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Rising American Fascism

Introduction

Rising American Fascism

Rising American Fascism is nothing new in the United States. Since the 1960s, the United States has grappled with a rising tide of fascism that has permeated its society. This essay delves into Rising American Fascism – 1960 to Now: through an exploration of America’s obsession with guns, political violence, the January 6 insurrection at the Capitol Building, hate crimes, and random mass shootings since the infamous Columbine incident. By examining specific examples and exploring cause and effect, we aim to shed light on the factors contributing to this alarming trend.

America’s Obsession with Guns: Rising American Fascism

The United States has long been fixated on firearms, a cultural fascination that has deep historical roots. The Second Amendment of the Constitution, enacted in 1791, has shaped the American psyche and played a central role in this obsession. While the right to bear arms was originally intended for militia purposes, it has been interpreted as an individual right to own firearms.

However, the impact of this fixation became increasingly evident in modern times. The ease of access to firearms and the resistance to meaningful gun control measures have contributed to a climate of gun violence. Mass shootings have become all too common, leaving communities shattered and families devastated.

A striking example is the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting in 2012. Adam Lanza, armed with an assault rifle, entered the school and unleashed a horrifying spree of violence that resulted in the deaths of 20 children and six adults. This heart-wrenching event underscored the devastating consequences of unrestricted access to firearms and the reluctance to enact effective gun control measures.

In recent years, there have been some attempts to address this issue. The tragic shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, in 2018 sparked a nationwide movement led by students advocating for stricter gun control measures. Despite this, significant legislative change has been elusive due to the powerful lobbying efforts of pro-gun groups and the resistance from those who view any restriction on gun rights as an infringement on their liberties.

Political Violence: Rising American Fascism

American history has experienced numerous instances of political violence that highlight the growing polarization within the nation. These episodes range from acts of domestic terrorism to targeted violence against political figures, posing a significant threat to the stability of the democratic system.

The rise of extremist movements, such as white supremacists, far-right militias, and anarchist groups, has further exacerbated the threat of political violence. These groups often espouse ideologies of hatred, intolerance, and the rejection of democratic norms. The internet and social media platforms have provided fertile ground for the dissemination of extremist ideologies, enabling like-minded individuals to connect and organize.

One prominent illustration of political violence is the Oklahoma City bombing in 1995. Timothy McVeigh, influenced by extremist ideologies, detonated a truck bomb outside the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building. The explosion claimed the lives of 168 people, including 19 children, and injured over 500 others. This tragedy revealed the capacity for radicalization and the dangers posed by individuals driven to commit acts of terror within American society.

To address the scourge of political violence, efforts must focus on strengthening social cohesion, promoting civic education, and combating online radicalization. Law enforcement agencies must also prioritize the monitoring and disruption of extremist networks to prevent acts of violence before they occur.

The January 6 Insurrection at the Capitol Building

The events of January 6, 2021, exposed the dangerous culmination of false narratives, conspiracy theories, and the erosion of trust in democratic institutions. The immediate cause of the insurrection can be attributed to false claims of widespread voter fraud during the 2020 presidential election. These baseless allegations, propagated by prominent political leaders, fueled a dangerous fervor among supporters, ultimately culminating in the violent attack on the Capitol. The event exposed the fragility of American democracy and the risks posed by leaders who perpetuate disinformation and undermine the electoral process.

The breach of the Capitol Building by a violent mob seeking to overturn the certification of the election results was an attack on the very foundations of democracy. The lack of preparedness and inadequate security measures allowed the chaos to unfold, highlighting the need for a thorough examination of the security apparatus and a recommitment to upholding the principles of democratic governance.

In the aftermath of the insurrection, there has been a renewed focus on addressing the spread of disinformation and conspiracy theories. Social media platforms have taken steps to curb the amplification of false narratives, and efforts are underway to strengthen electoral processes and restore faith in democratic institutions.

Hate Crimes

Throughout history, hate crimes have plagued American society, targeting individuals based on their race, religion, sexual orientation, or other protected characteristics. These incidents reflect the deep-seated prejudice and intolerance that continue to pervade the nation, leading to violence and discrimination against marginalized communities.

