Freedom

Fascism Is On The Horizon If Donald Trump Is Reelected: Warning Of Author Sinclair Lewis In His Work “It Can’t Happen Here” In 1935

In 1935, Novelist Sinclair Lewis wrote a prophetic novel, “It Can’t Happen Here”, stating that what was happening in Fascist Italy under Benito Mussolini and Nazi Germany under Adolf Hitler, could happen in the United States. Lewis wrote that it would be “clothed in a flag and carrying a Bible!”

This was way before the horrors of Fascist Italy and Nazi Germany reached their peaks over the next decade, but already enough evidence of the dangers of the manipulation of minds with emotional rhetoric dividing groups in a society, based upon race, ethnicity, religion, and national origins.

Lewis was warning about the potential dangers represented by Huey Long of Louisiana, who was assassinated months later in 1935, with the story of his assassination covered in my book “Assassinations, Threats, and the American Presidency: From Andrew Jackson to Barack Obama” (Rowman Littlefield Publishers 2015, Paperback Edition 2017).

It could also be applied later, in the 1950s, to Senator Joseph McCarthy of Wisconsin; to third party Presidential candidate George Wallace of Alabama in 1968; and to President Donald Trump.

Only Trump, with his Fascist appeal, backed up by military, police and evangelical support, and rallies to appeal to those who are racist oriented, and also nativists, white supremacists at Charlottesville, antisemitic, Islamophobic, and misogynistic, is a clear and present danger, as he is the President of the United States.

He has stoked Fascist appeals as a manipulative method for the past five years since he announced his candidacy in 2015, and has set out to destroy all traditions and norms!

A lot of intelligent people, including those I know or knew, and also a lot of not so bright people who have emotional attachment to Donald Trump, since they are ignorant and share his horrific beliefs, have rallied around him.

And yet, many conservatives and Republicans who really care about our Constitution and rule of law, and the perpetuation of our democracy, are alarmed by Trump’s constant attack on “Fake Media”.

Trump calls everyone and everything which opposes his authoritarian bent as unAmerican. He waves the American flag as if he owns patriotism, when it is his critics who are truly patriotic, and care about human rights and freedom.

Donald Trump incites in a crazy manner on Twitter daily, and in the midst of the greatest crises since the Great Depression and World War II, he ignores and refuses to take responsibility for the Second Great Depression and the CoronaVirus Pandemic!

He stokes bloodshed and violence in attacking those who are promoting the need for racial healing, and encourages right wing hoodlums in the streets of Portland, Seattle, Kenosha and elsewhere,

This presents the danger of greater violence in the two months left to the Presidential Election of 2020, and the interim to the next inauguration, and his stated refusal to accept defeat if the election goes against him, an absolutely terrifying scenario!

It would seem that his opponents, Joe Biden and Kamala Harris, face constant threats of assassination, and this author of a book on assassinations is truly alarmed that someone who is a Trumpite will attempt to do that!

If Trump is reelected, this nation will be threatened in its basic values in a way never having come to power with Huey Long, Joseph McCarthy, or George Wallace, despite these earlier threats in the 1930s, 1950s, and 1960s. It will be an authoritarian dictatorship without any control, a nightmare that will mirror the horrors of Fascist Italy and even Nazi Germany!

As Sinclair Lewis wrote in “It Can’t Happen Here”, it actually “Can Happen Here”!

June 17 In American History

Today is Father’s Day and the birthday, also, of my oldest son, David, who was born on Father’s Day, a coinciding event that occurs rarely.

But it is also a major historic day in American history in a number of ways.

1775–Battle of Bunker Hill in Boston, actually at Breed’s Hill location nearby, second battle of developing American Revolution against Great Britain.

1856–Republican Party opens its first National Convention in Philadelphia.

1885–Statue of Liberty, a gift from France, arrives in New York Harbor, will be installed in 1886.

1932–“Bonus Army” veterans of World War I march on the US Capitol, demanding veterans benefits in midst of Great Depression under President Herbert Hoover.

1954–The end of the Army-McCarthy hearings, which leads to the Senate censure of Joseph McCarthy of Wisconsin for his misbehavior.

1972–The Watergate Break In occurs, the beginning of the downfall of Richard Nixon, the most corrupt President until Donald Trump.

2015–Nine African American worshipers at Emmanuel AME Baptist Church in Charleston, South Carolina, are murdered by a 21 year old white racist gunman.

