Commentary on issues concerning Milwaukee, Wisconsin, and the nation. (and sometimes wine & restaurant recommendations)
First off, President Bush is not a fascist. Historically, fascism has a fairly specific set of characteristics, including nationalism based on race, ties to a mass movement, totalitarianism and collectivism. None of these are present in the current administration. In fact, the surest proof that Bush isn’t a fascist is that an open socialist like myself is not dead or in exile but, in fact, sitting here in a public library write this. So, what is President Bush if not a fascist? An a-historical analysis of his crimes leads us to conclude that he is pretty horrible guy. But an historical analysis shows he's a pretty horrible guy but a fairly run-of-the-mill president of an imperialist country. Sure, he lies to get us into wars. Then, so did McKinley, Wilson, Roosevelt, Truman, Kennedy, LBJ, Nixon, Bush, Sr, Carter and Reagan. It’s only our short memory that causes us to forget that Clinton used a claim of “weapons of mass destruction” as a basis for bombing and starving to death a million and a half Iraqis, including a half million children, during his administration. A short memory and the fact that he’s a Democrat, not a Republican—a distinction which I imagine is lost on the typical Iraqi.Sure, Bush attacks civil liberties. But, then there was the Alien and Sedition Act, the Palmer Raids, the Smith Act and COINTELPRO. The Patriot Act sucks, but I’d take it over any of the above. Under previous presidents, I’d probably be in jail or living underground. Torture and mass murder of unarmed civilians? If you don’t remember Operation Phoenix, the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, Belgrade, the war in the Philippines or Wounded Knee, look them up.The term “fascist” is often applied to political opponents by people who either don’t know what fascism is or by people who do know better but choose to mislabel a political enemy. And, our short political memory allows us to forget that the reformist Left has often resorted to political hyperbole and throwing around the label “fascist” when they want to line people up to vote for the Democrats.
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