2023 still has its baby teeth, but the global right wing has wasted no time in upping the ante. The grim gong show of chaos that the far-right has been performing in earnest over the past decade is reaching new lows of incompetence, pettiness and danger.
The most damning actions occurred in Brazil, when a mob of supporters of recently ousted former president Jair Bolsonaro stormed the country’s congress, supreme court and presidential residence in a well-planned and financed attack.
A far-right populist frequently described as a fascist, Bolsonaro sowed conspiratorial, Trumpian doubt in Brazil’s ballot system in the lead-up to the election he eventually lost. The resulting violence from his supporters almost comically mirrors the Jan. 6, 2021 attacks by Trump and his supporters on the US capitol.
Back in Washington, D.C., the vote to appoint a speaker to the House of Representatives was ground to a halt, when extremists within the already-pretty-extreme Republican party refused to confirm the party’s nominee, Kevin McCarthy, for a historic 15 ballots.
Dragging out the proceedings for days, some of the furthest-right members like raging bigot Lauren Boebert and alleged sex trafficker Matt Gaetz deemed McCarthy too close to the centre of the political spectrum.
The squabbling incompetence of the American far-right is just as apparent in its Canadian counterpart. This time, it’s the anti-vaccine “Freedom Convoy” movement exhibiting their own failure to launch. They’ve spent the last few months waffling back and forth on whether they should return to Ottawa, Winnipeg or elsewhere to annoy ordinary Canadians for no discernible reason.
The ever-swinging pendulum is currently hovering over a potential return to Winnipeg. But rather than putting the kibosh on these plans, Manitoba Premier Heather Stefanson offered a mealymouthed warning that practically doubles as a tacit endorsement.
“I’m not going to predispose (sic) what kind of a protest it would be or what they want to do,” Stefanson told the Winnipeg Sun on Jan. 11. “...If (the Freedom Convoy wants to) have a peaceful protest here in Manitoba. I’m fine with that.”
With the global far-right collectively bumbling like a bunch of fascist Keystone Cops, I’m reminded of an expression a late relative of mine used to say. “These people couldn’t find their own asshole with a road map.”
Published in Volume 77, Number 14 of The Uniter (January 12, 2023)