7th November, 2021
By Umair Haque
Over the years, I’ve predicted America’s collapse into fascism, hate, and backwardness. Often with enough detail and precision to chill many of you. And in response, you often wondered, here in the comments, or in emails to me, “Should I leave?” I’ve left the question open. I’ll come back to why in just a moment. But now the time has to come to say it openly.
You should make exit plans from a collapsing America.
Over the years, we’ve discussed America’s abysmally low quality of life, and compared to Europe, Canada, or even many middle income countries, it’s one thing to wonder about leaving for a higher quality of life. It’s quite another to understand that the end of American democracy is now in sight, and is becoming more and more certain by the day.
Why? America’s future is now more or less obvious to anyone with eyes to see. Let me begin at the beginning.
America was given one last chance to preserve not just its “democracy,” but to stave off its inevitable plunge into fascism. That last chance was nothing short of a minor miracle. The coup on Jan 6th was stopped by a handful of brave police officers. Many of them literally gave their lives. Why? To prevent fascist militants from accomplishing their goal, which was to stop the counting of Presidential votes — even if by massacring anyone standing in their way. Remember those gallows? Remember the open cries for violence?
Societies do not often get chances like this. America got incredibly, incredibly lucky. If the coup had been successful — and it came within a hairs’ breadth of being successful — anything could have happened. The election could have been stopped, a full blown constitution crisis would have ensued, Trump easily could have declared martial law. American democracy would have come to an end.
So what have Democrats done with that fateful, incredibly fortunate second chance? They’ve squandered it. Yes, I know they passed a bill today. That bill is inconsequential. It adds up to less than 1% of GDP.
What does it actually take to stop fascism? Not in “my opinion,” but as in “what we know from history?” Three things. One, a socio-economic reconstruction plan, on the order of about half of a society’s economy, not 1% of GDP. Two, a process of special justice, which punishes the fascists for their transgressions and abuses of power. Three, the cultural impact of all that, which translates into stronger and more robust norms against hate and brutality and supremacy.
A society has to say never again. And mean it. Economically, culturally, socially.
The Democrats have not led America to that place. Instead, something dark and sinister is happening. Again, it’s not “my opinion” — it’s a fact. They are losing key races across the country. The midterms will be a rout.
Because American fascism has hardened and grown and matured. Think about the last round of Big Lies. “They stole the election from us!” Now think about how Glenn Youngkin just won Virginia: “They’re coming for our kids!” Us. Our. Who are we talking about? Well, that’s coded — or maybe not so coded — language. It is the open language of white supremacy and fascism.
“Us” and “our” mean a certain kind of American. You can call it “white America,” though that’s certainly too broad, or you can call it “working class white America,” though plenty of downwardly middle class whites are part of this movement. This fascist movement. Which is Trumpism. And now it’s evolving and maturing.
“They’re coming for our kids” is a much, much more sinister and dangerous lie than “they stole the election from us!” Your kids are the most important thing in your life. It is a raw appeal to emotion, which triggers rage and aggression and hostility on a primal level. That is why you could see the bizarre scenes of parents…screaming…death threats…at teachers…and principals…at town meetings. “They’re coming for our kids” is a giant leap for American fascism. It is the kind of Big Lie that caused a mass hysteria, a moral panic, amongst Weimar Germans, and turned them genocidally against the Jews.
There are levels of fascist Big Lies. “They stole the election from us!” Is a political Big Lie. But “they’re coming for our kids!” is on a very, very different level. It is a cultural Big Lie. A social Big Lie. And most of all, a supremacist Big Lie.
Nobody is coming for Trumpist America’s kids. I told the story of how I was violently abused growing up in Virginia as a simple example. It’s minority kids who are under immense and profound threat in America today — and they will be tomorrow. Who’s really getting beaten and bullied and harassed at schools? It’s not regular old white kids. It’s minorities, Jews, Mexicans, gays, women, everyone else, at least most of the time. And that dynamic is of course mirrored across American society. Who rises to the top? American whites do, which you can see in everything from media to finance to business to the arts to the sciences to literature. Nobody is coming for America’s white people. How could anyone? They have all the guns, money, rights power.
So what are they so angry about? Well, the idea of any kind of progress for anyone else seems to drive them into a rage. That is because all the entitlements they enjoy are called “privilege.” I don’t like that word, but in America’s case it’s true. To say that little Johnny shouldn’t have to learn about slavery is only to say that he should be able to on being ignorant, and perhaps a bigot, like his parents — the Trumpists — are. And if he beats up a few minorities at school, harasses them, insults them…well, that’s just boys being boys. Just like, apparently, only white dudes get to be CEOs because everyone else is dumber than them, I guess. You see my point.
What is White America so angry about? All those Big Lies are designed to feed into the latent sense of supremacism and entitlement. Yes, living in a more equal society does mean the loss of some forms of privilege. Like saying no, my kid shouldn’t be insulting minorities or gays “for fun.” Or like saying hey, maybe our society should actually be fairer. But fairness, to the one in power, looks a whole lot like dispossession.
