Joe Biden is pissed off again and coming out swinging and it isn’t those pesky Russkies or dastardly Chinamen this time either. It’s those stupid assholes who voted for the other moron, you know, the orange fella. But this is no laughing matter. Joe is deadly serious. Pounding the pulpit before a crimson-lit background, flanked by sharply dressed Marines like a white Louis Farrakhan with Alzheimer’s, Joe proselytized to us on primetime television about a grave threat to our democracy, an existential threat to “the very foundations of our republic” and then the President used the F-word.
No not the fun one that I chuck around like hatchets at the Gathering of the Juggalos. The one that pretty much everyone else chucks around like hatchets at the Gathering of the Juggalos. Fascism, well, semi-fascism at least. According to Joe Biden, the greatest threat to our exceptional empire isn’t climate change or nuclear holocaust but the scourge of MAGA Republicans, and only you can stop them with a check to your local Democratic Party and a vote for whatever marginally lesser evil that they’ve sanctioned this year.
It’s at this moment when you catch your breath and realize that you’ve been terrorized into another pledge drive for America’s other imperialist party. “With just three easy payments of 99.99 you too can save American democracy and advertise that fact to all the other bougie Karens in line at Starbucks with this stylish “I Fought the MAGA Republicans!” tote bag.” Goddamnit! You fuckers got me again. I’ll take two. But just because Biden’s midterm saber rattling is just a rather obvious if garish act of partisan theater doesn’t mean that the threat isn’t real. Donald Trump is a nefarious gangster with a devoted posse willing to get themselves shot in the face at the Capitol just to do his bidding. Hell, some of them may very well be deserving of that other F-word. But that poses a question that probably doesn’t get asked enough in hatchet country. What the fuck is fascism anyway?
Nobody seems to be able to give a straight answer on that one and the few who do all seem to have very different definitions. We all know what fascism looks like, with the marching and the jackboots and the torches and the flags. It’s basically racist S&M without the safe words and nobody ever gets off, they just get more pissed off. But aside from the violent theatrics their really doesn’t seem to be a hell of a lot holding it all together and that’s largely by design. Fascism isn’t so much of a philosophy as it is an excuse for rich people to use poor people to kill other poor people. The few things that most of these excuses have in common are demonizing minorities in order to justify the militarization of civilian society and consolidating unchecked corporate power within the federal government. All of this twisted nonsense fits Donald Trump like a fun-sized condom. The only problem is that it fits most of his opponents too, including Antifa’s latest member, Joe Biden.
Think about it. What are all the sins that make MAGA reek like Mussolini’s drawers? The demonization of opponents. The weaponization of the border. The use of law and order to contain irate minorities. The proclamation of absolute power. The glorification of militaristic nationalism. All of this is straight out of the Clinton-Obama-Biden playbook.
It was under Obama that a merciless campaign was waged against whistleblowers and the few journalists left who dared to publish them. By weaponizing the century-old Espionage Act and sicking it on more dissidents than every other previous president combined, Mr. Hope-and-Change sent a brutal message to critics of empire across the planet that the price of the truth won’t just be your freedom, it will be your sanity. Julian Assange, quite possibly the greatest journalist of his generation, continues to physically and emotionally disintegrate in a cement box at Belmarsh as we speak while awaiting his live burial at Florence Supermax. All part of an international campaign spearheaded seamlessly by the regimes of Obama, Trump, and Biden to destroy a man for telling the truth about unchecked power.
Trump definitely took the weaponization of the border to new lows by going well out of his way to target children, but those crimes too were built on the precedents of his predecessors and his successors alike. The foundation for the current racist military regime that we see at our southern border was first established by Bill Clinton’s 1996 Immigration Law and reached its zenith if not quite the height of its cruelty under Biden and Obama. This lethal liberal tag-team still holds the world record for wrangling desperate people like alligators for crossing an invisible line in the fucking desert before shipping them back to the swamps we turned their shithole countries into with our imperial foreign policy. They also built the concentration camps which remain open and designed for the primary purpose of traumatizing migrants into never returning to the land we stole from their ancestors.
If you want to talk about the white supremacist school of law and order that the MAGA set are so stoked on then ask the motherfuckers who wrote the goddamn book. Joe Biden spent the eighties working closely with his allies in the moderate wing of the Republican Party to turn America’s finest thugs in blue into a heavily armed army of colonialist occupation complete with machine guns, battle tanks, three-strikes laws and mandatory minimums and he used openly racist rhetoric to earn the support of white Americans on both sides of the aisle to make it happen.
In the decades since the landmark 1994 Clinton-Biden Crime Bill, America’s prison population has doubled into the largest population of incarcerated people on the planet. It has also decimated inner city communities of color to a level of economic depravity that made them fodder for a pandemic that turned this whole country inside out. The fallout from this perfect storm of carceral apartheid and systemic neglect is our current crime wave which Biden himself seeks to fix with more cops, more prisons and more law and order.
The unchecked power enjoyed by Fuhrer Trump was yet another byproduct of this much-sainted regime which took the already muscular Executive Office of Biden’s moderate allies in the Bush junta and pumped it full of steroids by endowing the President with the right to kill on demand with nothing but a rubber stamp court and a fleet of toy planes standing between the Commander-in-chief and a 16-year-old dead Arab boy. Can you honestly blame a braying moron like Donald Trump for assuming that he was elected dictator considering that even self-proclaimed progressives sat on their hands while Barack played Saddam for eight goddamn years and then passed the ball to Orange-Man Bad?
As for the glorification of militaristic nationalism, take a look around honey, because that’s what this country was built on. From Manifest Destiny to the New Cold War, America’s foreign policy has been one seamless imperial jihad for global domination that has killed more brown people than most openly fascist regimes combined, and we have long fostered a shrill culture of bipartisan white supremacy and cultural hegemony at home to bolster it with the mythology of American exceptionalism. Every day we force our children to pray to a flag like a fucking cargo cult. We throw more parades and holidays glorifying warfare than North Korea. If Trump is Hitler, then both parties are the Kaisers who put the truncheon in his pussy-grabbers.
The difference between Trump and Biden is purely a matter of cosmetics. There is no difference in substance because there is no substance. The platitudes of the so-called mainstream establishment to human rights and racial equity amount to little more than kabuki theater. Behind every pretty mask is another ugly Trump. The MAGA Republicans have simply done what fascists have always done best, they’ve stripped the nation-state bare of its costume and celebrated its vulgar nudity with totally unabashed pride. This is what happens when an empire becomes a failed state. This is what happened to Weimar Germany and Italy and Spain.
Fascism isn’t some kind of satanic aberration built from black magic; it is a desperate attempt by a dying state to revive itself with the overt use of the kind of mass violence that was used covertly to build it. Donald Trump didn’t lead his march on Washington to make America great, he led it to make America great again. MAGA isn’t about ending wars, it’s about winning them like we used to, and this or any other genre of fascism can’t possibly threaten the very foundation of Joe Biden’s republic when the violent globalist despotism that defines that republic also defines the very foundation of American fascism.
My biggest problem with the Never-Trumpers in both parties has always been their hysterical insistence that Donald Trump is special. Fascism isn’t even special. It’s the inevitable blowback of late-stage imperialism and if you really want to fight it you should forget about Joe Biden’s fucking tote bag of empty rhetoric and save your money for a hammer to smash the state that birthed that rough beast slouching towards Washington to be born.