♪ ‘Til the man they couldn’t hang
Stepped to the mic and sang
And their voices rang with that Aryan twang ♪
— “Bobcaygeon,” The Tragically Hip
Your seasonally renamed Weekend Politics Thread host, Uvular, Peach Lover, loves to eat a peach. Not in the ribald-if-you-want sense of the Allman Brothers’ album title Eat a Peach. No, he just enters a reverie contemplating the feel of the fuzz on his lips, the sensation of the juice running down his chin, the smell lingering on his fingers … .1 You know, nothing like what that multiracial, genre-spanning band implied.
Gilead, the increasingly less-fictional setting for The Handmaid’s Tale, contains no peaches. And doing that thing no one who has read this far can now stop thinking about will leave you hanging on the wall beside the metaphorical succulent fruit.
Those unfortunates found themselves in a world with no drupes for proles due to a Christo-fascist cabal taking over the federal government and triggering an unspecified nuclear disaster in the midst of a precipitous plunge in birth rates and a spike in infant mortality. Which could only sound familiar to anyone who paid the least amount of attention to current events.
In mid-July 2018, Uvular merely falls in line with consensus punditry when he draws parallels between the Trump administration and the Sons of Jacob. He wants the inexact and unopened record to show, however, that he burned at least one of his Son of Neckbeard comments on the late, lamented A.V. Club accusing then-Indiana Gov. Mike Pence of implementing Margaret Atwood’s dystopian novel as a how-to manual.2
So how theocratic has the present-day U.S. government become? So theocratic that Ambassador-at-Large for International Religious Freedom, and the man who single-handedly answers the question What’s the Matter With Kansas?, Sam Brownback sat the UK ambassador to the United States down to demand that the British government go easy on a man who has repeatedly ordered terrorist attacks against Muslims. So theocratic that companies now have more religious freedoms through the Hobby Lobby Supreme Court decision than same-sex human couples have when they want to buy a wedding cake or a floral arrangement. So theocratic that Alabamans nearly elected a known pedophile simply because that known pedophile claimed lots of 13-year-olds fucked in the Bible.
And how fascist has the United States become? Write your own indifferently cited overlong paragraph.
But realize that enrichment of oligarchs who operate favored corporations and the merest nod toward the norms of liberal democracy mark fascism above all other characteristics. Ticking those boxes, the State of Indiana paying more than $20 million to dig up leaking underground gasoline tanks that the Pence family abandoned finally made national headlines nearly 15 years after that happened. Trump’s Commerce Secretary, and what you get when you breed a terrific pig with the most-annoying Friend, Wilbur Ross pocketed untold millions from not selling off stocks he swore he had sold off in order to give obliging Republican senators the tiniest fig leaf of proper procedure to cover his intent to defraud.3
Where does all this end? Neither with Hitler, despite the concentration camps, nor with Mussolini, despite the corporatization of the state. It ends with Francisco Franco, with the church pulling the strings of a regime that kills the people it rules until the whole system implodes. Except the CIA and FBI liked Franco.
And it ends with no peaches. We cannot let that happen, Politicados. Fight. Fight for your borderline sitophilia, if nothing else.