Life comes at you fast sometimes.....this past week has been enough to make my head spin, though.

Social media de-listing, corporations denouncing and de-funding a major political party, banks refusing to do business with the outgoing president. And that’s just the start of what’s coming.

Think that banks will stop at the president? Or fringe “conspiracy theorists”?

The head of ABC News Division called for a “cleansing” of the Trump movement, while denouncing the rhetoric of President Trump.

And he wasn’t alone in those thoughts, joining an ever growing chorus of elected officials who seem to be short-sighted in their quest for complete power today. This includes Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, who thought it would be prudent to not only allow an international peek into nuclear launch procedures but called for the military to “go around” the president in case of a directive to launch said nukes. She only backed down when Pentagon leaders said what Pelosi wanted amounted to a military coup of the sitting president and was a non-starter.

It was another salvo into impeachment and 25th Amendment territory. But I guess we should be heartened that the Resistance had not fully made its way into the Joint Chiefs.

This isn’t a game of “whataboutism” to try and tarnish Democrats. They’re doing well enough on their own.

These are dangerous and powerful forces that go beyond words and rhetoric. When coupled with actions to suppress a populace, whether originating from government or government-sanctioned power; to dehumanize and castigate, cuts off a necessary release valve to human nature that we will all regret as it further plays out.

Those who go along with this narrative are just as dangerous as those who call for it.

Pundits and personalities calling for rounding up a large portion of the American populace for arrest and isolation isn’t seen as incitement, just as promoting Trump voters as literal Nazis under the thumb of Russia was not.

Especially dizzying is how quickly calls for unity, halfhearted though they were, have been replaced with calls for de-platforming, dehumanizing and taking away the livelihoods and rights of those who disagree with you politically.

It seems modernity leaves no room for consideration of historic knowledge of the danger these actions pose.

Nor does there seem to be anyone in charge who cares.

The hypocrisy is astounding in its hubris, but completely expected given the facts on the ground.

Calling out this hypocrisy means nothing.

Those in charge care not for your concerns.

Kamala Harris can promote bail funds for BLM and Antifa rioters, but pushes for a domestic terrorism bill against those who protest against her policies. Magically, this legislation was ready to go the day of the Washington, D.C. protests. Coming in at 20,000 pages, this is legislation that was waiting for a reason to get filed, and those that entered the Capitol gave them an opening.

Billions of dollars were lost in the private sector after the “mostly peaceful protests” burned and looted their way through cities this summer.

Not that the right will ever be afforded the same wink and nudge that the left’s shock troops are afforded, but last week’s “riot” that in my humble opinion wasn’t has been inflated by the media, politicians and corporations to fantastical reaches to justify the ongoing crackdown.

And now it’s full steam ahead.

That’s the thing about collecting proverbial scalps. It does little to quell the high emotions of society. It emboldens the flames and passions of the moment, increasing the calls for more and more crackdowns and bans.

None of this happens in isolation. And nothing is permanent in politics.

The inevitable arc of history may not happen in a time of our choosing, but make no mistake it will happen nonetheless.

But where my biggest concern lies is not in the rhetoric of our elected officials. They are mouthpieces for bigger players like billionaires and multi-national corporations which fund their campaigns and lives.

No, my biggest concern is the ease with which regular people have accepted the mantle of calling out their neighbors for crimes against democracy and the regular order. Those who are quick to label those who do not share their views or votes, political or otherwise, as fascists, racists and any other pejorative they can muster.

Turning a populace against itself in this manner is what happens in third world banana republics, where dictators have such a tenuous hold on power, repression at an individual level is necessary to keep that power.

And that requires a populace that is willing to turn in a mother, brother or friend for crimes “against the state”. It’s a populace that willingly places listening devices in their homes so that even private utterances are elevated to endure public condemnation and scorn.

It requires a populace to continually see those around them as suspect. It requires a constant level of fear and anxiety to push society into increasingly balkanized corners where there is zero trust and even less rational thinking.

And we the people have allowed ourselves to be led here.

Staff columnist Toni Butero can be reached at tbutero@mattosnews.com or by calling (209) 862-2222.