By Jack Jodell, Mar. 15, 2012
We have oftem heard claims from irrespnsible alarmists and fearmongers on the far right that President Obama has been, of all things, a fascist. Those of us who are not misguided reactionaries and who correctly see the real world know this to be completely false. For those Rush Limbaugh dittoheads who still cling to that ridiculous notion, I present solid evidence to the contrary.
This is the definition of fascism as it appears in Merriam Webster:
1 often capitalized: a political philosophy, movement, or regime (as that of the Fascisti) that exalts nation and often race above the individual and that stands for a centralized autocratic government headed by a dictatorial leader, severe economic and social regimentation, amd forcible repression of opposition.
2 a tendency toward or actual exercise of strong autocratic or dictatorial control.
For those simpletons who don’t know the origins of this term and think it all started with Obama, it, as a political force, originally began in 1922 with the rise of Benito Mussolini as dictator of Italy. He used his Fascist Party and its paramilitary forces, known as the Blackshirts, to seize control of trains, public buildings, and post offices in various cities, and then to march upon Rome from three different strategic points. With those on Italy’s political left divided among themselves, and fearful of bloodshed caused by these Fascist paramilitary forces, King Victor Emmanuel III appointed Mussolini Prime Minister. Upon becoming PM, Mussolini was forced by necessity to organize a coalition government, which he did. However, within less than two years, he had outmaneuvered his political adversaries , and, aided by violence, intimidation, murder, and vote-rigging, his Fascists captured 2/3 of the vote in parliamentary elections. Soon thereafter, Mussolini declared himself Il Duce (the leader, or dictator) of Italy. He then began his authoritarian rule, introducing censorship and turning the country into a corporatist state in the process. Fascist-run employers’ associations and trade unions were forced to recognize each other to the exclusion of all their non-Fascist counterparts. The Catholic Church was bought off by offering it limited sovereignity and sums of state money. It wasn’t long before Mussolini had put the country on a war footing, attacking first the Greek-held island of Corfu, and later, the weak but independent nation of Ethiopia in Africa.
This model of an authoritarian Fascist state was viewed keenly by Adolf Hitler in Germany. Hitler, of course, modified it to include persecution and murder of Jews, but he, too, introduced censorship soon after his ascension to power in 1933. He also began the infamous militarization of Germany, which resulted in World War II and the eventual deaths of more than 60 MILLION people, which was then an astounding 2.5% of the entire world’s population!
In Spain, between 1936-1939, Fascism was successfully exported there by Germany and Italy! Both countries donated arms and volunteers to ensure a victory for the Spanish Fascists, which were led by the very conservative Francisco Franco. After his victory over the Spanish Republicans in the very bloody Spanish Civil War, Franco wisely refused to involve his wartorn country in the horrors of World War II. But he nonetheless instituted his own form of repression and censorship, with many political opponents being imprisoned and executed. Homosexuality and contraception were outlawed, and university protests were severely repressed.
Each of these leaders implemented fascism in their own individual way, but all of them engaged in official censorship and social repression. Does this sound like what we have experienced under the presidency of Barack Obama? Of course not! Axtually, semblances of Facism occurred during the administration of George W. Bush, and are being advocated in varying degrees among the various existing 2012 supposedly freedom-loving Republican officeholders and candidates! I will explain:
One of the hallmarks of Fascism is an extreme obsession with national security. The entire George W. Bush administration, especially DICK Cheney, was mammothly guilty of this – AFTER 9/11 had already happened! Those who even hinted at questioning our entrance into war with Ieaq were reviled as being traitorous cowards by even the Republican establishment in Congress. It has been shown repeatedly that going to war with Iraq was a hasty and reckless action, not to mention its horrible financial cost! Now we have Mitt Romney, surrounded by many of the same Bush-era warmongers, threatening to take us into war with Iran. These are DEFINITELY Fascistic overtones! While he has been no angel in the prosecution of our current war either, Obama has taken the decidedly more balanced approach of negotiation and applying sanctions.
Another characteristic associated with Facism is its tendency to protect and support Corporate power at the expense of Labor power. We have seen blatant attempts by leading Republicans to destroy or cripple labor unions for years, most recently with the sneaky and dastardly attempts by Republican governors Scott Walker (WI) and John Kasich (OH). At the same time, both men have tried to shower wealthy corporations with unneeded tax breaks, none of which creates needed high-paying jobs. ABSOLUTELY Fascistic, while Obama has consistently supported and sponsored jobs programs while opposing anti-union measures!
Demonizing segments of society and attempting to merge the state with the church are yet more aspects of Fascism, and neither trait has surfaced in Barack Obama, but BOTH have manifested themselves repeatedly in the interviews and speeches given by presidential wannabe Rick Santorum. This rabid absolutist has singled out gays, Planned Parenthood, and those who use contraceptives as objects of his twisted moralistic wrath. His effort would warm the heart of any Fascist!
Arch-conservative, “Libertarian” Republicans like the Koch Brothers see the President as a threat to their liberty to do whatever they can to make as much money as they possibly can. That’s why they are desperately trying to ensure he will not be re-elected. That’s also why they pour millions of dollars into attempts to disenfranchise voters they think will vote Democratic. This includes robocalls and printed material distributed in heavily-Democratic areas misinforming these voters about the true date and polling location they may use to vote. This blatant attempt at vote-rigging smacks of Fascism, and Mussolini would be proud!
I could go on and on with more examples, but I won’t as I believe I have more than made my point. Instead, I will merely repeat that Barack Obama is NOT a FASCIST, but many of his opponents ARE.
Up soon: “Barack Obama Is NOT A SOCIALIST!”