Trump rallies: demented, dangerous, and off-the-rails

Many of us think we know what goes on at a Trump rally — we see snippets on the news or a clip on social media. But I don't think anyone, even including the average Trump supporter, really understands how off-the-rails, demented and dangerous these events are. The rhetoric is overheated and violent.  "Out" groups are classified as enemies, dehumanized by describing them as animals or vermin. To compare this to Nazi rallies of the early '30s is not hyperbole.

Yale professor Timothy Snyder is one of the most important thinkers of our time on the threat from fascism. His book On Tyranny makes very clear that it can happen here and it can happen here now. 

"We might be tempted to think that our democratic heritage automatically protects us from such threats. This is a misguided reflex… Americans today are no wiser than the Europeans who saw democracy yield to fascism, Nazism or Communism in the twentieth century. Our one advantage is that we might learn from their experience. Now is a good time to do so."

His latest piece on Substack examines Trump's recent promise of a "bloodbath for the country" if he's not elected president by putting this one line into a larger context, analyzing the gestalt of the whole event. And it's scary. 

He makes clear that the purpose of these MAGA rallies is to normalize violence and the language of violence, to convince otherwise normal, law-abiding citizens that violence is not just required but a moral good to save the nation. 

"This Gesamtkunstwerk was designed to bring people into a sense of unity with the perpetrators of the January 6th crimes. As a chorus of convicted criminals sang over video, people rose and then joined in song.  They put their hands on their hearts.  Along with the coup convicts, those who attended the rally performed a perforated version of the national anthem.  In so doing, they joined a virtual community of violence."

Professor Snyder is sounding the alarm bells as loudly as possible — come November we'll see if anyone is listening. 
As an aside, anyone that can pull off using the word Gesamtkunstwerk is OK in my book.

See also: Trump rally warns that God will punish those who don't worship Dictator Trump (video)