by Allen Snyder opednews.com
Outraged leftists are daily accusing BushCo of morphing America into a 21st Century neo-fascist regime. The word 'fascist ' inevitably conjures up horrifying images of Nazi swastikas, concentration camps, packed political rallies, people screaming while a lunatic Hitler orates loudly and gesticulates wildly. Hard to imagine any strain of such a hideous disease infecting America - the world 's shining beacon of democracy, liberty, hope, and freedom.
Think what it would mean. Bush as Hitler. Cheney as Goering, Fox News as GÃ¶ebbels. Ashcroft as Himmler. Guantanamo as Auschwitz. Conservative right wingnuts as haplessly duped and brainwashed Hitler heilers. Scary picture indeed.
There 's some consensus among certain fully-brained writers that your garden variety fascist government exhibits at least ten distinct features. Let 's list them off and check if BushCo 's America satisfies none, any, or all of them. We 'll see just how fascist we 've become.
Here they are in no particular order.
1. Rampant and fervent nationalism - while much of the pseudo-patriotic fair weather flag waving has died down, there are still scads of 'We Will Remember ' bumper stickers, flaggy lapel pins, buttons, and knick-knacks, and 'God Bless America ' T-shirts celebrating the anointed status of the American democratic miracle. Shameless marketing gimmicks with patriotic themes are commonplace and give new meaning to the word 'cheesy '.
BushCo gets a 21-gun salute here.
2. Unifying public sentiment with convenient scapegoats - The Nazis used Jews, gypsies, and smart people. BushCo uses Iraqis, terrorists, and smart people. BushCo 's refocusing the terror war to the Saddam war via the clever repetition of the non-existent Saddam/Osama connection had wingnuts hollering for the heads of brown-skinned people with hyphenated names. Much of the public goose-steps along obediently - deep in denial.
3. Global military supremacy and a general militaristic attitude - PNAC, Iraq, pre-emptive war, nation-building, and Dubya 's public display in full military regalia (Hitler and Mussolini wore uniforms, too). 'Nough said.
4. Controlled mass media - Some mass media are BushCo controlled, but most have cowardly caved of their own volition, fearing dips in ratings. The puffball questions, the almost total lack of substantive criticism, the running-scared and walking-on-eggshells mentality, and the sideline cheerleading (especially by the Fox crowd) are sad indications of a spineless media. They value ratings, Kobe Bryant, and not pissing anyone off far more than exposing and hounding a corrupt, dishonest, violent, and illegally installed Presidential Administration.
It 's a smash! Renew for 4 more seasons!
5. Overly concerned with national security - This explains the formation of the ineffective money pit called The Department of Homeland Security. Notice this requirement says nothing about actually doing anything about national security, but just being obsessed with it. Most people appear to think we 're no safer now than we were before 9/11 despite Sec. Ridge 's best efforts and all the x-rayed shoes.
Obsessed? Absolutely. Acting? Ahhh - no.
Home run! BushCo 's batting 1.000.
6. Line between religion and government blurred or erased - God talks to Dubya an awful lot. He says God told him to do many of the incredibly stupid things he 's done so far, like attack Iraq. Not a ringing endorsement for God, I 'm afraid. Right wingers have a long history of religious fanaticism. This bunch is no different. Despite their protestations and airs of moral superiority, they 're no better than the Islamic whackos they 're after.
Hallelujah! They 're fundamentalist crazies!
7. Corporate favoritism and welfare - I 'd say they 've got this one covered six ways to a minimum security prison. Sweet multi-billion dollar deals for BushCo 's well-connected cronies at Haliburton and Bechtel. Wildly skewed tax cuts, nothing done to Enron or WorldCom, and legislation consistently benefitting the wealthiest disguised as relief for workers.
Pass the oil reserves, Dickey, we 're here to stay!
8. Subjugation of labor groups and workers - Elimination of overtime pay, no corporate reform legislation, no punishment for pension fund rapists, state budget starvation, and hostile government takeovers (read: bloodless coups) in Texas and California. Could these people hate Americans more?
They 've got this one so down, they can screw people and still get a 'thank you '!
9. Contempt for select intellectuals and artists - Scientists, Nobel Prize laureates, experienced politicians, career statesmen and diplomats, athletes, actors, and musicians. Members of all these groups are on BushCo 's hit list, unless they agree with BushCo 's policies. If so, they 're financed for governor of California or given a talk radio show. Couple this with a severe case of logic-free fact-phobia and BushCo 's policies are disastrous at best.
Swish! Nothing but net! Still perfect.
10. Fraudulent elections - Elections? Elections? We don 't need no stinkin ' elections! At least, not ones where we actually count all the votes. Let 's just cut out the middle-persons and let a panel of appointed Republican elites decide everything.
Pregnant, hanging, and dimpled chads, disenfranchised voters, intimidation of Democratic minorities, Katherine Harris, Jeb Bush, and a slanted 5-4 Supreme Embarrassment decision. It all still reeks of fraud.
The perfect crime.
The final tally?
10 for 10. 100%.
It 's official. We 're finally fascist.
Allen Snyder is an instructor of Philosophy and Ethics. He can be reached at email@example.com This article is copyright by Allen Snyder and originally published by opednews.com but permission is granted for reprint in print, email, blog, or web media so long as this credit is attached.