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The Serialization (3) of The 15% Solution: Author's Preface: Part 1

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This Preface, written for the current, third version of the book published in 2013, is in my voice, that of Steven Jonas, the book's real author. The Preface is quite long and will in this series be published in three parts. Indeed, it should have been published before the previous installment, which was the book's Chapter One, written in the voice of the fictional author, Jonathan Westminster. Please forgive the mistake. For continuity, following the publication of the Preface (in its three parts), I will be beginning the body of the book again, with Chapter One.

I. The Origins of this Book

I began thinking about what would eventually become the book you see before you in the mid-1980s, after the re-election of Ronald Reagan. The thinking process went on for quite a while, and both the story-line and the format (novel, non-fiction, some combination of both?) underwent numerous changes. Whatever form the book would eventually take, I was concerned that during the Presidencies of Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush the Republican Religious Right (RRR) was becoming ever more powerful. I began to think about what might happen were they to take over effectively full governmental power at the Federal and widely at the state levels. Being an academic, to support whatever form I might come up with, I began collecting material on positions that both governmental and non-governmental representatives of the RRR were then taking about the matter of what they would indeed do, were they to gain that effective control. I gathered it from a variety of sources: published articles, books, fund-raising letters, position papers, newspaper and magazine articles about them. Finally, in 1994, I came up with the outlines of a scenario that they might follow, and began writing this book.

Donald Reagan. As much as the .mainstream. Repubs. would like to deny it, Trump is a direct political descendant of the former .B. movie actor.
Donald Reagan. As much as the .mainstream. Repubs. would like to deny it, Trump is a direct political descendant of the former .B. movie actor.
(Image by DonkeyHotey)
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I am a writer of non-fiction, not fiction. (Believe me there are major differences in skills between the two. I regard the latter as much more difficult than the former. Non-fiction writers simply need to be able to undertake description and analysis, sometimes simply reporting. We need to use references. However, we do not need to be able to write dialogue, describe scenes and settings in appropriate prose, or engage in character development.) Thus for this book, even though I decided that I would be writing primarily in the non-fiction style, at the same time I would be writing fiction in the sense that after a certain point I would be making up the plot-line certainly introducing fictional characters. At the same time, while the story-line would be set in the then-future, it would be based on real policies and politics that real people on the Right were promoting in the 1980s and 90s. And so I came up with what I describe as a "cross-over" book: fictional non-fiction, purportedly written by a future professor of political science, "Jonathan Westminster." (For more detail on him, please see IV, below "Historical Voices.") The book is a supposed retrospective on the (supposed) U.S. fascist period, published in2048 on the 25th anniversary of the re-establishment of U.S. Constitutional Democracy, July 4, 2048, following the triumph of the Movement for the Restoration of Constitutional Democracy in the Second Civil War (2022).

US Constitution
US Constitution
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To my mind the most important feature of this book is that what is projected to happen is to the extent possible based on what the Republican Religious Right had been telling us, prior to the time I wrote the book in 1994-1996 (and indeed is still telling us), they would do if they were ever able to gain full control of the government. Indeed they were telling us that as far back as the 1980s, but back then nobody wanted to listen. They are telling us much more loudly now. More people are listening and more people are getting very afraid of a future governed by the Republican Religious Right. Nevertheless, to date no real political opposition with power and money behind it has developed. One of the main points that I make in the book is that the fictional transformation of the Republican Party to what I call the "Republican-Christian Alliance" and then on to the "American Christian Nation Party" takes place out in the open and nobody in a position of political power and political authority says boo to a goose.

I wrote the book as a warning, to which no one took heed. I published the original version of this book in 1996 under my own imprint, the "Thomas Jefferson Press." The title of that version was The 15% Solution: A Political History of American Fascism, 2001-22. The future-historical scenario is framed by a series of (fictional) documents: Presidential Inaugural addresses, Constitutional Amendments, Presidential Declarations, a Supreme Court decision, one treaty with a foreign power, several acts of Congress, and the Declaration of the Movement for the Restoration of Constitutional Democracy.

