Sometimes it is too hard to look an existential threat directly in the eye. Sometimes it is too hard to call out by its rightful name a phenomenon which we see clearly before our very eyes.
Today that existential threat in America is the threat of fascism, represented by the Republican Party and the 35 million or more Americans who still support their fascist* Leader, even after he has led an attempted coup d’état which culminated in the Capitol Insurrection on January 6, 2021.
74 million people voted for the Leader, some seven million fewer than those who voted for Joe Biden. So the estimate od 35 million fascist supporters could be low.
Human beings have a natural desire to avoid looking at hard realities, because a clear-eyed understanding of hard truths could place extraordinarily hard demands on these human beings–to do something, to deal with those hard realities, and to act to avert disaster or at least to make things better. Republican responses to climate change illustrate this point.
That is the situation we find ourselves in now. We live in a country filled with fascists, who still exhibit cult-like adulation of and obeisance to their fascist Leader.
In Europe, in the 1920’s and 1930’s, political leaders looked away for too long from what was immediately before their eyes, making the mistake of believing that they could work with Mussolini and Hitler, and their minions. The Munich Pact in October 1938 was the result of one such effort. Some Jewish leaders in 1933 believed they could work with Adolf Hitler and the Nazis.
In their brief efforts at bi-partisanship, it quickly became apparent which partisan party would gain the upper hand. Too late, they came to understand that they had lost their freedom, having fallen into the hands of violent and ruthless partisans, who were fascists.
In the United States, in 2021, is it possible to work in a “bipartisan” manner with the fascist Republican Party of the fascist Leader Donald Trump?
Mistakes could be made by democrats if they fail to recognize the nature of the threat they face. For example, they could make great mistakes if they were to think that they are dealing with the party of Everett Dirksen or Bob Dole, when in fact they are dealing with the American equivalent of a European fascist party in Italy or Germany in the 1920’s and 1930’s.
Democrats and supporters of democracy should never choose to work in a “bipartisan” manner with the fascists.
Rather, they should work with them only when 1) they are forced to in order to achieve some important strategic goal; and 2) in order to wean individual fascists away from their allegiance to their fascist party, Leader, or goals.
Both sides will pursue strategic goals:
The fascists will pursue the goal of obtaining and keeping power, tolerating violence if necessary, and with no regard for law or facts if they block their quest for power.
The strategic goal of the democrats will be to defend the Constitution and the Rule of Law, and to do so above all by destroying the fascists and the fascist threat that would do away with both altogether.
Is “bipartisanship” between democrats and fascists possible?
Only occasionally, without losing sight of the strategic goal, which for democrats is to destroy the fascists and the fascist threat.
The Trenchant Observer