Whether they believe their God sent them or that their DNA is superior to the rest of us, the new supremacists who own the GOP represent a threat to American democracy. They’ve tried to conquer America three times in the past: will they do it this time?
Marjorie Taylor Greene, who describes herself as a Christian Nationalist, is lying to the families of imprisoned January 6th traitors that Trump couldn’t possibly have pardoned any of them. She’s quite concerned that they’re upset with him.
Many, perhaps most, of the people who attacked our Capitol on January 6th believed they were doing work endorsed by their white male all-supreme god. Just like the men who flew planes into the Twin Towers believed they were doing work endorsed by their brown male all-supreme god.
There is no negotiating with people who believe they were sent by a god. Even in America. Or, perhaps, especially in America in 2022.
The events, podcasts, programs, and politicians whipping up the traitors who attacked us on January 6th were funded, at various levels and in various ways, by morbidly rich men and women who believe in their own version of a personal divinity.
They see themselves as standing apart from the rest of humanity, as genetically superior to the rest of us.
The headline from the November 17th edition of Business Insider pretty much sums it all up: “Billionaires want to save civilization by having tons of genetically superior kids. Inside the movement to take ‘control of human evolution.’”
Ask relatives of holocaust victims if it’s possible to negotiate with people who consider themselves genetically superior. Or ask the descendants of enslaved Africans.
This is where the rightwing billionaire movement finds common cause with white evangelicals and Republican American fascists. And none of them — billionaires, evangelicals, or fascists — will negotiate in good faith with those they consider inferior to them.
Their goal is to subjugate America and Americans, to create a Potemkin democracy in this nation (and others), to stand apart from and above the teeming masses of humanity, particularly those who are poor or whose skin is dark. They have no interest whatsoever in sharing or even paying taxes to support the common good.
Democracy, they believe, is their enemy. Some have openly said as much: that America went downhill when Black men or white women were allowed to vote, or when the Senate became elected by the people instead of appointed by state legislatures owned by local oligarchs.
Democracy, they believe, gives “the rabble” the power to take from them what they’re entitled to by virtue of their god’s blessing, or superior genetics, or both. The rabble is constantly trying to make their own lives better, but they’re just the rabble: why should the superior subsidize the inferior?
They say, often openly, words to the effect of:
“So what if most Americans want strong Social Security and Medicare, healthcare as a right instead of a privilege, free or affordable college? So what if workers want unions, a minimum wage one can live on and support a family with, affordable housing?
“It’s not the job of the superior, the blessed, to take care of the inferior, the cursed. It is, in fact, an affront to nature itself. A violation of nature’s basic law of the survival of the fittest.”
But the truth is that nobody is “worth” a million times more than another person. That our nation wasn’t founded or premised on any religion’s god deciding who should rule over whom. That most morbidly rich people either inherited their wealth or started from a foundation of substantial privilege, as Bill Gates’ father liked to point out.
They have no divine or inherent right to choose who will rule the rest of us, regardless of what their toadies on the corrupted Supreme Court say. They have seized that power — through decades of diligent conspiracy and elaborate, well-funded collaboration — but it’s a corrupted power, a perverted “right,” an inversion of the principles on which republican democracy is based.
But that doesn’t stop their rage. Their rage that others want what they have. Their rage that the miserable “takers” of society would think that the noble “makers” should have to pay taxes to support what our Constitution calls the “General Welfare.”
It’s vented from a thousand mouths a day on radio and television stations they own across the nation, from ten thousand websites and blogs, from a million bots and paid shills on social media.
It’s plastered across our television screens during political campaigns, it marches through our streets proclaiming that “Jews will not replace us,” it oozes and dribbles from the lips of their wholly owned politicians.
Their path to ultimate power and control of a nation is well trod throughout history.
Turn the people against each other. Make dissent a crime. Punish deviance from society’s norms.
And do it all to “save the children.” It’s always about protecting the children. From Nixon’s drug laws directed against young antiwar and civil rights protesters to Bush’s No Child Left Behind scam to make money for his brother’s educational testing company to DeSantis’ Don’t Say Gay laws promoting bigotry in schools it’s always about “protecting the children.”
Didn’t you know there are people who want to drink their blood? Who hide them in the basements of pizza shops? Even Putin reportedly told Trump that he’d started a campaign to — I’m not making this up — “save the children of Ukraine.”
We are mid-point in a recurrent arc of history that’s been experienced by our ancestors, by those in other lands, by nations all the way back to the earliest cities of pre-history.
It will end one of two ways.
Either the ones acting on behalf of their god and their superior genes will conquer our nation, or our nation will conquer them.
In the 1930s they thought they could conquer America by assassinating President Roosevelt and leading a half-million veterans against the White House and Congress. An American patriot, General Smedley Butler, blew the whistle.
Still, they found common cause with the rising fascist movements in Germany and Italy, as Rachel Maddow has so brilliantly documented in her podcast Ultra. But President Roosevelt saw them coming.
On June 7, 1936 he told the American people:
“For out of this modern civilization economic royalists carved new dynasties. New kingdoms were built upon concentration of control over material things. Through new uses of corporations, banks and securities, new machinery of industry and agriculture, of labor and capital—all undreamed of by the Fathers—the whole structure of modern life was impressed into this royal service.
“There was no place among this royalty for our many thousands of small business men and merchants who sought to make a worthy use of the American system of initiative and profit. They were no more free than the worker or the farmer. Even honest and progressive-minded men of wealth, aware of their obligation to their generation, could never know just where they fitted into this dynastic scheme of things.
“It was natural and perhaps human that the privileged princes of these new economic dynasties, thirsting for power, reached out for control over Government itself. They created a new despotism and wrapped it in the robes of legal sanction. In its service new mercenaries sought to regiment the people, their labor, and their property. And as a result the average man once more confronts the problem that faced the Minute Man.”
He would later say, “They are unanimous in their hate for me, and I welcome their hatred.”
In that era, they tried to conquer America, but instead America conquered them.
FDR hit them with a 91% top income tax rate that held above 70% until the Reagan Revolution. Congress regulated their businesses and legalized unions. Chastened, they retreated to their executive suites and mansions to play their games of finance, philanthropy, and monopoly, leaving politics largely untouched for two generations.
But now they’ve risen again, seizing over $50 trillion in wealth from working class people just over the past 40 years. They’ve taken over the Supreme Court and gerrymandered their way into control of the House of Representatives.
They’ve tried it three times before, and failed each time.
They were the roughly one-third of Americans who aligned with the British in 1776 and fought against the small-business American revolutionaries like tavern-owner Paul Revere. In 1861, they ended democracy in the South and raised arms against the United States. In the 1930s, they tried to kill Roosevelt and, when that failed, to destroy his New Deal.
Will they succeed this time? Will they end the American experiment and take us down the road that others, so certain of the blessing of their god and their DNA, briefly took most of Europe eighty years ago?
Or will this cycle — like the last three — turn toward the rabble instead of the aristocracy? Will “We, the People” prevail?
To a level not seen in generations, the answer to that question is now in the hands of millions of young Americans. And I, for one, am encouraged by what I’m seeing.