With the help of my good friend Patrice Greanville, the Publisher of Punto Press, I am issuing the warning again. It is still not too late. But someone is going to have to wake up to the real threats to our body politic presented to us by the modern Republican Religious Right. Someone is going to have to start naming names, taking identities, and stop pretending that the party that runs on religious- and race-based hate and makes liberal use of the Hitlerian Big Lie technique, is not a) qualitatively different from its predecessor and b) a real threat to U.S. Constitutional Democracy as we know it.

II. A Brief Overview of the Book

The book is a novelized chronicle of the rise and fall of a Fascist regime in the United States during the years 2001-2023. It is intended to present a barebones view of the events of the "Fascist Period," as it could have been seen contemporaneously to those events. Further, it attempts to show how the origins of each major step taken by Republican Religious Right during the Period, in most instances represented by a major document (as mentioned above), could be found either in what is by Westminster's time called the U.S. pre-fascist "Transition Era," 1981-2001, or in events that took place in one or another of the fascist states that existed in other parts of the world between 1922 and 1945. The principal goals of this book are similar to those of its major forebears: Jack London's The Iron Heel and Sinclair Lewis' It Can't Happen Here, as if those authors had written those books with 20/20 hindsight.

As noted, many 20th century sources are used to explicate the then-stated goals of the Republican Religious Right, ranging, for example, from the 1992 Republican Party Platform, to fundraising letters written by the Reverend Jerry Falwell, to position papers of the litigatory arm of [the] Rev. Pat Robertson's "Christian Coalition" (the chief national political organization of the old Religious Right), called the "American Center for Law and Justice." All sources are referenced in the text either by the name of the principal author or, if none is listed, by the name of the publisher. The reference sources are listed at the end of each chapter.

This book does not deal with the projected outcomes of Republican Religious Rightist policies over which there was in the late 20th century considerable scientific controversy. Thus, for the most part excluded are, for example, in the environmental arena (except for natural resources policy) the (even-then) predictable effects of global warming caused by human activity (1), the marked destruction of the ozone layer, and the sharp decline in biodiversity. Many of the predicted environmental disasters caused or significantly abetted by Republican Religious Rightist policies are as of 2012 indeed occurring or well on their way to occurring (2, 3, 4). However, the book does project a future "Resource Based Economy" (RBE) based on the ever-expanding power of the extractive industries (which have exploded before our very eyes). However, in the late 20th century, the outcomes of those policies could not have been predicted with nearly the accuracy of those predictions that could then have been made of the political and economic outcomes for the country if Republican Religious Right took power.

Once in power at the Federal and state levels, the Republican Religious Right is then projected to have achieved virtually all of its stated goals in the political, social, and economic arenas, and then some. In the beginning, at least, through the electoral process they did this entirely by legal/constitutional means. The predictably widening use of force and violence came later. And the more profound results of the takeover, such as the creation of the apartheid-based "New American Republics," came later too, but predictably as well.

A. A Note on Foreign Policy

Except for some allusions to the "Latin Wars," I did not deal with foreign policy issues in the book. It is long enough as it is (as is this new introduction). Therefore, I am not going to deal with the many obvious ones here. Suffice it to say that, in a reverse of this book possibly being a guidebook for the Republican Religious Right as they proceed with their domestic policies, the real foreign policies of the Bush Administration (and some of the Obama Administration as well [5]) would likely find a home in the State and Defense Departments of the fictional Republican-Christian Alliance.

B. Structure of the Book

This book has three sections. Section I sets the stage. Chapter one, "Prelude to Fascism," is an essay written in 1995 by "Dino Louis," a fictional political analyst of the time. (For a brief biography of Mr. Louis, see "The Historical Voices," below. Several late 20th century analytical and prescriptive essays or notes for essays by "Mr. Louis," concerning major sociopolitical issues of the Transition Era are included in the book in Appendices II -- VI. Chapter two presents an overview of the book and its historical scenario in outline.