All of these events are tied together–the promotion of freedom, liberty, principle, social justice, civil rights, and the rule of law.

All of these principles are under attack in 2018!

152nd Anniversary Of “The Nation” Magazine, The Oldest Weekly Publication In America!

Yesterday, July 6th, was the 152nd Anniversary of “The Nation” Magazine, the oldest weekly publication in America!

Started right after the Civil War’s end in 1865, “The Nation” has always been hard hitting, principled and honest!

It has held to liberal values more than any similar publication, never diverting from it in any fashion.

It has often been attacked and vilified but has always stood proud for its beliefs in equality, justice, freedom, and against right wing extremism from wherever it has emerged.

Many brilliant scholars and authors have penned essays for “The Nation”, and has helped to make it one of the great examples of literary excellence over a century and a half of American history.

It has never had a great amount of financial support, but has somehow survived through difficult times, including the Red Scare in 1919-1920 under Attorney General A. Mitchell Palmer (Woodrow Wilson), and the Second Red Scare of the late 1940s and early 1950s, generally known as McCarthyism, but much more than just one Wisconsin Republican Senator who was allowed to go berserk from 1950-1954.

“The Nation” is leading the charge against Donald Trump, and is part of the great journalistic tradition of challenging government authority, when it aims to take away our civil liberties and civil rights.

The PBS “Roosevelts” Series Inspires Need For Progressive Leadership To Stop New “Gilded Age”!

The Ken Burns PBS series, “The Roosevelts”, started on Sunday night and continues through Saturday night, a 14 hour event, and is easily the best documentary presented on PBS in many years!

Seeing the story of Presidents Theodore Roosevelt and Franklin D. Roosevelt  and First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt inspired a desire in this author and blogger of the need for Progressive leadership of the type that TR and FDR and Eleanor represented, now in the 21st Century, to stop the abuses and damage that right wing conservatism has done, creating a new “Gilded Age’, and seeing wealthy billionaires wield power, and attempt fix elections, similar to JP Morgan and other millionaires at the time of TR in the White House.

But TR used the Presidency and federal power to crack down on unregulated capitalism, in what became known as the Progressive Era, and future Presidents of both parties, including Woodrow Wilson, Franklin D. Roosevelt, Harry Truman, Dwight D. Eisenhower, John F. Kennedy, Lyndon B. Johnson, Jimmy Carter, Bill Clinton and Barack Obama followed suit, but except for FDR and JFK, not in the same exciting vein and dynamic leadership that TR represented!

We now desperately need a new “Progressive Era”, but the right wing Supreme Court, picked by conservative Republicans, has done great damage, and the Congressional Republicans have made it very difficult for President Obama to accomplish many of his goals, although he has done a great deal that can be commended, despite strong obstructionism!

But to recognize the democratic nation that TR and FDR promoted, we need a massive change, and this series could have such an effect on the American psyche in the future, and we should all pray for that as the only way to advance democracy, justice, and true freedom in America in the future!

The Republican War On The IRS Is An Anarchistic, Extremist Attack!

The Republican Party has declared war on the Internal Revenue Service, the basic backbone of how the federal government operates, how it protects the nation, and advances the domestic agenda of the United States, to make it the nation of freedom, justice, and equality that it was meant to be!

If you left it to the Republican Party, which operates as an anarchistic, extremist movement against the whole structure of our federal government, they would move to repeal the 16th Amendment to the Constitution, which Republican President William Howard Taft advocated.

The Republican Party calls for abolition of the IRS, without saying how they would replace the funding that it provides for our national defense; for our multitude of federal government agencies that give Americans all kinds of services; and for protection of our elderly, our children, our disabled, our poor!

It seems that the Republican Party wants to go back to America and what it was in 1789–a nation of four million people with state governments having all of the power, or lack of it, to help maintain the safety, security, and advancement of its citizens!

Anyone who has studied American history knows that state governments have always been incompetent, inept, and too corrupt to be in charge of all of the massive responsibilities that the federal government has had since the First World War, the Great Depression, and the Second World War!

If the Republican Party were, somehow, able to accomplish what they advocate, it would lead to total chaos, anarchy, disruption, and the dissolution of a stable government!

So the right wing of the GOP is a dangerous, anarchistic, extremist group! Let’s call the reality what it is, a danger to all of America’s citizens!

