By Mark L. Taylor
The Commoner Call (3/23/17)
The whirlwind of our time has a lot of metaphorical dust blinding many to what is happening. From the rapid-fire assaults of late-night Trumpian tweets to callously cruel executive orders to one news cycle after another filled with a spiraling collection of unbelievable-but-unfortunately-true stories one can feel caught in some kind of crazy cosmic pinball arcade.
Given his long background on reporting from the crispy edges of American empire – from Central America to Bosnia to Iraq – few have the depth of understanding of the well-oiled chaos leaving so many breathlessly confused and frightened than former New York Times foreign correspondent and author Chris Hedges. With his seminary training and intellectual discipline, Hedges is one of the all-to-few who has the depth and courage to look at things as they really are and to then speak the often bitter truth of our time.
While Hedges’ message is difficult to hear the end result of not hearing – and acting upon what he lays out – will be far, far harder to deal with.
There are many good Hedges interviews and public speeches to draw from but two recent videos stood out to me. In the first, and interview with “Empire Files” host Abby Martin, Hedges gives a sobering assessment of the growing Christian fundamentalist fascism that is coming together in the country. It may be unbelievably ironic that a self-centered, immoral vulgarian like Donald Trump should catch the fancy of evangelical America, but there you have it. And if anybody thinks getting rid of Trump will be the answer they don’t understand the very real dark danger of vice president Mike Pence.
The second video is of a recent address Hedges gave in Vancouver, British Columbia, in which he lays out the longer arc of what is happening and where – unless we actively resist at every level and opportunity – where we will wind up. As his recently proposed budget reveals, there is no reasonable Donald Trump who will abandon the impulsive bombasity of the campaign trail to step up to the more practical sober path of governing. No, Trump and the modern Republican party is about hurling the nation into a brutal state of no-holds-barred militaristic radical right fascism cynically wrapped in evangelical fake Christianity.
It would be nice to think the enablers in the Democratic party will get it together to step up with the kind of moral clarity and boldly progressive message this truly historic challenge demands, but Hedges sees precious little likelihood of that happening. No, he says, it is up to each of us acting individually and collectively to stop what is rapidly jelling into hard reality around us. The time is short and the stakes couldn’t be higher.
While Hedges’ message is difficult to hear the end result of not hearing – and acting upon what he lays out – will be far, far harder to deal with. The first step of fixing something is to properly identify the problem and Hedges does an excellent job of making the problem clear.
- Chris Hedges & Abby Martin: Trump, the Alt-Right & Christianized Fascism – For the first time in modern history, a fringe wing of Christian extremists have obtained the highest seats of power in the US government—from Mike Pence to Betsy DeVos.
This new development is coupled with the emergence of the Alt Right, the Trump movement, and the rise of fascist movements abroad. Renowned journalist and author Chris Hedges has embedded himself in what he calls “Christianized Fascism” and warns that this is the biggest danger we face under Trump. Link to 25-Minute Video
- Chris Hedges Delivers the Ultimate Trump Takedown – Truthdig columnist and Pulitzer-Prize-winning journalist Chris Hedges addresses fascism and the rise of the Trump war machine in the keynote speech at the “After Trump and Pussy Hats” event in Vancouver, British Columbia, on March 3, 2017. Link to 1-Hour, 9-Minute Video