Tuesday, November 6, 2012

The American Fascist

Henry A. Wallace was the 33rd Vice President of the United States, serving under President Franklin D. Roosevelt during World War II.

He had some strong views about fascism around the world and was not afraid to share them. Some of them were eerily prescient, such as this one:
Henry A. Wallace
The American fascists are most easily recognized by their deliberate perversion of truth and fact. Their newspapers and propaganda carefully cultivate every fissure of disunity, every crack in the common front against fascism. They use every opportunity to impugn democracy. They use isolationism as a slogan to conceal their own selfish imperialism... They claim to be super-patriots, but they would destroy every liberty guaranteed by the Constitution. They demand free enterprise, but are the spokesmen for monopoly and vested interest. Their final objective toward which all their deceit is directed is to capture political power so that, using the power of the state and the power of the market simultaneously, they may keep the common man in eternal subjection.
Talk about your soul-searing epiphanies. My mind is blown just by trying to take in that one paragraph and how it relates to today's America.

I will try to break it down, but it's sheer massiveness is guarantee that I won't be able to do much but scratch at the surface.

The American fascists are most easily recognized by their deliberate perversion of truth and fact. Their newspapers and propaganda carefully cultivate every fissure of disunity, every crack in the common front against fascism.

This point is obvious on so many levels.

There are the propagandist organizations such as Wisconsin Reporter, MacIver Institute and, who could forget, the brazen liars at Media Trackers. These groups will stop at nothing to distort statistics, selectively edit videos, alter photos and make things up out of whole cloth.

If you look at the mainstream media, it's just as bad. When the protests were happening in early 2011, they called it "Capitol Chaos" or in other similar negative terms. Ofttimes, they don't even cover a liberal event but will fall over themselves gushing about the most thinly attended gathering of teahadists.

And I would be grossly negligent if I did not point out the radio squawkers like Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity and on a local level, Charlie Sykes and Mark Belling. Like the propagandists of the Internet, these are the propagandists of the airwaves. And like their Internet brethren and sisters, people like Sykes have no qualms about making up things out of thin air and speaking them like it's gospel truth.

This becomes even more frightening as the regulations regarding TV and radio have been systematically destroyed. This has allowed powerhouses like Journal Communications to snatch up TV stations, radio stations and newspapers around the state and the country, all pumping out the same biased and unbalanced news coverage and propaganda.

Fortunately, there are people like Sue Wilson who are out there fighting this illegal monopolization. They have recently filed complaints against WTMJ and WISN radio stations for violating laws surrounding the use of public airwaves to promote partisan candidates and/or positions, something they have been blatantly violating for years.

These propagandists and "credible" news outlets will not hesitate to use the most base strategies to create these fissures: Racism, misogyny, homophobia, dehumanization, union busting and demonization of their enemies, perceived or real, to name just a few of the more common ones.

They use every opportunity to impugn democracy.

For examples of this, just look at what has happened in Wisconsin in the past two years. It's not just the gerrymandering or the voter suppression or the voter intimidation.

The fascists tried to interfere with every aspect of the recalls, including, but not limited to, intimidating signature gatherers, trying to misrepresent the petitions, demonizing the people involved with the recalls, using McCarthyism to intimidate people that signed the petitions or to keep them from signing, complaining about the whole recall process, wanting to limit our rights to recall corrupt politicians, questioning the honesty of poll workers, falsely claiming voter fraud, bringing in people from out of state to harass voters, and giving their own poll watchers false information and directing them to misrepresent themselves.

And that's just the ones that I could think of off the top of my head in two minutes.

They claim to be super-patriots, but they would destroy every liberty guaranteed by the Constitution.

The teahadists like to call themselves patriots and they give themselves such grandiose names like Grandsons of Liberty and the Sam Adams Alliance. They call themselves patriots, freedom fighters. Even the whole Tea Party name is a bastardized romanticization of the original, true American heroes.

Yet, despite their claims to be patriots, the only Constitutional right they seem to care about is the Second Amendment, and even then, they skew its true meeting. And Lord help the person who wants to have Free Speech, the Right to Assemble, the right to vote, the right to own property or any other civil rights.

They demand free enterprise, but are the spokesmen for monopoly and vested interest. Their final objective toward which all their deceit is directed is to capture political power so that, using the power of the state and the power of the market simultaneously, they may keep the common man in eternal subjection.

This one is so self-explanatory that I almost feel ridiculous giving examples of it. All one has to do is look at Scott Walker, Mitt Romney, Paul Ryan, Tommy Thompson, the Republican controlled state legislature that allows corporations to write their own laws and any number of others and you can see it. You have the no-longer-invisible hands of the Koch Brothers, the Bradley Foundation and other money houses that are trying to buy politicians and getting laws passed that only serve to further their own avarice, whether it's for power, money or, most often, both, that it is sickening.

Don't think for a second that this is a recent thing or was just a matter of happenstance. The current degraded state of affairs has been a long time coming due to decades of planning and positioning, using the Powell Memo as their guide.

Unfortunately, while I cited only Republicans in the above text, there are also many Democrats that fit the bill of being a fascist. Sometimes we are able to winnow them out, like we did with Jeff Plale and Peggy Krusick, but there are still many more that we haven't gotten to yet.

But we now know them for who they are and what their agenda is. And as they say, "Knowing is half the battle."

What we must do now is use every tool at our possession to call them out, to counter their lies and smears, and to stand up for not only ourselves, but for everyone - even those that have been duped or bullied by the fascists. It's not going to be easy and it's not going to be quick.

But I, for one, cannot idly stand by and let them run our state and our country into the ground like they want to.

5 comments:

  1. Very very well done. Too many people can't even see they are the puppets of fascism. It's sad.

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  2. The thing is people like Kim Simac or Robin Vos or Scott Walker could read a very detailed description of a fascist and STILL not recognize themselves. I don't know whether to put that down to plain old stupidity or willful blindness.

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  3. They may be stupid, but I think it's self-defeating to assume that. Even so, evil does not require a Mensa membership. And make no mistake: the undirected human will that only serves itself (see Ayn Rand) is the definition of evil.

    Glad to see somebody finally call Walker's Reich what it actually is, Capper. Thanks.

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  4. The Wisconsin Republican party today is in the tradition the party which approved of the methods used by Mussolini and Hitler in holding down labor costs. Patrick Buchanan, the devout racist and former Nixon speech writer, recently published a book expounding his theory that the United States should have allied with Germany in WWII. These people are still around, they have never left the Republican party and have infected it with their anti-Americanism. The ghosts of the German American Bund still haunt Wisconsin.

    Did you ever wonder why the "Joe McCarthy Songbook" included that catchy ditty "Deutschland ├╝ber alles"?

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  5. Well said, Capper!

    "What we must do now is use every tool at our possession to call them out, to counter their lies and smears"

    I offer some ideas for how to do this at:
    http://www.dailykos.com/story/2010/10/05/908026/-If-We-Lose-We-Will-Have-Only-Ourselves-To-Blame-7-ideas-for-outreach

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