My dad is a fan of a community group on Facebook called Prepare to Take America Back, a group that purports to be about “We the People restoring and maintaining our Constitutional Rights.” Amidst the random capitalizations, grammatical errors and co-opted military buzzwords, these juvenile crusaders (with more than 38,000 likes) talk of tyranny and treason while espousing blatant racism and misogyny at every turn. The sad thing is, they’re just one of many bands of mindless hicks eating up the divisive rhetoric being fed them by the Koch brothers et al via Fox News.
Though nationwide levels of trust in Fox News are at an all-time low, their devout followers continue to belligerently adhere to their preferred version of reality because it’s easier than recognizing that, slowly but surely, this country is changing.
These people who have no understanding of history or the Constitution they squawk about upholding – these people scare me. Because they will believe anything they are told (no really, ANYTHING – my dad got taken in by this piece of satire about Dianne Feinstein and Barbara Boxer allegedly calling for the police to lay down their weapons during the Dorner manhunt, because it wasn’t marked ‘satire’ at first) so long as it justifies or feeds their impotent rage at the black man in office. They claim to want to uphold the Constitution, yet the sedition they use is still a federal crime upheld by the Supreme Court in the Smith Act. They want to uphold the Constitution, but only the parts that suit them - not the pesky parts that protect the rights of others.
They break land speed records in their race to make comparisons to Hitler and Nazi Germany, yet refuse to recognize the parallels to their own tactics. The Nazi party rose in part as a response to the threat of Communism, the same threat that GOP hardliners are dangling above the heads of their frothing minions. They gathered momentum in part due to the ideology of fascism – extreme nationalism and counter-revolutionary politics seeking to activate "the people" as a whole against perceived oppressors. Fascism uses a vanguard party (did you know the Koch brothers started planning the Tea Party in 2002?) to unite their followers and initiate a revolution. Sound familiar yet?
What happens once they succeed is the problem. Because this form of fascism is inherently based in racism. This president was democratically elected, despite the very best efforts of Republicans in Ohio, Florida, Pennsylvania, Virginia, Arizona and other states who sought to tamper with machines, direct people to the wrong polling stations, change voting hours, enact voter registration laws, etc. And he was democratically elected thanks in large part to the votes of women and minorities.
The problem is not that majority rule prevailed, but that it was the wrong majority. Hispanic-Americans, blacks, LGBT individuals, educated women – we don’t fit the mold of who these people want to recognize as ‘real Americans.’ They talk of “we the people” but they only mean the people just like them.
These people are not noble warriors crusading for the righteous beliefs of our forefathers; they are spoiled children mindlessly bleating about the infinitesimal loss of just some of their entrenched white male privilege.
The fact that a black man got elected – not once, but twice, by popular vote – is a threat to the inherent superiority they’ve been guaranteed since birth. They are threatened by a world concept that recognizes that women are not property to be beaten and that the color of your skin does not automatically guarantee failure. Or success.
I hope they recognize before it’s too late that destroying the Constitution will not uphold it.