Ominous Sign of Rapid Fascist Lockdown
Trump Team Threatens Madonna for Voicing Anger at Woman-Hating President
January 24, 2017 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us
Pop superstar Madonna has come under furious attack from the Trumpistas for her speech at Saturday’s massive Women’s March in Washington. Major political leaders on Trump’s team (Reince Priebus, Trump’s Chief of Staff) ; major Trump surrogate Newt Gingrich (as well as former hack “journalist” and TV “personality” Piers Morgan) have openly said that she “should be arrested”; and the right-wing press has been widely reporting rumors that the Secret Service has launched an investigation of her for “threatening the President.”
THIS IS EXTREMELY SERIOUS; it is a stunning move by the fascist forces to at least intimidate, if not outright jail, anyone who is sharply critical of Trump, and to create a deadly chill on free expression in the U.S.
Here is the concluding section of Madonna's talk that the fascists have seized on:
“And to our detractors that insist that this March will never add up to anything, fuck you. Fuck you. It is the beginning of much needed change. Change that will require sacrifice, people. Change that will require many of us to make different choices in our lives, but this is the hallmark of revolution. ...
“Yes, I’m angry. Yes, I am outraged. Yes, I have thought an awful lot of blowing up the White House, but I know that this won’t change anything. We cannot fall into despair. As the poet, W.H. Auden once wrote on the eve of World War II: We must love one another or die.
“I choose love. Are you with me? Say this with me: We choose love. We choose love. We choose love.”
So it is very clear that Madonna raised the idea of “blowing up the White House” precisely in order to argue that in her view this was the wrong approach and the wrong outlook. There is no basis for “confusion” here—anyone saying that she was “threatening the president” with violence is just lying (or as Kellyanne Conway says, presenting “alternative facts.”)
Four important points:
- This is a major attack on freedom of speech aimed at putting a deep chill on any dissident political expression in the U.S. Even if the authorities do not now arrest or charge Madonna, the very fact that a world renowned celebrity could be threatened in this way is aimed at making tens of millions of ordinary people (as well as other prominent people) afraid to voice criticism of Trump.
- This is not only an attack on freedom of speech—Madonna is being attacked for a “thought-crime”—for having an idea pass through her head, even though she publicly rejected that very idea. The implications of this are incredibly chilling. Think of how many times you thought something like “I was so angry I wanted to ...”—followed by some act that you would never do. Well, in Trump-world, that’s a crime.
- It is extremely important that people defend Madonna against this attack, and not fall into distancing themselves, or writing snarky articles about how “she is playing into the hands of Trump,” “giving them ammunition,” etc. NO—it is the people who write or say things like this who are “playing into the hands” of the fascists, by providing their own “left” spin on why everyone should “watch what they say.” You don’t have to share Madonna’s anger or her particular way of expressing it to unequivocally defend her right and that of anyone else to speak her thoughts freely in public.
- Finally, in the face of the rapidly unfolding repressive atmosphere, it is worth repeating, and reflecting on, a different part of Madonna’s talk when she said that the Women’s March “is the beginning of much needed change. Change that will require sacrifice, people. Change that will require many of us to make different choices in our lives...” The stakes are indeed going up, and that is all the more reason not to back down
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