Trying to put myself into the headspace of the Actual Fascist Party hurts. I mean, I recognize that they’re human beings, with loves and desires and fears and dreams, but they’re so ALIEN to everything I consider ‘normal’ that it’s a literally-painful exercise to try to figure out what the hell is rattling around in their brainpans. But we need to, we ‘normal’ Americans. Not because we’re empathetic, not to find common ground, not for touchy-feely reasons, or efforts to recognize our shared humanity.
We need to understand them so we can beat the fuck out of them.
It’s come to this. We’re in a Manichean struggle now. There is no common ground. There CANNOT be common ground between one group that, for all its faults, wants to expand rights and freedoms, wants to raise the standard of living for all citizens, wants to let lovers love, workers work, books be read, voters vote, drag queens express themselves, children not to die in blizzards of bullets, oceans de-acidify, wants to pay our incurred debts, wants to stand with our allies around the world, wants the rule of law, wants dignity and respect and decency—and the other group, the fascists.
The die-hard MAGA right, the red-capped brownshirts with testicles hanging from their trucks, AR-15 pins on their lapels, the ones having embolisms because of Black mermaids, gay beer cans, rainbow merchandise at Target, and Amanda Gorman’s poem for Biden’s inauguration. There is literally no compromise possible with the Actual Fascist Party.
There’s no live and let live. The Don’t Tread on Me people have been lacing up their jackboots for decades, and grinding them into our faces. There’s gonna be no kum-bah-yah moments with the folks who are forcing women to give birth to dead babies, with the legislatures allowing and the media urging Nazi incel mental-defectives to buy high-powered rifles, with the churchmen raping children, the judges basking in the sun on beaches owned by billionaires, the lawmen reminiscing about the good ’ol days when we could lynch Black people, the nutcases ramming panel trucks into the White House barricades, and the school boards banning facts from the classroom.
We can’t reason with them, because they’ve forsaken reason. We can’t bargain with them, because they would rather watch the world collapse than give an inch. We can’t appeal to their humanity, because their humanity is bunker-based and zero-sum. If you were born with a dick, you’re male. Slaughtered children, their frail small bodies bleeding out on a linoleum classroom floor, are the price we pay for freedom. Donald Trump is a genius, Elon Musk is an alpha male owning the libs, and Stewart Rhodes is a prisoner of conscience rather than a delusional dung beetle who sent his janissaries into a meat grinder in order to kill a couple cops and smear feces on the Capitol walls.
This is where we are. The standard-bearers for the AFP are Donald Trump, the twice-impeached liable-for-sexual-assault can’t win the popular vote dumbshit moving boxes around Mar-a-Lago so that he can show our nuclear secrets to anyone who strokes him off, and the dauphin, the mannequin in ill-fitting chambray shirts, the caudillo of Taliban Tallahassee, the MacBeth swaying in the wind of his wife’s ambition, the small, sad man getting his ass kicked by a cartoon mouse.
The Speaker who’s going to drive America off a cliff because he can’t corral his anarchists, and the clown car cabal of Greene and Boebert and Gaetz and Santos and Tuberville, Tucker Carlson out there on Elba plotting his next invasion, the Vichy head of CNN playing Neville Chamberlain, the free-marketers attacking woke corporations, the right-to-lifers selling assault weapons to lunatics, the national security mandarins backing Putin’s futile bid at tsar, and the fiscal conservatives trying to downgrade the United States’ credit rating to betamax/Delta Airlines levels.
I’d like to hope that the sheer volume of corruption, idiocy, venality and evil in the Actual Fascist Party will awaken the voting populace heading into next year’s elections, because that’s the only way America remains viable. By BEATING these twisted morons. By thrashing them like a bongo by a Boho at Burning Man. By decisively saying, in one loud voice, that this is NOT who we are, that we’re kind, and compassionate, and good.
I’d like to hope that. I really would.
John Philip Sunseri II
John Philip Sunseri II is a horror writer from Portland, Oregon. As well as writing traditional horror fiction he also writes Lovecraftian horror. John spent two years at Yale University studying a major in English.
Writing since 2001, John has published over 50 short stories. 2007 saw the release of his first novel, The Spiraling Worm co-written with Australian author David Conyers.