I've said before that "On the Media" out of WNYC with Brooke Gladstone and Bob Garfield is one of my favorite NPR broadcast shows. That doesn't mean I always "agree" with the conclusions (usually I do, partially at the least) and the program yesterday (OTM comes on at 5am Saturday morning on KJZZ here in the Phoenix valley so I guess not a "popular" program for it) was one I had some reservations about so I'll talk about them.
It was dealing with the "alt right," i. e., neo nazis and white supremists as per Richard Spencer and Milo Yiannopoulos and so on and the program producer-host (not Gladstone or Garfield by the way but a "guest" slot) was generally upset because certain media coverage (this is about "media" after all) was not "confrontational" enough; even a Mother Jones magazine feature ("Mother Jones" is quite "leftist") noted how "handsome" is Spencer, well dressed, well educated, from a rich family, all making him appear almost "mainstream" she feared. wedding guest cocktail gowns
However the point was made that many alt rightists are not "cretins," rednecks, guys from Hillbilly Hollow. A point was also made that historically, even going back to the slavers who first brought Africans to Europe circa the 15th and 16th centuries, posited rationales of inferiority, "beastliness" and the need to convert them to Christianity. Initially there was the slavery, then there was the convenient "attitude" -- that makes sense to me.
However it tends to leave "us" and "US" (note also the Italian election today which is rife with racist attitudes -- Europe is not the "home" of the non racists any more than the United States is) with the implication that this history cannot be resolved; it's endemic and moreover the alt rightists are "rising" even if Bannon is gone, even if Trump's daughter and son in law are Jews and Trump is very popular in Israel, certainly more so than Obama ever was.
I remember George Lincoln Rockwell and his "party" of whites who saluted the nazi flag and rode the wave and backlash re the civil rights movement of the 1950s and '60s. As a child I was well rather "shocked" as "everybody's" dad it seemed had served in World War II fighting nazis, et. al., and it seemed "bizarre" that someone would proclaim himself a "nazi" a decade and more after the war. It seemed even stranger than the Ku Klux Klan which seemed pretty bizarre to me too -- why was it "Christian" to BURN the cross???
I realize of course that American "freedom" (that 1st amendment being in its own way as "pesky" as the 2nd) means that "hate speech" can be "restrained" under circumstances but never quashed. People are "free" to believe and to express eh. I like it that way although there are greater restraints, at least legally, in other countries and well in Egypt for instance a pop singer was arrested for "slandering the Nile river" by indicating if one drank from it one may well get sick.
So we understand that "limits" on speech can sometimes lead to real abuse of expression and "protection" more of authority than of people's "rights."
I don't believe the United States is a "fascist" nation or that Trump is leading it there (he doesn't especially "lead" at all in many ways). I don't believe his voters are "closet nazis" and I don't think someone like Bannon or Spencer is becoming a "major" figure in other than his own milieu. Bannon after all was both "fired" from the White House and then declared "some kind of a nut" for disparaging Trump to a tell all journalist.
I'm told by Brian Johnson (and others) that some "great reckoning" IS coming in this November's mid term election, that myriad anti Trumpists will "turn out" and vote down Republicans by the "score" or by maybe by a dozen in the House and Senate. I KNOW Trumpists and Repubs will "turn out" and I wonder if enough antis will but I think the country is indeed turning away from Trump so that by 2020 he will announce he won't run for reelection as he has -- in record time! -- "made America great again"! No need hm.
That may be too optimistic on my part?! Anyway I think if the Democrats do not nominate someone as "vulnerable" as Hillary proved to be (not a surety) a "better" president can be elected. (Even if say it were Mitt Romney, not a Democrat, who won I think we'd all sigh a bit of relief huh.)
I do not think in other words America is "doomed" -- it is in a rough transition and "we shall see" but while I may not be as optimistic as some are, in other ways I am optimistic about the "general line" of our future. Americans are, the great majority of them, not "nazis," nor will they become...