When Fascism Rises, Media Complacency is Key.
My thoughts on the publishing of Tom Cotton’s deeply authoritarian essay in The New York Times.
While historians might spend their entire careers studying the rise of Adolph Hitler, Nazi Germany, and the various factors that allowed fascism’s successful takeover in the years leading up to World War Two, I’m sure virtually all would agree that the media plays no small role. As the Holocaust Encyclopedia points out:
“Once they succeeded in ending democracy and turning Germany into a one-party dictatorship, the Nazis orchestrated a massive propaganda campaign to win the loyalty and cooperation of Germans. The Nazi Propaganda Ministry, directed by Dr. Joseph Goebbels, took control of all forms of communication in Germany: newspapers, magazines, books, public meetings, and rallies, art, music, movies, and radio.”
Here in the United States, for far too long a naive, deeply engrained assumption has existed that such a rise could never happen here. The very notion that our democracy and constitution could succumb to such brutal horrors and fall in to the clutches of such devastating authoritarianism has been far beyond what I would argue the majority of people honestly deemed possible. But fast forward to the year 2016, and Donald Trump somehow managed to pull the thinly guised veil away from what’s left of American democracy and how quickly it is able to deteriorate, at least in part.
Even still, it feels as though for many, Donald Trump alone is the threat. The virus as opposed to a mere symptom, or the bug as opposed to the feature. With liberals spending the last three and a half years ardently declaring that Donald Trump will throw America in to the depths of fascism, it seems that we’ve forgotten he is the mere tip of the iceberg when it comes to the American right, and the neoliberal aesthetic masquerading as resistance. Just recently however, The New York Times with the words of Senator Tom Cotton reminded us that as the nation stands on the precipice of descending even deeper in to fascism, removing Donald Trump in all likelihood won’t be enough to pull us back from the edge.
In his Times Op-ed, Senator Cotton writes:
“…One thing above all else will restore…