Sunday, November 11, 2018

When Fascism Comes To America

This Sunday, to bookend the week of midterm elections, I’d like to offer a second Sunday sermon. I want to share some considerations that expound on last Sunday’s message.

Running up to this past Tuesday’s election, the Party of Trump and FOX(R) did their best to portray Democrats and dissenting Americans as an angry mob.

It is pure projection, of course.

Nazi Tiki parades, Klansmen, and the thuggish Proud Boys show us the real angry mobs are Trumpist bigots.

White Nationalists have been even further radicalized and emboldened by the hateful rhetoric of Trump. Since 9-11, American right-wing terrorism and its body count has been keeping pace with violent Jihadists.

And it’s only getting worse. Anti-Semitic and other hate crimes are increasing in the Trump era.

Want to see another angry mob?

Trump rallies are not celebrations of tax cuts and deregulation. It's all about their resentment, anger and rage in an extended version of Orwell’s “Two minute hate”. Lately journalists and black women seem to be getting a special serving of ire.

So why are they so angry, even while holding most of the power of our government?

They are frightened. They believe in all their fear-mongering, scapegoating, conspiracies, and lies.

White Nationalism is in a frenzied panic. They still see themselves as the real oppressed “victims”, you know. They want to wield political power as a means to social and cultural dominance. As I said, it isn’t about tax cuts and deregulation. If it were, they would be happy now. No, they want to divide, conquer and rule. They will eventually fail in that goal, but their damage to truth, democracy, and decency will take decades to reverse.

And there is always the possibility that war can erupt at any time with nationalists in power, so there’s that.

The fact that corporate power is allied with, and abetted by, white nationalism will make it all the harder to uproot.

I'm not convinced the planet and civilization can emerge intact from the dire consequences of this plague of white nationalism. Global warming tells us time may not be on our side.

But I am convinced that not resisting will only allow them to double down on their destruction of our democratic republic and to get away with their rampage. So resist we must. This is our unending struggle for truth, democracy and decency.

We need to understand how creeping extremism insinuates itself into our society and subsumes large segments of our population.

The Trump Cult is loaded with fundamentalist Evangelicals, and it is proving religion is usually woven into the fabric of extremism and fascism.

These guys understood how it works:

On October 10, 1936 Heinrich Himmler created the Reich Central Office for Combating Homosexuality and Abortion, or Special Office (II S), a sub-department of Executive Department II of the Gestapo.

The inspiration?

"The National Government will regard it as its first and foremost duty to revive in the nation the spirit of unity and cooperation. It will preserve and defend those basic principles on which our nation has been built. It regards Christianity as the foundation of our national morality, and the family as the basis of national life." - Adolph Hitler "My New World Order" - Proclamation to the German Nation, Berlin, February 1, 1933

(Just to note, “Nation and National” appear FIVE times in those three sentences. “Socialism”? Zero. Socialism only appears after “National”. So yes, Nazis are nationalists after all. Remember “First they came for the socialists”?)

We recall the Wehrmacht's belt buckles were stamped with "Gott Mitt Uns".

The reactionary intolerance and bigotry of violent Jihadism and White Nationalism are cut from the same cloth. They even share targeting of Jews. And they all hate liberals, dissent, and a free press. Fusing politics and religion is always destructive to life, truth, and democracy.

Godwin's Law has been revised by Godwin himself: "First, let me get this Donald Trump issue out of the way: If you’re thoughtful about it and show some real awareness of history, go ahead and refer to Hitler or Nazis when you talk about Trump. Or any other politician."

The Trump cult is proving to be the spawn of nationalism and fundamentalism. A match made in hell, I dare say. 

The very real and very deadly threat of the American Axis of Evil brings us to consider the theme often attributed to Sinclair Lewis, although no one can source the exact quote.

“When Fascism comes to America, it will be wrapped in the flag and carrying a cross.”

Whoever first said it was paying attention to the simmering undercurrent of far Right America.

Also attributed to Sinclair Lewis, without source:

“The worst Fascists were they who disowned the word “Fascism” and preached enslavement to Capitalism under the style of Constitutional and Traditional Native American Liberty.”

Now we’re getting to the inner essence of the radical Right.

The following are more great statements on the merging of religion, corporatism, and nationalism into the roots of American neo-fascism.

