By Thom Palmer (For Use by Everyone)
“The liberty of a democracy is not safe if the people tolerated the growth of private power to a point where it becomes stronger than the democratic state itself. That in its essence is fascism: ownership of government by an individual, by a group, or any controlling private power.” ― Franklin D. Roosevelt
“After 200 years, two centuries, she still stands strong and true on the granite ridge, and her glow has held steady no matter what storm. And she’s still a beacon, still a magnet for all who must have freedom, for all the pilgrims from all the lost places who are hurtling through the darkness, toward home.” – Ronald Reagan
Fas·cism (ˈfaSHˌizəm ) noun: an authoritarian and nationalistic right-wing system of government and social organization.
Synonyms: authoritarianism, totalitarianism, dictatorship, despotism, autocracy; (in general use) extreme right-wing, authoritarian, or intolerant views or practice.
Political philosophy, movement, or regime (as that of the Fascist) 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.
Fascism, in order to succeed, must be sold to the population as a good thing and in their best interest. A sense of national pride and the condemnation of large groups of people who are accused by the government of “being the problem”. Religious and racial persecution is a big part of being a good fascist, since denigrating these minorities promotes that “our race”, “our religion”, “our color” is superior to theirs, and that they need to be purged from “our society”. Fascism exploits fear, and exploits the deepest, darkest corners of the mind of the disenfranchised and low education voters. In essence, it is mob psychology, convincing those who have little, that they have little because of outside influence on the economy, and perceived threats on their way of life.
Benito Mussolini popularized fascism, and swung the concept to the far right. Selling fascism to the majority, or even a strong minority, gives way to dictatorship and hate crimes, oppression and removal of basic human rights eventually. Adolf Hitler transformed Germany into a fascist state. All opposition to his Nazi philosophy was removed. The government controlled which textbooks would be used in schools, and teachers who disagreed were either terminated or sent to camps to become good Nazi’s. All radio broadcasts and publications were monitored and controlled by the government. Then there was the systematic removal of what Hitler considered “unwanted” elements of society, such as Jews, which resulted ultimately in death camps and the holocaust. Hitler justified the holocaust by proclaiming that this “new Christianity” would usher in a thousand years of peace. Germans turned a blind eye, convinced that ethnic purity was in their best interest. They trusted their “strong leader”, because he was making GERMANY GREAT AGAIN following hard times after World War I.
The fascist government is anti-union and anti-collective bargaining. It opposes the empowerment of the less empowered. It opposes a minimum wage. The fascist is against any socialist program, such as welfare, government assisted health care, social security, food stamps, etc. Fascists typically only accept their religion. A Bible based theocracy, for example, which has been promoted and endorsed by many Republicans, especially during this 2016 election cycle. The fascist government must maintain military superiority and intimidation, backed by force. Killing or intimidating your political foes is much easier than dealing with principled Congress or electorate. Fascism cannot survive over the long-haul. It’s merely a matter of how many will die before it fails.
Main points of Fascism
The powerful and continuing expression of nationalism
The notion that OUR way is the right way, and no other form of government is valid. Nation building in needed to force our values on other nations. Building walls, both physical and metaphorically, intimidating those who wish to immigrate to the United States from doing so. Closing borders and suppressing immigration is important for a fascist state.
Immigration has always been one of the greatest things about this nation. Our entire population, with the exception of Native Americans, is the result of immigrants being free to come, and find a better life. We were that Shining City of the Hill, but are now at risk of losing that noble title.
Disdain for the importance of human rights while pushing military supremacy
Most leaders of the Republican Party, as well as most Republicans in the House and Senate, have recently advocated carpet bombing and killing innocent civilians in Syria, Afghanistan, and Iraq as a way to defeat ISIS. Ted Cruz wants to carpet bomb the Middle East. Lindsey Graham, John McCain and most other Republicans have vowed to start several other wars, and increase ground troops tenfold once more in Iraq, Syria, Afghanistan, and Ukraine. They have all advocated attacking Iran as well, rather than negotiating the dismantling of their nuclear weapons program, and eliminating their enriched uranium stockpile as President Obama did. They have even threatened Russia with military force. Fear mongering has been at its highest, which is one of the greatest forms of propaganda in selling fascism to the population.
