Sometimes, you do literally have to push forward against evil that pushes you.
But think. Not always.
What is your opponent’s real target? What do you really have to defend against? Sometimes, if someone charges you, head bent in anger, it’s better to step aside, place your hands on their back and gently help them on their way. Sadly, this sometimes results in their falling on their face, ungratefully as well as ungracefully. But that cannot be blamed on you. You were just trying to help, after all.
I recall a similar trick from cowboy shows and such. Someone comes at you and instead of coming at them, you back away, grab their hands and roll backwards, putting both your feet on their torso. As they rock over you, you push your feet out flinging them behind you. I did actually successfully accomplish this a few times as a kid.
Direct confrontation is also useful because it continues to send a signal that there are others out there equally committed to resisting tyranny. But pick battles carefully. You don’t want to pick battles that will splinter your cause or ones that you will lose both tactically and in such a way that you have lost strategic advantage as well.
Remember not to underestimate your adversary. It is not being orchestrated by the Liar-in-Chief. It is likely being orchestrated by ex-KGB/Russian oligarchs and/or American oligarchs who have already compromised a portion of government. They know what they’re doing. They’ve studied our weaknesses for decades. And now they are exploiting them more than ever.
Racism. Misogyny. Homophobia. Xenophobia. Lack of self-discipline. Greed. Shallow Thinking. Impulsivity. Anti-intellectualism. Etc. The litany could go on. America’s always been a work in progress and we’re no-where near perfect. All these weaknesses have their own inevitable costs to our society, with or without help from Moscow. But they can push on those cracks to make them wider. And, they have been, for decades, trying to sabotage our efforts to have our society become more open, freer, fairer, more just, and productive along with a higher quality of life. Now, the sabotage has moved into the all-out push. With Trump, they have a wrecking ball. They will have him wield the power of the Presidency to destroy as much of America as possible before early January.
In the middle of a pandemic, we must work especially hard at keeping the fabric of society from fraying completely. However much you think you are showing your appreciation for others, especially across all boundaries, double it; triple it. We need to see ourselves as having one objective — not being enslaved by a tyrant.
Once absolute rule were to be instantiated, it would be bloody difficult to revert to democracy.
Let’s imagine what this might be like. One of the first moves, of course, will be to claim criminal charges against all of Trumputin’s political opponents. They will all be show trials, of course, using made up evidence. But how will the jury be sure of that? Run their own forensics tests? No, of course not. You see that once the Justice Department becomes the Injustice Department, absolutely no-one is safe.
Imagine. The local police chief takes a shine to your little girl or boy — away they go. What are you going to do about it? Complain? To whom? Going to tell a reporter? What reporter? Oh, you mean the one put in place by the Misadministration? The one who will be quickly replaced and possibly knee-capped if he writes anything critical of the Misadministration? The one who’s boss, the editor, is also on the take and has to approve everything before it’s printed. That one? I don’t think that reporter will have much to say about the kidnapping. Probably left wing terrorists, doncha know?
Or, let’s say you own a local, home-made donut shop. You really do make damned good donuts and everyone in town, and even the surrounding towns knows it too. Especially the cinnamon sugar! For awhile, it looked as though covid might just destroy your business and the nest egg you’d set up. But, in fact, you made a few changes and reassured all your customers and by god if business hasn’t been better than ever! People don’t feel comfortable dining inside a restaurant, but they can call in their order to you, drive by, and pick up nice tasty fresh donuts. Almost like eating out with far less expense and risk of getting sick.
