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The recall election of Wisconsin Republican governor and preacher’s kid Scott Walker will be held next week. Several of Walker’s fellow NeoConservative legislators are also on the recall ballot for betraying many of their constituents by trying to legislate away some of their civil rights without mentioning their intentions to do so in the campaigns.
The actions of these politicians hearken back to the legacy of the notorious proto-fascist Republican U.S. senator from Wisconsin, Joe McCarthy, who died in infamy soon after being called out for his shamelessness during the Army-McCarthy Hearings in the early 1950s. “Tail-gunner Joe” is remembered in the use of his last name in the descriptive term “McCarthyism,” which is a euphemistic way of saying “American-style fascism.”
These Wisconsin GOP politicians are being heavily supported financially by the infamous, likewise proto-fascist billionaire Koch Brothers (whose father started the equally infamous, far-right-wing John Birch Society) and other obscenely rich and therefore influential, anti-democratic, outside-the-state billionaire groups of similar ilk (including Karl Rove’s SuperPac). At the ballot boxes, Walker and Co. will be facing angry teachers, cops, firefighters, union workers, and others sympathetic to fairness, justice, suffering humanity, the future of our children, and the sustainability of the planet.
In a letter to the editor in the May 24th edition of the Duluth Reader, Philip Anderson of Maple, WI, outlined the multitude of reasons why Wisconsinites in the lower 99 Percent should vote for Walker’s recall (not to mention why Minnesotans and other fair-minded Americans should be interested in the outcome).
Anderson listed Walker’s support of the regressive agendas of the ruling 1 Percent. They include his anti-environmental, anti-union, anti-worker, anti-education, anti-woman, anti-voter, anti-medical care, pro-corporate, pro-deregulation, pro-Big Business, pro-Big Mining political leanings, all part of the anti-democracy agenda of the current Republican Party that has been taken over by right-wing political and religious extremists. Hidden behind the Koch/Walker agenda lies unspoken homophobia, racism, and a pro-war agenda.
It doesn’t take much knowledge of the history of European fascism to use the term proto-fascism to describe what the Republican Party has gradually morphed into since World War II, Richard Nixon, and old 666 himself, Ronald Wilson Reagan. We 99 Percenters need to understand that history because our nation is tottering at the top of a slippery slope that could be the end of democracy in America. We need to heed the lessons of the many nations that tried fascism and suicided while doing it. It would be best if Wisconsinites could take a crash course this week!
To promote this notion for voters, I ask readers to see if they can recognize certain fascist themes from some statements of belief from famous fascists from history (listed below). Reading them should warn most thinking people away from voting for any politician—Republican or Democrat or Libertarian—who is controlled by hidden, often nefarious paymasters who may be attempting to push our fragile American democracy further down the slippery slope to fascism (and greater corporate profitability, lower wages, fewer worker benefits, and less government regulation).
Recalling what the NeoConservative founder of Americans for Tax Reform, Grover Nordquist, infamously said five months before 9/11/01 is instructive: “I don’t want to abolish government [i.e., American democracy]. I simply want to reduce it to the size where I can drag it into the bathroom and drown it in the bathtub.”
But first, before reading the quotes, here is a short list of the 14 characteristics of fascism, from Lawrence Britt, PhD, from an article he wrote: “Fascism Anyone?”
The 14 Characteristics of
Fascism (Lawrence Britt, PhD)
• Powerful Nationalism/
• Human Rights Violations
• Unification Around
• Press Censorship/Control
• Strong National Security State
• “Merger” of Church and State
• Suppression of Trade Unions
• Law and Order Obsession
• Corrupt Crony Capitalism
• Fraudulent Elections
And here are the quotes:
“Fascism should more appropriately be called corporatism as it is a merger of state and corporate power.” –Italian philosopher Giovanni Gentile (stolen from Gentile by Benito Mussolini)
“We stand for the maintenance of private property ... We shall protect free enterprise as the most expedient, or rather the sole possible economic order.” –Adolf Hitler
“It also gives us a very special, secret pleasure to see how unaware the people around us are of what is really happening to them.” –Adolf Hitler
“What good fortune for those in power that the people do not think.” –Adolf Hitler
“Through clever and constant application of propaganda, people can be made to see paradise as hell, and also the other way around, to consider the most wretched sort of life as paradise.” –Adolf Hitler, Mein Kampf, 1923
“The fascist state must not forget that all means must serve the ends; it must not let itself be confused by the drivel about so-called ‘freedom of the press’ ... it must make sure that [the media] is placed in the service of the state.” –Adolf Hitler, Mein Kampf
“An evil exists that threatens every man, woman, and child of this great nation. We must take steps to ensure our domestic security and protect our homeland.” –Adolf Hitler, proposing the creation of his homeland security enforcers, the Gestapo
