Monday, January 28, 2013

Fascism And The GOP (Part One).

I was perusing the internet today (something I haven't had time to do in a long while) and I stumbled upon this handy little guide that defined Fascism in fourteen simple characteristics.  So instead of writing something about killing tools (guns) or general ignorance, I decided to draw up a comparison of what a Fascist state is like and what the modern Republican party is like.

Now before I go on, I want to get one thing clear: this is a liberal comedy/information blog written by an independent.  So while I could compare this same list to the Democrats (who do line up with a few of the numbers, but not the majority of them like the GOP does), I won't.  Do that yourself, you lazy fuck.

Another note: I am fully aware that this has probably been done before as the internet is a very large place.  Hell, I found one that compared the fourteen points to President Obama, albeit in a not-very-serious manner.

Here's the quick foreword from the website I got these from: "Dr. Lawrence Britt has examined the fascist regimes of Hitler (Germany), Mussolini (Italy), Franco (Spain), Suharto (Indonesia) and several Latin American regimes. Britt found 14 defining characteristics common to each."

 The characteristics will be in italics.  My own speech will be in a normal font.

1. Powerful and Continuing Nationalism - Fascist regimes tend to make constant use of patriotic mottos, slogans, symbols, songs, and other paraphernalia. Flags are seen everywhere, as are flag symbols on clothing and in public displays.

Songs?  Country music stars are overwhelmingly Republican and are consistently reinforcing Republican beliefs (Nugent, Hank Williams Jr., etc.).  Republican politicians consider it to be a career-killer not to wear an American flag pin in public.  And the real crotch kick here?  Lawmakers in Arizona are trying to pass a bill that would require all high school students to recite an oath supporting the U.S. Constitution (illegal), and another bill that would require all students to recite the pledge (also illegal).  Right now, all schools must set aside time for the pledge to be said, but forcing students to recite the pledge is a completely different beast.  Both bills mentioned above are in direct violation of the First Amendment.
2. Disdain for the Recognition of Human Rights - Because of fear of enemies and the need for security, the people in fascist regimes are persuaded that human rights can be ignored in certain cases because of "need." The people tend to look the other way or even approve of torture, summary executions, assassinations, long incarcerations of prisoners, etc. 

Holy fuck, where do I even begin?  I guess the best place to start would be with the recent Bush Administration.  I don't need to go into great detail here - every American is well aware of what happened after 9/11.  The Patriot Act was passed, allowing the government to listen in and record private communications of American citizens without a warrant.  The T.S.A. cracked down on airport security to the point of ridiculousness.  The right of Habeas Corpus was suspended.  Guantanamo Bay was opened.

We were convinced that going to war with Iraq was necessary to protect our security.  We were convinced that torture was necessary to protect us, despite a long history of the U.S. supporting the Geneva Convention.

And let's not forget the hurdle we still face: same-sex marriage.  The GOP will not budge on the issue of allowing the gay community to marry.  That's a human rights issue. 

As 2001 became 2002, the GOP used our fear for their advantage, passing law after law that curtailed human rights, be they American humans or not.  I'd say that the GOP earned this one.  So far, they're two for two.

3. Identification of Enemies/Scapegoats as a Unifying Cause - The people are rallied into a unifying patriotic frenzy over the need to eliminate a perceived common threat or foe: racial , ethnic or religious minorities; liberals; communists; socialists, terrorists, etc.

Adolf Hitler famously blamed Germany's post-WWI problems on the Jewish peoples of the Motherland.  He was not, however, the only leader to ever do such a thing.  Senator McCarthy led his own witch-hunt against American communists in the '50's.  The Southern States of the U.S. - right-leaning and generally Republican dominated - used such tactics on non-whites since pretty much forever.  They still kind of do.

After 9/11, members of the GOP scapegoated every member of Islam, regardless of whether they were American citizens or not and, in some cases, regardless of whether or not they were actually Muslims.  They still do.

Today, Fox News - the media arm of the GOP - blames all of America's problems on liberals, socialists, communists, feminists, you friggin' name it.  Republicans do this all the time.  This is a core fascist principle.

Three for three, fuckers.
4. Supremacy of the Military - Even when there are widespread domestic problems, the military is given a disproportionate amount of government funding, and the domestic agenda is neglected. Soldiers and military service are glamorized.

In 2009, our defense budget accounted for 40% of the total global arms spending.  Last year, the 20 countries that spent the most on their military (after us) combined was still less than our 2012 budget for defense.  Hey.  That's kind of disproportionate, right?

Now, some of this is on the president, including current incumbent President Obama.  But the majority of it is on Congress, as they are the ultimate decision-makers (albeit rarely) on how money is allocated.  Republicans refuse to cut defense spending.  They'd rather cut education.     

