‘Despair Is the Enemy of Action’ - And Other Quotes to Help You Fight Fascism
‘Read quotes, fight fascism 2’, part of my ‘fight fascism’ toolkit. Please note: you are not alone <3
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“Despair is the enemy of action.”
Words I wrote to a member of our community yesterday, who was suffering despair after the latest massacre. Despair over the horror of these chaos and destabilization events is natural, but it’s also our enemy. Despair is one of the 4Ds of information warfare, and we are at war.
Once we all accept that we are at war, it will be easier to perform the labor of democracy from a steely place of neutrality. I am in acceptance most days, but not all days. Some days are harder than others. I am watching one of the bravest people I know be set up by one of the worst cabals ever hatched.
I am going to fight from a place of steely neutrality. And when we win, I am going to throw a party like this country has never seen. I have a history of throwing epic parties, like that time I shut down the Sunset Strip for my book release party for my sublime book, ‘Crazy Fool’ - or the time I celebrated my 40th at the Roxy, or that time at the Viper Room, or the time Big Archie and Ice T brought an eight-foot grill to my home. Yeah, it’s gonna be like that.
I know if feels really dark - that is intentional. It’s easier for me because I have not had a television going on two decades, so I am not assaulted by newsporn. However, just know that these assaults are coordinated and we will be talking more about that at today’s ‘Speakeasy.’ Below, is a very good explainer about the intentional psychological assaults from massacres, attacks on our power grids, and titushky chaos mobs. By now, it is pretty obvious how coordinated these events are…
So dear reader, here are some simple quotes to help you fight the fascist creep. Use them prolifically, share them, and I will include links to my entire ‘fight fascism’ toolkit series at the bottom of this post, which will feature my first ‘Read Quotes, Fight Fascism’ report. I chose simple quotes for this report, in the hopes that they would become slogans for our times.
Read Quotes, Fight Fascism 2
‘Are we downhearted? No!’ - 1914 hymn
You don’t surrender because the meanies are desperate. You double down. I learned about this lyric and song when writing my first screenplay - a true story about an American actress who fought in the French Resistance. When she was detained in a concentration camp, this is the song the women sang when the Allied planes flew over France. Sing it loudly.
‘None of us demons’ - Jason Stanley
In my investigation for Byline Supplement where I ran Trump’s 2024 campaign speech through a filter of Jason Stanley’s How Fascism Works to expose the fascist playbook in his words, I ended with Stanley’s final summation in his book:
“By refusing to be bewitched by fascist myths, we remain free to engage one another, all of us flawed, all of us partial in our thinking..understanding, but none of us demons.”
Those beautiful words haunt me, as I think back to the before times, before billionaires were openly trying to stir up another civil war in America in fealty to a mafia state. To deny the Kremlin and American traitors’ long game is to bury one’s head in the sand. If we all move forward recognizing that when people are being demonized, it’s to stir up fascism, we will be better equipped to do the labor of democracy. The gatekeepers working for the fascists are trying to destroy the credibility of anyone who is influential and pro-democracy. All of us flawed, none of us demons.
‘We are going to have to fight like hell’ - David Pepper
David Pepper is democracy’s coach, and he is worried that we simply do not give enough of a shit to fight like our democracy depends on it. No one is coming to save us. It is up to each of us individually to put in the work, and that will mean different things for each of us.
“It is time to think of the GOP as an autocratic force working from within to destroy our democracy, in tandem and in sympathy with foreign autocratic states which have that same goal.” - Ruth Ben-Ghiat
Yes, there should no longer be any confusion. They are not hiding their allegiances - which lie in anti-democratic policies and values. As GOP leaders promote anti-American propaganda and pro-Kremlin talking points, while our people continue to be massacred daily, it is clear the GOP is an autocratic force working to destroy our democracy from within.
“Propaganda is never just words, and it goes beyond lying. It is a system of organizing belief so people come to see the world in ways that benefit the leader and his party.” - Ruth Ben-Ghiat
Powerful stuff. Please repeat often.
