Does The Republican Party Have A Fascist Underbelly?
What’s wrong with the media? They still allow Pat Buchanan and his sister Bay to come on and press their racist views unchallenged.
Fascism: a political philosophy, movement or regime that exalts nation and often race above the individual and that stands for a centralized autocratic government headed by a dictatorial leader, severe economic and social regimentation, and forcible suppression of opposition. (Webster’s Ninth New Collegiate Dictionary)
Recent events on the campaign trail and on television have led many to fear for the future of our nation. I can be numbered among that group. Colin Powell, in his eloquent endorsement of Barack Obama, expressed his dismay at the McCain/Palin campaign’s centralizing their campaign against Barack Obama around trying to imply that he is some sort of Muslim terrorist rather than talking about the serious issues that face the voters. He also singled out Representative Michelle Bachmann (R-MN) as an example of a Republican Party that had left him behind, saying about her comments, “That’s not America.” Many conservative Republicans are fleeing the reservation as they watch the far right seize their party by the throat.
While it is hopeful that polling shows these shameful tactics aren’t working on the vast majority of American people and in fact are turning them off, I feel it is important that we not turn off the radar on these crazies if we are fortunate enough to survive their last-ditch push to win. One of the big mistakes made by those who supported and voted for Bill Clinton back in 1992 was in going back to their lives and becoming complacent that the far right-wing/Religious Right had been vanquished and were not to be feared any longer. We were wrong. They spent the next eight years attacking Bill and Hillary Clinton with a fury that we have never seen in my lifetime directed against a duly-elected President of the United States. These people have made it clear from beginning to end that it’s their way or the highway. They will not go quietly into that good night if they fail this time. They will simply return to their hate-filled churches and meeting halls and continue their attacks against those who do not share their narrow views.
As I said yesterday, the Republican Party made a deal with the Devil some years ago to bring themselves an electoral majority. The high-class rich elites of Wall Street and corporate America crawled into bed with a bunch of people who they considered to be “too dumb” to get in their way as they went about their plans to reduce government regulation against their greedy business practices. Then they continued to believe their own wrong assessment of their new base. They were so slick in gathering them up with a couple of Presidents who could perform the show of religiosity necessary to win them over that they failed to see the power they were ceding in the process.
Don’t get me wrong, most of the conservative Christians that came to the Republican Party in those days were well-meaning people who were scared of the new world that was encroaching upon them. BUT scattered among them was a number of uneducated white supremacists and racists with a very different agenda. These are the people we are seeing emerge more and more from the right, emboldened by Sarah Palin’s rallies and enabled by John McCain’s failure to lead. Although there are many on the left who feel that Sarah Palin embraces this racist agenda, I’m not so sure. I am more of the belief that she is just another politician riding the wave that is carrying her along. As for John McCain, I agree with Colin Powell. I don’t think he is a racist at all. This speaks far more to his lack of leadership skills than any other thing. He wants to lead our nation when he can’t even lead his own party. This is not leadership.
The greatest horror of all to me is that McCain is ignoring one of the greatest lessons of recent world history. This could be attributed to the fact that, by his own admission, he wasn’t such a great student at Annapolis. But John McCain didn’t really have to study the history of World War II, he was a boy when it was going on. For him it isn’t distant history, it is part of his life experience. The loud-right disallows us from bringing up Nazi Germany, but I will not be gagged by their attempts to cover their tracks. The dangers are there today. The last pieces of the puzzle have jut fallen into place and should not be ignored.
We are facing a worldwide economic crisis that could rival the Great Depression in its ramifications. While most of us only see this through the eyes of our parents or grandparents here in America, that economic meltdown hit a fledgling German democracy more than any other Western Industrialized nation. The Germans found themselves weighed down with paying reparations (fines) for their bad behavior in World War I. Those fines were levied before the Great Depression and seemed fair and reasonable at the time. But in the face of a world economy that was devastating, the fines brought the greatest hardships onto the German people.
