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Does The Republican Party Have A Fascist Underbelly?

21 October 2008
Pat Buchanan

Pat Buchanan

Bay Buchanan

Bay Buchanan

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)

Gen. Colin Powell, Ret.

Gen. Colin Powell, Ret.

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.

Bill and Hillary Clinton

Bill and Hillary Clinton

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.

White Supremacists in Pennsylvania

White Supremacists in Pennsylvania

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.

Didn't study the history books

Didn't study the history books!

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.

German youth holds up poor man and alien

German youth holds up poor man and alien

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.

German girls were taken advantage of by rich elite

German girls were taken advantage of by rich elite

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

Katrina vanden Heuvel horrified by Bachmann's comments

Pat Buchanan engaged in shouting match

Pat Buchanan tried to shout her down

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!

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12 Comments leave one →
  1. 21 October 2008 10:58 pm

    Jack,

    Thank you for voicing the indignation that I have been feeling. I was having a conversation earlier with my 26 year old son and I was asking him if he felt any indignation from the attempts to paint people in big cities as less than any other American. He told me no and he went on to explain that he would not let these people make him feel any less of an American than he was.

    We were the people that felt the wrath of 9/11 more than any other small town in this country. We were the people that had cars waiting at train stations for people that would never return. We were the people who almost always knew someone directly affected by the attacks. However, we never once stood up and claimed to have felt this anymore than any other American. The least that these people could do is have the same respect for us.

    Let’s keep fighting the good fight beyond November 4th…

  2. Left-Eyed Jack permalink*
    22 October 2008 10:23 am

    @ WillPen

    Thanks for the reminder to my readers of the ordeal that the Americans of the Greater New York City Metropolitan Area went through on 9/11. It is shameful for Republican politicians to call the patriotism of their fellow citizens into question just because we disagree with their narrow view of our country.

    This behavior is troubling, and I cannot emphasize enough the dangers that these people pose to our democracy in the future. It appears from yesterday’s polls that we may have them on the run this time, but they will be back. We can count on it. It sounds like your son has a level head on his shoulders and will be up to the struggles this may pose in the future. We must all be vigilant.

  3. 22 October 2008 2:28 pm

    Jack,
    I share your concerns. While Germany is the most obvious example, we must not forget that Italy and Spain also took their turn with fascist governments during the 30s, as have several Latin American and other countries since then, even though the media and our government seem to prefer the label “right-wing dictator” to fascist.

    Naomi Wolf has written a small book, Letter to a Young Patriot, in which she describes the common steps a nation takes along its journey towards fascism. It should be required reading for all.

  4. Left-Eyed Jack permalink*
    23 October 2008 8:48 am

    @More Light Than Heat

    Thanks for adding the other failed fascist states to the list for my readers. I just felt that Germany was a better-known example of this phenomenon. I was stationed with the US Army outside Nurnberg, Germany, back during the Vietnam War. I had the chance to climb the steps up to the speaker’s platform at the Zeppelin Field where Hitler gave his speeches before thousands of adoring Germans. As I looked across the stadium where all those candle-lit ceremonies were held, I wondered how such a thing could happen. That sense of curiosity led me to add Nazi Germany to the list of other interesting periods of World History that I enjoy studying.

    In my opinion, more people should study the cause-and-effect issues around the rise of Hitler in Germany. Every democracy in the world is susceptible to a fascist takeover. Thanks for guiding my readers and myself to the Naomi Wolf book, “Letter to a Young Patriot.” I will check it out.

  5. James G. Kelly permalink
    31 October 2008 1:30 pm

    And yet is the democrats under Nancy Pelosi, Harry Ried and others who are the forces trying to demolish free speech. And now the messiah has thrown off three reporters who’s editorial department had the gall to come out for his opponent. The facist thinking of obamamaniacs who investigated joe the plumber for asking a simple question is frightening. Lets go after the phone companies because they may have tapped a terrorist phone call by request from the government but it is ok to investigate a private citizen because he asked a question. Keep your kool aid I will die dry of it.

  6. Left-Eyed Jack permalink*
    31 October 2008 6:41 pm

    @James G. Kelly

    That’s a stretch. We have never in my lifetime had a President who has so shredded the rights of free speech granted to us by our constitution. Your vitriol toward Barack Obama is quite evident from your absurd comments. Obama had to disallow the three journalists you mention from his campaign flight in order to make room for his buddies over at FOX NEWS Channel. You know, FOX NOISE Channel has been a long-time support mechanism for the Obama Campaign.

    Buy a clue!

  7. James G. Kelly permalink
    1 November 2008 7:42 am

    Fox news was already aboard the plane. The Dallas Morning News, Washington Times, and New York post were replaced by network executives and personnel from Ebony and Jet magazine. Get your facts straight and try to have a civil discussion. I am the one with a clue and I still refuse to drink your obama-ade.

  8. Left-Eyed Jack permalink*
    1 November 2008 7:49 am

    @ R. G. Kelly

    Such a fuss about who’s on the plane!

    As for what you drink, I prefer Obama-aid to elephant-piss flavored Kool-Aid any day!

  9. James G. Kelly permalink
    1 November 2008 7:51 am

    If you really want to know how the news is portraying the election read the prestigious Pew Report on Journalism. Pew is hardly a right wing organization.

    http://pewresearch.org/pubs/1001/campaign-media

  10. Left-Eyed Jack permalink*
    1 November 2008 12:01 pm

    @J. G. Kelly

    Sorry, I don’t share your enthusiasm for the Pew Report. Since “Pew” refers to church pews, I think that pretty well makes it a conservative organization.

  11. James G. Kelly permalink
    1 November 2008 4:21 pm

    Close your eyes to the facts and blindly go forward. I see.

  12. Left-Eyed Jack permalink*
    1 November 2008 6:14 pm

    Mr. Kelly

    I feel that you are the one closing your eyes to the facts. It is reflected in your affinity for extreme right-wing newspapers. I do not read papers from New York or Washington, however, I am familiar with the Dallas Morning News.

    That esteemed publication along with its evil twin the Houston Chronicle have been carrying water for the big business/big insurance money in Texas for almost 20 years now, and have effectively killed every competitor that has dared to publish a single different viewpoint. In short, I wouldn’t let the Dallas Morning News on my plane either. In fact, I wouldn’t even use it for toilet paper if I were truly desperate!

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