I was listening to someone talk about an American youth group that seemed to have all the characteristics of the German Youth for Hitler. Apparently the adult male "leaders" were teaching the children how to do things like spot a homosexual or a terrorist. I'm sure invaluable lessons for when the kids grow up and get jobs for $5.00/hour selling shoes at a Wal-Mart because there are no other jobs left in this country, because their adult male leaders were too busy playing with little boys to actually get off their rabid right-wing asses and do something to help the community.
But I digress. The discussion made me think of a movie I have not seen in years named "Keeper of the Flame." It starred Spencer Tracey and Katherine Hepburn, was directed by George Cukor, released December of 1942. One of those terrific war-years movies. So why don't we see this movie, or hear about it too often?
The story line goes like this. There was a rich, white male, local political leader who was an inspiration to many including a national youth group. Or maybe he created the youth group. He preached to the children that they should be punctual, steadfast, strong, true, loyal. This man was rumored as a likely presidential candidate. But then one night he was on his way home in the rain, his car went off the road, and he died. There was much press coverage of the death, and Spencer Tracy, a reporter, went to join the crowd and try to get an interview with the widow, played by Katherine Hepburn.
As the movie progresses, we learn that the dead man had dangerous beliefs and tendencies, much like the Nazis, and these youth groups were preparing young Americans to become little rabid Nazis themselves.
It is a dark move, but I really liked it. And I wonder why it is we so rarely see that movie on TV, on the channels that run old movies. And I wonder why it is so seldom that we have movies, or politicians, or media, or teachers or preachers, or anyone teaching the public in this country about the dangers of fascism. Maybe the failure to speak about it is allowing Fascism to flourish under these false names of "family values" and "Christian-Coalitions."
Since maybe 1945, the public in this country has been barraged with scare-stories, lies, nonsense, warnings about the communists next-door. We hear about it all the time. Before 1945, actually, because the Palmer raids back in the 1910-1920 period were in part premised on the theory that trade union immigrants were communists and therefore bad.
We had the McCarthy period where the entire nation was almost brought to a standstill with that old drunken pervert McCarthy and his little toad transvestite taffeta-and-heels-wearing FBI head Hoover, and Roy Cohn (what a crowd) tearing people up, destroying lives and reputations, driving people to suicide, trying to take over the entire film and TV industry (and put that moronic B-Movie Actor Ronald Reagan in charge). (Come to think of it: Ken Starr, almost an exact duplicate of that whole McCarthy era).
We've had war after war based upon a claim that we must "stop" the communists. That's why we were in Korea and Vietnam, or so they said. That's why we were in Nicaragua, El Salvador, Guatemala, Chile, funding and training and supporting the death squads and "disappearing" thousands of peasants. (Oh, you didn't know we did that? Well, we did.) Most of the military intervention this country has done for possibly a century has been based upon the premise that we must stop communism.
And we are warned to watch out for our neighbors, teachers, co-workers. They might be commies. When Barack Obama was running for President, we started hearing the rallying cry from the right that he wants to "redistribute" wealth, like the communists. They stop a little short, calling him a Socialist. But they mean commie, commie pinko.
So here's my question: why doesn't anyone in this country ever stand up to stop the fascists? If we were committed to stopping the spread of fascism, we would have been on the other side of a lot of these conflicts. Many of our "friends" in the world are fascists, thugs, cheap dictators, murderers who allow corporations to steal all the assets of their nation in exchange for kick-backs and bribes -- just like our Congress does. Fascists who believe that corporations should own and rule everything, just like too many of our politicians apparently believe.
Here's a pretty good definition of fascism. Let's see if it applies:
“Fascism is a form of political and social behavior that arises when the middle class, finding its hopes frustrated by economic instability coupled with political polarization and deadlock, abandons traditional ideologies and turns, with the approbation of police and military forces, to a poorly-defined but emotionally appealing soteriology of national unity, immediate and direct resolution of problems, and intolerance for dissent.”
I would say this is a perfect description of the Republicans and the right-wing in this country. The gun-nuts. You know why they want their guns? THEY PLAN TO SHOOT US WITH THEM. Why else would anybody be so crazed about a gun? They plan to shoot us. Or anybody that they don't like. The Christians, the extreme right-wing religions who hate everybody that does not follow their doctrine. The drug addict on the radio. Newt Gingrich. That skanky Coulter woman. All the anti-gay gangs. That crazy Bachman lady. The NRA: all nuts. All their institutions: CPAC, American Enterprise Institute.
They all solicit support by appealing to "the middle class, finding its hopes frustrated by economic instability coupled with political polarization and deadlock." That's why Republicans vote against everything: they want the polarization and deadlock because it helps their fascist agenda. They have the approval and support of the military (too many of the brass handing out Bibles and telling the soldiers to kill for Christ) and the police (LAPD at it again). They make vague and emotional appeals based upon some idea of "national unity" "immediate resolution of problems," and "intolerance for dissent." Doesn't this sound like the Republicans, or at least most of them? And the rest of the right-wingers in this country? Shouldn't we all just call it what it is: a fascist movement inside the U.S.
Why doesn't anyone speak up and warn against the people who work at Rupert Murdoch's Whorehouse who, essentially, every day and in every way, promote fascism, the corporate takeover of this country, the destruction of the lives of most working people. Waving around their flag lapel pins, and promoting violence against anyone who does not agree with their crazy positions. Why didn't our media warn that Bush and his gang were supporting a fascist takeover, turning our entire treasury over to their corporate friends to be looted, trampling on our constitution, taking away all our rights. They tortured and murdered people. Doesn't that count for something? Shouldn't they be held accountable if we were a nation of laws? Or have we just abandoned that?
Anyway, it just occurs to me. Maybe we need to start talking about this, because it sure seems to me that the fascists are here, they're organizing, they are dangerous. The Democratic politicians don't stand up for anything except a big fat bribe being delivered by a corporate messenger. Who is going to stand up for our democracy?