When fascism threatens, take proven action
At the best of times, creative humor can help expose what's wrong with the old world so that public opinion can sweep it away. 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: becoming a poll worker, phonebanking, deep canvassing (text or phone—try it!), sending postcards to voters, spreading info about mail-in voting....
Between 2016 and 2020, we learned three times the seeming uselessness of trickery (at least our sort of trickery) against incipient fascism:
- When in 2017 we spoke as the DNC and announced a much-needed populist platform, nobody in the audience even questioned whether it was true; it was just too obvious this is what needed to happen.
- When in 2018 we issued a paper announcing Trump's departure from office, the paper's main messages (basically, "rise up!" and "Democrats get on the ball!") were so obvious they didn't need saying.
- Finally, in 2020, our fake Trump campaign to get doctors on board for death turned out to be... reality a short few weeks later.
Again, more proven tactics are very useful indeed (see above). And more vigorous forms of resistance may sometimes be useful as well. As many have pointed out, any of these forms of resistance are low-stakes when your country's not yet a full-on dictatorship, so it's best to pick the most proven ones, really....