President Donald Trump and Fox News are turning American values upside down with their fascist propaganda, Philadelphia Inquirer columnist Will Bunch explained on Tuesday.
"It seems like if you were truly sincere about the whole 'Make America Great Again' thing — that is, if it weren’t just a campaign slogan that jibes with your xenophobic branding and can move tens of thousands of red hats at $25 a pop — then one might actually want to celebrate America’s first victory against fascism," Bunch wrote.
"The hard work of anti-fascism wasn’t a super-popular U.S. cause even in early 1941 — when Adolf Hitler’s troops occupied most of Europe and were raining down bombs on London. But when the sleeping giant finally woke up after Pearl Harbor, America’s so-called Greatest Generation was all in. Millions enlisted to fight fascism abroad and millions more sacrificed at home — rationing gas and growing 'Victory Gardens' in cramped backyards," he explained. "The price — 416,800 U.S. troops died — was horrible but there was little dissent because so few quibbled with the necessity of lifting the boot of totalitarianism off Western Europe and huge swaths of Asia, and helping to end Hitler’s death camps."
"But the fact that President Trump would take to Twitter — as he did Saturday, as more than a thousand anti-fascist demonstrators took to the streets of Portland, Oregon, in opposition to the Proud Boys and other right-wing extremists, including some in those red 'Make America Great Again' hats — to condemn the anti-fascist movement raises what is becoming an existential question for America in the Trump era," he charged.
Fox News has had a role in attacking anti-fascists.
"Antifa are not counter-protesters, it is an anti-first amendment -- that's what it stands for. They tell you it stands for 'anti-fascist,' it really is 'anti-first amendment.' They are an anti-first amendment, ultra-violent terror group that wants to silence people's free speech. They are not counter-protesters. I don't know what the other group was about," Fox News contributor Don Bongino falsely claimed on Fox and Friends.
Bunch worried the propaganda may work.
"Will we kowtow to Trump and his white nationalist base and accept only the narrowest possible meaning of anti-fascism? — 'antifa,' which to millions of folks who only get information from the quasi-state-media known as the Fox News Channel has been both mischaracterized and then amplified into a scary violent army," he said.
"It’s time for decent people to push back against Fox News and propagandist false branding of 'antifa.' Anti-fascism is needed now in America more than any time since 1945. I’m proud to call myself an anti-fascist — to identify with the people taking the work of the World War II generation into our fraught new century. Indeed, nothing could be more American — regardless of what one American president tweets about it," Bunch declared.