell over themselves proclaiming that their states would categorically refuse Syrian refugees, with Christie taking the cake by expressing banning orphaned toddlers and babies. They did this because they know it is a winning issue to stir up hatred against Arabs and Muslims because it appeals to their base of resentful white dipshits who don't know their own assholes from a hole in the ground. Say what you want about the godawful Dubya years, he at least had the human decency to decry attacks on Muslims and Arabs in America.
In the last couple of days this sorry-ass situation has become positively fascistic. Donald Trump, the leading candidate for the Republican presidential nomination, has said he "wouldn't rule out" closing mosques and creating special identification badges for Muslims. Other Republican elected officials have mentioned rounding up refugees and putting them into camps as a viable option. What is especially striking is that America wasn't even attacked! This hatred and paranoia has been building up for years, and now a convenient excuse has been found to unleash it.
Make no mistake, a large number of Americans actively hate Muslims and would like to see them eliminated from American society. I have often thought that if Dubya had ordered all foreign-born Muslims to be sent to relocation camps in the aftermath of 9/11, the public would have gone along with it. Hell, the mayor of Roanoke, Virginia, has used the internment of Japanese Americans during World War II as a positive example!
These fucking people make me sick, but they aren't the worst. No, these politicians are simply opportunistic hacks trying to appease the garden variety dumbshit fuckwits who post their godawful Facebook memes and actually fucking listen to what the pig fuckers on Fox and talk radio are telling them. These people, ordinary fucking people, are what's wrong with this country. They spend their lives in complete fear, defending the cops who shoot black people while hiding behind the gates of their lily white suburbs. They collect their Social Security checks while bitching about "welfare queens" and "takers." They think that the very presence of Muslims in this country is some kind of affront to their Christianity, and they get super paranoid and angry about it. A lot of these people are people I grew up with, and honestly, fuck them. They should know better.
Fascists don't fall from the sky or grow out of the ground. They are regular people who have given themselves over to a diabolical ideology. I've long thought that 15-20% of Americans are fascists in sympathy, and that if they were told that a military coup would overthrow president Obama and install Christianity as the official state religion would jump for joy. In times of strife and terror Republican politicians have learned that they can maintain their position by appealing to hate and fear. They did this in the last presidential election they won, in 2004, by going after gays and whipping up fears about terror. With political homophobia now unpalatable to the larger electorate, they have doubled-down on Islamophobia. This is how they manage to add to their fascist support, by appealing to the lizard brain fears of the run of the mill fucknut crackers who think the terrorists are going to blow up the Arby's in their shit-ass cookie cutter tract housing suburb. (They are scared to death of the Muslim boogeyman but apparently not of the Type 2 diabetes from the Big Gulp they're chugging while scarfing down fried garbage.) Once upon a time conservative pols tried to send out dog whistles, but now are just full-on, shamelessly appealing to the worst kind of hate these shitbags possess.
For years we have looked back at the refusal to accept Jewish refugees in the 1930s and the internment of Japanese Americans in the 1940s and thought "how on earth could people do such terrible things? I am glad we are so enlightened nowadays!" You know what, we're not. We are a nation dominated by hateful, fearful, stupid ass bigoted morons. In the 1930s most Americans feared and hated Jews, in the 2000s, I am afraid that most Americans fear and hate Muslims. That is the "middle America" and the "Heartland" that so many praise, which are really a massive crock of dog diarrhea. Fuck "middle America." Fuck the "Heartland." Fuck "real Americans." Fuck them all. They aren't worthy to lick a refugee's shoes. Cranky Bear out.