The Horsemen of the Apocalypse Fuel the Fires of Hate and Destruction

“Politicians and media outlets seem happy to fuel the hate-filled ideologies of a once-despised and tiny minority,” reads the introduction of Owen Jones opinion piece in the Guardian “Far-right violence is on the rise,Where is the outrage?” (August 22, 2019).

Even though the racist, neo-fascist Proud Boys were far outnumbered by anti-fascists, the far-right protest organizer, Joe Biggs, seemed pleased with the result of their hate-filled presence on the streets of Portland, Oregon on August 17, 2019 (“Far right Proud Boys claim ‘mission success’ in antifa protest, vow to hold monthly Portland rallies,”USA Today, August 18, 2019):

Proud Boys protest organizer Joe Biggs said his group sought national attention and they got it. He noted President Donald Trump’s tweets as the protests unfolded.

Trump tweeted that Portland was “being watched very closely” and that the government was considering a plan to name antifa a terrorist organization, a designation normally reserved for foreign organizations.

The idea is not new. Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, last month co-sponsored a Senate resolution that would designate groups and organizations “who act under the banner of antifa” to be designated as domestic terrorist organizations.

Within days of Trump’s Portland-inspired tweet, the facilitator of hate who resides on Pennsylvania Avenue in DC was at it again attacking Jews who he viewed as disloyal for voting for Democrats (“Trump Again Accuses American Jews of Disloyalty,” New York Times, August 21, 2019).

In yet another delusional tweet, Trump calls himself the “King of Israel” (“Trump Tweets About Disloyal Jews, Then Tweets He’s ‘King of Israel,'” Real News Network, August 22, 2019). Try to imagine this level of hypocrisy, ignorance, and irony.

These erroneous and hate-filled tweets will have their intended effect of creating more hate and some of that hate is likely to spill out into the streets in violent acts of several kinds including creating the conditions and the impetus for murder. What Trump and the right do is to give legitimacy to the fringe of his fellow haters who are willing to cause mayhem in his name and for his cause. This is yet another Wizard of Oz moment in the train wreck that is the Trump administration, which has brought the last vestiges of democratic institutions in the US to the precipice.

The hate of the right has a two-fold purpose. It allows the groups and lone wolves who thrive on bestial behaviors more manna for renewed intimidation, destruction, and murder, and it allows the few and the wealthy to advance their agendas while the man behind the curtain rants and raves.

How many will pay attention to the national debt going through the roof while the wealthy fiddle and the rest of us burn as they sock away more of their tax windfalls, and immigrants, including innocent immigrant children, languish and die at the US-Mexico border, often in cages and squalid detention facilities that the Trump administration oversees?

They, those in the Trump administration, push the full-court press against a myriad of nations with sanctions and abrogate treaty after treaty that gave a semblance of a sane approach to negotiating our way out of the insane nuclear arms race. And all during this disaster in motion, the planet literally burns beneath our feet and within our view from fossil-fuel driven environmental destruction.

Howard Lisnoff is a freelance writer. He is the author of Against the Wall: Memoir of a Vietnam-Era War Resister (2017).