How American Fascism Died Between a Sex Shop and a Crematorium
The end of Fascism is a tragi-comedic spectacle. It’s the universe’s attempt at dark humor or perhaps just pure poetic justice. A supposed ideology of hyper-nationalism and genocidal tendencies, the downfall of Fascisms across the world is sometimes violent but oftentimes strange and surreal.
In Germany, Hitler shot himself. In Italy, Mussolini was hung upside down in a gasoline station. Last but not the least in Spain, a prime minister who was a notorious adviser to dictator Francisco Franco had his car blown up sixty feet up into the air, earning him the title as “the first Spanish astronaut.” In America, depending on what you think of Trump, his campaign ended in a bitter and brilliant fashion. Between a sex shop and a crematorium, on the cusp of life and death if you will.
Months prior to the election, Trump already signaled his intention to dissuade the people from voting by mail, declaring it to be fraudulent. He encouraged most notably his supporters to vote on election day and hoped that the Supreme Court (now a conservative-dominated judiciary) would align with him. The COVID-19 pandemic made things worse, as America is one of the most infected (by coronavirus and fools, it seems) countries on Earth, with more than a quarter of a million deaths and counting. Opinions of the Trump government by this point were influenced by his actions (or inaction) during the pandemic, and 53 percent have agreed that his efforts were insufficient to contain the plague.
And then came November the 3rd. As of recent estimation, more than 140 million Americans voted, surpassing the records set by the previous decades. Historians and commentators have remarked that it is the largest turnout of any election in a century, as American elections tend to have turnouts within the 50 percent margin. Huge chunks of votes came by mail, which increased this year due to fears of catching the flu, and the encouragement of the Democrats was to stay at home. And uncommon to previous election seasons, the winners would not be declared outright.
A nail-biting and anxious mood prevailed over the next five days, as all votes were counted from county to country. Initially, Biden led the electoral college vote, while Trump had the popular vote. But once the mail-ins were opened, Biden has taken the lead, echoing the earlier observation that a blue surge due to mail-in ballots would happen. Expectedly, the Trump campaign declared the succeeding results as fraudulent, and sent their lawyers to stop the counting of ballots. Ironically, the slow tallying of the ballots was due to the limitations imposed by the Republicans in their home states. Rumors of fraud were then circulated in all sides, denting the people’s trust in the democratic process. But all these attacks came to naught when Joe Biden won Pennsylvania, a key swing state that Trump had gained in 2016.
Even without the declaration, the Trump campaign had announced for a press conference in Philadelphia, in an establishment named the Four Seasons. Many assumed it would be at the famous Four Seasons Hotel. To the surprise of the public, and the event planners, the Trump campaign accidentally held the presscon in an obscure landscaping company also known as Four Seasons.
A firm located between a sex shop and a crematorium.
The befuddled Rudy Giuliani, Trump’s lawyer, denied Biden’s legitimacy, in a firm between a sex shop and a crematorium, in the parking lot with a yellow hose behind him.
Expectedly, the bizarre press conference earned its legendary meme status on the Internet. Many lambasted the campaign team and laughed at the choice of the venue. While we can all go ballistic and even psychoanalytic about this, it did feel like sweet justice.
Explanations abound on how that came to be. The Trump team says it was intentional to be away from crowds, others say it was a booking screw up. It doesn't really matter. The businesses near the place and the venue itself saw publicity of their wares and products. Four Seasons Total Landscaping even began to sell T-shirts and other souvenirs to cash in with the fad. The sex shop also joined in the bandwagon, and its owner said that his customers have increased.
Meanwhile, many have commented that America needs to move on and accept the results. But Trump isn’t taking that advice as he continues to contest the election results.
Whether you see Trump as a fascist or not, or whether you're skeptical of the incoming Biden administration, you can't deny that Trump's spectacle was the reality television we deserved.
And this is where I became convinced that 2020 is actually the best year of our lifetime. From the widespread implosion of our hallowed/fake global economy to the incompetence of our elite both nationally and internationally, this year constantly keeps on giving. How often can we see a major campaign end in the most unsettling yet the most fever dream of conclusions?
To quote the Joker as a concluding point: I once viewed my life as a tragedy, now it’s a comedy.