“My feelings as a Christian points me to my Lord and Savior as a fighter. It points me to the man who once in loneliness, surrounded by a few followers, recognized these Jews for what they were and summoned men to fight against them and who, God’s truth! was greatest not as a sufferer but as a fighter. In boundless love as a Christian and as a man I read through the passage which tells us how the Lord at last rose in His might and seized the scourge to drive out of the Temple the brood of vipers and adders. How terrific was His fight for the world against the Jewish poison. Today, after two thousand years, with deepest emotion I recognize more profoundly than ever before the fact that it was for this that He had to shed His blood upon the Cross. As a Christian I have no duty to allow my self to be cheated, but I have the duty to be a fighter for truth and justice…. And if there is anything which could demonstrate that we are acting rightly it is the distress that daily grows. For as a Christian I have also a duty to my own people.” –Adolf Hitler, in a speech on April 12, 1922
“I believe that I am acting in accordance with the will of the Almighty Creator; by defending myself ... I am fighting for the Lord.” –Adolf Hitler
“The streets of our country are in turmoil! The universities are filled with students rebelling and rioting! Communists are seeking to destroy our country! Russia is threatening us with her might! Our republic is in danger, yes, danger from within and without! WE NEED LAW AND ORDER!” –Adolf Hitler (indistinguishable from the rhetoric of Ronald Reagan two generations later)
“Today Christians stand at the head of our country. We want to fill our culture again with the Christian spirit. We want to burn out all the recent immoral developments in literature, in the theatre, and in the press—in short, we want to burn out the poison of immorality which has entered into our whole life and culture as a result of liberal excess during the past years.” –Adolph Hitler
“If you tell a lie big enough and keep repeating it, people will eventually come to believe it. The lie can be maintained only for such time as the State can shield the people from the political, economic and/or military consequences of the lie. It thus becomes vitally important for the State to use all of its powers to repress dissent, for the truth is the mortal enemy of the lie, and thus by extension, the truth is the greatest enemy of the State.” –Joseph Goebbels, German Nazi “Minister of Propaganda and Public Enlightenment”
“The rank and file is usually much more primitive than we imagine. Propaganda must therefore always be essentially simple and repetitious. The most brilliant propagandist technique will yield no success unless one fundamental principle is borne in mind constantly ... it must confine itself to a few points and repeat them over and over.” –Joseph Goebbels
“We had the moral right, we had the duty to our own people, to kill this people that wanted to kill us. We can say that we have performed this most difficult task out of love for our people. And we have suffered no harm from it in our inner self, in our soul, in our character.” –Heinrich Himmler (1943)
“We must exterminate these people root and branch. Just think how many children will never be born because of this. The homosexual is a traitor to his own people and must be rooted out. The homosexual must be entirely eliminated.” –Heinrich Himmler, who, in 1936, established the Federal Security Office for Combating Abortion and Homosexuality
“‘The Jewish people are to be exterminated,’ says every party member. That’s clear, it’s part of our program, elimination of the Jews, extermination; right, we’ll do it. The wealth that [the Jews] had, we have taken from them. I have issued a strict command ... that this wealth is as a matter of course to be delivered in its entirety to the Reich.” – Heinrich Himmler (1943)
“One principle must be absolute for the SS man: we must be honest, decent, loyal and comradely to members of our own blood and to no one else. What happens to the Russians, what happens to the Czechs, is a matter of utter indifference to me. Such good blood as there may be among the nations we shall acquire for ourselves, if necessary by taking away the children and bringing them up among us. Whether the other people live in comfort or perish of hunger interests me only in so far as we need them as slaves for our culture; apart from that it does not interest me. Whether or not ten thousand Russian women collapse from exhaustion while digging a tank ditch interests me only in so far as the tank ditch is completed for Germany. It is a crime against our own blood to worry about them or assume they are human as we are human. Most of you know what it means to see a hundred corpses lying together—five hundred or a thousand—in Auschwitz, Ravensbruch, Lubin.… To have gone through this and yet to have remained decent, this has made us hard. This is a glorious page in our history.” –Heinrich Himmler
Dr Kohls is a retired physician who writes about peace, justice, religion, war, politics, medicine, nutrition, and mental health issues. He fears that America may already be descending into a militarized, right-wing, corporate-controlled police state (fascism), but there are preventive measures that still can be taken. As a physician, Dr. Kohls regards it as his duty to warn his patients and others about the root causes of war, violence, oppression, and mental ill health that always accompany fascism. He is motivated to work for a peaceful world for his children and grandchildren as well as all the children and grandchildren who are struggling to live on this imperiled planet.