The times remind me of Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix. Voldemort has returned, but no one will believe it, there is a sense of gathering doom and dread, except that in our world, the name that must not be spoken is Trump, and he is on the way out, not the way in.
Perhaps if Rowling had her time over again she might realise that the real risk of fascism is from the left, not from the right.
So what is to be done? "Too much" would be one answer. But one thing is sure, it can't be fought by a whack-a-mole strategy.
The fault is in ourselves, and nothing less than a civic transformation is going to push it back. We've allowed this system of intolerance to infect our own country by accommodating it, rather than fighting it.
You don't have to support Donald Trump to see the problem.
It infects our education system, many of our cultural institutions, and is now infiltrating our corporations. It represents ideologies that we once thought were geographically constrained to places like the USSR and China, but we should now recognise that no civilisation is immune from the authoritarian impulse. Under this influence civil discussion has become civil war.
The US stands on the brink, and we might be standing with them. In 2021 we have to start rediscovering that each individual has unique worth and inalienable rights, not just those people who are on our side. And we need to have the courage to prosecute our case.
That's why I'm prepared to argue the case of Donald Trump. Unpopular he may be, but in the battle for civilisation, it's the hard cases you need to take up. Just being agreeable won't cut it.
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