Republican "Brown Shirts"
I have been watching the so-called health care debate somewhat. Every advanced industrial has some form of universal health care, but the United States. And yet, given the insane way the Republicans are reacting to the issue, one might think the Democrats were asking for a communist form of health care. Is the whole world wrong, except for the ultra-conservative Republican Party of the United States? Of course not, but the Republicans don't care about the truth.
I don't watch the debate too much because I find it a despicable display on the part of the Republicans. Republicans don't give a damn about the truth. They make up alls kinds of factually incorrect statements and throw them out there just to muddy the waters deliberately. Maybe someone out there could write down a long list of some of these idiotic lies. I have neither the time nor the stomach for it. I already know they are liars. Republicans are always so mean-spirited to the poor (unless they are white poor) and act as if health care for the less fortunate would ruin the United States. Of course, this is not true, but Republicans don't care about that. They feel that they must always defeat the Democrats on any important measure to help the less fortunate. They are so desperate to win that they will do almost anything, regardless of how unethical it might be. They don't care about ethics unless they are applied against Democrats.
It reminds me of my days in Florida during separate but equal apartheid when I had to listen to rednecks spread lie after lie about black people (and they didn't call them black people back then -- they loved to overuse the N word). It would have been senseless for me to try to correct their lies because, first of all, they would say I was a N lover for wanting to prove them wrong. And even if I did disprove one lie, there would always be ten more lies they would throw up. These guys didn't care about truth. They wanted blacks kept down and they would have said anything no matter how ridiculous as long as they felt it would help them keep the whites up and the blacks down.
Republican whites today are so like those rednecks back in the 1960s. Take a look at Rush Limbaugh. The rednecks love this mad man no matter how stupid and ignorant his comments are. In fact, the more unreasonable he is, the more they seem to like him. One thing I find funny is that Limbaugh will call his opponents socialists (and perhaps worse) one day and fascists the next day. The fascists and socialist/communists are at opposite ends of the political spectrum. That doesn't matter to rednecks like Rush. Hey, as long as false ideas help defeat your enemies, who cares about truth and falsehood? Throw everything out there no matter how unfair and ridiculous it is, as long as it sticks to the Democrats. Lenin was a socialist/communist, Limbaugh is a fascist.
The political atmosphere is so poisoned these days and so unreasonable and hateful that I think if this were 1861 again we would start the Civil War all over again. In many ways it seems like we are in similar days when the Southerners were totally hateful, totally paranoid and totally prepared to kill to defend their way of life. The closer the nation got to 1861 the harder the lines were drawn between Northerner and Southerner. The ideas of the day were so polarized that war was inevitable. These days are so much like those days.
Now I have heard so often that no one should use the Nazi analogy that I think it's a tenet of political correctness now. Don't tell me I shouldn't use the term fascism to refer to the right-wing conservatives. President Bush and Vice-President like Cheney should both be in prison. What they did was so disgusting, so illegal, so fascist that let's call it was it is. What are liberals so afraid of? Why are they such cowards to call right-wing extremists fascists? I think people who won't use the term fascism are just trying to stay out of trouble and keep their ratings up so to speak. I bet you these people would never have called Hitler a fascist if they lived in Germany in the 1930s and early 1940s. They would have scolded anyone using the term to apply to the right-wing extremists in Germany as unnecessarily divisive.
And there is nothing wrong with saying that it is fascism when you pay to have rude people shut down meetings. If not, this technique should be illegal. And these kinds of things definitely remind me of the Nazis and their "brown shirts". On 4 November 1921 a small company of brownshirts at a large public meeting in the Munich Hofbräuhaus thoroughly and literally thrashed the opposition. The brownshirts liked to beat up their opponents in minor street-fights (called Zusammenstöße or 'collisions'). If there were opponents of Hitler during his speeches, his "friends" would rough up these people and throw them out.
If the left used the tactics used by these activist conservatives, can you imagine the outrage among the conservatives? I remember the times when the conservatives were so mad that many of them would use physical violence against radicals and hippies. If the left used these tactics, I would expect them to be willing go to jail. Another disgusting thing is to listen to conservatives like Joe Scarborough, Pat Buchanan and everyone on the Fox Network who serve as apologists for the types of behavior exhibited in the health care town hall meetings. They say, oh, these extremely rude and nasty people are just ordinary citizens who have "strong" opinions. It's fine to have strong opinions. I have strong opinions. But it's a totally different thing to shut down a town hall meeting by unacceptable behavior like talking out of turn, insulting the speaker personally, acting in a threatening manner, acting hysterical, using physical violence, etc. And now the left is thinking of sending people to these town meeting ready to fight the conservative meeting disrupters. You see where this is leading? I would expect there to be physical altercations at the meetings. Police will have to be present at these meetings.
The USA has a terribly unequal distribution of health care and is the only advanced industrial society that doesn't have some form of universal care. And yet conservative Americans are acting like any attempt to get universal care is the end of their world. In fact, they act like the southerners did when northerners wanted an end to slavery. The conservatives had really strong, "honest" opinions. They also act like southerners did when the nation asked for an end to apartheid in the south. They had strong, "honest" opinions about that too. But I call them racists. And today what can explain the terrible behavior of these mostly white conservatives? It's the desire to not spend any money on the minorities ad the less fortunate. In other words, the real motivation for this opposition to universal health care is the same racism that led to the defense of slavery and the defense of apartheid. The kind of hate displayed at the town hall meetings is disturbing and upsetting to see. But I am not at all surprised. The vehemence and ugliness of racists is usually hidden behind a more calm exterior. This debate has brought the racism more clearly to the surface. And it doesn't look pretty, does it?
The recent public attacks used by the Republicans that literally shut down free speech should result in a lot of Republicans going to jail. But somehow, given that this is the USA, it probably will never happen. Watching these people is very upsetting. They look like fascists, sound like fascists and act like fascists. So I think it safe to say they are a bunch of fascists. And they are thugs. In the time of Hitler, they would have been candidates to be brownshirts. And don't tell me, liberals, that this is a far-out idea. It is just wrong and foolish not to suspect that the USA might one day become very fascist.
Patrick Louis Cooney, Ph. D.
August 6, 2009
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