Fascism only reigns supreme over a docile public


Ronan Walsh , Opinions Editor

The past few weeks have been demoralizing.  Donald Trump — like a flailing, blindfolded child placed in front of a pinata — has purposefully obliterated in a matter of weeks what Obama took nearly a decade to create. It seems the past several days have been a blurry montage of Trump signing executive orders and tweeting hate speech under the @POTUS Twitter handle.

He is in his element — desperately trying to control his image, silencing all who oppose him, firing government workers, actively assaulting the environment, and appointing secretaries that wish to dissolve the agencies they head. Trump’s first weeks in office have been a reflection of his conduct for the past few decades in the private sector. Nowhere is this more apparent than in his ban on immigration from select Muslim countries. In fact, the way he has acted calls to mind another populist demagogue who revived a broken party through, fear, xenophobia, and catchy slogans, Andrew Jackson. 

Most people my age know Jackson as the guy on the $20 bill. Others know him as the psychopathic murderer responsible for the genocide of hundreds of thousands of Native Americans. Much like Donald Trump, Andrew Jackson prided himself on the fact that he was not an “insider,” and as a result, had no connections to the government, so he had to associate himself with the filthiest and most corrupt politicians. Both ran on a platform based on contempt of the establishment and demonizing and scapegoating ethnic groups. In Jackson’s term, the executive branch was more tyrannical than ever before. Jackson would actively disobey the judicial branch’s orders, and he got rid of the original national bank because he didn’t like the system. This ushered in an age of financial anarchy. I don’t think the similarities are accidental – Trump hung Andrew Jackson’s portrait on the wall behind his desk in the Oval Office. If he is consciously emulating Jackson and considers him his hero, our country is in for a lot more trouble than we’ve seen in the past three weeks.

The Trump administration, in a matter of days, has done what I thought impossible: completely destroyed my faith in our government. I had always thought that no matter how bleak American politics seemed, there would always be someone to safeguard democracy and fairness. I fear I was wrong. The lack of a significant opposition in either house of Congress has let Trump’s lunacy run rampant. Charismatic liberal politicians are few and far between, and Republican congressmen willing to stand up against Trump’s reign of error are even more scarce. I fear this may be a long uphill battle, but all is not lost.

Authoritarianism only reigns supreme over a docile public. In order for the government to take away our rights, we must allow it to happen. To protect the American way, we must cling to our freedom of speech, religion, and assembly with all the ferocity and paranoia with which second amendment fanatics cling to their guns. For as long as we do not let this farce of a regime impose their will upon us, we will not be dominated. As long as we scream bloody murder every time one of our liberties is being taken from us, we will not be beaten!