Powerful and Continuing Nationalism
Disdain for the Recognition of Human Rights
Identification of Enemies/Scapegoats as a Unifying Cause
Supremacy of the Military
Controlled Mass Media
Obsession with National Security
Religion and Government are Intertwined
Corporate Power is Protected
Labor Power is Suppressed
Disdain for Intellectuals and the Arts
Obsession with Crime and Punishment
Rampant Cronyism and Corruption
Those of you who have never seen this list may be unpleasantly surprised to realize that the Republican party has now managed to unapologetically enshrine every single one of these fourteen characteristics as being essentials to what it means to be an American.
I think it can no longer be of any doubt that, when the Republican party sold itself lock stock and barrel to the hyper-rich, it started itself on an inevitable hundred year downhill road to becoming an openly Fascist otganization. The only real question is, can they pull off turning our country into a Fascist dictatorship?
Looking at the classic Fascist governments: Nazi Germany, Mussolini's Italy, Franco's Spain, Argentina under Peron, you can see one historical characteristic that, so far, is missing in the United States today. That is the existence of large armed, intransigent groups of armed thugs, dedicated to crushing civil opposition by force.
Sturmabteilung at funeral of Ernest Rohm
Blackshirts in Italy
There are, however, hundreds of smaller groups of would-be thugs and murderers around- the militias, the border patrol jackasses, the Oath Keepers, the Three Percenters, and many others. I believe that the major question facing this country today is whether a right wing demagogue like Donald Trump can so fill these people with hatred that they coalesce behind him and allow him to direct them as a single force.
If that could happen, the game would be on. Now, of course, the members of these militias, etc. are largely out-of-control lunatics, each going off in his own direction, and united by nothing but a single thing- the desire to find someone that they can kill without remorse. Well, the first step to changing that seems to be to find an American leader who is eager to take them en masse to that place; and Republicans certainly seem ot have found one. There is nothing that I am watching more closely these days than for signs that Trump is casting aside the final vestiges of cover, and working to unite these people under his leadership. Certainly, his open hatred and approval of violence at his rallies are suggestive. I guess we will learn more in coming months. And let's remember that, even if he cannot succeed, he has taken a giant step toward making authoritarian rule acceptable in the United States. He's opened a door that we may never be able to close.
The vast majority of Germans, even those who supported the Nazi party in the 1920's and early 1930's, had no idea what they were signing on for. I am sure that the same thing is true in this country right now. The American right is playing with a time bomb, and if it explodes, it will engulf all of us.