I must confess that I have had a really hard time writing what I am about to say, which has kept me from posting anything for a couple of days.
I first began fearing that, in order to accomplish their goals, the hyper-rich and their bought-and-paid-for tools in the Republican party would start openly working to turn the country into a fascist dictatorship, sometime in the Reagan administration. Virtually no one else saw what I thought I saw, and people I talked to thought I was way off the deep end.
My fears escalated during the Gingrich era, after the collapse of the malicious "Contract with America," when Republicans made it clear that, as they were unable to convince the American people to go along with their program, they would do whatever it took to get their way, including using corrupt Supreme Court justices to steal the Presidency and turn it over to a man who was little more than a crook. Even his presiding over a plundering of our national resources than left the vast majority of American clinging to economic life wasn't enough to wake people up to the danger they faced, and as a result, they just returned a large measure of government control to the people who destroyed our economy and humiliated us in the eyes of the world.
Now we have a newly elected Republican Governor in Wisconsin, who, when he was elected, had a State budget surplus, which he immediately drove into deficit through tax cuts for the rich and corporations, and who is responding to his own deliberately created disaster by attempting to destroy the most basic rights of workers, and threatening to use military repression if those workers protest. And we know that numerous other States with Republican governors and legislators are watching excitedly to see if he can accomplish his goal.
This is fascism in its most basic, naked form. The Republican party, having extorted trillions from working Americans to give to the rich, is now setting about squeezing the last bit of dignity and security out of the lives of 99.9% of the American people, so the already obscenely rich (many of them not even U. S. Citizens) can have everything there is to have; and so that the rest of us are so reduced to penury that we must simply accept whatever crumbs the rich decide to throw us.
Now, here is why this has upset me so much. I guess, despite my predictions going back three decades, there was a part of me that still didn't believe what I had been saying. Even with all my cynicism, my training as an American was so deep that, emotionally, I couldn't really convince myself that other Americans could so betray our history and our morality in this way.
Well, with this act, the cage has been opened and the monster let loose. If even this Hitlerian (and yes, screw Godwin's law- that is the appropriate comparison) repression can succeed in the United States, we are lost. All that it will take is some incident like the Reichstag fire, for the Republican party to have its pretext to enact its own homegrown version of the Enabling Laws, and the era of American greatness is over forever. And if you don't think the Republicans will not be perfectly happy to take advantage of any crisis, real or manufactured, to destroy democracy in America forever, you just aren't paying much attention