Sunday, February 20, 2005

Topic of the Week: The Christian Right and The Bush Regime - Fascist Tendencies?

Robert Kennedy Jr. has been quoted within the last year stating our current regime's policies are starting to look familiar to Fascism.

According to the American Heritage dictionary, the definition of Fascism is "a system of government marked by centralization of authority under a dictator, stringent socioeconomic controls, suppression of the opposition through terror and censorship, and typically a policy of belligerent nationalism and racism."

Merriam Webster's dictionary defines Fascism as "a political philosophy, movement, or regime (as that of the Fascists) that exalts nation and often race above the individual and that stands for a centralized autocratic government headed by a dictatorial type leader, severe economic and social regimentation, and forcible suppression of opposition."

Lets decipher these definitions in relation to our current regime and The Christian Right.

1. Centralization of Authority and Dictorial Type Leader
- In an interview with the Washington Post on January 20, 2005, our Vice-President stated that the Executive branch of our government should have more concentration of power and implied our Constitution should be amended as so. "Cheney was especially critical of anything that would undermine the president's powers as commander in chief. He said he agrees with many who believe the War Powers Act, which was passed in 1973 and attempts to restrict the president's use of military force, is "unconstitutional," though that has not been fully tested in the courts."

- Our President proclaimed after winning 51 percent of the popular vote that the people have given him a mandate.

- The Executive branch, Legislative branch and Judicial branch now have a conservative majority in this country - at risk is our system of checks and balances.

2. Stringent socioeconomic controls
- see Topic of the Week last Sunday, February 13th on "Bush's Budget - Is it Ethical?"

3. Suppression of the Opposition by Force & Terror
- One could argue suppression of voters in the 2000 and 2004 elections, inclusive of questionable tactics of election fraud.

- The Patriotic Act has given authority to our government over our domestic security forces to search and seize your home as well as to arrest individuals and hold indefinitely - both without cause.

4. Social Regimentation
- An attempt by The Christian Right aligned with the Bush regime and the Republican Party to transform public policy within one religious belief system (at the exclusion of other belief systems) as the "new value system" for this country.

- There is a uniformity theme pushed by The Christian Right on the media, government leaders and the American people. All three groups have and still are catering to this a degree.

5. Censorship
- The alienation of specific news media reporters from the White House press corps, who tend to question and confront the Executive and Legislative branches, has been a practice of this regime since February of 2000.

- News media personnel (and media companies) who support this regime's agenda are given special access, are planted as pundits and some are actually paid as pundits, with our tax dollars, to further the current regime's objective of conservatism in their attempt to transform public policy.

6. Belligerent Nationalism & Racism
- Nationalism is now primarily "defined" in this country as unconditional support of the current regime's action and contrary opinions are looked upon as unpatriotic attacks.

- Racism is prevalent with this regime by not supporting civil liberties for Gays as well as with extreme bias of individuals with Muslim heritage.

Your Opinion?


At 8:13 PM, Blogger john said...

All governments now follow Mussolini (except N. Korea) in that they allow capitalism under strict government regulation so the USA is Fascist in that sense but it is NOT Fascist in suppressing dissent. We would hardly have such Leftist media if it did

At 8:29 PM, Blogger john said...

I think I will link to this post on Dissecting Leftism. Below is what I propose to say:

There is another stupid attempt here to portray the Bush administration and its Christian supporters as "Fascist". One wonders if these galoots ever read history. Fascist regimes ensure that both the schools and the press are under tight government control and say only those things which support the government line. The USA is so far away from that that GWB cannot even get all the schools to use phonics in teaching kids how to read! And if you think that the New York Times and CBS and all of the rest of them support the Bush administration, you live in a parallel universe! I commented on this brain-dead accusation at greater length before. See here and here

At 10:14 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Although I agree with much of what is said on this blog, I don't think that calling the administration fascist is a wise move. Name calling and labeling accomplish nothing, except divisiveness. Don't you think we ought to quit the diatribes and direct our efforts and language in ways that might accomplish something more positive?

At 11:05 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey John - I am so curious on what media you identify as "Leftist" media as you state on your comment at 8:13 pm. Did you know that approximately 75 percent of the news media in this country, as well as the talking heads on radio and television, lean to the right? I am sure you did not and your rhetoric implying the media on a whole being "leftist" is typical of those in the conservative movement who have no real knowledge of the media landscape.

At 11:42 PM, Anonymous San Fran said...

John's comments regarding "this is another stupid attempt to portray Bush and his Christian Right supporters as Fascists" on this Topic of the Week issue strike me as amusing. First, the originator of the Topic of the Week states in the title that the Bush regime and The Christian Right have fascist tendencies, not that this country is under Fascist control. Second, your comment "if you think the New York Times and CBS and all of them support the Bush administration, you live in a parallel universe." So you think the media should support this country's administration blindly? Typical comment of a Fascist (tendency) follower. I have not even read yet your postings on your "Dissecting Leftism" web site that you provided links to, but I had to simply react to your lack of clarity.

