I read an article in the news today that has left me shaken, not because of anything that has actually happened, but the principle underlying it: “Trump suggests his supporters hold a mass rally”. There is no movement behind this rally, no goals to set or great accomplishments to plan, just an assembly of people marching solely to feed the ego of one man—an assembly of people coming together solely to wave their flags and rattle their sabers and outdo the endless anti-Trump protests, or perhaps even the five-million-strong Women’s March of January 21, 2017.
Patriotism is a good thing, but not when obscured by blinders. People can wave their flags all they want and chant “Make America great again” until they’re blue in the face, but those actions do nothing. Holding a rally simply so Trump can reassure himself that the people love him does nothing. Holding needless, hyper-nationalistic rallies are what fascists do. They get the people riled up, get the limbic system involved so emotions and reason become blurred, and fortify emerging mob mentalities.
I haven’t been eating well the past few months. No dystopian writer wants to see his or her predictions actually emerging in the distance (with others already having come to pass). My books are coming to life right in front of me, and so I make one last-ditch effort to scream out to the world: Please stop this madness. Take a critical and objective look at yourself—whether left, right, or in the, middle—and remember all those stories you read in the history books. That suffering was real. The people causing all that suffering thought they were being patriotic. They thought they were doing the right thing. But they were manipulated—slowly and carefully—into believing all the torture and genocide they were committing was a service to humanity and to their countries… many good people, smart people… but people who failed to see what might come next after the wall.
Please make sure you’re not taking that for granted.