All high school and college Political Science classes should be made to view John Frankenheimer’s 1964 film Seven Days In May. The story is one that can resonate so well with our current political and cultural climate here at home. It reveals a secret Coup de tat being planned by a group of far right wing military and civilian leaders, led by Joint Chiefs of Staff General James Mattoon Scott. To many viewers of that 60s film, who would really ever be that concerned of it ever happening? Yet, the JFK presidency was teetering on a high wire over the White House just a few years before the movie came out. The Joint Chiefs in 1961, as Kennedy took office, had unanimously offered him their plans to execute a pre-emptive nuclear attack of the Soviet Union. When JFK left the meeting room he turned to either McNamara or his chief of staff Kenny O’Donnell and said ‘ Those guys are crazy!’ Then, sometime later, the Chiefs wanted to orchestrate what they called Operation Northwoods. This was an attempt to instigate a rationale for invading Cuba by precipitating bombings in some US cities, blaming the Cubans, along with shooting down a drone aircraft, again blaming Cuba… among other insidious actions. Then of course there was the famous ‘ Cuban Missile Crisis’ of 1962. Once again, as JFK and his inner cabinet were dealing with this possible portent to WW3, his Joint Chiefs were egging him on to attack and invade Cuba with possible use of Nukes.
In the Frankenheimer film we had General Scott and his Cabal front and center in their disdain for a Nuclear Arms treaty approved by Congress and signed by the President. Scott is seen delivering an impassioned speech to a right wing veterans convention that almost borders on sedition. Fast forward to what transpired after Trump lost the 2020 election, and how the far right wing ( I believe Proto Fascist) minions came out of the woodwork… where, sadly, they always were. Many in the right wing media and Congressional circles try to deflect what that mob did at the Capitol Building on January 6th, 2021. As with the Seven Days in May attempted Coup, what the Trump Cabal’s followers were doing was to forcefully stop an election certification and God knows what would have transpired. Talk about a Banana Republic, Miss Chiquita would be so proud of these people, many being elected legislators. Meanwhile, if you read Kathleen Belew’s book Bring the War Home you will see that this Neo Nazi & White Supremacist mindset is still festering out there. Matter of fact, factoring out the real off the wall types, we see how many of our usually ‘ Nice and genteel’ American neighbors buy into this garbage. What Trump has accomplished is to legitimatize such belief and rhetoric, transforming it into almost mainstream thinking. When those white young people in Charlottesville in 2017 carried the torches and sang the mantras of ‘ Blood and Soil’ and ‘ Jews will not replace us’ , the needed outrage was never what it should have been. How many Jewish voters still supported Trump, even after he stated that ‘ There were very nice people on both sides’? Where was the state of Israel to condemn him for that?
We have Governors of states like mine here in Florida, and another in Texas, who have pushed draconian laws to go against our Constitution and Civil Liberties. Yet, one of these clowns is a front runner, after Trump, to be the Republican candidate in 2024. He is the joker who pushed to subvert mask mandates and lockdowns during the Covid Delta surge of over a year ago. Of course, after dillydallying around when the vaccine first came available, he made damn sure to get the jab… after so many fools followed the leader until it was too late for them. Right wing Trump thumper and radio host Mark Bernier ( may he rest in peace) refused to get vaccinated and railed against mask mandates and lockdowns… and he got Covid and died. My city councilman argued with me about the same things, and he got a bad case of Covid. Thank goodness he survived… and he has a child with immune disorder.
What is evident is the rage and anger coming from so many who still support Trump, his party and this Neo Fascist ideology. The whole ‘ Go Brandon’ retort, which is code for ‘ **** Biden’ , the slew of Confederate flags flying from cars and on bumper stickers, just to mention a few things, is a reminder. It reveals how far off the ‘ Radar of reason’ my nation has moved. Believe you me, this writer has absolutely NO affection for Biden or his corrupt party. Yet, for probably the first time I can remember, this time there is the ‘ Lesser of two evils’ reality. One surmises that those who see as clearly as me can either become ostriches or speak out whenever we can to challenge both political parties.
Sadly, there are many James Mattoon Scotts out there, mostly already in public service ( some service hah?) that are ready, willing and able to make that leap… to outright totalitarianism.