On this Memorial Day, I am thinking of my great uncle Sergeant Alan Schein. My great uncle was killed in action during the Battle of the Bulge. Like so many of his generation, my great uncle fought the spread of fascism. Now fascism again threatens our shores. This time however, the threat of fascism is not from abroad. No, this time the threat of fascism is from within. Today’s threat of fascism is from opportunistic and cynical politicians who would adopt any ethos, including fascism, to gain power. Unfortunately, these politicians find support among many of our misguided fellow Americans.
I readily admit an innate, deep-seated distrust of the Far Right. The Far Right represents everything I detest. It was a Far Right government that butchered my family. Thus, I will never forgive nor forget the evils of the Far Right. Never.
As the Far Right grows in political dominance in our local and national politics, the United States tilts more and more toward outright fascism. This is not hyperbole. The rise of fascism poses a real threat to our country and our Liberty.
Umberto Eco outlined the 14 characteristics of fascism. Today, the Tea Party and the American Far Right share many features found in fascism.
Many supporters of the Tea Party profess a superior loyalty to our country, while they are Intolerant of the very diversity that defines our country.
They have little regard for those rights accorded the accused. They do not understand that their intolerance for other’s rights will ultimately lead to the diminution of their own rights.
The greatest threat to our Constitution does not come from abroad, it comes from those in this country. The greatest threat comes from those who loudly proclaim their fidelity to the Constitution, while they hurriedly expand police powers and undermine our Bill of Rights.
The War Against Crime and the War Against Drugs long ago became the War Against the Poor and the War Against Minorities. Our police forces more and more resemble the military. Unarmed Poor and Minorities are routinely gunned down by police with no repercussions.
A claimed superior patriotism, an intolerance of diversity, a lack of respect for individual rights, an expansion of police powers, and the systematic oppression of minorities are all found in fascism.
Each year the Far Right in this country moves closer to outright fascism. The Republican Party’s Far Right, daily brawls to see who can take the most extreme positions. The electioneering swing to the Right, is embraced by many already in office. Those already holding office dare not stand up to the Far Right. Those who stand up to the Far Right soon find themselves with a Far Right opponent.
The Far Rights’ influence is seemingly boundless. From local school board to judicial elections we see the depth of the Far Right. Far Right Republican politicians seek to surpass each other, each claiming superior Far Right credentials.
Too many members of our local judiciary, already see themselves as vested in the War on Crime. They readily side with the prosecution. In the end, many members of the local judiciary are simply cogs in the wheel of the Far Right. Many of them shamelessly embrace the Tea Party to secure votes. By embracing the Tea Party, these politicians further empower the Far Right.
My concerns about the growth of the Far Right and the rise of fascism in America are real. I wish they were not.
Our Founding Father, Patrick Henry, warned of our need to know the truth and to prepare for the worst of it. Patrick Henry warned us not to close our eyes to the truth about our own situation. On March 23, 1775, Patrick Henry warned, “For my part, whatever anguish of spirit it may cost, I am willing to know the whole truth; to know the worst, and to provide for it.”
I too am willing to know the whole truth; to know the worst, and to provide for it. If our country is headed toward fascism, than we must acknowledge this hideous truth. If we are headed toward fascism, then we must provide for it. We must prepare to fight the rise of fascism by any and all legal means.
On this Memorial Day, let us honor the memory of those who gave their lives so that we might be free. The Greatest Generation, did not beat fascism abroad, so that some would be Republican corporal might utilize a fascist agenda as their ticket to the White House.
Fascism must be eradicated from the face of the earth. Until it is eradicated, those who love Liberty must always stop those that would promote fascism. It does not matter if Fascism comes from abroad or from within. No matter its origins, no matter it’s form, fascism’s rise in America must be acknowledged, fought and stopped.