“Every robber or oppressor in history has wrapped himself in a cloak of patriotism or religion, or both. I am not a patriot as defined in the lexicon of the house of Morgan. I’d not murder my fellow men of my own accord, and why should I do it at the behest of the master class?” - Eugene Debs

“No wonder Jackson said that ‘Patriotism is the last refuge of scoundrels’. He had the Wall Street gentry in mind or their prototypes, at least; for in every age it has been the tyrant, who has wrapped himself in the cloak of patriotism, or religion, or both.” - Eugene Debs

“The Ku Klux Klan comes wrapped in the American flag, as it were, advocating the American principles openly, with a Bible in its hand, and the very next day they are passing their neighbors with a mask over their faces.” Lonnie Jackson, mayor of Central City, Kentucky and president of District No. 23 of the United Mine Workers of America, 1923

“When and if fascism comes to America it will not be labeled ‘made in Germany’; it will not be marked with a swastika; it will not even be called fascism; it will be called, of course, Americanism.” - Professor Halford E. Luccock of the Divinity School of Yale University, September 1938.

“The truth is that Henry Wallace and former President Roosevelt have advocated supplementing our political Bill of Rights with an economic charter of rights, so that Fascism will not slip up on us wrapped in the flag and traveling in the name of free enterprise.” - Irving Johns letter published in the “Cleveland Plain Dealer 1945

And lest we forget America’s Last Prophet:

“When fascism comes to America, it will not be in brown and black shirts. It will not be with jack-boots. It will be Nike sneakers and Smiley shirts … Germany lost the Second World War. Fascism won it. Believe me, my friend.” – George Carlin

Now the American Axis of Evil comes into clear focus. That should just about cover it, but I would add this:

When Fascism comes to America, Americans will not recognize it.
When Fascism comes to America, Americans will want to be great again.
When Fascism comes to America, Americans will welcome it.

- Dave Dubya


Jefferson's Guardian said...

Dave, once again I believe you've outdone yourself.

Building upon, or at the very least reading between the lines, this so-called "blue wave" still will not do anything to subside the true power behind this "Americanism" - the democracy-eating malady of corporatism. It's as insidious and deadly to democracy as cancer is to the healthy functioning of the biological body.

Barack Obama said something recently that is a truism of the highest order. I was surprised he dare mention it; perhaps he did because he no longer held the power associated with the presidency, just as Eisenhower felt emboldened enough to speak the indisputable truth about the military-industrial-complex in his famous farewell address.

Obama noted, quite accurately, that Trump is not the cause of today's extreme situation -- only a symptom of a much greater and more horrific problem. Obama is correct, of course, yet this is not really articulated or analyzed or conveyed as it has to be before we can really repair the damage. Before we can heal.

Hopefully Trump and his hate message will join the dustbin of history --and truly that's not really a certainty. But even if we pass through this madness relatively intact, the same structural and systemic problems will still be with us.

Borrowing from another Sunday "religion", We'll possibly have attained a first down, after being thrown for a big loss, but the goal line is still a long way down field.

Will we be forced to punt, as Trump called, or can we come together as a team to run over and through the true democracy killers? Time will tell.

Majormajor said...

Nationalism: "patriotic feeling, principles, or efforts."

Globalism: "the operation or planning of economic and foreign policy on a global basis"

Which one are you?

Dave Dubya said...

Nationalism: "patriotic feeling, principles, or efforts."

Globalism: "the operation or planning of economic and foreign policy on a global basis"

Which one are you?

Interesting choices. They sound like the same definitions used at a Trump rally. Words have very flexible meanings there, as we know.

First, I’m not any “ism”, other than an organism. And I am neither a nationalist nor a globalist.

I am a patriot. You would know this if you had read “Patriotism v. Nationalism”.

Back to those pesky accepted definitions:

noun: nationalism

patriotic feeling, principles, or efforts. (This was the narrow definition offered.)

Expanded definition from your source: (Why I’m not a nationalist. And Why Trump is.)

synonyms: patriotism, patriotic sentiment, flag-waving, xenophobia, chauvinism, jingoism
"their extreme nationalism was frightening"

an extreme form of this, especially marked by a feeling of superiority over other countries.


Miriram Webster definition of nationalism;

1: loyalty and devotion to a nation especially : a sense of national consciousness exalting one nation above all others and placing primary emphasis on promotion of its culture and interests as opposed to those of other nations or supranational groups. Intense nationalism was one of the causes of the war.
2: a nationalist movement or government

TB3 said...