In a time when we need education, and we need infrastructure, and we need better social programs, spending that much on defense in unacceptable, particularly now that we are out of Iraq.  

And that last part about soldiers and the military is important.  When I first read that, I misunderstood what it meant, confusing respect with glamorization.  That is a culture thing, not necessarily on the GOP, and thus I won't address it.  We respect our military men and women.  We glamorize war.

Four for four.

5. Rampant Sexism - The governments of fascist nations tend to be almost exclusively male-dominated. Under fascist regimes, traditional gender roles are made more rigid. Divorce, abortion and homosexuality are suppressed and the state is represented as the ultimate guardian of the family institution. 

Ladies.  Look at the GOP for a second.  Not just at how it is now, but how it has been over the last four years as well.  There has been a new push to infringe on your rights, hasn't there?  Abortion and birth control have been in the headlines a lot lately.  And if you look at the Republican group at the federal level, you'll probably notice that there isn't too much diversity there.  White males dominate the GOP.

And what has the GOP been trying to do since 2008?  Re-brand itself as the party of "traditional American values" (i.e. man works, woman stays home to raise the kids, no divorce, families of four, etc.) - the guardian of the American family.

Oh, and they've been trying to suppress homosexuality quite a bit, too.  That whole "one man, one woman" argument has been around for awhile, and it has always sounded ignorant.  

To recap, we have a party of primarily "traditional American family" men making laws about abortion and homosexuality.     
I think that's five for five, folks.  

6. Controlled Mass Media - Sometimes the media is directly controlled by the government, but in other cases, the media is indirectly controlled by government regulation, or sympathetic media spokespeople and executives. Censorship, especially in war time, is very common.
This one is the first point with a bit of grey area.  In the U.S., we have no media controlled directly by the government unless you count C-Span.  It is, however, indirectly controlled by regulation.

I cannot say that this point applies to the GOP, despite Fox News's existence, because the GOP does not control the mass media.  However, I will argue that Fox News plays a huge role in the GOP war machine.  They are, by and large, propaganda pushers.  And for those of you who disagree, here's the dictionary definition of the word "propaganda":

1. Information, esp. of a biased or misleading nature, used to promote or publicize a particular political cause or point of view.
2. The dissemination of such information as a political strategy.

Fox News consistently peddles biased, misleading, and sometimes outright false news stories to make the GOP look good and the Democrats/liberals look bad.  Hell, just last month, I posted a story about how Fox News has attempted to label the Westboro Baptist Church as a fucking liberal organization.

Still, mass media is mass media, and thankfully Fox News hasn't become the only news station.

Five for six.

7. Obsession with National Security - Fear is used as a motivational tool by the government over the masses.  

I think I've already covered this one in an earlier point, but I'll elaborate a bit more.  Benghazi is a great example of it.  The GOP is trying to get us afraid of terrorists again, but the facts aren't blowing their way.  How can an embassy be secure if the GOP cut the funding for it?
The GOP operates on fear.  "If you don't  _____, you're going to lose ______!"  or "______ is/are trying to take our _______!"

Basically, the only way the GOP can ever get anything done is if they get enough people afraid of the consequences of inaction.  The "Death Panels" thing about Obamacare is a great example.  The myth that wind turbines - clean energy - can cause cancer (yeah, that's real) was created for the sole purpose of getting people to refuse their construction.

The myth that the Sandy Hook Elementary school shooting was a hoax perpetuated by the Obama Administration in order to be able to take your guns away is another.  It's insane but believable because their constituents want to believe it.  

This started with the Bush Administration, and continues to this day.  Republicans may no longer be in a position of power but, as this list deals with the party - not the entire government - point number seven still goes to them.

That's six for seven.  I hope the other seven points go better for the GOP.  I mean, it's crazy to think that we as Americans would allow fascists to openly operate in our system of government, don't you think?

Stay tuned for #8-#14 of this list!  Let me know what you think of it so far in the comments below (what I could do better, what I did poorly, etc).    


*sigh* Liberals... said...

I am very sorry that you're having such trouble with being a raging liberal bitch. I pity you, and cry my own tears at how shallow and meaningless your life must be running a blog about things that won't actually change the way people think. Your material certainly is bitchy and liberal, but won't change anyone with a brain.

I want to know what you think
e-mail me your reply at

A Sane Break said...

You are a DELIGHT, and I appreciate your criticism(?).

Thank you for your tears, though. Really. It makes me feel good to know that there is someone out there, crying their own tears (not someone else's!) praying and feeling sorry for us raging liberal bitches. You do me a great honor.

And hey, thanks for reading! I didn't actually force you to look at any of my posts and yet, here you are, offering your absolutely insightful opinion through insult and mockery.

I'll be sure to take it to heart.