The power of “feelings” in fascism

A while back, a man who supported Donald Trump was quoted on CNN’s website saying a really dumb thing to explain his wife’s opposition to the nutcase in chief: “I know this may sound sexist,” he said. “But women act on their feelings and men act with their brains.”

While hoping that his wife read that and filed for divorce, I started thinking about it and was stunned by the irony. If “feelings” ever enter politics, it’s most prominent among Trump supporters and the fascist movement in this country.

The recent debacle in California, with Republicans attempting yet another recall of a current governor, in this case Gavin Newsom, does underscore that a bit…doesn’t it?

While there’s no question that California is a Democratic state, it’s also pretty clear that Newsom could have lost this contest if his constituents had just decided to do what they people often do: stay home. It was, after all, a silly election because the real election is coming up in a year. It was also about a guy who, while enjoying approval ratings above 50 percent, wasn’t especially attention-getting, exciting or even very popular.

A strong Republican candidate — like Arnold Swarzenneger, essentially a middle-of-the-road Democratic in Republican clothing stretched tight with that build of his — could have removed good old Gavin from the Governor’s mansion. A GOP person who believes climate change is the major issue of our time, that there should be no legal discrimination about anyone for sexual orientation (including marriage), that women have an absolute right to abortion and that racism should be criminalized — well, that’s a potential winner and that’s why Arnie won.

But that kind of Republican hardly exists anymore. The GOP is, in fact, a fascist-leaning organization led by criminals and liars who are, as recent revelations have shown, very dangerous to democracy. When you remove the sugar-coating spewed out of the mouths of the mainstream pundits, these people (including elected Congressional people) tried to overthrow the U.S. government. The only thing that saved that government was an act by Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Mark Milley who literally broke the law by inserting himself into the chair of command. That’s right, the country’s top general had to commit treason to save the United States from Donald Trump and his congressional allies.

In a certain way, it’s fortunate that these efforts were led by a mentally unstable moron like Trump and a bunch of absolute clowns like the GOP congressional leadership. California’s Larry Elder, Newsom’s main opponent in the recall, is reflective of that insane buffoonery. This is a black man who opined that the main people who should receive reparations were slave owners! And the list of outrageous idiocy goes on.

I don’t think Elder actually believes much of what he says because it’s so stupid and he’s at least intelligent enough to push the right button on his mic during his radio show. But a lot of people follow him because they don’t know very much and they feel very strongly.

Antonia Gramsci, my favorite Marxist, wrote that developing a true ideology of the work class is key to winning the struggle against capitalism. That’s because he understood that capitalist ideology is so over-powering and strengthens its hold on us every day. Most of us have no time to be reading and listening and studying. Most of us can do little more than survive.

Yet even the most uninformed among us think and feel. That’s what the fascists play into: those feelings. And that is precisely what the revolutionary Left ignores!

The “call to revolution” in this country can be a relatively simple one and it’s madd compelling: “You live your life in fear. You have no confidence in tomorrow. You know that you’re being mistreated. None of this would be true if you were in charge. So…let’s figure this out: who is in charge? Really.”

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