Section II, the book's longest, features for the most part selected historical documents which marked major events of the Fascist Period. Annotating, highlighting, and punctuating each of the documents are writings by four selected observer/participants of the time (as noted, for descriptions, see below). They provide comments/perspectives/reflections from several different points of view. The bulk of the text, however, is provided by "Westminster" in his "Author's Commentaries" and "Author's Notes."

Section III presents a retrospective chapter (20) by "Westminster" considering "What Could Have Been Done" to prevent the national nightmare from ever occurring.

C. The Cast of Characters

As noted, "Jonathan Westminster" is a mid-21st century Professor of Political Science at the (fictional) New State University of New York at Middletown. All of the political figures which he cites with quotes from materials that existed as of 1996 or before, during the "Transition Period," are real. All of the writings of "Dino Louis" regardless of the date given them in the book, were done in 1995 or before. They refer to true events with true references. Most importantly, virtually all of the speeches and writings supposedly made from 2000 onwards are based on material published by various representatives of the Republican Religious Right and their political allies between 1981 and 1996. And they are fully referenced.

The name "Jonathan Westminster" is a play on the name Jack London, author of The Iron Heel, a prescient book published in 1908 foretelling of the advent of fascism in the capitalist world, before it first appeared as distinct political ideology in Hungary in 1920. The name "Dino Louis" is a play on the name Sinclair Lewis, author of It Can't Happen Here (Sinclair Oil had a dinosaur as its symbol). In his 1935 volume, Lewis speculated on the electoral institution of fascism in the United States following the election of 1936. The name "Alex Poughton" (see below) is a play on the name Alexis De Tocqueville, the 19th century French author of Democracy in America (tocque/puff, ville/town). The authors of the 21st century publications cited in various reference lists are of course fictional, as are their books. Their names are plays on those of various 20th century jazz musicians, primarily African-American.

Jack London 1916 Call Bulletin. He was the author of the first book to predict the rise of fascism: .The Iron Heel.(1908), 20 years before the rise of the first fascist state, Hungary, under Adm. Miklos Horty.
Jack London 1916 Call Bulletin. He was the author of the first book to predict the rise of fascism: .The Iron Heel.(1908), 20 years before the rise of the first fascist state, Hungary, under Adm. Miklos Horty.
(Image by kevin t murray)
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The selected writings appearing throughout the book are by the following five (fictional) historical figures, as they would have been described by Westminster:

" Dino Louis. A well-known, well respected, and well employed freelance sports journalist, Louis engaged in political analysis on the side. From time to time he made attempts to draw attention to his political work, but was never successful in so doing. Louis disappeared in 2001. It is not known whether he was able to successfully emigrate. Many who could afford it did in that year before foreign travel for American citizens was restricted as it had been during the McCarthy Era of the 1950s. (In that case he may just have maintained a low profile abroad to avoid detection by the International Death Squads.) Or he may have been caught and "disappeared" in the old CIA-inspired Latin American style of the 1970s and 1980s by a pre-Helmsmen Domestic Death Squad. In any case, he had sent copies of the essays reproduced here to his friend Alex Poughton in London, as they were written. Those copies, preserved in Poughton's library, are used here with (his fictional) permission.

" Alex Poughton. The pencil-thin English journalist Alex Poughton sported a pencil-thin mustache and bore a striking resemblance to the well-known English actor of the second half of the twentieth century, David Niven. Poughton chronicled the Fascist Period for the London Sunday Times under the head "American Democracy." Staying in political tune with the owner of his newspaper, Poughton's writings were generally favorable to the Fascist regime. Thus, he was able to remain in and travel freely throughout the country (as a whole before 2011 and in the White Republic after that date).

However, published here are not his public puff pieces but private letters that he sent home by diplomatic pouch (through his connections in the British Embassy) from time to time. They present a rather different picture of American reality. The "Karl" to whom these letters were written has never been identified. Thus, the originals are lost. But along with the Louis essays, copies were preserved in Poughton's English library and are used here with permission.

