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Everybody acknowledges that the 2016 general election is of critical importance. What is also obvious is that the corporate-owned and corporate-controlled mainstream media (MSM) is again helping to orchestrate another series of lucrative “too-close-to-call”,” elections designed to sell the maximum number of political commercials.
As the president of CBS recently asserted: “Donald Trump is bad for America, but he is good for CBS.” All the other media corporations in America agreed, but none of the others blurted out that truth. Nevertheless, all of them are hoping for yet another highly profitable “cliff-hanger” election that will be good for the corporate bottom line even though it could be disastrous for the nation and the people.
In the heat of the campaigns, we misinformed, dis-informed and often deceived voters must be careful lest we again blindly allow our future economic or police state oppressors to tighten their already extensive control of our nation. Here is a short list of our future oppressors:
1) Wall Street’s Billionaires, the Privatizers of public institutions, the Big Banks, the Federal Reserve, the Chamber of Commerce, the Credit Card Companies, the College Loan Companies, Pay Day Lenders, Hedge Fund managers and a multitude of other Predatory Lenders;
2) War Street’s War Profiteers, the Pentagon, and the spooks and spies that try to control, with no accountability to anybody, America’s domestic and foreign policy [the dozen or so “intelligence agencies” that includes the NSA, the CIA and the FBI];
3) the major media that controls all the presidential debates and virtually all of what is marketed as “the news” [but is largely slanted pseudo-patriotic, pro-corporate, right-wing propaganda]; and
4) the billionaires and millionaires of the 1% ruling elites that are the paymasters of most of our professional politicians, who then dutifully introduce legislation and do whatever they can to promote the hidden agendas of those that can afford such legal bribery.
In every campaign (except for Senator Bernie Sanders and Jill Stein (Green Party candidate for president) there are any number of candidates from both political parties that are beholden to powerful, anti-democracy groups like the ubiquitous right-wing think tanks (estimated to number between 400 and 800) that want to strengthen their control over how the nation is governed and multinational corporations are given privileges that are not granted to individuals or small businesses.
The members of the wealthy ruling class are called plutocrats. Plutocrats have essentially total control of the national Republican Party and near-total control of the national Democratic Party as well, by virtue of the party’s acceptance of large campaign “contributions” from wealthy “donors” with special interests .
Money Doesn’t Talk, it Screams
Since the Republican Party has purged virtually every moderate Republican member of Congress since Karl Rove (“George W. Bush’s Evil Brain”) and the so-called Tea Party (NRA and Koch Brothers-funded) gained national prominence and influence, every Republican candidate and every conservative Supreme Court justice has been doing the bidding of Rove’s anonymous billionaires and the corporations they control. Money doesn’t just talk, it screams, as Bob Dylan once sang.
The many legislative lapdogs in the Senate and US Congress (as well as many state governments) who do the bidding of the 1% do not share the interests of middle or lower class citizens in racial, ethnic or religious minorities. Nor are they sensitive to the sustainability of the planet or the needs of our children and grandchildren.
Corporations - whose mode of operation resembles dictatorships rather than democracies - always want less democracy, lower taxes, the abolition of labor unions and thus cheaper and harder working laborers. As a matter of fact, corporations and their plutocrats have always preferred slavery systems that have no rules about fair wages, benefits or how many hours or days that can be demanded of workers.
In particular, extractive, unsustainable mining corporations that pollute the environment and poison its workers want politicians in power that will vote to weaken regulations, even if environmental catastrophes and the health of the inhabitants downstream or downwind are at risk.
What Should Freedom-loving American Patriots Do This November?
By freedom I don’t mean freedom to own weapons of mass destruction like assault rifles or grenade launchers and I don’t mean freedom from paying taxes that promote the common good. By freedom I mean freedom of speech, freedom of assembly, freedom of the press, freedom from unwarranted search and seizure, freedom from discrimination, freedom of religion, freedom from religious oppression, freedom to participate fully in elections, freedom from police brutality and freedom from being forced to kill fellow humans.
