No, not that one fascism. I know i know it’s really controversial. People get very uncomfortable when you mention it, but to borrow a line, if not now when and if not us to free press, then who for far too long, we have shied away from saying the f word for a lot of people calling donald trump a fascist Was just ad hominem, a lazy political insult? It was the liberal who cried wolf and yet look what happened. The moment he took office. There was the muslim ban and the very fine people in charlottesville and then the kids he threw into cages and camps, but it’s not stopped. Those were not isolated incidents. Just last month the president had protesters as well as re as well as reporters outside the white house, tear gassed and beaten so that he could go for a stroll and have a photo op holding a bible outside a nearby church. And we were told not to call that fascism either. Now the president is ordering a surge of federal agents into u.s cities and talking about chicago the same way that george w bush once talked about fallujah. The daily beast reports that the president envisioned an ostentatious camera ready show of force in chicago. He wanted to go after what he saw as violent gang leaders, flush them out of hiding in ways that would have them shaking in their boots like they never had before.

And have alleged perpetrators marched out in front of the news cameras? Are we still saying this is not at all reminiscent of fascism? So the idea that our federal government is using the guise of law and order to bring in government agents to suppress protest should be shocking to everyone’s sensibility, no matter what your politics it is illiberal, it is anti american what’s.

Even more shocking is that the president is not operating alone. He has many many accomplices in the federal government and in congress. None of this would be possible without the attorney general, william barr barr’s role in ordering this attack on protesters and then participating in what amounts to propaganda events to justify possibly entering other cities with similar federal agents raises troubling questions about whether our justice department is actually Concerned about upholding the rule of law, or rather with bolstering the president’s political power, now federal agents from the department of homeland security, the agency that was thrown together after 9, 11 to protect the nation from terrorism are being dispatched to seattle. They claim to protect federal property. This comes after federal agents were sent to portland in early july, where they’ve been using war tactics against american protesters, firing, tear gas at crowds and throwing demonstrators into unmarked cars. So why did they deploy those agents to portland in the first place? Well, according to this list, from acting homeland security secretary chad, wolfe graffiti incidents were a big part of it.

Yes, federal agents in military gear are being deployed to fight graffiti last night on trump tv. The president said he could send a massive force of tens of thousands of agents into american cities. We could solve it if they invited us in we’d, go in with 50 000 75 000 people. We would be able to solve it, like you, wouldn’t believe in quick, but they just don’t want to ask maybe for political reasons, but they don’t want to ask it’s a disgrace when it comes to the coronavirus.

There is no federal response, it’s every state for themselves, but when it comes to fighting vandalism or protecting statues, he’s ready to send 75 000 agents of the federal government. Should we be thinking about um, this thing that we’ve been watching in portland the president’s threat to use force and his performative demonstration of force against civilians as a material rule of law crisis as something that we ought to worry about in terms of our democracy? Of course, in a rule of law state, which is what we should be, you can tell the police from the civilians when the police don’t identify themselves when the police don’t wear insignia. When the police act as though they’re above the law, then you’ve moved clearly in an authoritarian direction. It’S it’s the it’s, the dark fantasy, both in life and literature of authoritarianism and totalitarianism, that someone who you can’t, identify, arrests you and takes you away in the middle of the night.

So, yes, this is something we should be attending to given your seminal work. Looking at the history across europe of the descent into authoritarianism and the way that different types of cultures have slid in that direction, are there lessons from history about the right way or the most effective way, most meaningful way to resist or oppose that kind of thing? When it starts to happen in a country that you think of as a republic as a democracy, well, one of them we’ve already talked about which is which is protest itself.

You have to start to identify yourself with the protesters, so if, if first they come for the undocumented – and you do nothing because you’re documented, maybe you’re making a mistake, then they come for the blacks. You don’t do anything because you’re, not black you’re, making a mistake. Then they come for the protesters and you don’t do anything you’re, making a mistake at some point. You have to turn it around and say, like those moms in portland are doing. If they’re coming for the protesters, i have to stand up for those people. I have to stand up for my fellow people, my fellow americans, their right to the first amendment to the fourth amendment i’m, going to go out for that reason, and history shows that mass peaceful protest works.