It's kind of interesting how quickly these people have turned "Globalism" into some kind of dirty word. Is it the new "Communism"? Must one side of the political spectrum keep creating boogeymen to rail against and fear? Also, why Globalism? Using MM's own narrow definition, how, pray tell, did the United States become the world's dominant power without a global view of foreign policy and economics? People like MM actually can't reflect on this or articulate anything more than 'What are you?'. Like it's an either/or situation. Even MM's own narrow definitions don't exclude a person from being both at the same time.

No, people like MM just hear it being parrotted by bloggers and well-paid talking heads on TV and YouTube. They cede the thought and consideration to these people they've never met but trust for some particular reason. They do this rather than asking very basic questions like; What does this actually mean? Why is this a problem? How does this affect me and my own? Why should I be so afraid of my fellow Americans? We're all in this together.

On a side note; I've noticed many people online with similar political leanings as what MM expresses talking about "Liberals" using feelings rather than common sense or logic to make decisions. It's funny that the definition that MM insinuates that he best represents is defined as a feeling, where as the opposite seems more logical.

On a side-side note; I wonder if it ever gets tiring for people like MM so laser-focused on defining those they actively try to keep as idealogical opposites? Wouldn't the energy be better used by being less of an antagonist and more of a problem solver? What does defining people like Dave as a globalist actually achieve for people like MM? It solves nothing. It does nothing. It's distraction to keep people like MM from actually addressing actual, tangible issues. Oh, you labeled Dave a "Globalist"! That sure showed him! Too bad people still have crippling healthcare debt, crumbling infrastructure, and the Nation will soon be paying more on interest for its loans/debt than Medicare/Social Security thanks to even more Tax Cuts. BUT at least Dave's been labeled a Globalist.

Majormajor said...

I quoted the dictionary and ask a very simple question.

Dave Dubya said...

I quoted more definitions of nationalist and gave you an answer. I answered your question once before. See below.

It’s hilarious to hear Trump attack “globalists” when he has so many dealings in Russia and elsewhere. Projection is a very important tool for the authoritarian. So is questioning the patriotism of others. The same is true of “feelings”. We know whose feelings always get hurt, don’t we?

“These people” are a cult of Alex Jones, FOX(R), and Trump, so words mean whatever their cult leaders say they mean. The Law of Alternative Facts, with its doctrine of flexible reality and unilateral definitions, is an operating principle of their universe.

Of course nobody outside their cult buys into their indoctrination.

Liberalism, progressivism and even socialism are gaining higher approval levels these days, despite the far Right’s decades-long campaign to smear and demean the words. They even drank the Prager koolade that attempted to redefine and separate liberal from leftist. Short version: “Liberals are deluded, “Leftists” are America-hating commies.

Needless to say this got no traction outside their cult. The world continues to reject their unilateral definitions and black and white version of reality.

MM asked me the same question a while ago. I told him I am neither nationalist nor globalist of course, but I did lean to “Universist”.

Go big or go home. I am a creature of the universe, after all.

Later I searched for any other application of the term and found that I am absolutely more a universist than nationalist or globalist. AND I can still be a patriot.

Universism: A progressive natural philosophy.

Universism "focuses on faith in reason, inspiration in nature, and hope in progress."

Dave Dubya said...

Paul Krugman notes:

“Fake news' doesn’t mean actual false reporting; it means any report that hurts Trump, no matter how solidly verified. Any assertion that helps Trump ... is true precisely because it helps him...The attempt by Trump and his party to shut down the legally mandated Florida recount with claims, based on no evidence, of large-scale voting fraud fits right into this partisan epistemology. Do Republicans really believe that there were vast numbers of fraudulent or forged ballots? Even asking that question is a category error. They don’t “really believe” anything, except that they should get what they want. Any vote count that might favor a Democrat is bad for them; therefore it’s fraudulent, no evidence needed.

The same worldview explains Republicans’ addiction to conspiracy theories. After all, if people keep insisting on the truth of something that hurts their party, it can’t be out of respect for the facts — because in their world, there are no neutral facts.”

This also applied to Hitler, Stalin, Pol Pot, and still applies to Putin, Kim, etc.

Dave Dubya said...


Whiny Little Twit Presidential Tweet of the Day

“The prospect of Presidential Harassment by the Dems is causing the Stock Market big headaches!”

I wish I could understand why so many adults in the country like this five-year-old behavior. The bragging, the blaming, the whining.

I think we may have misdiagnosed the source of the Republican meltdown. Yes, they are voting for racists and misogynists without a second thought which is revealing of their characters. But the bigger problem, it seems to me, is that the Republican coalition is suffering from a case of mass arrested development. You can only appreciate this arrogant, ignorant man-child if you are equally immature.