“Mass shootings normalize terror and create a traumatized population that views strangers with suspicion and fear.” - Ruth Ben-Ghiat
God willing and the creek don’t rise, I will be writing more on this before our ‘Speakeasy’ today with Alex and Josef.
“When there is a far right threat, the left should not be divided.” - Timothy Synder
More on that here:
‘It’s 1942. Do you invite Goebbels for a sit-down TV interview?’ - Dr. Ian Garner, author of ‘Z Generation - Into the Hearts of Russia’s Fascist Youth’
I am so proud of the legacy of RadPod and our ‘Speakeasy’ zoom forums. Dr. Garner was a special guest on both, and here he says what most of us feel about CNN’s Town Hall with Trump. Of course, I remind our readers, big business backs fascism.
‘All of us together’ - Audrey Peterman
These beautiful words come from writer Audrey Peterman, who writes from Jamaica, where she shares photos of the glorious skies above the Blue Mountains. ‘All of us together’ is a mantra for Jamaica and a mantra for us. I have had the blessing of visiting her beautiful land and its beautiful people. All of us together, indeed.
‘I will always cherish the decent.’-me
In this war against empathy, join me in cherishing the decent.
‘Despair is the enemy of action.’-me
It’s okay to feel despair. It just means you are human. But if we stay in despair too long, we are unable to take action and action is where we win. As my first sponsor once told me, ‘Babysitting yourself isn’t freedom.’ Harsh words when I preferred wallowing, but they sure snapped me out of my misery. Join me in taking action against the fascist creep.
‘The only good news is going to be the news we make ourselves’ - Andrea Hildebran Smith, Resistance Mom podcast
When Bette community member Andrea went to the Women’s March in 2017, she had the realization that the only good news we would read moving forward is news that we would have to create ourselves. So let’s keep creating good news.
David Pepper rallied the troops in Ohio last week. That was good news.
RadPod showcased a former Republican mother who is fighting for gay rights in Florida last week - that is good news. She gave us the gift of these brilliant words: “Be careful who you hate, because it might actually be someone you love.”
American traitors working for the Russians were indicted last month - that is good news.
Remember this when you are being sold despair and chaos and destabilization events. Note that those events are being encouraged by the Kremlin and domestic traitors, online and in private chat rooms - as people’s brains are being radicalized one at a time at scale. It’s up to us to offer something better - to be louder with our kindness and empathy. We need to drown out their hate in our communities and at the polls. There is evidence we can do this.
We have to be willing to fight like hell, we have to remember that we are all flawed, but none of us demons. We have to push past despair with a steely neutrality, and remember it is all of us together.
Are we downhearted? A thousand times no!
More from my Fight Fascism series:
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The next Bette Dangerous ‘Speakeasy’ Zoom for paid members is today, Sunday, May 7, 3:55 pm PT, featuring ‘Canaries in the Net’ podcast team Alex Alvarova and Josef Holy, who can offer insights into disinformation campaigns targeting the Czech Republic and Eastern Europe, the overlap in America and the West, and how we inoculate ourselves against disinformation. Please register for the ‘Speakeasy’ in advance here.
Paid members will also receive invites to our new weekly Bette’s Happy Hour, a wellness checkin. This week’s checkin is Tuesday at noon, PT, and a registration invite will be sent to members on Tuesday morning.
Now please enjoy some photos I took for you to share the beauty of my favorite gardens, the Huntington Gardens. I have often shared images with this community of the brilliant desert garden cacti. Today, I want you to enjoy the brilliant roses, in my favorite shades of lavender, as well as the lotus flowers that are in full blossom at the moment.
“I say a silent prayer of thanksgiving as I walk upon the earth.”-Audrey Peterman.
“May the viral hope for truth and humanity wash away the chaos of these years.”-S.C., Bette community member
“Something Sacred never dies in almost all of us, that can hear the invitation of Truth…”-words from a Bette Dangerous community member