Even folks who have tried to restrain themselves from the use of fascist and Nazi labels have begun to run scared after the announcement today that racist, Jew-baiting Steve Bannon has just become one of the most powerful men in America. At The Political Animal Martin Longman writes:
One of the shocking things I’ve felt compelled to do since Donald Trump’s unexpected election to be the next president of the United States is to bone up on my history by reading Joseph Goebbels Wikipedia page. I did that last night, and I noted many disturbing parallels between Goebbels early career and the career of Trump’s new chief White House strategist Steve Bannon. Still, I was feeling vaguely guilty about even doing this research, as if I’m bordering on the paranoid and letting my fears get the better of me.
The problem is, I am hardly alone in thinking along these lines ….
After George Bush was elected, my family toyed with the possibility of leaving the country – a move that would have been facilitated by the nature of my husband’s work at that time. Now we are both retired and the truth is that few desirable countries welcome older folks who don’t have money to invest in job creating ventures, and who, in countries with progressive social programs, may put a strain on their resources. We also have companion animals that we are obligated to keep and protect and might not be able to bring them with us to places that would otherwise welcome us.
But we’re still worried that getting out of Dodge might really be the right thing to do. So the second thought to cross our minds is that if we don’t leave the country, we ought to leave Missouri.
Missouri’s a poor state, and its almost uniformly corrupt lawmakers don’t seem to care if it gets poorer as long as they can get rich doing what’s best for their even richer friends, and, in the process, free up businesses to discriminate along with putting uppity, promiscuous sluts in their places (nearly barefoot, pregnant and working for minimum wage in McDonalds’ kitchens).* In the Missouri boondocks they call it religious freedom.
Missouri’s also awash with guns and militias. Beginning this year there’s almost no regulation of firearms. Any type of firearm. You can shoot folks because they scare you. Stop and think about how many uptight, paranoid people there are, and then consider that in Missouri lots of the scariest of them have guns. And speaking of scary people, the Southern Poverty Law Center identifies 22 hate groups located in Missouri – more than in just a handful of other states.
The state’s a veritable petri dish for growing Trumpian authoritarianism. It’s got more than its share of those white people who are angry because the world rejects their version of reality, their anger both exploited and enabled by Trump’s election. When the fecal matter finally hits the fan, Missouri may be an especially bad place for an couple of older progressives. In the past, we braced up, got on with our lives because, as with most things, we knew that this too would pass. But it threatens to be much worse this time.
At our ages it’s not easy to upend our lives by moving. There are lots of things to consider and I don’t know what we’ll do in the end. However, given the appointment of Bannon along with the police-state and torture rhetoric that is emanating from Trump’s circle of domestic policy advisors, we are beginning to think that, at the very least, maybe we should get out of the heart of Trump’s own country.
*Edited slightly for clarity.