Friday, February 7, 2020

FASCISM: A SCREED

Fascism is not a word I bandy about lightly. Indeed, I have fretted at the casual way in which it has been cropping up in recent times in conversations, news reports and online discussions. I have avoided using it myself. Even now I resort to it more as a warning than as an accusation. But...

When I see the first response to our current president's acquittal to be a montage of images touting his reelection not only in 2020 but in 2024, then 2028 and, scrolling down, every four years for decades, even centuries to come, I can't help it, I hear sickening echoes of Hitler's promised 1,000-year Reich.

When I see a man glorying publicly in the enumeration of every one of the political enemies he plans to destroy, I shudder with the memory of the slow, deliberate elimination of all traces of opposition in the early days of Nazi Germany. Worse even, when those enemies include all critics, even in the press.

When I see a room full of adoring sycophants who cheer in ecstatic unison at every vile, indecent threat and distortion of the truth held up before them, I wonder how little further it would take to induce them raise to their hands above their heads in the salute that Adolf Hitler demanded of his followers; or, if not that, then some similar gesture of solidarity.

When I see this man unleash lavish praise on his henchmen in that audience, men--yes, mostly men--of power who are eager and willing to bend the knee and do the bidding of their master, I fear for those of us who are threatened by their actions. I see an Attorney General who just yesterday seized control of all political prosecution; a leader of the United States Senate who, seeing initial advantage for himself and for the Party, will stop at nothing to achieve the Party's ends; generals, cowed into doing the bidding of a deranged commander out of a misplaced military sense of duty; politicians so afraid of his wrath and so eager for his approval that they rise up before the world to flatter his overweening ego, and fall over themselves to in their haste to enact into law the least of his whims; a propaganda chief who issues exclusively laudatory proclamations and refuses to be questioned by the media.

When I see hordes of citizens assemble to worship their leader as he stokes their victimhood and whips their sense of deprivation into waves of hatred for those they irrationally perceive as their oppressors, I cannot help but think of the screaming, often delusional rants of that dictator who rose to power in Germany in the 1930s and ruled in the name of fascist National Socialism.

They--not only the man himself, but these people who obey him--must be stopped. We know that there is still a majority of Americans who oppose this loud, loathsome and fanatical minority, but their wiles are infinite and their conscience ruthless. They have been all-too-successful in marshaling their control over an unsuspecting and uncritical electorate not for years, but decades. As a result, with one narcissistic sociopath rising to the top of the steaming heap they have created, our country has reached a point of imminent danger.

Will we have the strength of purpose to resist this fascist--yes, I use the word advisedly--this fascist power grab? We have no choice. We must.

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