Last night’s debate proved that our #VoteAgainstFascism slogan is exactly right. For an hour and a half Trump launched (in classic German Nazi fashion) a blitzkrieg; that is, he attempted to roll over his opponent with overwhelming verbal force. He bullied and blustered, he shouted and shamed, he lied and leered in a take-no-prisoners prime-time performance. Be forewarned: it was no mere performance but a prelude to what’s to come.
The country has seen this before: the Nazis’ march in Raleigh, the storming of the Michigan Legislature, and last summer’s clearing of Lafayette Square for Trump’s Bible-toting photo-op. That’s what fascists do in their twisted “war is politics by other means,” “dominate the battlespace” scenarios.
Last night’s display was red meat to the right wing, including the Proud Boys and other alt-right hooligans. “Step back and stand by,” Trump said, when refusing to condemn white supremacy, and the Proud Boys promptly adopted this phrase as a call to arms on social media. His son, Donald Jr., has openly called for the raising of an army to challenge the vote.
Expect more in the coming days, weeks, and months. Yes, it’s doubtful that the election will be decided on November 3. It’s more likely to be challenged up until and possibly after Inauguration Day.
That’s why it’s vital to #VoteAgainstFascism and turn out the biggest vote possible in red states, blue states, and swing states as well. The American people need to speak loudly and unequivocally in a rejection of Trump’s fascist — let’s call it what it is — tactics. Not “authoritarian” but fascist, that is, bullying, brutish tactics fueled by extreme nationalism, white supremacy, anti-Semitism, and homophobia.
Voting against fascism, while vital, will not be enough. It must be accompanied by a massive, continuous show of activism and force before and after the election. Door-to-door work done safely is necessary. Action in the streets, workplace, and campuses must occur constantly along with text messaging and phone calls. The polls must be safeguarded and ballot counters defended. Strikes and occupations may be necessary.
Violence from agent provocateurs should be resisted. It creates chaos, which is exactly what the right wing wants. It’s likely to come fast and furious but can be successfully resisted by the civil rights movement’s “good trouble” non-violence aiming to isolate the KKK and racist elements and to narrow their room to maneuver.
A people’s victory is coming. It’s going to be a tough road to defend health care for all, a Green New Deal, an end to racist violence in all forms, and community control of the police. The first step is to #VoteAgainstFascism in November.