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OpEdNews Op Eds    H1'ed 9/18/16

Why Liberals Vote for Fascists

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Many of us liberals are profoundly conservative. Like all people, we want a secure home, steady income, healthy kids, and good meals. As liberals, we'd like everyone to enjoy these, but our own comfort tops the list. We care about poor people in distant lands, but vote for those who kill them. We condemn exploitation of peasant labor and land, but enjoy the products they make. We deplore destruction of the environment but devour its bounty. We sign petitions, march with signs, read liberal news, write checks to right wrongs.

Genuine caring, though, is risky. Justice requires social change that's bold and deep. This means living and voting very differently.

Many of my friends will vote for Hillary because she is a woman or because she is not Trump. Few will vote for her because she is liberal, because instead both she and Trump, technically speaking, are fascists.

Fascism is the merger of government and large corporations. Together these dominate law, labor, money, military, media, and politics. During the past 40 years, through corporate mergers and immense political contributions, our country has become extensively fascistic. Our freedom becomes bounded more by corporations than by Constitutions.

Nazism is fascism that dominates by exterminating dissent, and attacking nations without first being attacked. This is "aggressive war," the chief war crime for which Nazi leaders were hung.

By these international standards, most U.S. presidents since William McKinley have been war criminals. Most recently, LBJ, Nixon, Reagan, Bill Clinton, both Bushes and Obama have approved various war crimes. This is easy to do, with 900 military bases worldwide. Our country has bombed 30 countries since World War Two, none of which attacked us.

During Bill Clinton's presidency (1993-2001), for example, hundreds of thousands of Iraqi children died from his embargo. Corporate control of media and the military ensured you did not see them die on television. Clinton's extraordinarily racist "three strikes" law and TANF legislation led to an explosion of the African-American prison population and family collapse. But Bill is a Democrat, so liberals admire him still. Hillary stood by Bill, then while Secretary of State pushed her own attacks on Libya, Syria, Yemen. The Clinton Foundation bagged millions of dollars from some of the world's worst dictators-- Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Algeria, Oman, the Emirates-- and some of the most toxic corporations-- Monsanto, ExxonMobil, Dow Chemical, Goldman Sachs, JP Morgan, NRG Energy, Pfizer, Boeing. Now as candidate for president she is backed by her "friend" Henry Kissinger, a war criminal. She would likewise revive the Cold War with Russia. She has threatened to "obliterate" Iran.

Others are welcome to vote for Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump, but both Trump and Hillary will continue America's decay. Trump will shred our flag by dividing us by race and religion. Hillary will aggravate every problem by serving the industries that have been dragging us down-- the military-industrial complex, the prison industry, agribusiness, big pharma, big oil and fracking, predatory banks, medical insurers, job loss by globalization, and global warming.

Every society, including ours, contains the seed of fascism, ready to sprout from fear and anger. We were taught after World War 2 that "just following orders" made us "good Germans" but bad Americans. We were taught pride in America's revolutionary history and our obligation to speak against tyranny. We were taught that obedience to evil makes one evil.

So I do not vote for war criminals. And I say so though many friends disagree. Trump would harm us unpredictably. Hillary would harm us systematically. Neither is inclined to push back. They are both creatures of this machine.

Such a situation reduces voting to a noble folly. Even when there are worthy candidates, elections are corrupted by slush money, closed debates, hacked voting machines and crooked voting officials.

Many liberals vote for fascists because for decades they have rejected third parties. They've narrowed their choices to fascists by repeatedly relying on a Democratic Party that is abandoning liberalism. Just as the Republican Party is no longer the party of Lincoln, the Democratic Party is no longer the party of FDR. Today, Republicans throw us off the cliff, while Democrats escort us politely over the edge.

Liberals have also allowed this decline because many of us depend on the very institutions which threaten us. We seek to conserve our remaining privileges as consumers benefitting from a global military empire. The Democratic Party invites us to believe they are at least comparatively humane. Every year, however, the Party becomes less humane, less liberal, and less democratic.

The challenge of replacing fascist parties, and fascist politicians regardless of their gender, color, religion, style, promises, or charm is thus up to us, not to them. I will vote for Jill Stein, but real change will come through revolution. Nonviolent revolution requires us to rely less on the corporations that rule elections. We do this by leaving the Middle Class to become the Mutual Class.

What is the Mutual Class? We build grassroots eco-housing on land trusts, we start local health co-ops, we invest in regional organic farms, green schools, promote transit and biking, credit unions, state banks, regional stock exchanges, and local currencies. We own the essential systems that keep us alive, and manage them co-operatively. We take control of the economy, starting where we live. We focus on creating, more than consuming.

There is no shortcut to restoring our liberties. While the Middle Class goes further into debt, the Mutual Class gets ahead by getting together.

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Paul Glover teaches Metropolitan Ecology at Temple University. He is founder of Ithaca HOURS local currency, Philadelphia Orchard Project, Ithaca Health Alliance, Green Jobs Philly, Citizen Planners of Los Angeles, and many other groups. He is (more...)
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