Editor's note: Unfortunately—but understandably, as you’ll see below—Matthew Pulver has opted to stop writing his weekly column on President Trump. However, this week we are launching a new Trump-focused column, Democracy in Crisis. It’s written by Baynard Woods, an editor-at-large with Baltimore City Paper who is covering the Trump Administration full-time for a consortium of alternative weeklies, including Flagpole. Woods will be posting online in between print issues, so be sure to check back for the latest.
This will be the last of these columns. Flagpole News Editor Blake Aued and I intended for this to be a fun weekly update on Trump, but after only a week of Trump’s America, it has become clear that the danger Trump poses makes a folly of efforts like this column. Fascism is not destroyed with snarky columns. You can’t poke fun at a fascist and expect much to change. No, fascism must be annihilated.
I can't be funny about families losing health insurance. I can't be snarky about Trump restricting immigration for families seeking refuge from seven predominantly Muslim countries, four of which his military is currently bombing. I can’t make light of Trump’s anti-Latinx and anti-black impulses, which are already finding expression in proposals of ethnic cleansing (the wall and expulsion of millions of Latinx residents) and centuries-old anti-black state violence (martial law in Chicago). There’s a reason that white nationalists and neo-Nazis are emboldened and excited by Trump.
It’s not that I reject irreverence and ridicule. I have no reverence for this president. By all means, mock and insult the man all you want—just make sure your efforts are meant to stop him. Humor can be relief and distraction, but have it be relief from what is otherwise anger directed at destroying the creep of fascism.
Find your way of fighting and join with others. Read, learn, teach, debate, organize and strategize. Fight. Destroy fascism wherever it arises in whatever way you can. Everyone has some part to play. Mine is not here in this column.