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Notes from the US: On all counts

Notes from the US: On all counts

Using the Trump cult, the far right prepares to take over—no matter who wins the presidency

The election is barely five months away. As anarchists, we don’t place much stock on changes in government. But this election will be especially significant. Many commentators who have observed “colourful” calls on voters’ loyalties like this over the decades think that a sizeable minority will stick with the MAGA swill until November, and probably beyond. But observers (pollsters, campaign managers, and other insiders) also calculate that supporters in the MAGA trough will remain an arithmetical minority. Trump’s base has reached its maximum possible size.

Two factors mean that this is not the end of the story, though. First, as few as seven swing states (Arizona, Michigan, Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, Georgia, North Carolina, and Nevada) where the two candidates are in a statistical tie, could well decide the outcome; just a few tens of thousands of votes may effectively decide for the whole of the United States. Second, while the Democrats are unlikely to challenge the results if they lose, the Republicans certainly will, using physical and psychological intimidation.

A sizeable minority (about a third of all voters) is implacably devoted to the Trump cult. Recent examples of this form of dangerous misconduct include a fervent belief among the cult members that Trump’s 408 unanimous guilty verdicts (twelve jurors on 34 counts) at the recent hush-money trial in New York were either orchestrated by Joe Biden himself or were evidence of a justice system which cultists believe to be distorted to harm Trump. The logic of partisanship then insists that the whole process—especially the verdict—must accordingly be set aside. Thus, the majority of Republicans in Congress have endorsed the conspiracy theory that this was all a “witch-hunt” against Trump; they rushed to condemn first the indictments, then the trial, and finally its verdicts.

It wasn’t long before incendiary posts began to appear online advocating the murder of judge, jury, witnesses, and officers of the court in Manhattan. Although most commentators doubt that there will be mass uprisings in support of Trump the cult leader, agencies responsible for predicting and preventing violent responses as such are on record as fearing “lone-wolf” attacks.

These are now part of life in a country where, in some quarters, truth no longer holds much value. The more violent your response to something you disagree with, the weaker your arguments against it must be. Nor did it take long for other forms of affirmation to flourish, suggesting that Trump deserves just about any form of adulation, power, and lack of constraint imaginable. Within his cult, felon Trump is increasingly regarded as a Christlike figure, worthy of near-godlike worship.

Reports quickly (and perhaps unsurprisingly) emerged of cult members preparing for armed action. Of course, talk is cheap and irate members are likely to express momentary anger. However, it is unsettling that the upcoming events are challenging to prepare for.

Republican state governors also quickly fell in line. Fascist agitators incited violence against those incorrectly identified as being behind or pushing for what they wrongly perceive see as illicit charges. Explicit threats were clear in their intent. These, as predicted, included attempts to put the lives of the jurors and legal officials at Trump’s first trial at real and imminent risk.

Regardless of how you predict or wisely decline to speculate on what happens next, it’s extremely difficult to see how there can be any kind of stasis or progress if the primary slogans of those on whose cooperation you rely are based on lies and illusions. A growing movement among Republican senators aims to refuse to work with Democrats entirely. For them, the power and political primacy of their great cult leader supercedes everything else.

It has become increasingly challenging to counter such obstructive and vicious stands when they are based on a wilful misrepresentation and distortion of reality. As anarchists, we should not object to passive resistance and civil disobedience in the face of genuine oppression, authoritarianism, and destruction when practised by the elite. However, the incitement to action perpetrated by the MAGA cult is unpredictable, and not amenable to any productive response. How do you face a fast bowler on the pitch where your opponents have let off smoke bombs and invited you to play not cricket, but football?

It has been clear for some time that a Trump administration after this year’s elections would overturn many aspects of public life: abolish the Department of Education; gut what little environmental protection there is; seed government departments with Trump and MAGA loyalists; and run the presidency along lines of vengeance and retribution against all those whom Trump perceives to have tried to “do him down”‘. We can know this because the MAGA movement openly and unashamedly tells us that it’s what they plan to do. Washington Post reporter, Isaac Arnsdorf, for instance, published a book last month detailing how the far right both in and outside the Republican party has a set of plans to pivot “democracy” in the US into theocratic, supremacist dictatorship.

