Will they Not Pass?

By: David Brooks on June 17, 2022

Jan. 6 attack on US Congress, photo: Tyler Merbler/creative commons

At the same time that Joe Biden and his team were acting as supreme judges of democracies at the Summit of the Americas in Los Angeles, at the other end of the country, in Washington, Congressman Bennie Thompson, chairman of the Select Committee on January 6, was declaring at the first public hearing on the investigation of the Trump-driven coup attempt that “the world is watching what we are doing here (…) America has been a beacon of hope and freedom, a model for others (…) How can we play that role when our house is in such disarray?”

Moreover, as Biden and his team played host to the semi-summit projecting their country as a champion of democratic causes (with the amnesia necessary to dare to do that before a hemisphere full of wounds and open veins from Washington’s anti-democratic actions over more than a century), in his capital there was ample and frightening evidence of the grand conspiracy to overturn the democratic process in 2020, in which the then-president even contemplated the use of military forces to achieve it and expressed that his vice president deserved to hang for refusing to comply with the wishes of his boss to suspend the certification process.

The storming of the Capitol by thousands of supporters led by neo-fascist forces called by Trump on January 6, 2020, for the purpose of stopping the certification of the presidential election by Congress was nothing less than the culmination of a coup attempt, Thompson asserted on behalf of the Committee, which warned that such a conspiracy to overthrow the reign of democracy in this country continues and is perhaps even more dangerous today.

In fact, accomplices like Steve Bannon, Trump’s political strategist, make no secret of their intention to return to power and take revenge, because we are going to win in November and we are going to remove all of you. Fuck you in the White House, we’re going to impeach you, he warned on his show last week.

The forecasts for now indicate that the Republicans will retake control of Congress in the mid-term elections scheduled for November, and they are already planning not only to stop the investigations against Trump, but to take control of the electoral apparatus to impose whomever they want; that is, a neo-fascist project without disguises.

That project -with Trump still at the helm- revolves around right-wing populist anti-immigrant proposals promoted by white supremacists and even openly neo-Nazi forces. His return implies terror against migrant communities -especially Mexicans- and minorities and continues to overturn the gains of civil rights movements, women, and the gay community, as well as seeking alliances with right-wing forces in other parts of the world.

Neo-fascist extremist forces continue to be officially rated as the worst domestic threat to national security, according to the Department of Homeland Security and the FBI.

In the face of this, the defense of democracy cannot be reduced only to an electoral dispute. “We are offered a choice between a neo-fascist like Trump and a pusillanimous neoliberal like Biden (…) with all the decent people in America, how do we end up with such mediocre people at the top?” commented African-American philosopher Cornel West this past week. “In both parties, politics is about spectacle and superstition (…) Like the blues people, we have to tell the truth with style and a smile, and keep fighting, willing to fail better next time. As Samuel Beckett used to say.

The American people are faced with the decision of whether or not to defend their constitutional democracy. Perhaps they should ask for advice, rather than give it, to their Latin American counterparts who have ample experience in anti-fascist struggles, including coups from the White House itself.

Once again, the question here is will they not pass?

Source: Cubadebate, translation Resumen Latinoamericano – English