This is the fourth installment of a project that is likely to extend over a two-year-period from January, 2010. It is the serialization of a book entitled The 15% Solution: A Political History of American Fascism, 2001-2022 . This chapter describes how, the fictional Republican candidate , a not-too-bright personage totally beholden to the Religious Right, managed to win the Presidency. Regardless of the real economic and social problems the nation was facing, he then to proceeded to make his focus a "real war on drugs," as if the one that Nixon had launched 30 years before had not been real enough for its many victims. Under the pseudonym Jonathan Westminster, the book is purportedly published in the year 2048 on the 25th Anniversary of the Restoration of Constitutional Democracy in the Re-United States. It was actually published in 1996 by the Thomas Jefferson Press, located in Port Jefferson, NY. The copyright is held by the Press. Herein you will find Chapter 3.
2001: The Real Drug War --Author's Commentary
The year 2000 marked the election of President Carnathon Pine, who came to be known as the Last Republican. A former Republican Senate majority leader, he was known for his sharp tongue, his war-damaged leg, and over the course of a long and not otherwise distinguished career, his exquisite attention to politics rather than policy and governance. At age 74, he was the oldest man ever to be elected President.
He had run on a platform of "if not her, then me," "everything they do is wrong," and, referring to the series of natural disasters which had befallen America annually since Hurricane Andrew of 1992 and the Great Floods of 1993, "God is punishing America for its sinful ways." This theme had become increasingly popular for Reactionaries since the mid-90s. For example, in 1993 Christian Coalition leader Pat Robertson said this about the flooding in the mid-west of the old U.S. ( Right-Wing Watch ):
"I just grieve to see this happening and we have to pray for them [the victims]. But . . . the Bible makes it very clear. When you take God out of your life, and the Supreme Court clearly mandated God out, . . . and [when you] have a President . . . who is opening the floodgates of homosexuality and opening as best he is able the floodgates of this horror of abortion, . . . [then] the Bible says that the blood of the innocents will cry out against us and the land will be cleansed and the only way it will be cleansed is through the blood of others . . . So don't be surprised if you see natural disasters (700 Club, July 2, 1993)."
For the focus of their Year 2000 campaign, the Right-Wing Reactionaries took off from the Republican 1996 Presidential election platform. That platform itself was much like the 1992 Platform (Bond), which had essentially been written by the Christian Coalition. However, by the Year 2000, the Republican Party, now the untrammeled promoter of Right-Wing Reaction in the old U.S., had become even more blatant and in essence honest about what they were really about.
And so, in addition to their themes of the 90s, they organized variously around such additional ones as: increasingly unvarnished racism and xenophobia expressed in such slogans as "you know who is stealing your jobs, sucking up your taxes, and attacking you in the streets--and we do too, trust us--we'll take care of them," "the U.S. is a Christian nation," "the Bible is our fount of natural law," "taxes are inherently un-American and un-Godly," "the free market way is the only moral way," and "poverty is the fault of the poor, and no one else."
This last position was utterly central to Right-Wing Reactionary thinking. Its adoption was essential if the "poor" were to be characterized and maintained as the "enemy" of "hard-working" Americans. (Of course, by constant Right-Wing Reactionary propaganda contrary to the facts, in the minds of many, the word "poor" was made synonymous with the word "black.")
But said straight out like that, it had a judgmental, some said "cruel," sound to it. A formulation designed to deal with that problem that became popular had first been uttered by one Michael Forbes, a Right-Wing Reactionary member of the famous "Freshman Class" of the 104th Congress. Shortly after his first election to the House of Representatives from the First District of Long Island, NY he said (Henneberger): "We don't have actual poverty. We have behavioral poverty. Very few people out there go to bed hungry [emphasis added]."
This original thought, and others like it, comprised an internally consistent ideology. Never mind that in some cases this ideology, as reflected in the Right-Wing campaign themes of 1992, 1996, and the Year 2000 seemed to many outside observers to be in conflict with the facts and an understanding of reality that had been built up over decades.
Even more importantly for the future of the country, this ideology was in conflict with the basic, fundamentally American precepts of the Declaration of Independence, and the Constitution from the Preamble through the Bill of Rights (see Appendices I and VII). But no opponents of the Right-Wing Reaction in general or the Republican Party in particular ever made anything out of that finding or even seemed to recognize it.
The centrists, liberals, and progressives had been split, between the Democratic Party and a variety of "third parties of the left." They agreed on little except that Right-Wing Reaction was a bad idea. Neither the Democrats nor the third parties presented any coherent program for rescuing the continuously declining economy. And no major political organization, Democratic Party or otherwise, at the time recognized, publicly at least, the danger that the growing power of Right-Wing Reaction in general and the Religious Right in particular presented to the maintenance of Constitutional democracy in the United States.
Thus the opposition to Right-Wing Reaction failed to organize around the obvious theme, one with which they might well have been able to mobilize large numbers of Americans, especially non-voters, to turn back the Right-Wing tide: "only the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution represent true American values, and only adherence to those values will preserve Constitutional democracy and the United States as we know it." (This theme was the basis of Dino Louis' political theory and program, "Progressive Patriotism." Generally ignored at the time, in this book excerpts of Louis' own writing on it are presented in Appendix VII.)
For the Democrats, there was no comprehensive national strategy. Instead, as the Bush Republicans had done in the election of 1992, for example, all the Democrats offered was "we can do better than we have done--we deserve one more chance."
And the so-called "left" was not much of an improvement. They offered neither a comprehensive national strategy nor a specific program for the defense of Constitutional democracy. Rather, they presented a laundry-list of complaints about both major parties; vague, worn-out slogans like "no justice, no peace," and "the people, united, shall never be defeated"; and, in no particular order, a laundry list of specific "fix-it" programs from "jobs for all" to "affordable housing for all," all of which would cost much money. But they offered no politically viable program for raising it, saying only "tax the rich and cut military and prison spending."