On Wednesday, unnamed federal troops without any kind of visible identification began grabbing peaceful protestors in Portland, Oregon, and taking them into unmarked vans without telling them why they were arrested and where they were being taken to.
Ken Klippenstein at the Nation did some digging and discovered that these agents are from the U.S. Customs and Border Control (CPB), and that they are acting under the president’s executive order on “Protecting American Monuments, Memorials, and Statues and Combating Recent Criminal Violence.”
In Sinclair Lewis’ 1936 novel It Can’t Happen Here, a populist demagogue wins the presidency by promising to restore America’s greatness. Over time, the U.S. slowly slips into a dictatorship as this fictional president begins outlawing dissent & jailing all of his political enemies.
It seems, absent a drastic turn in our history, that this vision can happen in the U.S. in the 21st century.
This Week’s WTF Moment in Congress
(I know this week’s moment doesn’t feature a member of Congress, but hopefully, this person never will be elected to Congress.)