The warning signs abound: Polarization of society; militarization of the police forces; nationalistic policies; criminalization of minorities and immigrants; melding of extremist religious views with political discourse and policy-making; the dismantling of social welfare programs. The list probably goes on.
Terry Gross conducted a fascinating interview with Gabriel Sherman, a Vanity Fair reporter and author of The Loudest Voice in the Room, a biography of Roger Ailes, former CEO and Chairman of Fox News and Fox Television Stations.
Have a listen here:
Meanwhile, Fintan O’Toole of the Irish Times characterizes this time in American history as a series of trial-runs of fascism.
This is indeed a time in which deep reflection and questioning is called for – questioning of the news sources we trust, the politicians we have elected, and the values we uphold and how we uphold them. Ultimately, I believe this is going to have to be answered with compassion paired with strong civil disobedience.
We need compassion to understand those who disagree with us and what their stories are, and we will need to tap into that fine, patriotic history of implementing civil disobedience to disrupt the pre-fascist flow, and to bring forward the voices calling for a return to deeply held values around justice and equality for all.
As O’Toole concludes:
Millions and millions of Europeans and Americans are learning to think the unthinkable. So what if those black people drown in the sea? So what if those brown toddlers are scarred for life? They have already, in their minds, crossed the boundaries of morality. They are, like Macbeth, “yet but young in deed”. But the tests will be refined, the results analysed, the methods perfected, the messages sharpened. And then the deeds can follow.
In the spirit of forming the more perfect union….