By Umair Haque
America is ripping itself apart. So much so that I couldn’t help but notice another strange, gruesome, and bizarre turning point in American collapse today. On the heels of Trump mocking Dr Ford, many famous and powerful right-wing extremists were bellowing, for the first time I can remember, in unison, a shared, loud, and explicit support of real, physical violence — “I love fighting!! What kind of man hasn’t been in a fight? Not a real one, I’ll tell you that!” Violence is virtuous, healthy, ennobling, in other words. My friends, this is far, far outside the lines of discourse we should expect from a civilized society. These are the kinds of things the sneering thugs and grandees who become the proud lieutenants and captains in the armies of dictators tend to say just before a democracy collapses. So while all that might strike you as inconsequential, I think it’s indicative of a deeper and truer malaise — because, of course, on the heels of the Kavanaugh debacle, it is a justification for the idea that anything should go. But can anything go in a democracy?
Americans don’t agree on two things anymore. Personhood and violence. They don’t agree that all people are people, or should be, or even can be — and therefore, many Americans appear to believe in many or most of the following things. It’s perfectly acceptable to rape women if you can get away with it, it’s perfectly fine to put children in camps, it’s perfectly desirable to suggest, believe, “know that” some groups are inherently superior to others, it’s quite alright to want to ethnically cleanse a society, it’s perfectly healthy to “debate” ideas like authoritarianism and fascism (as if two world wars hadn’t settled the question). Need I go on?