I was the only person in my little crowd who wasn’t absolutely terrified after Trump’s victory, because (as a lifelong Manhattan resident) I knew Trump and understood that he’s incapable of doing anything except shouting, promoting himself and sabotaging/bankrupting his own sleazeball projects through ineptitude, corruption and mismanagement.
It’s interesting: as bad as this all gets, I still prefer it, on some level, to the Bush II years. I mean that shit was scary; I felt like I was caught in the middle of a vast, smooth, killer-efficient fascist takeover of the entire world by a bunch of extremely competent and ruthless technocrats and zealots who’d been waiting decades to enact their nefarious, well-laid plans for domination and total control. We had to watch what we said; we were being “strongly cautioned” by the Cheney types — we were up against not just a movement but a well-constructed and impenetrable doctrine of authoritarian rule. It was deeply unnerving and frightening; Nixon’s darkest dreams come true.
This is different. It’s bad, obviously, and it’s got fall-of-Rome elements that are troubling on a civilizational level (as you acknowledge with your reference) but it’s all much sunnier and more inept and out in the open and laughable and ridiculous even in its utter awfulness. The Brooks Brothers types are as appalled as we are. The left is galvanized, loud, and defiant (not sneaking around, frightened, as we were during Bush). It’s just not the same, and despite how awful everything seems to be, it’s important to stay focused on the differences; on just how weak the enemy really is.