Democracy in exile.

“The dark clouds of an American-style fascism are brewing on the horizon and can be seen in a countless number of Trump’s statements and orders, including his instructions to the Department of Homeland Security to draw up a list of “Muslim organizations and individuals that, in the language of the executive action, have been ‘radicalized.’” Given Trump’s intolerance of criticism and dissent, it is plausible that this list could be expanded to target Black Lives Matter activists, investigative journalists, feminists, community organizers, university professors, and other outspoken left-wing intellectuals.

One indication that the Trump regime is compiling a larger list of alleged wrongdoers was the Trump transition team’s request that the Energy Department deliver a list of the names of individuals who had worked on climate change. Under public pressure, the Trump regime later rescinded this request. Couple these political interventions with the unprecedented attack on the media and the barring of the New York TimesCNNand other alleged “fake news” media outlets from press conferences, and what becomes clear is that the professional institutions that make democracy possible are not only under siege but face the threat of being abolished. Trumpists’ constant cry of “fake news” to discredit critical media outlets is part of a massive disinformation campaign designed to undermine investigative journalism, eyewitness news, fact-based analysis, reason, evidence, and any knowledge-based standard of judgment.

Nothing will change unless people begin to take seriously the deeply rooted structural, cultural, and subjective underpinnings of oppression in the United States and what it might require to make such issues meaningful, in both personal and collective ways, in order to make them critical and transformative. This is fundamentally a pedagogical as well as a political concern. As Charles Derber has explained, knowing “how to express possibilities and convey them authentically and persuasively seems crucially important” if any viable form of resistance is to take shape. Trumpism normalizes official falsehoods, intolerance, violence, and pro-fascist social manifestations. Taken as a whole, these conditions do not simply repress independent thought, but constitute their own mode of indoctrinated perceptions that are reinforced through a diverse set of cultural apparatuses ranging from local gun clubs and hate groups to corporate media such as Fox News and online commercial operations like Infowars and Breitbart News.”

*****

Note: Everything Giroux notes in the book regarding Trump’s proto-fascist actions and presentations continues unabated today, as do attempts to normalize his continuing efforts to destroy democratic policies and traditions built into the American dream. – {Ed}

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