Presumably, this push for retribution would extend to Biden himself since Trump has (wrongly, of course) accused the sitting president of trying to kill him. Others who have spoken out about the threats posed by the Trump cult continue to be penalised for doing so. Even a group of Democrats seem to want to alert voters about the dangers and have published a ten-point plan to resist a fascist takeover. There is now a formally constituted task force to block Project 2025.


One of the cornerstones of fascism is the denial of truths that fail to fit the prevailing dogma that deceives and controls its followers. One of the most dangerous and moronic public figures is Florida governor and leading Trump cult follower, Ron DeSantis. Last month he signed into law a measure that removes the very mention of the phrase “climate change” from Florida state laws and documents. Whole sections of state law that address the importance of cutting planet-warming pollution have been eradicated.

What’s worse, Earth-destroying fossil fuels are set to receive preferential treatment in Florida; energy from offshore wind is banned, even though no wind farms are yet planned off Florida’s coasts. Currently, there is a requirement that state-purchased vehicles should be fuel efficient; that’s set to be scrapped.

It appears from the nonsense that DeSantis posted on X as though he might believe that there is a leftist plot to deprive Floridians of their “freedoms” in the name of what he tries to claim is a false narrative. But are DeSantis and his crew truly ignorant and stupid enough to believe this? Rather, aren’t his moves ways to drum up votes from the ignorant? If so, they represent yet another indictment of “democracy” US-style. In any case, he, along with Florida’s lawmakers are hell-bent on weakening environmental protection in the interests of their adherence to dogma. Even a TV weather person spoke out against the folly last month.

If DeSantis continues like this (and it is unlikely he will stop), he is in danger – according to one recent report – of compromising what could be a very positive role that his state generally, and the Florida Wildlife Corridor in particular, could play in mitigating some aspects of the climate disaster.

Members of the elite in the Trump-centric state of Arizona have also ramped up their push for death and destruction by banning measures to deal with climate catastrophe.


This is the time of year when the US Supreme Court releases a tranche of rulings before taking its summer break. One of the first to be issued (in May) was that the governing Republican party in South Carolina need not redraw the map according to which congressional elections will be organised. So, how voting districts operate in the state will still discriminate against Black voters in November.

One of the senior “justices” of the US Supreme Court is Samuel Alito. Nominated by George Bush, he is notorious for his racist, oppressive, and bigoted views and legal opinions. During the same week that the ruling on South Carolina’s voting arrangements was made public, Alito made headlines twice more for prominently flying flags on properties that he owns that advance and advocate far-right causes. First, a flag on his main residence in support of overturning the 2020 election. Second, a flag on a holiday property known to rally Christian fundamentalist support for Trump and his far-right agenda. A week later, Alito was caught on tape advocating the far-right Christian Nationalist doctrine. Despite these actions, Alito has refused to recuse himself from the Supreme Court’s discussions and rulings on Trump’s claim of immunity from prosecution for his role in attempting to overturn the last election. Republicans have already begun publicly stating their opposition to holding the Supreme Court to decency and ethical constraints.

During the Black Lives Matter protests in 2020, US Army Sergeant Daniel Perry lowered his car window and murdered protester Garrett Foster, shooting him five times with a .357 revolver before driving off. Court documents revealed that in the weeks before the murder, Perry posted racist messages about protesters and white supremacist memes, even stating that he “…might have to kill a few people…”. Perry compared the Black Lives Matter movement to “…a zoo full of monkeys that are freaking out flinging their s**t”. As expected, Perry was tried and found guilty by a jury and sentenced 25 years in prison. Last month, however, fascist Texas governor Greg Abbott pardoned Perry, fulfilling a promise upon receiving an official request.

The Confederate flag is offensive to those who recognise it as a symbol of white resistance to the abolition of slavery in the nineteenth century. Those associating themselves with it – especially by displaying or flying the flag – are almost always consciously projecting a racist insult, particularly to black people. But that is precisely what election denier and member of the Trump cult, Kari Lake did during a visit to the Trumped Store in Show Low, Arizona, last week. She spoke in ront of the flag, which is also offered for sale on their website as well as other misogynistic and racist merchandise.

But there is a long-standing and increasingly prominent tradition of public figures aligning themselves with such supremacist organisations and gestures. Last month, Republican Governor of Virginia Glenn Youngkin vetoed two bills that would have removed tax-exempt status from pro-Confederacy groups. Meanwhile, the Republican party in Missouri declined to prevent a candidate with links to the KKK from standing for governor.

