MAGA pastime...America's bane


In the United States during 16 months in 2020 and 2021, vehicles rammed into groups of protesters at least 139 times, according to a Boston Globe analysis. Three victims died and at least 100 were injured. Consider that a new level of all-American barbarity, thanks to the growing toxicity of right-wing politics, empowered by its embrace of ever-larger, more menacing vehicles being cranked out by the auto industry.

And keep this in mind: attacks on street protests are just the most recent development in fossil-fuelized aggression...

Fueled by diesel or gasoline, and supercharged by what political scientist Cara Daggett has labeled “petro-masculinity,” those men in big, loud vehicles serve as the shock troops for a white-right authoritarian movement that threatens to seize control of our political system. Recall the “Trump caravan” that tried to run a Biden campaign bus off the road in Texas just before Election Day 2020. Or the “Trump Trains” of pickups carrying men with paintball guns, one of which attacked Black Lives Matter protesters in Portland, Oregon.,,,

Ultra-MAGA elements in legislatures and the courts are already gutting our right to preserve a livable climate, ensure reproductive rights, and vote, even as they create new rights to own weapons of war and put them to deadly use. Usually, those weapons are AR-15s or other firearms, but they can also be tank-scale personal vehicles wrapped in military-grade alloy, with an armored front end.

Big trucks, aggressively driven, straddle the borderline between a democracy in crisis and a country (and world) facing a climate emergency of the first order. They guzzle fuel, spew pollution, and degrade our quality of life. With the paramilitary wing of the anti-democracy, anti-Earth GOP at the wheel, such vehicles portend even worse environmental harm to come. If the far right prevails, its politicos will choke off any state or federal efforts to phase out fossil fuels. If, using means legal or not, they consolidate their power over the Supreme Court, Congress in 2022, and the White House in 2024, they will be spewing the political version of rollin’ coal and are guaranteed to smother the possibility of climate action, probably long enough to make runaway global heating inevitable....