Hitler did it in 1938, and Republicans did it in 2003, with a seemingly plausible pile of false evidence of chemical and nuclear weapons in Iraq. In the end, it didn’t matter to the American people whether or not the evidence was fraudulently manufactured by Bush and Cheney, we were committed once the war began, another 4,400 Americans died, over 32,000 injured, thousands of other committing suicide after returning from the war, and then there’s the biggie; nearly 500,000 dead Iraqi’s, including a couple hundred thousand innocent civilians.
Today, the leader of the Republican Party, Donald Trump has advocated nuclear proliferation by promoting that Japan and South Korea develop nuclear weapons to defend themselves against potential nuclear threat from North Korea. This reckless abandon of everything that we have tried to accomplish in the fight against nuclear proliferation for the last half century would guarantee that other small nations, with less control, develop nuclear weapons as a normal, accepted form of defense against would be attackers. Republican Senior Senator Lindsey Graham declared that, as President, he would stage a military coup, using our military to force Congress to reverse recent cuts in military spending. Almost all other Republican candidates promised new wars. We’ve seen many crazy leaders in the world in the last century, and many exist today. The Trump/Republican doctrine would surely end badly for humanity, and it needs to be stopped dead in its tracks, right now, in 2016.
The Bush administration refused coffins to be photographed as they returned from Iraq with our dead boys. They, as Hitler did in the 1940’s, kept the horrors of their fabricated war from the eye of the common folk. There were no protests, and everyone here went on about their lives, as millions of people halfway around the world were displaced, maimed, and killed. Americans turned a blind eye, just like the German people did. The final toll as a result of that ignorance by the German people was over 60,000,000 dead world-wide, or about 3% of the world’s population at the time.
Identifying ethnic and religious groups as the problem / Scapegoating
The systematic expulsion of Mexican immigrants, tearing apart their families, and the prohibition of Muslims, good Muslims, from entering the United States legally is being supported by the masses who have blindly accepted Republican fear mongering tactics as fact, and perceive these groups as the reason they haven’t been able to get ahead, and the false narrative that all Muslims pose a terrorist threat. The reality is that most terror attacks in the United States are committed by right-wing extremists, and of the more than one billion Muslims in the world, there are less than 1% that support the ideology of ISIS and the Al Queda.
The G.W. Bush administration and Republicans rolled back some very important regulations, which allowed banks to send the world economy into a depression. This recklessness cost millions of Americans to lose their jobs and their homes. Yet, the false narrative pushed forward by Republicans is that their problems are caused by an outside force. A narrative sold as they continue to pass legislation which holds back the middle class. This is classic fascism. Massive scapegoating is a rolling snowball, guaranteed to be a recruitment tool for ISIS and other terrorist groups, which can easily result in massive fear, and potentially the unthinkable; United States concentration camps and/or mass deportations up the road. This would surely be a global nightmare, and with just a bit of turning a blind eye, or a few tweaks to our Constitution by Republicans, this alternate future is not only possible, but likely, and this needs to be stopped.
Rampant sexism and racism / Keeping the middle class in their place
Republicans are against equal pay for women. They ALL voted against the Lilly Ledbetter Act, which passed in Obama’s first year in office as the House and Senate were safe in the hands of Democrats. Since then, with Democrats failing to show up at mid-term elections, both the House and Senate has been under Republican regime, which constantly attempts to deny women of their human and civil rights. The only firewall women have had over the last six years is President Obama in the White House, denying these sexist attempts at “putting women in their place”. Our Constitution has protected women from some really bad changes, only because the President has veto power over a repressive and fascist Republican regime in the House and Senate. In 2013, The Republican Congress dismantled the Voting Rights Act, claiming that racial discrimination at the polls was no longer an issue. At the same time, they worked to limit polling places in highly black communities, add voter I.D. laws, cut down voting times, and even closed DMV’s in the hopes that they won’t bother to obtain their I.D. this is all for the purpose of suppressing the Democratic and Black vote. This dismantling of the Voting Rights Act got through a conservative Supreme Court by a 5-4 margin, straight along party lines, with all conservative justices voting in favor of dismantling the act for political gain.