While fascist Florida Governor Ron DeSantis’s acts of bigotry and ignorance are laughable, the intolerance and hatred which underlying them are at best hurtful; at worst dangerous. Last month, for example, DeSantis’s transport secretary announced that all bridges in the state must be illuminated in the patriotic colours of red, white, and blue over the summer – from Memorial Day (27 May) to Labor Day (2 September). Some bridges in Florida, such as the Ringling Causeway Bridge over Sarasota Bay, customarily display bright colours for events like Pride Month, but also for National Gun Awareness Month and Women’s Equality Day. This will no longer be allowed.

Such moves are characterised by their perpetrators as acts of “freedom“. Such a directive, of course, specifically and intentionally prevents local communities from celebrating freely as they see fit. What’s more, offensive moves like this, taken seriously by their instigators, risk bringing Florida and the US more generally into disrepute as the rest of the world chuckles; they risk being an affront to the more thoughtful residents in Florida.

Last month, Republicans in both the House and Senate introduced the Safeguard American Voter Eligibility (SAVE)) bill to make it illegal for noncitizens to vote in US elections. Fair enough, you might think. But there’s a catch: it’s already illegal for noncitizens to vote in US elections. The intention of the legislation, which takes precedence—almost needless to say—over tackling the climate crisis, cybersecurity, hunger, and inequality, is to perpetuate the lie that millions of black and brown people who don’t belong in the United States are undermining its white majority by trying to vote. They aren’t, they don’t, and they already can’t. But those who want to believe it may well do so.

Last month, two more Native American Nations in South Dakota added their territories to those from which the Fascist governor of South Dakota, Kristi Noem (thought a frontrunner in the race to be picked by Trump for his vice-presidential candidate) is banned due to her racist and supremacist commentary against their communities and way of life. As a result, the governor of South Dakota, with a population of 900,000, is now banned from all native lands of the state which she governs. A fortnight earlier, Noem raised controversy when a book ghostwritten for her, detailed her fondness for murdering animals, including her puppy.


Towards the end of last month, the US Supreme Court heard oral arguments on presidential immunity. The former president’s flawed assertion that he should be immune from prosecution in order to do his job effectively was under consideration. The Supreme Court’s legal response to that should have been a five-minute decision. It was not. The Court prevaricated to the advantage of Trump; declining to offer the obvious and correct opinion.

To many observers, it is clear that the court has now lost any semblance of impartiality. Yes, there will have been dissenters among the nine members of the Court who see the myth of presidential immunity for what it is. But at least one previous decision—Trump’s right to be on states’ ballots despite having attempted to overturn the results of the 2020/2021 election—was taken by the Court almost immediately and in his favour. So, it is absurd that the Supreme Court’s “justices” should feel that there might be occasions when Trump (in particular) could, for example, order the assassination of a political rival and then be absolved of any responsibility. For that is what he is seeking; and what he already vehemently claims as his right.

Earlier this week a bill (with little chance of passing) was introduced by MAGA Republicans to make Trump and his successors immune to prosecution. Currently, a presidential pardon cannot be granted to those found guilty in state (as opposed to federal) cases. Trump is widely believed to be planning self-pardons if elected, thereby eliminating any chance, of his having to face charges and at worst of facing incarceration upon conviction. The ‘No More Political Prosecutions Act’, would allow (former and vice) presidents simply to transfer cases for which they have been—or are likely to be—tried from a state court to a federal one, after which they would able to pardon themselves of any and all crimes.

This move is supported by the House Speaker. In the US House of Representatives, remember, the Speaker is not the chair of the chamber, as is the case in the UK. The role is closer to that of party leader. In this case, Mike Johnson is the leader of the ruling party in the House of Representatives. Election denier Johnson is also someone who recently described the legal system in which his office, post and role as chief legislator is entirely invested as a “sham” because of the verdict on Trump in his hush-money case.


One would have thought, let alone hoped, that by now the war, terrorism, genocide, massacres, and destruction in Gaza by the Israeli elite and army, would attract some sort of criticism from commentators and politicians in the United States. Given that more than 35,000 have been killed – mostly women and children; over a million being displaced; mass starvation being used as a weapon; almost absolute destruction of infrastructure, homes, buildings, and health as there no functioning hospitals are now left in Gaza. The facts are too stark to be ignored.