" Curley Oakwood. At 6'5" tall, weighing in at 320 lbs., his shaved head was always slightly aglow with sweat when bathed in the glow of television lights. He was the dominant electronic media figure of the Fascist Period. Presented here are transcripts of broadcasts he made during that time, until he went off the air the day before New Washington fell in 2023. A high-school dropout with a great radio voice, a great deal of personal hate and resentment of anyone he regarded as "different," and a great ability to absorb quickly and regurgitate faithfully the intensive political coaching he received daily throughout his career from his Right Wing political mentors, Oakwood began his career at the age 25 in 1997.

Late in the Transition Era, he had succeeded one Rush Limbaugh as the dominant Right Wing presence on the contemporary mediums of "talk radio" and "talk television." He proceeded to go beyond Limbaugh, taking his onetime mentor's often subtle expressions of hatred and anger that were beginning to wear thin and become too subtle for many of Limbaugh's 20 million listeners to follow, to a much more open form.

Imitating the example of lesser-light reactionaries who had begun to appear mainly on local talk radio in the mid-1990s, Oakwood made it abundantly clear to everyone listening just how hateful and angry he was. In that time of mounting frustration and rage for so many in the country, open hate just began to play much better than any even slightly veiled version. (Radio station KFSO in San Francisco, was one of the first to begin the "open hate" trend, early in 1995.) Oakwood went on to become the leading public, nongovernmental voice of the American Fascists for their whole time in power. Unrepentant until the end, in 2026 at the age of 54 he was publicly hanged for the crime of "a principal leader of American Fascism." It was an unusual role to play for a media figure that remained in media. But it was one he had sought, and in the eyes of the forces whose interests he doggedly and faithfully served, he served them well.

" "Short, blond, and perky," according to a contemporary's description, Constance "Connie" Conroy was a White House press officer who, unwittingly mirroring Fouche''s legendary ability to survive different regimes, managed to maintain her post through every twist and turn of the intense political infighting which characterized the Fascist Period. Her commentaries reproduced in this book are brief excerpts from a set of non-system, secret notes she kept throughout the time on an ancient computer called a "PC."

Conroy had first arrived in the White House under the "Last Republican," President Carnathon Pine (despite his age some say literally, others figuratively), shortly after his accession to the Presidency in 2001, and lasted until the end of the Period. By pure chance, her old computer fell intact into the hands of the Constitutionalist forces during the conquest of New Washington. Fortunately for us, a technician of the Movement for the Restoration of Constitutional Democracy figured out how to work it. Conroy's notes, incomplete as they are, have provided the only 'inside look' available to historians of the period. Following the lead of American Republican Religious Rightists in government ever since the then-famous "White House Tapes" incident which forced the resignation of President Richard Nixon in 1973, all of the official written and computer records of the whole Fascist Period located in New Washington were destroyed by the Fascists in the frantic weeks just before the city fell.

Conroy was Isolated for five years following the end of the Second Civil War. After her release she married a retired Constitutionalist press officer and is still alive as of this writing. As readers will be aware, since the written record is so sparse, any writings of former Fascists, whether private or public, are by law in the public domain and so permission to reproduce is not required.

" Parthenon "Pudge" Pomeroy, the owner of a gasoline station in northern New Jersey, was an archetypal supporter and beneficiary of American Fascism. Accounting for his strange given name were the facts that his parents had been traveling in Greece the summer he was conceived and liked alliteration. His childhood nickname had been considered to parsimoniously describe his appearance. People viewing at the same time adult and childhood photographs of him often remarked how much like 'himself' he looked at an early age. Well overage during the Second Civil War but forced to work for the Army of the successor to the United States, the New American Republics, as a human pack animal (ironically for a man in his business, petroleum no longer being available for the mere transportation of supplies), he was killed during the Battle for the Liberation of New York in 2022. A diary kept by him from the year 2003, when he took over the family gasoline station from his father at the age 38, was found on his person. He had no known survivors.

To be continued

(Article changed on March 8, 2018 at 20:48)

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Steven Jonas, MD, MPH, MS is a Professor Emeritus of Preventive Medicine at StonyBrookMedicine (NY) and author/co-author/editor/co-editor of over 35 books. In addition to his position on OpEdNews as a "Trusted Author," he is a Senior Editor, (more...)
 
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