Surprise, surprise, fascism is on on the rise in Europe, getting in some cases 20-40% of the popular vote.*
Broadly, fascism comes to power in times of failing economies as a promised “solution” to economic ills. Today wealth is being increasingly hoarded in the hands of a privileged few. You can always count on some smarmy demagogue in times of economic struggle to name some scapegoat. Blacks, Jews, Muslims, Immigrants are the traditional targets. But these are always deflections, the wool pulled over your eyes of the real source of the problems, which is almost always the super rich and powerful making decisions to benefit them and not you.
But to reason this out requires higher-order thinking. Demagogues know they can count on about 20-40% of any population to fall for simple jingoisms and blanket statements. “Make America Great Again.” What the fuck does that even mean? 20-40% of people in any population can’t think it through, and no amount of factual evidence will persuade them to do so. It’s all “gut” feeling for them.
The Left’s job, therefore, if they wish to counter these fascist movements, is to come up with alternative statements that appeal to people who think only as deep as their “gut.” But we have to make sure these don’t inadvertently spread the alternate message. #NotMyPresident is a stupid meme, because it reinforces “My President.” #NoBorderWall is a stupid meme because it reinforces “Border Wall.” How about #GroperInChief and #PervertPresident for starts? And then some memes that address what the Left stands for: #HealthCareForAll, #FairLivingWage, #WeAreAllImmigrants.
The Left is failing because they haven’t got a clear message. They are so busy fighting the Right they unintentionally boost the Right’s messages over and over and over again. How would you explain the Left’s worldview to a 3rd grader? Go.
* ETA: Yes, I know this article is from last year, but I don’t think the demographic has changed all that much since then, and may have actually been strengthened by Trump’s victory in the U.S.