Town Square: It Feels Like Facism

Words Of Protestor Abducted In July Hit Home For Local Citizen

Cathleen Wilder
2 min read
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A few days ago a dear friend sent me an article about protestors in downtown Portland, Oregon who had been abducted by unlabeled US agents, put into unmarked vehicles and held for hours without probable cause. The New York Times has corroborated these accounts. Yesterday, I learned that 35 of these agents had been sent to Albuquerque, New Mexico where I now live.

This morning I awoke with tears because I am seeing my worst nightmare come to life in this country—and my city—right now. I do not believe it is a coincidence that the president is planning to send all of these agents to blue cities in blue states, just in time to instill fear of dissent before the forthcoming election. (None of the state and local governments slated to be invaded by these forces want these quasi-military entities installed in their jurisdictions.) This week, that same president evaded the simple question by a Fox news anchor: “Would you accept the results of the upcoming election?” His chilling answer? “I have to see.”

I wish it hadn’t been so easy for me to connect the dots.

So today I am grieving. I am grieving the loss of essential freedoms and assumptions that I have been able to rely upon, at least in part, since I was born in the United States 60 years ago: political and civil norms that are being upended with every Tweet, word, action and willful non-action of this president. Basic decorum, rational civic discourse, rule of law and the tenants of Constitution itself have been replaced with double talk, disinformation, divisive speech, disdain for science, disdain for venerable institutions and, ultimately, flagrant disdain for any person, group of people or even fact that fails to cajole him or completely bend to his will.

Today these accelerated threats to our democracy, the accelerated placement of authoritarian tools such as goon squads in cities like my own feel like this: warm, salty rivulets making their way down my face before I’ve even had my morning coffee. It feels like a heavy heart, a heavy chest, heavy arms and sluggish limbs. It feels like dismay, horror, terror, rage and outrage all rolled into one.

What does fascism feel like? For me today, it feels like deep, deep, deep, deep grief.

By: Cathleen Wilder, local citizen

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