People, and this includes some of my liberal friends, are always saying that the dysfunction in Washington right now can be laid at the feet of both parties. They believe that Democrats and Republicans are equally to blame for the partisanship and obstruction, for the enormous gap between the wealthy and the rest of us. And, of course, they are right, or in a way they are right. Money is far too important in Washington. It talks louder than we the people who can’t afford to make our voices heard because we cannot amass enough money to turn up the volume. We do need to deal with the outsized influences of special interests with lots of bucks, of Wall Street and the banks, and of big business.
However the Republicans have introduced another whole level of political drama that we must deal with first. Republicans have gone off the rails, off the deep end, delusional, and are aggressively pursuing reactionary policies that will hardly take America into a prosperous future. Democrats have been slow to counter the outrageous activities of the Republicans. Democrats have been shy, hanging back. They want to pretend that regular order still pertains in Washington. They are stodgy, self-conscious and do not want to match the operatic tone of the GOP (or the Biblical Old Testament tone either). That may be all to the good. Watching the full opera treatment play out in Washington might be too much for everyone.
However, we the people need to understand that, although our elected Congressmen in both parties are too involved with amassing personal wealth and a power base that will give them staying power and clout, the impasse we are presently in cannot be attributed equally to both parties. Both parties are not trying to rewrite the Constitution. Both parties are not trying to make it more difficult to vote. Both parties are not trying to overturn 50 year old court rulings that offered new hope to many beleaguered women. Both parties are not trying to privatize everything. And both parties are not trying to bring back a brand of Federalism that lost the debate the first time it was hotly contested in the 1780’s.
My point is that before we can deal with the greedy we need to deal with the nutty. This is what us lefties are trying to say to our families and our neighbors who support the GOP no matter how insane their actions.
There is a word that describes the things some Republicans have been saying and that word is fascism. I did not want to be the first person to use this politically and emotionally charged word in relation to the Republican candidates for the Presidency of our nation but last night on TV someone (sorry I don’t remember who) brought up this term which has not really been used much since Mussolini rose to power in Italy. Go over the definition carefully and see if it does or does not fit current circumstances. This definition was offered by Google.
noun: fascism; noun: Fascism; plural noun: Fascisms
- an authoritarian and nationalistic right-wing system of government and social organization.
|synonyms:||authoritarianism, totalitarianism, dictatorship, despotism, autocracy; More
“a film depicting the rise of fascism in the 1930s”
- (in general use) extreme right-wing, authoritarian, or intolerant views or practice.
So when we have people like Donald Trump saying that he will register all Muslims and keep certain mosques under surveillance and he will send any Syrian refugees that come to America straight back to Syria he is pandering to the xenophobia in us in order to get us to elect him. And his actions are fascist.
We also have the Republican candidates who would like to turn America into an Evangelical Christian theocracy. So when we hear Ted Cruz, this guy who supposedly channels our forefathers, say that we should accept only Christians from Syria we should hear a crowd behind him loudly whispering “fascist”, “fascist”, “fascist”, because what he is advocating is certainly not the Democracy our founders designed. But we don’t hear any great outcry. Our media bends over backwards to fairly represent the policies of both political parties. And Americans just keep watching FOX News, which barely qualifies as a news channel. (Stop watching FOX News!)
So let me say once again that in terms of setting priorities we need to get rid of the nuts in Washington before we can tackle the greed that is distorting our government. Both threaten our Democracy but the extremists have only recently taken over the top spot on that priority list (just since Obama took office). They seem able to say any old un-American thing and still maintain their popularity. This is why we need to elect a Democratic President in 2016. Sadly, the left may have entered the fray too late in the game. There is no way in which I accept the claim some people repeat again and again that both parties contribute equally to the recent dysfunction in Washington.
By Nancy Brisson
(graphic from time.com)