The US has now reached the point where the comparison with Nazi Germany has become inescapable, first and foremost the total powerlessness of citizens to challenge the behavior of their government, even when it comes to its treatment of would-be immigrants to the country known as ‘the melting pot’, although they are paying for it, to the tune of $770 million taxpayer dollars a day. After visiting one detention center, Vice President Pence stated that he would not take the word of those being held as to their conditions, however those accompanying him reported that the stench of unwashed humanity was overwhelming. (Pence declined a mask, at least for the short time he was filmed standing outside the cage without addressing those inside…)
Americans will not see the efforts made by the Mexican government to welcome immigrants on their way to the US on their home channels, but France 24 recently showed that them being housed in individual pup tents, served normal meals, their children enjoying playgrounds. What a contrast to the conditions they will face once they cross the sacred American border. After being separating from their children and kept in cages too full for anyone to lie down in, if they are granted entry, they will be dropped on a street corner in an unknown city, hoping that local church groups will come to their rescue.
All this is related to the fact that the United States is at a crucial turning point in which socialists are represented in Congress for the first time since the Progressive Era of a hundred years ago. And just as the short-lived socialist governments that arose in Eastern Europe on the heels of the Russian Revolution, quickly giving way to fascism, the President’s insults of new, female socialist representative are opening the way to the same extreme.
Although it reported on the fact that he was supported by the head of the Ku Klux Klan, during the 2016 campaign that was funded by a white supremacist billionaire, Robert Mercer, it has taken more than two years for the media to admit that besides being a misogynist who brags about his exploits with women, Trump is a racist. When Trump told four women of color recently elected to Congress as democratic socialists, that if they didn’t like the US they should ‘go back where they came from’, it could no longer pretend that the American president was just a sideshow. (Gathered around ‘AOC’, only one of them is foreign born, and she is a Muslim, but all identify as ‘women of color’ They responded to Trump’s attacks by calling a press conference and referring to themselves as ‘the squad’.)
It’s unfortunate that the Democratic Speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi, unwittingly opened the door for Trump’s attack by belittling the significance of these socialist women’s elections in her desperation to prevent the party from deviating from its resolutely centrist position. This has allowed the President not only to display his racism, but to accuse them of being communists, as his party campaigns against Medicare for All by warning that voters would ‘lose’ the private coverage ‘like’, but for which they pay dearly.
Americans know so little about socialism, communism and everything in-between that they are fair game for the right’s blanket criticism of progressive ideas. However, Trump’s latest blunder may be moving his party closer to accepting his eventual impeachment.
Deena Stryker is a US-born international expert, author and journalist that lived in Eastern and Western Europe and has been writing about the big picture for 50 years. Over the years she penned a number of books, including Russia’s Americans. Her essays can also be found at Otherjones. Especially for the online magazine “New Eastern Outlook”.