Through the 1930s the German people came to feel more and more like victims and were desperate for someone, anyone, to come to their rescue. Inflation was staggering and unrest among the population was growing daily. It must be remembered that Germany had less than 100 years of nationhood under its belt, and even less time as a democracy. The old aristocracy and businessmen of the country were growing more and more fearful that Marxist Communism – remember Marx was a German, not a Russian – would use democratic elections to take over the country. But they found a different option, a different ally in their fight — the Nazis.
One must remember that this didn’t happen overnight. In the late 1920s and early 1930s the Nazi power base was almost solely in the city of Munich. They were considered thugs and criminals. Hitler, himself, spent a portion of his adult life in jail in Munich. So no one believed they were much of a real threat to the nation. But as the financial crisis deepened year after year, the Nazis became more and more vocal in their opposition to a weak democratically-elected government, the Weimar Republic, that seemed absolutely incapable of fixing the problem. The desperation of the people grew and the upper-crust of German society saw an ever-growing tug-of-war developing between the Nazis and the Communists for control of the country. In the end the elites chose the Nazis, believing that they would rid them of the dreaded communists. As I stated yesterday, they erroneously believed that once the Nazis had pushed the communists out, they would push the Nazis out and take back control of their country. They badly underestimated the Nazis.
Now, I said earlier, the last “pieces” of the puzzle have fallen into place. What elevated the Nazis to their stunning first national electoral victory? An electrifying leader who could carry their message to the oh-so-ready-to-hear-it people of beat-down Germany. Without the razor sharp tongue of Adolf Hitler, it is possible if not probable that the Nazis would not have pulled it off. Blaming the entire problem on greedy Jewish bankers and the rest of the world, Hitler rode a wave of racist nationalism to victory. What we are seeing today in America is the electrification of the racist base of the Republican Party. I do not – I repeat I DO NOT – blame Sarah Palin for this. I do not think she is an any way trying to bring a fascist government into power in this country. But she demonstrates the ability of one person to ignite the movement that could bring a neo-fascism to our country. Who might they target? Arab-Americans? Gays? Non-Christians? They will target any group not large enough or strong enough to fight back.
Katrina vanden Heuvel warned of this after hearing the divisive remarks of Representative Bachmann on Friday and was quickly shouted down by Pat Buchanan who acted like Ms. vanden Heuvel was the shameful actor in this play while defending the hateful remarks of Congresswoman Bachmann. It is time for us on the left and in the center to raise our voices and stop allowing the right to shout us down.
I am sick and tired of these neo-fascists hiding behind their religion and phony patriotism while they are the ones who are really undermining the fabric of the rights given to us by our wonderful forefathers in the Constitution of the United States. I am sick and tired of people who wear an American flag pin on their lapels before the cameras and then climb into their Rebel-flag-festooned vehicles and drive off spewing their hate. I’m a southerner, born and bred, with a distinguished lineage going back to a Colonel who served for South Carolina in the Civil War, but I know which country I am a citizen of today. It’s not the Confederate States of America. Southerners need to come to grips with the fact that we lost that war over 150 years ago. It’s over. Let it go!
It is now the 21st Century, and it is time for us to give up our hatreds spawned by a disagreement over taxes and slavery in the 19th Century. It is time to move on and become ONE NATION UNDER GOD, INDIVISIBLE, WITH LIBERTY AND JUSTICE FOR ALL! Not just liberty for those who agree with us, but for ALL! So I say, go ahead, right-wing crazies; do your thing and say your thing. But remember that someone from the left or center is also going to get up and say his piece. That’s what democracy and free speech are all about. THIS IS AMERICA! This country was first settled by those who were fleeing religious intolerance by their government. Let’s not besmirch their efforts by becoming that which they ran away from.
There is a lot at stake here, and the ramifications go far beyond November 4, 2008. We, as Americans, must awaken to the privilege of our birthright to freedom and defend it vigorously against those who would take it away.
Keep fighting the good fight! On and beyond to November 4!