For example, the University Network for Human Rights sent a comprehensive report of over 100 pages to the United Nations which details the genocide in Gaza committed by the Israeli government and army. Lending credibility to the work behind the report and its conclusions are such august centres of excellence and expertise as Boston University School of Law’s and Cornell Law School’s International Human Rights Clinics, the University of Pretoria’s Center for Human Rights, and the Lowenstein Human Rights Project at Yale Law School. The report concludes: “After reviewing the facts established by independent human rights monitors, journalists, and United Nations agencies… Israel’s actions in and regarding Gaza since October 7, 2023, violate the Genocide Convention. Israel has committed genocidal acts of killing, causing serious harm to, and inflicting conditions of life calculated to bring about the physical destruction of Palestinians in Gaza, a protected group that forms a substantial part of the Palestinian people”. This amounts to over 5% of Gaza’s entire population (with over twice as many Palestinians injured as the 35,000+ killed), killing or injuring 2% of Gaza’s children. Nearly three-quarters of homes in Gaza have been destroyed. The UN itself has now officially ‘found’ that Israeli authorities (as well as Hamas, of course) have committed war crimes.

But there is no real acknowledgment in the vast majority of media coverage in the UN that the genocide is even taking place. Apologists for and enablers of genocide still have the loudest voices and provide the greatest noise on nearly all media and propaganda outlets across the United States.

Despite making assertions that he cared about the well-being of Palestinians in Gaza, in the same week as that report (by the University Network for Human Rights) was published, Joe Biden arranged for about 1 billion USD (788 million GBP), worth of arms to be sent to the Israeli government and army. This all but ensures the death and injury of tens of thousands more civilians. And presumably also incrementally ensures unknown and potentially unimaginably great acts of revenge on Israeli citizens in the future.

The Biden administration continues to promote, endorse, and fund the mass slaughter of Palestinians by the fascist regime in Israel. Last week, the Israeli military signed a 3 billion USD (2.3 billion GBP) deal with weapons of mass destruction maker in the US, Lockheed Martin, for 25 F-35 stealth fighter jets. Video footage of the massacre of Palestinian children in the UN school in the Nuseirat refugee camp – also last week – has confirmed that WMDs (GBU-39 bombs) made by US company Boeing were deployed in this attack.

Look at the way this leading fascist outlet is portraying the genocide and at how Republican party leaders speak about it, including congresspeople like Michigan’s Tim Walberg, who said that Gaza “…should be like Nagasaki and Hiroshima”.

Advocating peace in Gaza (and the West Bank) and/or the right of Palestinian civilians to live is still almost universally equated with anti-semitism and support for Hamas. Practically the only way to excuse the slaughter is by following what Orwell in ‘1984’ called the “final, most essential command of The Party…reject the evidence of your eyes and ears”.

During the Covid-19 pandemic, the ignorant and vicious on the far-right in some states and many localities made it illegal to wear face masks, aimed at protecting others in your vicinity-in case you were carrying the virus. There is now a parallel move from that quarter to reintroduce the law as a way of targeting advocates for peace in Gaza who now wear masks to preserve their anonymity and lessen the chances of potential violence against them. A small step but one that could be effective in silencing dissent.

Practically the only voices for Palestinian survival are heard among students in some schools and universities (as ‘Notes from the US‘ reported last month). This protest, however, is coming under increasing attack for advocating peace and life.

If you live in the real, rational world, there would seem to be (at least) six possible reasons why such vicious stances towards Palestinians (in Gaza) are adopted in the United States:

  • Those in Gaza are Arabs, and so must be “bad people”; think of September 11, 2001; they hang onto “our” oil.
  • Palestinians living in Gaza and the West Bank are all bad people and all deserve to die because of the acts of Hamas.
  • The case made by Palestinians against their living conditions and the race-based blockade that Israel has imposed for more than ten years can be ignored because it has long been a case (also) articulated by Hamas.
  • This genocide won’t spawn a generation of resentment by Palestinians against the Israeli government, will it; and – even when (not if) it does – we’ll continue to support our allies without question… we like a good scrap.
  • Warfare is good: our foreign policy is almost always built on belligerence; there is money to be made; so “Do your worst, Netanyahu!”.
  • To support Israel makes us look good with Jewish voters in the US.