At 12:22 AM, Blogger PWB said...

I do appreciate what Anonymous stated on their comment regarding the Topic of the Week in calling this administration Fascists in that it creates divisiveness, not a more positive message. You make a good point. Do know I struggled with using the term "Fascist Tendencies" on this topic of the week knowing the term fascism polarizes and seemingly divides this country further. The reason I decided to use the term fascism anyway is that the intention of this Blog is to stimulate discussion and raise awareness on how the Christian Right is attempting to change public policy in aligning with the Republican Party and the Bush regime. At times, stimulating discussion may take enflaming emotions with terms and labels that have negative connotations thus, the reason for my use of the term "Fascism Tendencies." But again, I appreciate your comments in pointing out how this term is divisive, especially with your intent to create more harmony in this country.

At 5:02 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Did you know that approximately 75 percent of the news media in this country, as well as the talking heads on radio and television, lean to the right?So thats why the Washington Press Corps said they would vote for Kerry over Bush by 12 to 1, because they actually supported Bush!!!!

At 5:24 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey Anonymous - you want to prove and backup your 75% counter statement (below)on the Washington Press Corp being liberal - you can't. What a weak argument on the Kerry vs. Bush vote. Ever stop to think that the exclusion of media personnel from the Washington Post, NY Times, LA Times, etc. from obtaining press passes to the White House, as well as the control of the press conferences where Bush & Company actually received the questions prior beforehand may have affected the personal perception of the White House Press Corps of the Bush regime in "leaning" toward Kerry.

And do you know the difference between the Washington Press Corps vs the multitude of news media outlets across the country in comparing the 75 percent of talking heads and news media lean right??


Anonymous #2 naively states:
"Did you know that approximately 75 percent of the news media in this country, as well as the talking heads on radio and television, lean to the right?So thats why the Washington Press Corps said they would vote for Kerry over Bush by 12 to 1, because they actually supported Bush!!!!

At 8:03 PM, Blogger commonwealth said...

PWB wrote only about fascist tendencies rearing their ugly head in this country, he did not say we are now a fascist state. Here is another example of one of these rising tendencies.

The CPAC meets every year with our vice president as the main speaker. The following on-scene report is taken from a article by Michelle Goldberg. Yes this is a liberal source but it contains a conservative reaction if you read to the end.

The crowd at the Conservative Political Action Conference's Thursday night banquet . .were Henry Hyde, Kansas Sen. Sam Brownback, Minnesota Sen. Norm Coleman, NRA president Kayne Robinson. Vice President DICK CHENEY, a regular CPAC speaker, gave the keynote address.
{Introducing Cheney Chris Cox said}:"America's Operation Iraqi Freedom is still producing shock and awe, this time among the blame-America-first crowd, . . "We continue to discover biological and chemical weapons and facilities to make them inside Iraq." Apparently, most of the hundreds of people in attendance already knew about these remarkable, hitherto-unreported discoveries, because no one gasped at this startling revelation.
And why would they? {A}ttendees at CPAC, the oldest and largest right-wing conference in the country, invest their leaders with the power to defy mere reality through force of insistent rhetoric. The triumphant recent election is all the proof they need that everything George W. Bush says is true. Sure, there's skepticism of the president's wonder-working power among some of the old movement hands -- including the leaders of the American Conservative Union, which puts CPAC on. For much of the rank and file, though, the thousands of blue-blazered students and local activists who come to CPAC each year to celebrate the völkisch virtues of nationalism, capitalism and heterosexuality, Bush is truth. They don rhinestone W brooches and buy mouse pads, posters and T-shirts showing the president as a kind of beefcake Uncle Sam, with flowing white hair and bulging muscles threatening to rend his red, white and blue garments.
It's not only liberals who have noticed that Bush's most committed followers are caught up in the fact-filtering force field of a personality cult. In January, Paul Craig Roberts, assistant secretary of the treasury during the Reagan administration and associate editor of the Wall Street Journal's far-right editorial page, published a damning column about fascist tendencies in the conservative movement.

"In the ranks of the new conservatives, however, I see and experience much hate. It comes to me in violently worded, ignorant and irrational emails from self-professed conservatives who literally worship George Bush," he wrote. "Even Christians have fallen into idolatry. There appears to be a large number of Americans who are prepared to kill anyone for George Bush … Like Brownshirts, the new conservatives take personally any criticism of their leader and his policies. To be a critic is to be an enemy."

I continue to hear hate-saturated rhetoric from the extreme right which is being accepted and amplified by conservatives in general. At the same time we are witnessing a dangerous synthesis between the Bush administration, corporate influence, and concentrated media power. This colescing of hate rhetoric with political, economic and media power is exactly what can create a proto fascist state. This should alarm the American public but they, in their innocence, believe just such a transformation could never happen here. On the contrary we need to be alert to the rise of these "blue blazers" because they may indeed be the harbingers of things to come.

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