When fascism threatens, take proven action
Fascism—in the White House, for example—makes all the issues so clear they don't need humor for help.
During "normal" times, creative humor can help expose what's wrong with the old world so that public opinion can sweep it away, surely and steadily (that "moral arc" thing). But in periods of incipient fascism—like the years between 2016 and 2020 in the US—the old world's evils are already laid bare, for anyone who cares to look. Trickery isn't needed; reliable, proven tactics are (phonebanking, deep canvassing, becoming a poll worker, sending postcards to voters, spreading info).
Between 2016 and 2020, we learned at least four times the apparent uselessness of trickery (at least our sort of trickery) against incipient fascism:
- In 2016, our attempt to make sense of the election went hilariously and hideously wrong.
- In 2017 we spoke as the DNC and announced a much-needed populist platform, but nobody in the audience even questioned whether it was true; it was just too obvious this is what needed to happen.
- In 2018 we issued a paper announcing Trump's departure from office, but the paper's main messages (basically, "rise up!" and "Democrats get on the ball!") were so obvious they didn't need saying.
- In 2020, our fake Trump campaign to get doctors on board for death turned out to be... reality a short few weeks later.
Whether it's established tactics or more vigorous forms of resistance, resistance is low-stakes when your country's not yet a full-on dictatorship... so it's best to take real action while you still can.