I mean freedom from the oppression of tyrants and their tyrannical institutions; freedom from the influence of war-mongers, war-profiteers and their wars. I mean freedom from bigotry, homophobia, xenophobia, racism, sexism and freedom from the possibility of living under the jackboot heels of a theocratic state, whether it is instituted by the extremist Islamic Sharia Law ( aka, “Islamofascism” which promotes punitive laws including capital punishment and stonings) or an extremist, Sharia Law-like, Christian Fundamentalist state (aka, “Christofascism” which promotes punitive Old Testament laws including capital punishment and stonings). A Christofascist agenda has, incidentally, been popularized in the Bible Belt/Red State realm by the right-wing Christian Reconstructionist movement). For more on this sobering reality, see http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2005/12/nation-under-god.
How Fascist-Leaning are Your Political Candidates?
Over the past few years I have written several Duty to Warn voter’s guide columns asking “How Fascist-Leaning are Your Political Candidates?” I have occasionally quoted the original definition of fascism of the Italian philosopher Giovanni Gentile. Italy’s late, lamented dictator, Benito Mussolini has often been credited with coming up with the definition. In any case, it reads “Fascism is a system of government that exercises a dictatorship of the extreme right, typically through the merging of state and business leadership, together with belligerent nationalism.”
Scholar Dr Laurence Britt wrote an article entitled “Fascism Anyone?” which listed 14 common characteristics of fascism and the abuse of political power by corporations whose agendas are enforced by police state tactics. (Read the column at: http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/HL1410/S00038/a-voting-guide-for-antifascist-green-voters.htm.)
In that column I suggested that voters carefully scrutinize the political parties and candidates by learning about the corporations, business affiliations, religious institutions and individuals that support them and to which they are therefore beholden.
How Fascist-leaning is Your Candidate’s Religion?
Voters need to scrutinize how right-wing are the theological beliefs that their candidates espouse. For understanding a candidate’s religious and theological beliefs (and thus their positions on war, dissent, justice-seeking, truth-telling, crime and punishment, etc), one will have to know about the theological interpretations of the various scriptures held to be sacred by the particular religion that indoctrinated the candidate. These are obviously important factors that are rarely discussed in the media, but which will likely influence the law-making and law-enforcing decisions that the candidate will make if elected. Good Germans regret not fully understanding, before they voted for the very last time in 1933, how much Adolf Hitler and his followers had adopted the virulent anti-Semitism of German religionists like Martin Luther.
Many religions are hierarchical, male-dominated, sexist, racist, homophobic, xenophobic, violence- and war-compatible and therefore tend to be not only anti-democratic but also comfortable with fascist values. One only has to look at how readily the vast majority of Christian leaders accommodated to Hitler’s holocaust agenda both before and during WWII.
The Republican NeoCon Agenda
For several decades there has been in existence a class of unusually powerful political operatives known as “NeoConservatives”. The NeoCon movement of the Republican Party group was best illustrated by the Project for the New American Century (PNAC) that dictated the pro-military political agendas of the Cheney/Bush/Rumsfeld/Rove administration, the disastrous, illegal and bankrupting wars for oil and the Cheney/Bush stock market crash of 2008.
One of America’s early NeoCons, Jeanne Kirkpatrick, in her essay “Dictatorships and Double Standards”, articulated the case for supporting pro-American, anti-democratic, anti-socialist, anti-labor union, frequently CIA-orchestrated, fascist dictatorships around the world. Republican administrations and, to a lesser extent, Democratic administrations, have been adopting such agendas ever since the CIA was formed immediately following WWII.
Despite losing political power to the Obama administration in 2009, the NeoConservatives have been impatiently trying to regain total governmental control by their stated intent to cause Obama and his administration to fail via GOP-inflicted congressional gridlock, media propaganda, dirty tricks, fake impeachment chatter, falsification of data and endless half-truths, all happily embellished by the mainstream press.