A notable case is the Charleston church shooting in 2015. Dylan Roof, driven by racial hatred, entered the historic Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church and callously gunned down nine African American parishioners during a Bible study session. This act of domestic terrorism was a stark reminder of the persistence of racism and the consequences of hate-fueled ideologies. It exposed the urgent need to address systemic biases and promote a society that values diversity and inclusivity.

While legislation has been enacted to address hate crimes, the persistence of such incidents underscores the need for a comprehensive approach. Education and awareness programs that promote inclusivity, tolerance, and empathy are essential to combating the root causes of hatred. Law enforcement agencies must also receive training to recognize and respond effectively to hate crimes, ensuring that perpetrators are held accountable.

To eradicate hate crimes, communities must come together, fostering dialogue, and fostering an environment of acceptance and understanding. It is imperative to challenge discriminatory attitudes, promote diversity, and build bridges across different communities.

Random Mass Shootings since Columbine

The Columbine High School shooting in 1999 marked a turning point in America’s perception of mass shootings. Since then, the nation has witnessed a disturbingly frequent recurrence of such incidents, leaving a trail of shattered lives in their wake. Since the tragedy at Columbine High School in 1999, the United States has been plagued by a series of random mass shootings. These acts of violence have occurred in schools, workplaces, places of worship, and public spaces, leaving a trail of trauma and devastation.

One example is the Las Vegas shooting in 2017, an unimaginable act of violence that claimed the lives of 58 people and injured hundreds more. Stephen Paddock, perched in a hotel room overlooking a music festival, unleashed a hail of bullets onto innocent concertgoers. This incident, the deadliest mass shooting in modern American history, sent shockwaves through the country and raised urgent questions about the societal factors contributing to these acts of violence.

The causes of mass shootings are complex and multifaceted, involving factors such as mental illness, societal alienation, and the easy availability of firearms. In some cases, perpetrators have been motivated by a desire for notoriety or to express grievances against society.

Efforts to prevent mass shootings must encompass comprehensive gun control measures, focusing on enhanced background checks, closing loopholes, and banning high-capacity magazines and assault weapons. Mental health support must be accessible and destigmatized, enabling individuals in crisis to receive appropriate care. Early intervention and threat assessment programs can help identify individuals at risk and provide necessary interventions before they resort to violence.

To Wrap-up the Argument: Rising American Fascism

 

Rising American Fascism, characterized by an obsession with guns, political violence, the January 6 insurrection, hate crimes, and random mass shootings since Columbine, presents a grave concern for the nation. The examples provided from 1960 through 2023 shed light on the causes and effects of these disturbing phenomena.

Addressing these issues requires a multi-faceted approach that includes comprehensive gun control legislation, efforts to combat extremist ideologies, promoting inclusivity and empathy, strengthening democratic institutions, and fostering social cohesion. It demands a collective commitment to creating a society that values the sanctity of life, rejects hatred and violence, and embraces the principles of equality and justice.

The United States must prioritize the safety and well-being of its citizens, striving towards a society where the value of human life is placed above personal ideologies and divisions. By undertaking these critical measures, the nation can steer itself away from the dangerous path of rising American

By Politics-as-Usual

Roger is a retired Professor of language and literacy. Over the past 15 years since his retirement, Roger has kept busy with reading, writing, and creating landscape photographs. In this time of National crisis, as Fascist ideas and policies are being introduced to the American people and ignored by the Mainstream Press, he decided to stand up and be counted as a Progressive American with some ideas that should be shared with as many people who care to read and/or participate in discusssions of these issues. He doesn't ask anyone to agree with his point of view, but if entering the conversation he demands civility. No conspiracy theories, no wild accusations, no threats, no disrespect will be tolerated. Roger monitors all comments and email communication. That is the only rule for entering the conversation. One may persuade, argue for a different point of view, or toss out something that has not been discussed so long as the tone remains part of a civil discussion. Only then can we find common ground and meaningful democratic change.

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