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You Are Either With Us Or You Are With The Fascists

By       Message Joel Peskoff     Permalink
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Unless we prevail against forces that threaten to transform our way of life, we will fall to the new fascists.

For those who aren't newsjunkies, President Bush recently called today's terrorists "successors to Fascists, to Nazis, to Communists and other totalitarians of the 20th century, The previous day, "White House spokeswoman Dana Perino told reporters it's, "... a struggle between the forces of freedom and moderation, and the forces of tyranny and extremism." My irritation observing this Administration's chutzpah is only matched by my admiration of newsman Keith Olbermann's pinpoint response.

It's a bit laughable when the most secretive and constitutionally disdainful Administration in the history of the republic calls critics fascist and totalitarian appeasers. Talk about glass houses. This President spied on his own people in a way Stalin and Hitler would have envied; he locks up citizens without trial or charges; he sanctions torture and subverts the Geneva Convention. In addition, the way corporate cronies are rewarded with no-bid contracts is reminiscent of fascist dictatorships of the past that reserved public entitlements bestowed to every citizen as rewards for loyal party members. Yes, and he accuses his critics of appeasing fascists? Mr. Bush's attacks are ironic in light of newly discovered files in the US National Archives that a firm of granddaddy Senator Prescott Bush was involved with the financial architects of Nazism in Germany.

A new type of fascism is indeed on the rise and it's Mr. Bush's own right-wing who are responsible. They've honed to an art form the tactics of Joseph Goebbels, Hitler's Minister of Propaganda. They name tax cuts for the rich, "tax relief," as if taxes are a form of oppression that needs relief; taxes on inherited wealth are called 'death taxes' and laws that make the air dirtier are named "clear skies." Critics, even widows who lost loved ones on 9/11, are unashamed fair game for right wing attack dog Ann Coulter.

What we're witnessing is nothing short of a ploy to silence any voices that are hostile to the Administration. It's an extension of the scheme executed brilliantly prior to the 2002 midterm elections when Karl Rove, the modern-day Joseph Goebbels, successfully painted the Democrats weak on national security. The propaganda worked. The Republicans unseated enough Democrats to win both the Senate and House and the remaining Democrats timidly acquiesced to the Republican's radical agenda. Fearing access loss, the lifeblood of career ambitious journalists, pandering to the White House became mainstream in the mainstream media. (If you are skeptical, ponder how a 1960 White House press corps would have rebelled had John F. Kennedy insisted on seeing questions in advance of press conferences. When GWB required it, there wasn't a peep.)

Propaganda worked in 2002, so why not in 2006? With the midterm elections upon us, we're hearing increasing denigration of the opposing party as 'Defeatocrats' The Republicans are running scared and their only tactic is to question the Democrat's loyalty and patriotism because they can't run on their abysmal record. Republican one-part government was supposed to be a showcase for how well conservatives rule when those pesky liberals are brushed out of the way. The fact is that conservatives have done a miserable job governing. Katrina, flu vaccine shortages, and Iraq are solid proof but not the only examples.

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The Right's shock and awe campaign is underway to retain lack of checks and balances I mean a majority, in Congress so that they can continue their power grab. To win in the midterm elections they need to silence hostile voices so they're embarking on a cynical and dishonest campaign to discredit opponents instead of defending their own record. Democrats who simply disagree with the President's policy are labeled 'morally or intellectual confused, to paraphrase Don Rumsfeld.

Democracy is competition of competing ideas and anyone that demands support without entering their ideas in the competition doesn't believe in democracy and doesn't believe in the values that defeated fascism over 60 years ago. President Bush and Secretary Rumsfeld are contemptuous of anyone that challenges their world view and ultimately don't believe in democracy. Those in Congress that fail to check them are enablers. As an optimist, my sense is that the people see through the smoke and it will be clear in November. If I'm wrong, we'll have two more years on this same path we've been on, a path where America stops looking like America.

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Joel is a reformed conservative who abandoned conservatism when it became clear that the philosophy does not work -- at least for most Americans. Joel is now a progressive activist who lives in New York with his wife and children.

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