The False Glamor Of Secession: The “Red” States, Quebec, And Scotland

The concept of secession has become a key word in society when there are discontented people who somehow believe central government in a democracy is evil, because it will not allow them to pursue their prejudices.

So we have, more in the past than right now, the glamor of secession that has been promoted by French speaking Quebec to overcome the English influence in the rest of Canada, although Quebec would be in very poor economic shape if it did secede.

We also have the move for Scotland to secede from the United Kingdom, breaking away from England, Wales, and Northern Ireland, but in reality, that would impoverish Scotland.

And then we have the “Red” states, particularly those in the South, but also including the Southwest and the Great Plains, who dream of secession, mourning the failure of secession during the Civil War.

And yet, it is these “Red” states that are, by far, the poorest states in America, and get loads of benefits from the national government that they profess to hate!

It seems more the reality that these people living in the “Red” states who wish secession are purely ignorant, lack education, and have no clue as to how much they benefit from the federal government, so they are spiting themselves with their own stubbornness.

But really, what it comes down to is that they resent the inability to discriminate freely against African Americans, Latinos, women, and gays, due to federal laws and intervention by federal courts.

These states claim to be “devout” and “religious”, but actually are far from being so, as they lack all ethics and morals that true religion teaches!

These states have many people who wish the 19th century was back, when men dominated women, whites dominated over African Americans, and a small plantation elite controlled all government, much of it in the national government, until that “evil” man, Abraham Lincoln, came along and reasserted the basic teachings of the Founding Fathers, that this was a nation of freedom, liberty, and justice, even though many of the Founding Fathers practiced hypocrisy and deception themselves, but knew it was wrong! The Civil Rights Movement had begun with the end of slavery, a long, hard fought battle still being waged!

Lincoln opened up a new concept of America, and he would see leaders in the 20th century, including Harry Truman, Dwight D. Eisenhower, John F. Kennedy, and Lyndon B. Johnson assert federal authority in the manner of Lincoln, revolutionizing the two political parties. The Democrats would become the Republicans of the Civil War in principle, and the Republicans would become the old, prejudiced Southern Democrats, fighting against equal opportunity and justice.

Meanwhile, the people of the “Red” states became victims, who were appealed to on the basis of fundamentalist religion, which had worked against integration of the races, and wanted to keep women down in a subservient position, and worked against promotion of equality for gays and lesbians, even though they had such people in their own midst, preaching one thing and conducting their lives as the opposite, pure hypocrisy!

Once the struggling people of the “Red” states realize they have been victimized by religious and political propaganda, the Republican Party will be as dead as a doornail, as it is a party based on pure hypocrisy and lack of basic principles of the party they created 160 years ago!

Senator Rand Paul Becomes Poll Leader For GOP Presidential Nomination: What Does It Mean?

Kentucky Senator Rand Paul, the son of libertarian favorite Ron Paul, former Congressman from Texas, has suddenly emerged as the leader in two polls–the CPAC straw poll and the New Hampshire straw poll, both in the past ten days.

This is seen as very surprising to many observers, and it certainly upsets Establishment Republicans who see Rand Paul as far from who they prefer to be the Republican Presidential nominee in 2016.

Rand Paul seems to appeal to young people, who also liked his dad, due to their desire to cut down American involvement in overseas interventions, but that is seen by critics as an unrealistic isolationism, which becomes more problematical with the Russian takeover of Crimea, and the possible intervention in the rest of Ukraine.

Rand Paul’s desire to cut the federal government and spending dramatically in a downward spiral also appeals to many young people, but worries those concerned about the growth of poverty and the decline of the middle class.

And Rand Paul’s statements about the Civil Rights Act of 1964, in regards to the dislike of “forcing” businesses to serve customers they do not want to serve, is also alarming to ethnic minorities, particularly African Americans and Latinos.

Rand Paul’s opposition to women controlling their own reproductive lives also is an alarm bell to many.

There are many who think Rand Paul is a shallow person, who should not even be considered Presidential material.

Are we ready for a libertarian isolationist in the 21st century, after the growth of government in the 20th century, and engaging in wars to promote freedom and liberty and justice in the world?

Are we ready to negate TR, Wilson FDR, and LBJ in domestic affairs, and turn inward in foreign policy?

These are the questions all Americans have to consider, and the thought of Rand Paul possibly becoming President terrifies many Republicans, as well as American citizens who feel that he cannot walk in the shoes of our greatest Presidents!