With the GOP and the corporate-controlled press ignoring or obscuring the fact that Obama had inherited two unaffordable wars, the catastrophic economic crash of 2008 and the subsequent recession (plus virulent racism and multiple death threats) Obama has been mercilessly and usually unfairly beaten up for his inability to quickly and magically resolve the disasters that Rove, the Bushites and their NeoCon paymasters had created in the first place. Tragically for democracy and a well-informed electorate, those realities have been conveniently forgotten during every political campaign since 9/11. The false accusation of a “failed presidency” will surely be a major GOP propaganda tactic this season as well.
What Should Anti-Fascists be Doing?
Nobody can deny that the US has a highly censored press that is profit-motivated and not devoted to transparency, truth-telling or to building a well-informed electorate. There is a police state mentality in America that has been allowing the imprisonment of its impoverished minorities for the financial benefit of a privatized, profit-driven, prison-industrial complex. That mentality is responsible for the harassment of its whistle-blowers and peaceful dissenters and the mainstream press never seems to make any attempt to generate outrage among its readers, listeners and viewers.
America is already a highly militarized society whose secretive intelligence services (that cost nearly a trillion tax dollars per year) spy on the very citizens that are paying through the nose for them in the notorious “Black Box Budget” that is never revealed nor audited.
It can be fairly said that the US military has a nation (America), rather than the other way around, just like the Prussian military of the 18th, 19th and 20th centuries, that evolved into the Nazi military machine and also “had a nation”. It can also be said that the vast majority of US politicians never do anything that could be interpreted as opposing the military/industrial/congressional complex, especially the war profiteer’s highly profitable, well-oiled, too big to criticize and a war-glorifying, bankruptcy machine.
George Orwell, in his novel “1984”, and Sinclair Lewis, in his 1935 novel “It Can’t Happen Here”, both pointed out the risks of a fascist America. Lewis’s book was published the year after there had been a failed fascist coup plot against president Franklin Delano Roosevelt. The plot was planned by many of America’s captains of industry (including two Bush family ancestors), who had been impressed by Hitler’s “economic miracle” that turned around Germany’s economy after those same economic elites on Wall Street had contributed to the world-wide stock market crash in 1929. (For background, see: https://www.indybay.org/newsitems/2009/11/08/18628134.php
Advice for Those Who Still Have Hope for America
America’s politics and economics meets essentially all of Britt’s 14 point criteria for fascism (albeit lacking the presence of a fanatical, belligerent, shrieking pro-war dictator). Therefore it behooves all truly anti-fascist patriots, well before we vote, to learn the historical lessons of fascism, especially that of Nazi Germany, in which the extremist right-wing plutocrats and their Gestapo hit-men legally gained full control of the government in 1933 and ended the liberal democratic experiment of the Weimar Republic.
Among the planks of the Republican Party’s NeoCon platform are the various voter suppression actions (already implemented in states that are led by GOP governors and GOP legislators, as in Wisconsin). They include voter ID card requirements, registration list purges, civil rights suppression and the orchestration of long voter lines in GOP-gerrymandered precincts.
So before you vote, no matter what political party your preferred candidate represents, withhold your vote until you have been convinced that he or she – or their political party - will not become a future oppressor.
Tyrannical regimes are totally preventable by vigilant, well-informed, courageous e political engagement and the application of well-planned, nonviolent mass action in the streets; but, if that fails and tyrants take power, history tells us that violent revolution is inevitable. President John Fitzgerald Kennedy famously said: “Those who make peaceful revolution impossible will make violent revolution inevitable.”
Violently overthrowing tyrants involves a long and painful series of armed revolutionary acts where the police and the military. Unfortunately, both organizations are obedient to ruling elites and will inevitably line up on the side of the oppressors.
Most violent revolutions are doomed to failure, and are so destructive that most leaders, except for the most narcissistic, self-absorbed, megalomaniacal tyrants, will choose to avoid them.