2006 Democratic Party Campaign Theme: Republicans Flirting with Fascism
We are now approaching another election period in the United States. Karl Rove and other Republican strategists have already decided that the Republican Party is going to use the race card to win the elections. They will claim that the Mexican and other illegal immigrants are ruining our culture and our country. It will be another "Willie Horton" campaign. They will avoid the clearly racist statements of their predecessors of the old South, but will push a less vehement form of racism and ethnic hatred.
They will then combine the threat of the people of color to our civilization with the accusation that the Democrats are soft on terrorism. The Republicans have already begun this part of the campaign with their accusations that the Democratic party believes in a "cut and run" policy in Iraq. (The truth is, however, that given the unlikelihood of an American victory in Iraq, the Republicans themselves will "cut and run," just like Nixon finally had to do in Vietnam. Nixon withdrew the American troops fully realizing that the South Vietnamese army could not stand up to the North Vietnamese army and their supporters in the south.)
And the terrible thing is that these ugly racist and fascist campaign themes will win the day with the voters. The problem is that the United States has been drifting to the political right ever since LBJ passed all that civil rights legislation in the 1960s. Since then, the majority of the whites of the South have totally switched from being Democrats to being Republican. The two parties have more sharply realigned themselves with the Republicans primarily being a party of white people, while the Democrats have become more of a party of the people of color and the increasingly fewer number of liberals among the whites. Given this racial polarization, it is no wonder the Republican Party has become increasingly conservative, racist and even fascistic. And with the Republican Party being supported by the virtually all-white wealthy, rednecks and cowboys, the voting results have increasingly become more conservative. The Democratic Party knows this and they are afraid. They are afraid of even receiving worse defeats in the elections at the hands of the Republican Party with its wining themes of fear, racism and ethnic hatred.
And even worse news for liberals, the Democratic Party will largely stay quiet on these issues and will have a totally ineffective defense and a non-existent offense. It has been increasingly disappointing to liberals to have their party spokespersons abandon or soft-pedal the great liberal themes. While watching television, I myself have often screamed at the Democratic Party officials to speak up against the increasingly fascist behavior of the Republican Party, but all they do is defensively deny that they are bleeding hearts, non-patriotic, and soft on terrorism and not willing to control our borders. Hilary Clinton is an example of a Democratic candidate who is so wishy-washy on liberal themes that there is just no way she could effectively counter the racist/fascist campaigns of the Republican Party. And we liberals would be left once again with the empty feeling that our Party is composed of cowards and weaklings. In fact, the Democrats are becoming political eunuchs.
The Democrats have become so weak that there is a fear that they will become like the Republican Party of the Old South, permanently resigned to a position of insignificance. The real struggles for power in the Old South did not occur between the Democratic and the Republican parties, but rather within the primary elections of the Democratic Party. And the sad thing about this situation in the Old South was that the winning Democrat was usually the worst racist of the candidates for office.
And like the Old South, the real struggles for power and the real political debates in this country are going on within the very powerful and very successful Republican Party: between the ultra-conservative, religious right and the somewhat less conservative party regulars. The officials of the Republican Party are more more worried about the dissent of their ultra-right wing than they are about the dissent from the members of the Democratic Party.
To counteract the power of the Republican Party, one must speak truth to power. One must clearly state the reality that the Republican Party is becoming increasingly fascist. This is not to say that they are full-blown fascists, but rather they are weakening our democracy and ruining the nation with their racist/fascist sympathies.
Many members of the Republican Party do not really believe in democracy. They stifle dissent by engaging in hate campaigns (including death threats) against any political dissenters of a leftist persuasion The example of the hateful campaign and death threats against the musical group the Dixie Chicks proves that the spirit of the McCarthyism and the KKK lives on in the United States. And the Republicans have been very successful in stifling dissent with most Democratic members of Congress very frightened to speak out clearly against the Republican tactics.
The Bush administration has used the 9/11 tragedy to almost completely eliminate any effective Democratic Party opposition to their plans. Bush used the 9/11 fear to build up a virtual hysteria in the United States. He then used that power to get away with lying to the American and international community and forcing through his plans to attack Iraq, a nation who was not then involved with terrorist groups and did not have weapons of mass destruction. The Republican Party strategy has now led to more deaths in Afghanistan and Iraq than occurred in the 9/11 tragedy. And this death toll will continue to rise as he foolishly pursues the illusion that he can bring democracy to Iraq.
The Afghani and Iraq Wars have seriously weakened the American military and resulted in the flouting of American power by more nations such as Iran and North Korea.
Flirting with fascism, indeed. The power given to the Republican Party by the overstated threat of terrorism has emboldened President Bush to take actions showing considerable contempt for the American constitution and for the rule of international agreements. Bush approved a plan to eavesdrop on people without going through the court system, thereby rejecting the concept of checks and balances. He approved holding suspected terrorists in prison in Guantanamo Bay without charging them with any crime. Vice-President said they would have to go to the "dark side" to win the war on terror and Bush seems to have done just that.
And now with the spread of the idea of controlling our borders as a means of stopping further terrorism, the Republicans have misused the 9/11 tragedy to spread racial and ethnic hatred in this country. And whenever this happens, more people of color in this nation are killed and/or maimed by the members of the over 800 hate groups and unaffiliated racists.
One ultimately has to call a fascist, a fascist and a racist, a racist. To not do this, is, in effect, to cooperate with racism and fascism. But I don't think the Democratic Party has the nerve or the courage to stand up to these terrible forces increasingly unleashed by the Republican Party.
And so, once again, I expect to be disappointed in the Democratic Party, as the party, once again, is defeated.
Dr. Patrick Louis Cooney, June 24, 2006
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