On Saturday, Donald Trump deigned to visit the Iowa State Fair. The appearance was notable mostly for Trump’s gaggle of odious hangers-on, with Reps. Anna Luna, Greg Steube, and Matt Gaetz gushing over their indicted Dear Leader.

It was Gaetz’s turn in that lineup to go full fascist. Here, via Aaron Rupar, is a slightly terrifying video of two accused criminals telling supporters that “only through force” will their movement be able to gain the power that they desire in Washington, D.C.

Mr. President, I cannot stand these people that are destroying our country, that are opening our borders, that are weaponizing our federal law enforcement against patriotic Americans who love this nation as we should. We are having a great time at the fair, we love standing with you, but we know that only through force do we make any change in a corrupt town like Washington, D.C.

Well, that’s pretty much full-on fascist rhetoric, right there. The backers of a seditious insurrection on Jan. 6, 2021, are hitting all the same buttons, and that it’s a sunglasses-wearing, child sex-trafficking, cocaine-orgy freak selling it to the crowd on behalf of a man facing felony indictments for an attempted coup really drives home what the Republican Party now stands for.

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In one statement, we have the assertion that political opponents are “destroying” the country; we flow immediately into two hoaxes pushed by the party. Next is the assertion of patriotism, and that the enemy is targeting those who “love this nation.” A little nod to Dear Leader, and an emphatic statement that “force” is the only path forward for the movement. Gaetz manages to tick off a good number of fascism’s core elements within the span of 30 seconds or so.

But Gaetz and Trump’s other allies already attempted to take the government “by force.” It happened, there are militants in prison for seditious conspiracy because of it, and Trump himself is likely only the first of multiple conspirators to be charged with attempting to erase a democratic election by smuggling in fake electoral votes to be counted instead of the real ones. There were deaths because of the hoaxes Republicans spread in order to justify the coup attempt. Police officers died, members of the House and Senate escaped the mob only by the skin of their teeth, and when the violence was quelled but before the blood had been cleaned off the Capitol floors, Republican lawmakers were right back in the same room to promote the same hoaxes and vote to disregard the election based on the same reasons.

It’s not three years later, and the indicted man and the cocaine-orgying sex-trafficker are rallying crowds with the same rhetoric of fraud and force, and the supposed notion that the people being prosecuted for attacking the government are the true “patriots” being unjustly targeted for loving their country simply too much for the opposition to tolerate.

It’s a fascist movement. It’s a violent movement, though Gaetz will still likely be too busy with his blow parties to dirty his own hands. It’s not that Republicans haven’t learned the dangers of their rhetoric in the aftermath of Jan. 6. They have learned. They’ve learned that these barely veiled calls for violence work, so they’re going to redouble that rhetoric.


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