Another Veterans Day has come and gone, each time seeing fewer remaining veterans from World War II.
We are appropriately accustomed to thanking them for their service, but we rarely discuss why they fought.
My father-in-law earned a Purple Heart and Bronze Star when he served in Patton's Third Army during the Battle of the Bulge and liberation of Buchenwald. He saw the end results of unchecked fascism.
Those inmates were all "enemies of the state", enemies of the “Deutshce Volk”, (German people). They were communists, socialists, educators, non-heterosexual people, and members of the wrong religion/heritage.
Even if someone wasn’t in any of those groups, he could still be labeled an enemy of the people and sent to the camps. The “law” allowed this.
Every atrocity the Nazis committed was "legal". The Enabling Act of March 23, 1933 allowed the Reich government to issue laws without the consent of Germany's parliament, laying the foundation for the complete Nazification of German society.
Echoes of Hitler's racist fascism are now ringing across America. As with the Third Reich, the resentments and anger of white nationalist bigots have fueled the rise of the radical Right and Trumpism.
We're on the precipice of a one-party dictatorship if voter rights are not protected and gerrymandering is allowed to continue.
This is the party that still supports a leader who calls democrats communists. He calls the press the enemy of the people. He makes scapegoats of immigrants and minorities. He rose to power by fueling racism and hate.
The leader is a criminal sociopath who incited a violent coup and praised the mob of thugs for their efforts.
His party of radical Right American fascists constantly employs propaganda tactics to portray liberals, Democrats, Socialists, educators, atheists, immigrants and minorities as repugnant and evil as possible. They deliberately cultivate resentment and hate for them in their white nationalist supporters and duped base.
They organize and stage a coup, attempt to bully the Justice Department and state officials to overturn an election, plot to kidnap a governor, threaten congress and political opponents, threaten election officials, engage in vigilantism, and openly intimidate others by brandishing weapons.
They seize power to suppress voters, nullify elections, ban books, and ban teaching the history of racism and slavery.
His party is getting away with it all. See any parallels here?
This is fascism.
Never forget these crimes against freedom and democracy.
Let’s also not forget our Constitution didn't prevent Bush from starting a war based on lies, locking people up without charges, and implementing torture.
And always remember the US Holocaust Museum list of the early warning signs of fascism:
1. Powerful and continuing
2. Disdain for human rights
3. Identification of enemies as a unifying cause
4. Rampant sexism
5. Controlled mass media
6. Obsession with national security
7. Religion and government intertwined
8. Corporate power protected
9. Labor power suppressed
10. Disdain for intellectuals and the arts
11. Obsession with crime and punishment
12. Rampant cronyism and corruption
This is radical Right Republican Trumpism, folks. And it is fascism.
Too many Americans fail to see this ongoing domestic threat to our republic, and fail to learn the lessons of history. Either American fascists are held accountable by the rule of law, or there will be no rule of law to constrain the authoritarian party of Trump.
If the rule of law doesn’t apply to the rulers, there can be no rule of law, and no democratic republic, and the future will certainly be further darkened by American Radical Right fascism.
I guarantee it.