100 days to stop fascism here at home

Bad Hombres cartoon by Lalo Alcaraz

This 2016 cartoon by Lalo Alcaraz is spot-on. It’s imperative that Americans, especially those in the states* that will determine the winner of the Electoral College, vote on November 3 (or beforehand, preferably, by mail or by voting early in person).

Yesterday via Netflix I watched the 2018 documentary “The Silence of Others,” about the victims and the relatives of victims of the fascist Franco dictatorship in Spain seeking justice today, and of course I was struck by what could come to pass here in the United States if we continue this anti-democratic, fascist trajectory under the unelected tinpot despot Donald J. Trump.

I have interest in the Spanish Civil War because of the political parallels between Spain (and other nations) and the United States. The dynamics between the left and the right of different nations and of different decades often are strikingly similar.

The run-up to the Spanish Civil War, which was fought between 1936 and 1939, was long and messy, but in a nutshell, right-wing members of the nation’s military (redundant) opposed the left being in charge of the nation’s government after a still-disputed 1936 election, and the fascist General Francisco Franco rose to power after a military coup.

Military coups are a lot easier to pull off when there is pre-existing chaos, so why not create some chaos if necessary, such as by, oh, say, sending unmarked stormtroopers to Portland and other left-leaning cities to attack civilians?

Indeed, The New York Times reports today that “Weeks of violent clashes between federal agents and protesters in Portland, Ore., galvanized thousands of people to march through the streets of American cities [yesterday], injecting new life into protests that had largely waned in recent weeks.”

The “law-and-order” fascist dictator Franco, made from the same mold as Hitler and Mussolini (who wholeheartedly supported him), autocratically ruled Spain from 1936 to 1975, killing an estimated 15,000 to 50,000 of his political detractors in his first decade of anti-democratic rule in addition to the 175,000 estimated to have died in the civil war trying to fend off the anti-democratic, right-wing coup.

For the four decades of Franco’s autocratic, fascist rule, Spanish citizens on the wrong side of Franco’s political ideology were, among other things, arrested, incarcerated, tortured, killed and “disappeared”; watching “The Silence of Others” made me think of the stormtroopers illegally grabbing citizens off of the streets in Portland, which is just a dry run for what “President” Pussygrabber would do if he could get away with it — if we let him.

Indeed, Pussygrabber already repeatedly has “joked” about being “president for life,” a la Franco.

A reason that so many Americans aren’t familiar with the Spanish Civil War is that Spain itself has tried, institutionally, and with much success, to bury it, just like Franco’s many, many victims; Wikipedia notes that

The Pact of Forgetting (Spanish: Pacto del olvido) is the Spanish political decision (by both the leftist and rightist parties) to avoid dealing with the legacy of Francoism after the 1975 death of Francisco Franco, who had remained in power since the Spanish Civil War in 1936-1939. The Pact of Forgetting was an attempt to put the past behind them and concentrate on the future of Spain. …

Spain also incredibly stupidly passed the Spanish 1977 Amnesty Law, which, per Wikipedia

… is a law promulgated by the Parliament of Spain in 1977, two years after [dictator] Francisco Franco’s death. The law freed political prisoners and permitted those exiled to return to Spain, but guaranteed impunity for those who participated in crimes under the Civil War and Francoist Spain. The law is still in force, and has been used as a reason for not investigating and prosecuting Francoist human rights violations. …

This is appalling, as “The Silence of Others” makes clear. War crimes and crimes against humanity (committed by those on the right or on the left, although the vast majority are committed by the right, and I’d argue that if you are committing such crimes, you are not actually on the left) never should be forgiven, and are so grave that should any nation like Spain refuse to prosecute them, a world court system should do so and do so aggressively.** Universal human rights mean nothing if any nation has the option of simply ignoring them.

And history, no matter how ugly, never should be forgotten, as is the official policy of Spain.

When we forget history, history repeats itself.

It doesn’t take a huge stretch of the imagination to see the Francoist-like Trumpists do all in their power to provoke violent backlash in our cities, such as by sending in stormtrooper-thugs against the wishes of the duly, democratically elected governments of the states, and then blame the wholly predictable backlash on the “inherent,” “unprovoked” violence of those who oppose the unelected Pussygrabber regime — and proclaim that “law and order” now must be restored; you start the fire and then you proclaim yourself to be a “hero” for fighting to put it out.

This is the very stuff of which civil wars are made.

Just ask the Spanish (even though their official policy is to forget).

*Wikipedia notes that

… If current trends from the 2012 and 2016 elections continue, the closest results in 2020 will occur in Arizona, Florida, Maine, Michigan, Minnesota, Nebraska’s second congressional district, Nevada, New Hampshire, North Carolina, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin, with Florida, Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin constituting the “Big Four” most likely to decide the electoral college.

Other potential swing states include Colorado, Georgia, Iowa, New Mexico, Ohio, Texas, and Virginia, all of which came within a 10-point margin of victory in the 2016 Election. …

I’d say that if you live in any of the states listed above, you really, really need to vote in the November presidential election.

Thankfully, right now Hidin’ Joe Biden is polling significantly better than is Pussygrabber in the “Big Four” states of Florida, Michigan, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin — Biden right now is polling ahead of Pussygrabber by six or more percentage points in each of those four states — but we can’t take a Biden victory for granted, not when we fully can expect Pussygrabber to abuse his office however he deems necessary in order to “win” “re”-election.

**No, I of course I don’t exempt the United States; for example, George W. Bush and the others who prosecuted his illegal, immoral, unjust and unprovoked war on the nation of Iraq in 2003 and in the years that followed should be tried as the war criminals that they are. They don’t deserve to remain free among us, and I don’t rule out the death penalty in the most egregious cases of war crimes and other crimes against humanity.

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