Last month the International Court of Justice ruled that Israel should cease its devastating attacks on the Gazan city of Rafah. For doing this Republicans have threatened the Court and vowed to act aggressively towards those countries which have endorsed or reacted positively to the ruling. Biden’s promise to cut off the United States’ supply of weaponry if that happened was a lie. The Israeli army massacred nearly 50 civilians, decapitating and burning children alive and injuring hundreds of others in a single strike on the camp for displaced Palestinians – in Rafah – over the weekend of 25/26th May. Then, although Israeli forces were justified last week in rescuing four hostages held captive by Hamas, this was achieved only by the killing of up to 50 times as many Palestinians. Nevertheless, the US president continues to approve weapons at a greater and greater rate than they have been sent to Israel since the Nixon era. In the 1970’s it was 2 billion USD (1.6 billion GBP) worth; it rose to 3.8 billion USD (2.9 billion GBP) in 2016 with an additional 14.1 billion USD (11 billion GDP) billion already this year.

Although rarely remarked upon, all of these sales are themselves unlawful: the 1961 Foreign Assistance Act (Section 620) specifically prohibits the US from providing support to foreign countries and their (armed) forces whenever they are engaged in violations of human rights, as has been emphatically proven in the case of Israeli “campaign”.

In the hours after the slaughter in Rafah, former presidential candidate Nikki Haley endorsed and promoted the genocide. During a visit to the Israel Defense Forces, she publicly wrote (and signed) a message on the casing of a shell potentially destined to burn more children alive, stating: “Finish them! America [loves] Israel always”.

To show their approval of the genocide and murder of children, US lawmakers (some Democrats plan not to attend) have confirmed that Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu will address a joint session of Congress on 24 July. The letter inviting Netanyahu is signed by both minority and majority leaders of the House and Senate. It refers to “…the Israeli government’s vision for … establishing a just and lasting peace in the region”. This act by US lawmakers will presumably also defy the International Criminal Court’s arrest warrant for Netanyahu for the war crimes that he has committed. As that invitation was being sent, House Speaker Mike Johnson declined to welcome Kenyan President William Ruto on his visit to the US last month, specifically refusing to invite him to address Congress.


Trump now speaks publicly as though the only issues in this election year are those concerning his power and exacting revenge on his “enemies”, rather than tackling the many urgent challenges faced in and by the United States. 

He still stands a good chance of being elected. He often makes verbal gaffes, repeatedly lies, and pushes violent threats based on absurd conspiracy “theories“. Yet his support is alarmingly high for a convicted, impeached, sadistic, incompetent, solipsistic, racist, greedy, mean, dishonest, misogynistic, psychopathic criminal.

This time last month Trump posted a video to his failing social media platform, “Truth Social”, which showed mock-ups of a newspaper article alluding to the landslide victory he and his cult hope will occur in November’s presidential election. In addition to “15 Million Illegal Aliens Deported“. Trump also threatens to deport students who oppose the genocide in Gaza, one imaginary headline read “What’s next for America?… [the] creation of a unified Reich”. One could be forgiven for assuming that Trump is unaware of the existence of a First and Second Reich in Germany and that his support of Hitler’s Third Reich was intentional.

This is not surprising: at a rally in New York last month, Trump shared the stage with two entertainers indicted for conspiracy to commit murder. Indeed, members of the Republican party’s “governing body” now increasingly face serious criminal charges. Other prominent Republicans like Ron DeSantis and Florida senator Marco Rubio, have both followed suit. What’s more, some of those indicted after 2020 as “fake electors” are now being elevated to positions of greater power within the Republican party.

To ensure that their party and leader win power at all costs, many prominent Republicans are already beginning to try and cast doubt on the integrity of elections that have yet to take place.

Almost as alarming as Trump’s threats and boasts, are his evident mental challenges and perhaps cognitive degradation and/or impairment. His “speeches” have become increasingly rambling, erratic, incoherent, and nonsensical. Under different conditions, watching segments of what he bellows and mumbles in public would be enough to immediately rule out such a figure as unfit for office. Some Republicans are now suggesting this.

~ Louis Further

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