The late sportscaster Dick Enberg frequently used that phrase (“Oh, now they’re saying”) to cover up his mistakes. Here’s an example: In a basketball game Enberg is broadcasting, someone makes a shot—but they are called for a “traveling” violation, so the shot doesn’t count. Yet Enberg doesn’t realize right away that the “traveling call” has been made and the shot doesn’t count—and he goes on for a while raving about what a “great shot” it is, before he finally realizes that the shot doesn’t count. Then, instead of simply admitting his mistake, he says: “Oh, now they’re saying the shot doesn’t count” (when that has been the case all along!).
I was reminded of this in seeing a number of recent articles and commentaries, including by more “mainstream” voices, where comparisons are being made between Trump and the NAZIs and the specter of fascism in this country is finally being discussed by such people. For years now, those of us who have been consistently pointing to the fascist nature and objectives of Trump, and the whole Trump/Pence regime, have been met not only with attacks from the “base” of this regime but with ridicule and dismissal from many “liberals,” who have accused us of using exaggeration, hype, and “alarmism” in the attempt to scare and manipulate people into following us. Now, when what we have said about this is becoming increasingly obvious, to the point where more “respectable” sources are beginning to speak in these terms, a few honest people have readily acknowledged “You were right about this, and I was wrong.” Yet most of those who, for some time, have criticized or dismissed our analysis—but have now finally started to recognize, “Well, I guess this is fascism”—have not had the decency and integrity to acknowledge that we have been correct all along in calling this fascism, and instead they have done the “Oh, now they’re saying” routine.
To be clear, the reason it is right and necessary for people to acknowledge that we have been right all along about this is not a matter of our egos, but a matter of principle and method. If we have been right about something as important as this, maybe there is something to learn from that—not only the particular analysis we have made but the method that underlies that analysis, the scientific method and approach of investigating reality and proceeding on the basis of the facts and evidence about the actual reality, following the truth where it leads, rather than proceeding according to preconceived notions and prejudices and resisting “uncomfortable” conclusions. And this question also needs to be seriously engaged: Perhaps those of us who have applied this method and approach to understanding not only the nature of the Trump/Pence regime but, beyond that, the fundamental nature of the system we live under, are also correct in our conclusion that this system (of capitalism-imperialism) has the most horrendous oppression, exploitation and plunder, of people and the environment, built into its very foundation and its ongoing functioning—and therefore, as we have emphasized: This system cannot be reformed, it must be overthrown, if there is to be a future worth living for humanity.