Well, now under the Trumputin dictatorship, it turns out that a friend of a pretty wealthy Russian oligarch has always wanted to retire and run a donut shop. Yours has great reviews so now it’s his. No, you don’t get money for it. Or maybe you did get half a fair price, but you didn’t really want to give it up for any price. One way or another, you are not happy. This isn’t “free enterprise” or “capitalism” or “competition” — no, it isn’t. What did you expect? Trump is the most cowardly person I can think of — he doesn’t want to compete in a fair contest of any kind. It’s not his thing. Even if he could have won 2020 fairly, he wouldn’t do it. Cheating is what gives him pleasure. If won without cheating, half the fun of destroying America would be gone. That’s the nature of his character and eventually that kind of cheating attitude permeates everything like the smell of a skunk. And, by the way, it turns out the that friend of a pretty wealthy Russian oligarch is both a horrible cook and a horrible manager! The donuts are for $hit and none of the employees are happy. But they are not allowed to quit. And the patrons? If anyone asks their opinion, they had damned well better say these donuts make them get down on their knees and thank GOD that the donut shop changed hands. Want to keep complaining? Fine, the gracious government has secured another spot for you to ply your cooking skills up in some Siberian prison camps. Goodbye.
The cancerous corruption that starts at the top, of course, eventually filters down to state governments, local governments, societies, book clubs, bowling leagues. As in Stalin’s Russia, no-one trusts anyone. Kids betray their parents. Parents betray each other. Step out of line, you die. Maybe you die at once. Maybe we sent you to Siberia to die slowly as with ex-cooks who complain. Either way, you die. Either way, by stealing you out of the fabric of your neighborhood, your family, and your network of friends & colleagues, the Trumputin Misadministration has damaged all of those fabrics as well. They have reinforced the message that the only thing you can really count on is a government who will always be there for you. Until you don’t behave exactly and precisely as you’re told to. If you fight, then the entire force of that gigantic faceless stone will be crushed down your face.
And, you will not be able to go to reporter. And you will not be looking for a good lawyer because everyone knows the conclusion of your trial is already pre-determined. And you will not get on social media and complain because nearly all of social media is bot-$hit crazy propaganda supporting the Misadministration.
Oh, and guns? That will, of course, be one of the most ironic parts of this whole debacle. “Guns Rights” advocates, who for millennia (it feels like) have complained that liberals want to take their guns away — will, in fact, have their guns taken away. This will not be done by the left — who didn’t want to do it anyway, but by the dictatorship. Dictatorships really do take guns away. Yeah! That you were right about all along. The part where it all went sideways though was that although the NRA kept spewing the line that a well-armed citizenry kept us from tyranny, in actual practice, the guys in camo who donned their assault rifles did not stand up to actual terrorists or unmarked private militias. It was more fun, apparently, to stand up to unarmed nurses protesting to get needed equipment in order to save lives or to storm the capital building and protest legislators doing their jobs to save lives. Anyway, you won’t have any more right to own a gun than do Russian citizens. Maybe a few special hunting licenses for “special friends” of the Grand Supreme Leader. That’s it.
Everything is so horrible and absolute power is so absolute you probably think — good god, this will never change. Why did I bring children into this world? But things do change. The first major change of the Trumputin Misadministration is very minor wording change. It will be known henceforth in the shorter version — Putin Misadministration. Trump unfortunately had to be temporarily removed from duty to deal with a strange illness. Doctors think it is not COVID19 where the US death toll is now the best in the world. In a recent press conference Trump was able to inform the AmeriKKKan public that “supplemental autopsies” confirmed that the US only had three total COVID19 deaths while the rest (1.5 million) were all part of a liberal hoax. And those three would have been saved if only they had let the Stable Genius Savior puteth his hands upon them and administereth bleach unto them.
After Trump and his co-traitors all die of similar strange diseases within days of each other, Grand Supreme Leader Putin graciously names replacements for various Senators, Judges, and Cabinet Heads. Everyone in Congress is asked to swear a loyalty pledge to Putin. Those who refuse are never heard from again.
Nothing in this grim scenario is inevitable. If enough people wake up soon enough to see what is afoot, the overthrow of America can be avoided. I hope for everyone’s sake that will happen. Even if not, eventually life, creativity, freedom, fairness — these forces will prevail. The philosophy of hate, like cancer in the human body, can only have temporary victory. In the end, fascism is incompatible with life. Like cancer, it will not create anything useful to the whole, and once it kills its host, it too will die.
“Be steadfast in purpose and flexible in tactics.”