Picking up steam in the 1980’s, the rise of Jerry Falwell, an evangelical politician, pushed the notion that the religious freedom portion of the Constitution should only apply to Christians, and that the separation of church and state is wrong. The verbal persecution of non-Christians by Republicans has been on full display within the Republican Party for decades, but seems to have increased greatly now. Fear mongering includes their phony claims of a “war on Christmas”, even though a large majority of Americans celebrate Christmas, decorate their homes, and celebrate the birth of Christ in their churches. Hitler also claimed that the Jews were anti-Christian, and that Christianity should be the official religion of Germany. All others should be removed from society. Today, many Republicans now advocate the removal of Muslims from society. In the 1930’s Hitler brokered a deal with the Pope. He promised to stay away from Rome if the Pope agreed to stay out of German politics. Call it bad judgment by the Pope, misinformation sold by Hitler to the Pope, or a deal with the devil. It doesn’t matter, since in the end, even the Pope turned a blind eye, and 60 million people perished.
Hate groups such as the Ku Klux Klan and Neo-Nazi’s here in the United States are ALL Republicans because they find support for their twisted views of sexism, white supremacy, religious intolerance, and anti-Semitism. This is right out of Mussolini and Hitler’s playbooks.
The power of corporations and the suppression of the working class
Most Republican led states have attempted to diminish or eliminate the power of collective bargaining, or unions. Their problem is that unions promote a safe working environment, which costs money to corporations and a fair living wage for all employees. Life for the average American is greatly enhanced through the work of unions, and unions are being threatened nation-wide as large corporations pump millions of dollars into the coffers of Republican politicians, and guarantee them lifetime positions on their Board of Directors once they leave public office. It is nothing short of systematic theft of the average American’s lifetime net worth. This anti-union agenda is sold to unwitting average Americans as a good thing, and blames unions for unemployment. Nothing could be further from the truth, but it is another item sold as fact to a non-engaged or uneducated population.
Disdain and suppression of intellectuals and scientific fact
Denial of climate change for the only purpose of monetary gain and the continue destruction of our planet for oil, coal, and natural gas profits. Lies told to the American people as fact, the public character assassination of those scientists and politicians that understand the dangers, and effects of the billions of tons of carbon pumped into Earth’s atmosphere over the last century in order to serve the elite. The “Flat Earth Society”, or Republicans leadership in red states, are forcing public schools to teach the Christian Bible version of creationism as a viable alternative to scientific fact. This serves to pre-condition the next generation of Americans that a religious state, similar to some of the Middle Eastern Islamic states, should prevail, and that other religions are unacceptable or invalid. It flies against the Constitution and violates our separation of church and state. What it does is separate Americans from intelligence, freedom, and liberty. This is also in the fascist playbook.
Election fraud and voter suppression
Republicans speak regularly about the need to eliminate voter fraud, even though none exists. Their solution to the imaginary problem is to invoke a fraudulent set of restrictions on Democratic leaning voters. Republicans have engaged heavily over the last decade passing state laws which reverse the voting rights act, suppressing the vote of millions of Americans who would tend to vote against fascism, and the Republican doctrine. From gerrymandering congressional districts to group large numbers of Democratic voters into one district, so as to swing the remaining districts into Republican control, which in turn provides more local endorsements for Republican state government, etc in one way to suppress the little guy. Another popular thing admitted by many Republicans is to decrease voting hours, so that working class voters have a harder time making it out to the polls. Here’s the really crazy thing that they’re getting away with. They require a government issued photo I.D., which costs money and time that many don’t have, cut down the number of polling places in Democratic districts so that many will find the wait time unacceptable ( three hours of more in places ), and then say “The people have spoken”. This is fascism without a doubt. Attempting to quash political opposing views through intimidation and laws designed to fix elections is classic fascism.
