Rachel Maddow cut through the political noise Monday evening to warn that in order to effectively combat fascism, there is a necessity for a whole society response. And this is something we have done before.
Looking at what happened last time that we were up against something like this, is that the criminal law can’t do everything. I mean, we can’t ever count on it all being against it in the courtroom. When it is extremist ultra-right groups willing to use violence against everyone else to get their way, those are crimes and there is a role for the courts and the prison system, right? But there is also a really important role for everything else.
For a whole of society response. I mean, the criminal justice system isn’t bulletproof but it also doesn’t address the nature of those crimes in their totality. So in order to effectively combat fascism, in order to effectively combat rising authoritarianism – particularly when it comes to trying to undo elections and trying to have power be both achieved and maintained in this country by some means other than democracy.
When it comes to threatening force as a way of seizing power, there is not only room; there is a necessity for a whole society response. For everybody to do something. For activism. For journalism, for political organizing to keep them away from real power.
I see a way in which you learn, like we’ve been through something like there before and it can be enervating, are we ever going to get away from this. On the other hand, knowing that we’ve faced it before and effectively faced it before and Americans had great ideas on how to outflank and defeat those forces, that to me is energizing.
Maddow isn’t pretending that we are not facing rising fascism and authoritarianism. The Queen of Context laid it out for Americans tonight – not only are we facing this threat, but we have done so before. She is addressing this very issue in her new podcast Ultra.
Ultra sounds familiar, because we have faced threats this big before:
Sitting members of Congress aiding and abetting a plot to overthrow the government. Insurrectionists criminally charged with plotting to end American democracy for good. Justice Department prosecutors under crushing political pressure. Rachel Maddow Presents: Ultra is the all-but-forgotten true story of good, old-fashioned American extremism getting supercharged by proximity to power. When extremist elected officials get caught plotting against America with the violent ultra right, this is the story of the lengths they will go to… to cover their tracks.
We need to fight on every front and leave no battle unaddressed. This is an all hands on deck situation. It’s dire, it’s terrifying, but it’s also something every single one of us can do something about.
Political organizing at the local level, driving people to the polls, knocking on doors — these things have power. Community has power.
We can learn from those who fought this battle before us. We can use our wit to battle these anti-freedom forces on every front.
Ms. Jones is the co-founder/ editor-in-chief of PoliticusUSA and a member of the White House press pool.
Sarah hosts Politicus News and co-hosts Politicus Radio. Her analysis has been featured on several national radio, television news programs and talk shows, and print outlets including Stateside with David Shuster, as well as The Washington Post, The Atlantic Wire, CNN, MSNBC, The Week, The Hollywood Reporter, and more.
Sarah is a member of the Society of Professional Journalists.