Monday, December 11, 2017
Jared Yates Sexton: The change first came in the weeks after September 11. Whereas my family had kept their slurs and fascist ideologies largely confined to the safety of our homes, now they were openly having these conversations with other like-minded people in public. At lunch I'd overhear neighbors refer to "towel---," "sand---," and it was nothing for a quick chat at the Wal-Mart to be punctuated by a call to bomb every man, woman, and child in the Middle East until there was nothing left. "Turn the desert into glass," they said. "Let God sort 'em out." In the years following, there were less of these open displays as polite society frowned upon them, but they didn't stop altogether.
They were adamantly in favor of the Iraq War, an unjust invasion, and openly supported waterboarding and torture and, like their eventual hero Donald Trump, they thought there should be even more violent methods of getting information.
Simply put, people like this have never been interested in the principles the United States of America were founded upon. ...
My relatives, and others like them, have clung to that Constitution when it has served their interests, primarily the 2nd Amendment, which protects their guns, and occasionally the 1st Amendment, when they feel pressured by shared society. But they are quick to abandon the Constitution when it suits their interests. ...
I cannot say they are fascists, but I can definitely say they hold fascist ideas. This is why they hardly blink when Donald Trump quickly erodes the normal order of the government, why they're not concerned when he undermines the Freedom of the Press or cozies up to authoritarian leaders. They love it when he tells policemen to be rough on suspects. They want someone who plays nuclear chicken with a despot while the lives of hundreds of million innocent people lie in the balance.
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