George Wallace Assassination Attempt

America’s Fascist Demagogues In History: Huey P. Long, Joseph McCarthy, George C. Wallace, Patrick Buchanan!

The United States has had its Fascist demagogues in the past nearly hundred years of our history, but luckily, they “burned out” very quickly.

We had Democratic Governor and Senator Huey P. Long, who condemned the New Deal of Franklin D. Roosevelt in the early 1930s era of the Great Depression.  He had a big following on radio; drew large public crowds; preached “Every Man A King” and “Share The Wealth” as he attacked Wall Street; had his own group of “storm troopers” to protect him;  and made clear that he hoped to come to power on a national level, having alienated his Senate colleagues and the President by his tactics and showmanship.

His potential threat disappeared, however, when he was assassinated in the Louisiana State Capitol in Baton Rouge in September 1935, a mystery that still exists today, as covered in Chapter 7 of my book, ASSASSINATIONS, THREATS, AND THE AMERICAN PRESIDENCY: FROM ANDREW JACKSON TO BARACK OBAMA (Rowman Littlefield Publishers, August 2015).  He reminded many of Benito Mussolini and Adolf Hitler, both of whom had not yet become as aggressive and warlike as they would become in the mid to late 1930s and early 1940s.

Then we had evil personified in Wisconsin Republican Senator Joseph R. McCarthy of Wisconsin, who stirred fear and insecurity in America in the early 1950s, when he accused Presidents Harry Truman and Dwight D. Eisenhower and many government and other public figures of being Communists, or “soft on Communism”.

He ruined thousands of people’s lives, caused their deaths or complete destruction of their lives, but it was all a ploy backed by right wing conservatives, who continue to honor him, even after his political downfall in December 1954 when the US Senate condemned him, and his early death of alcoholism in May 1957.  This despicable man was a true Fascist demagogue with too many people ready to back him, but his cockiness and arrogance and false charges finally brought him down.

Then we had Democratic Governor George C. Wallace of Alabama, who sowed racism in America as he stood in the door of the University of Alabama in 1963 to attempt to block integration of the state university, and allowed police brutality in Birmingham and elsewhere, leading to the bombing of a black church and the death of young girls in the explosion.

A true Fascist demagogue of the worst kind, he actually gained five states and 46 electoral votes as a third party candidate for President in 1968.  Then, while running in 1972 again, he was shot and paralyzed for life by an assassin, a tragic event for sure, but brought on by his notoriety and demagogic nature.  Wallace’s story is well covered in Chapter 11 of my new book mentioned above.

And then we had Patrick Buchanan, an aide to President Richard Nixon and President Ronald Reagan, who promoted nativism and racism and antisemitism, including Holocaust denial,   as he campaigned against President George H. W. Bush in the 1992 primaries; against Bob Dole in the 1996 primaries;  and then ran as a third party candidate of the Reform Party in 2000.

Due to confusion in Palm Beach County, Florida, Buchanan gained 4,000 votes that were intended by voters for Al Gore, but mistakenly, these elderly, mostly Jewish voters punched the wrong hole on the “butterfly” ballots, and by doing so, caused the election of George W. Bush statewide, officially by a total of 537 votes, sadly denying Al Gore the Presidency, despite his national popular vote lead of 540,000!

Buchanan clearly was and is a Fascist demagogue, who, however, has become someone ignored, and no longer has a major media presence in his later years, as he once did on cable television as a political commentator on MSNBC and CNN, although he still is on Fox News Channel and PBS.

And now we have, at the least, two Fascist demagogues, now considered the front runners in the Republican race for President—Donald Trump and Texas Senator Ted Cruz!  Again, the fight against right wing Fascism and its elements–racism, nativism, misogyny, antisemitism—remain a battle decent people must fight with every ounce of their energy!

Huey Long, Joseph McCarthy, George Wallace, Donald Trump—The Art Of Demagoguery!

It is now clear that we have in our midst a true demagogue—a person who appeals to the insecurity and disillusionment of many Americans about the direction of their nation in domestic and foreign policy.

We have had this before, and it always ends in disaster and loss of reputation, without accomplishing anything beneficial in the short run or the long run.

We had Senator Huey Long of Louisiana in the early 1930s, who gained a following of millions, talked about “Every Man A King” in the midst of the Great Depression. He ended up being assassinated in 1935 while seeking the Presidency. This is covered in Chapter 7 of my forthcoming book, “Assassinations, Threats, and the American Presidency: From Andrew Jackson to Barack Obama”, from Rowman Littlefield, to be published and available on August 15.

We had Senator Joseph McCarthy of Wisconsin in the early 1950s, when there was the ongoing Cold War with the Soviet Union, exploited as an issue, causing the destruction of the lives and reputations of millions of Americans without any justification. It ended up with the collapse and repudiation of the Red Scare, and the early death of McCarthy from alcoholism.

We had Governor George Wallace of Alabama, who divided the nation over racial integration and civil rights, and won five states in the Electoral College in the Presidential Election of 1968, and then was shot and paralyzed for life during the Presidential Election campaign of 1972. This tragedy, ironically, led to a reformed Wallace who changed his view on civil rights as a result of his own handicapped condition as a result of the assassination attempt. I cover this in Chapter 11 of my forthcoming book on August 15, which I have listed the title and publisher two paragraphs above this one.

Now we have Donald Trump, who is promoting racism and nativism, and since he is super wealthy, his ability to influence the public view is, in many ways, more dangerous than any of the above demagogues.

Just as with the others, Trump will fail in the long run, but will be very dangerous in the short run. Let us hope that his demise will not be brought about in the fashion that occurred for Huey Long and George Wallace! We wish him good health and long life, but want him out of the political fray, because he has nothing positive to offer America, just negativism and division!