Editorial: How We Can Fight Donald Trump and Authoritarianism

The Right Wing

We at AlterNet are very concerned that authoritarianism is taking root in the U.S. Aggressive people with destructive agendas are in charge, defunding government and eroding our rights, while trying to stamp out truth itself.

We also worry that many are not taking the threat seriously enough, and that those who are aware don’t know exactly how to effectively resist. We are laser-focused on educating the public about the threat and the best possible ways to prevent the worst from happening.

To be sure, we don’t have all the answers. But we are clear that what lies ahead is incredibly dangerous. As a media organization that understood early and clearly the threat of the Tea Party, we are feeling a real sense of emergency now.

Creeping Fascism

Fighting creeping fascism is our top priority. We have to be prepared for the worst, such as a terrorist act that would set the stage for serious repression by a president who is a compulsive liar.

It is essential that we challenge the corporate media's complicity in the president’s attack on truth. "Post-truth is pre-fascism," as Yale historian Tim Snyder explains.

An expert in European fascism, Snyder has become a critical voice and go-to scholar, and we at AlterNet have been paying attention to his work. He is worried, too. In our recent interview, he said, “We have at most a year to defend American democracy."

Snyder suggests that if a terrorist event shifts us “from electoral cycles to one emergency to the next,” we will be in trouble. “That’s how regime changes take place." He points to classic precedents, such as the Reichstag fire—when the Nazis burned their nation’s capitol building and blamed communist arsonists—which was used as a pretense for Hitler’s power grab.

In a crisis situation, Snyder says, “things slip out of reach psychologically very quickly, and then legally almost as quickly. It’s hard for people to act when they feel other people won’t act. It’s hard for people to act when they feel like they have to break the law to do so. So it is important to get out in front before people face those psychological and legal barriers."

With Snyder’s thoughts in mind, we intend to share the stories and other information that will inspire people to act and pursue avenues of political change that will make a difference. Challenging media complicity, bias and dreaded fake news is also at the top of our agenda.

What We Will Do

In summary, we are going to do all of this and more: Fight creeping fascism, hold the media accountable, highlight the best organizing efforts, and support the emotional well-being of our readers with the highest-quality information. With more than 6 million unique visitors a month, AlterNet ranks 420 out of all websites in the U.S. Such a large number of readers goes beyond preaching to the choir, representing a broad cross-section of people in America who form the bedrock of change and challenging Trump & Co. We intend to deliver the absolute best insights, investigations and information imaginable.

If you have read this far, we sincerely thank you. We also need your support. 

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