Ronald Reagan, while his methods and company that he kept began the fascist fire that we now face from Republicans. However, I believe that heart was in the right place. Others that followed used momentum to create fascism. Trickle-down economics, military build-up, runaway national debt while decreasing taxes on the wealthy, decreased environmental regulations, as well as the influence of right-wing extremist Jerry Falwell, one of President Reagan’s main religious confidants and his “moral majority”. Falwell began the attacks on religious freedom, civil rights, LGBT rights, racial intolerance and the war on women. If you were a fan of Reagan, you need to understand that, while many of his policies were in error, they were born out of his sincere desire to make life better and safer for Americans. Three decades later, the Republican Party bears no resemblance to President Reagan. If Reagan were alive today, he would renounce his affiliation with the Republican Party as well as atone for his own mistakes in judgment which started the fire of fascism in the United States of America.
From Reagan’s farewell address
“I’ve been at that window upstairs, I’ve thought a bit of the ‘shining city upon a hill.’ The phrase comes from John Winthrop, who wrote it to describe the America he imagined. What he imagined was important because he was an early Pilgrim, an early freedom man. He journeyed here on what today we’d call a little wooden boat; and like the other Pilgrims, he was looking for a home that would be free. I’ve spoken of the shining city all my political life, but I don’t know if I ever quite communicated what I saw when I said it. But in my mind it was a tall, proud city built on rocks stronger than oceans, windswept, God-blessed, and teeming with people of all kinds living in harmony and peace; a city with free ports that hummed with commerce and creativity. And if there had to be city walls, the walls had doors and the doors were open to anyone with the will and the heart to get here. That’s how I saw it, and see it still. And how stands the city on this winter night? More prosperous, more secure, and happier than it was eight years ago; but more than that: After 200 years, two centuries, she still stands strong and true on the granite ridge, and her glow has held steady no matter what storm. And she’s still a beacon, still a magnet for all who must have freedom, for all the pilgrims from all the lost places who are hurtling through the darkness, toward home.” – Ronald Reagan (Farewell speech, January 1988)
To get back to that, but without trickle-down economics and massive military spending would surely be a great thing. This can only be accomplished by rejecting the Republican Party, rejecting Donald Trump, and moving forward as our nation’s Founding Fathers intended for us. Will Americans meet the challenge given to us by makers of the Constitution or will we wither and cower under the false blanket of fear-mongering forced on us by the Republican Party?
The United States Constitution is our shield against fascism, and a guiding light for other nations to follow. The shield cannot be broken or penetrated unless we turn a blind eye and fail to raise the shield. Our nation, the United States of America, is a very large ship indeed. The big ship is directed by 350 million navigators under the guidance of our Constitution. It takes a lot to turn this big ship, but the direction it turns is dependent on the will, or lack of will of the navigators to find the right course.
S.O.S.; Raise the shield and help guide our ship. There is an awful lot more information supporting the fact that fascism is alive and well within the Republican Party. Below you’ll find an abundance of references, most of which are compliments of John Atherton, philosopher and friend of Daily News Bin, who challenged me on the question of whether or not there is fascism in the Republican Party. ” Fascism is a merger of state, corporations, church, political parties, the press, the education system, and even with trade unions. The symbol for fascism includes a “bundle” with an axe head”. -John Atherton
Source links: PBS • New York Times • Ellen’s Place • Rolling Stone • Salon • E Pluribus Media • World Future Fund • Vox • Lady Voters • David Duke • City Data • Huffington Post • Rational Revolution • Stanford • Daily News Bin