So why tell the Big Lie? To stoke all those Trumpist parents into a whole new level of rage, anger, violence. To drive them literally senseless with fear. If someone’s coming for little Johnny…who are they? Why? Now I’ve got to protect my kids at all costs. This is a horrific Big Lie to tell.
It is the culmination of what I’ve tried to describe above. Manipulating White Americans into rage over the loss of their privileges, which are unfair ones to have to begin with. Stoking the fears of racial anxiety to a white-hot flame, by making white Americans imagine they’re genuinely under attack.
These are old, old fears. You have to understand them that way to really know them. White Americans have lived with these fears since they colonised the land. The Natives were attacking them. The slaves would rebel. They’re coming for our wives and kids are the oldest, most primal fears in the white American imagination. And here they are, being used to drive white America into a mindless rage, all over again.
The cycle of hate is repeating itself. It is being allowed to repeat itself precisely because the Dems haven’t done enough to stop fascism. It’s true the Dems probably couldn’t have done the things I talked about — a socioeconomic reconstruction plan on the order of a New Deal, etc. But they haven’t even tried. And it only really begs the question: well, maybe America’s just essentially a fascist country then.
So Youngkin won easily in Virginia. Without a platform. With no political experience whatsoever. Simply by telling the Big Lie that “they’re coming for your kids” to white working class America. That template is going to be followed across the country — and Trumpists are going to believe it. The question of course is: why are they going to believe it? After all, the only possible thing really coming for little Johnny is another kid with a gun. And they support gun “rights,” to the point where guns have more rights than women. Trumpists are going to believe the Big Lie because they are still possessed by paranoia and rage. They feel entitled to the soil, and everything on it, by virtue of blood. You can still trigger rage in them with the old lie: “They’re coming for our wives and kids!” Last time, that led to slavery, genocide, apartheid, segregation.
What will it lead to this time?
That a Glenn Youngkin can trigger white rage on a mass level, drive it to the level of mass hysteria, make a society senseless with fury, with that one little Big Lie? That white Virginians were gullible enough to believe that their kids were under attack? Only this time it wasn’t communism or rebel slaves…but “CRT”…a theory (LOL)? It tells us everything about the future American politics, which is that it’s just like the past.
All of that is a long, long way to see: you can see the future from here. You meaning you. Anyone vaguely sane and thoughtful should be able to see what is going to happen next. The Democrats will lose in the midterms. They’ll lose the Presidency. They’ve barely been able to muster the littlest will to fight fascism at all — meanwhile, fascism is now telling the kinds of Big Lies that actually lead to genocide. Telling those Big Lies, the platform of the GOP is now openly about ideological and then ethnic cleansing, like in Texas, where women don’t have rights anymore, or like in Virginia and Ohio, where they’re not about to, either. As white America’s driven into a mass hysteria of white-hot rage by the Bigger Lies of “they’re coming for your kids! Your wives! Your land!” — Trump wins again.
And you should know what’s going to happen when Trump wins again. The abuses of power will be much, much worse. This time, it’s going to be American families separated. American kids and moms thrown in concentration camps. Martial law and military justice will be deployed against critics and opponents. Every school-board thug will be the town’s local chief Gestapo officer, policing kids and parents alike for thoughtcrime.
Want to live in that kind of society?
You shouldn’t stick around for what’s coming, my friend. I’ve held back for as long as I could, because I felt there was still a small enough chance — a slender one — that, even if only by sheer dumb luck, America might just make it. That chance is now gone. The game is over. There is no stopping what’s coming, and what’s coming is something like Russia, the Balkans, or America in the Jim Crow era.
You should make an exit plan, now. You don’t have to use it right away. But you should make it and have it. You should have an option you can exercise to escape what’s coming in America. I know that makes me sound like some late-night TV hysteric. I’m sorry to sound like that. I wish I was only trying to scare you. Sadly, like I said, anyone should be put together what I’ve outlined for you.
If you want me to (tell me in the comments), I’ll give you some tips and ways to make an exit plan.
No, it’s not easy to do such a thing. But now is the time. You have about two years left, maybe three, before all of the above — Bigger Lies, white rage, growing hate, mounting fanaticism, fascism going local — really culminate in serious disaster and horror. After Trump gets elected again, it’ll take maybe six to nine months for the next wave of abuses — American families separated, little Gestapos everywhere — to begin. That gives you tops three years. That’s a good amount of time to make an exit plan. Don’t wait. Don’t dawdle. Make it now. Even if you think what I’ve said is mostly nonsense, and there’s only, say a 25% chance of it happening…do you really want to risk it? You should at least have the option, even if you never use it.
I’m sorry to have to say it, and plenty of people will object vociferously. They’ll say it’s better to be patriotic and whatnot. I’ve never had strong feelings about America being some kind of home. It’s always hated me too much for that. Can’t you see it now, all that hate, growing every day, like a cancer? This one’s terminal.
Get out while you can. Because America is not going to get another chance. The last one was the last one — and it was squandered. That leaves you with one goal, I guess. Survival, my friend.
*Umair Haque published this article in Medium