What happened to these people? Fox? Rush? Bad schools? Lead in the water? It's a real conundrum.
- Digby

TB3 said...

"What happened to these people? Fox? Rush? Bad schools? Lead in the water? It's a real conundrum. - Digby"

Globalism. Duh.

Dave Dubya said...

Here, here! It's high time for globalism to be replaced by flat-earthism. It's the only logical solution.

Jefferson's Guardian said...

Atheism, deism, pantheism, agnosticism, transcendentalism...

Gee, all these "isms".

Be careful, Dave, or Mr. Paine might accuse you of causing little Timmy to have an aneurysm. ;-)

Jefferson's Guardian said...

The mid-terms proved correct the axiom that claims "the truth hurts". This couldn't be more appropo.

For T. Paine, it seems the cult's got his tongue. He has to be totally embarrassed. Commonsense would dictate this, wouldn't it? Maybe not, though. It does appear he's been caught in the orbit of Trump World - like the rest of the Government Of Putin.

Jefferson's Guardian said...

Oh, the "thumb's up" in Paris, by his fellow authoritarian oligarch, Putin, had to have been good news to Trump.

Jefferson's Guardian said...

Bill Maher's Friday night Real Time pointed out, very vividly, Trump's broken promises for his most devout and most loyal followers. "Trump fans and others, if you're keeping score: No wall; no health care plan that was 'better, cheaper, covered everybody,'" Maher said. "The trade deficit? Bigger. The tax cut did not pay for itself, the debt is of course exploding. North Korea is building bombs again."

"You know, Mr. President, you can only slide so long on charm," Maher added.

LOLOL Priceless!

One thing The mobster-in-chief did deliver on, as promised by his opponents, is the United States is now considered the laughingstock of the world.

Thanks, "Mr. President", but no thanks.

Dave Dubya said...


Also mentioned was the radical Right's obsession with "owning the libs", out of pure spite and hate. On the same program, (Real Time 11-16-18) reformed Republican Steve Schmidt remarked, "Why is it that nobody will believe the science? And reveling in ignorance has become a central qualification to be able to call yourself a conservative in this era, to this country’s great detriment."

We know the reason why: FOX(R) and the oil-soaked, white nationalist, corporate-owned Party of Trump are EVIL. They are the enemies of truth, democracy, decency, science, education and journalism.

More sanity from Schmidt: "29 years and nine months ago I registered to vote and became a member of The Republican Party which was founded in 1854 to oppose slavery and stand for the dignity of human life. Today I renounce my membership in the Republican Party. It is fully the party of Trump."

It's good to see he has the sense and decency to walk away from the party of evil.

"Trump has called the FREE PRESS “enemies of the people” AFTER the attempted BOMBING of CNN. He is literally daring someone to try again. It is an incitement to political violence by an American President after a week of bloodshed and attempted assassinations. There will be more."

Yes, there will be more bloodshed from the fanatic, far Right, white nationalist terrorists.

Why? Because they are evil fascists, wrapped in hate and ignorance.

But we already knew that.

Dave Dubya said...

Trump has many partners in evil and the evil is spreading.

Khashoggi's murder by MSB, the Saudi thug and Trump/Kushner friend, wouldn't have happened without the MAGAts coddling him. Khashoggi is dead because he criticized Trump. MSB saw Putin getting away with his assassinations and took that as his cue.

The Finns are laughing at Trump, and joking about "raking their forests".

Hmm. Maybe that's why our leading proponents of Trumpism and white nationalism have disappeared and gone silent. Maybe they are out in the woods, pitching in to "RAKE America Great Again".

Gotta respect their service.

Jefferson's Guardian said...

"'RAKE America Great Again'." ~~ Dave Dubya


Kulkuri said...

Who said Finns don't have a sense of humor? #harvavointi

Dave Dubya said...


Ya, eh? Easy for THEM to laugh. They don't have the asshole blaming them for fires.

UP Tim is up dere in yer necka da woods. Maybe you've seen the "Trump is Putin's Puppet" sign in his car.

I remember when that Rintamaki guy with the "yooperlites" was in diapers.

Dave Dubya said...

The Finns have been "Owning the Dotard" brilliantly.

Got yer buck, eh? No "Second Week of Deer Camp" for you?

I been gettin a hankerin for one of Roy's pasties in Houghton. Might order some for the holidays. They're in my blood. My great-grandfather was one of the copper miners from Cornwall who brought pasties over in 1865.