Wednesday, April 18, 2007

The Fascist Question

One of the points on the left that I have been trying to 'get' for years but still haven't 'gotten' is this inclination to label the Bush administration 'fascist.' To go even further, many people spew forth phrases that haven't been used to describe a head of state since 1944. Besides 'warmonger,' which I don't necessarily agree with but can understand why the usage, I have trouble understanding the basis for these comments. In fact, it appears to me that for the most part, labels attached to Bush would more readily adhere to his domestic opponents.

Let's look at 'fascist' for a moment. Because a fascist is someone who supports fascism, we must look to the meaning of fascism first to ascertain whether G. W. Bush is one, or as I suggest, his opponents would more fit the bill. defines:

Fascism: a governmental system led by a dictator having complete power, forcibly suppressing opposition and criticism, regimenting all industry, commerce, etc., and emphasizing an aggressive nationalism and often racism.

If a definition were like the ingredients label on a side of a package, where the first item indicates the majority of content, then a fascist must be a dictator with complete power, and that obviously is not the case with our current President. George Bush couldn't dictate his way out of a cabinet meeting where there was disagreement on the definition of "amnesty."

Take a quick look at history and you'll realize that beyond the tax cut and the two wars there is scant evidence of any exhibition of dictatorial powers that would strike fear into democracy loving citizens, unless you count suspending funding for abortions in third world nations as fascist -- I'd categorize that as cutting the fat from the foreign policy budget.

But the Guantanamo prison camps are beyond the scope of the constitution! Not so, says the Supreme Court. I wouldn't agree the constitution applies to foreigners who could kill thousands of us en route to 21 virgins either.

I can't say at this point that the Administration's domestic opponents are tyrannical, yet. In fact, this is the one facet of my argument that his opponents are more 'fascist' that has the weakest supporting evidence. Which depending on how you view politics is either a good or bad thing.

Well, Nancy Pelosi seems to have designs on forging her own foreign policy, which would be unconstitutional, but aside from Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson, I don't see liberals ever criticizing their own, which is a topic of another column and a major weakness.

Forcibly suppressing opposition and criticism. This criterion for a fascist, when forcibly applied to this President, stirs such emotions in me that I have a hard time suppressing my laughter. There hasn't been a critic that was denied a voice in this country since the Clinton Administration. Seriously, can you, because I can't, name one voice that has been silenced by this President? Joe Wilson? Bob Woodward? Nancy Pelosi? Harry Reid? Pat Buchanan? John Kerry? Al Gore? Me? You? Rush Limbaugh? Don Imus?(strike that).

You can pick any card caring member of the GOP off the street and I guarantee that that person has shown more starch in his support of the Administration's policies than the man who lends his name to those policies.

In fact, the mere presence of this post, as well as the freedom to walk the street for millions of domestic opponents across this nation belies this notion that G.W. Bush is some kind of fascist.

I was once told that Bush and John Ashcroft were going to install a theocracy in this country. That kind of statement has many siblings, and they are all illegitimate.

We all know of the countless conservative voices who were drowned out by the left and its lackeys for such heinous crimes as patronizing an old man who never won the presidency 40 years earlier, or suggesting the press wants a black quarterback to succeed, or that a Speaker of the House is engaging in 'bad behaviour.' Is not 'forcibly suppressing opposition' applicable when the liberals coalesce against the enemy du jour?

Regimenting all industry, commerce, etc. Sometimes we all wander out to left field and we look around and realize we are all alone. I admit that I am having trouble coming up with examples that defie that perception that Bush is a fascist, besides noting his lack of anything that would garner such a label. But that is not an indicator that I am weak in my hypothesis. The grounds for calling Bush a 'fascist' is so flimsy that I am having trouble finding substance of proof in order to disprove that substance.

Besides the revitalization of Haliburton, which I would like to point out the general lack of competition in that industry, I'm having trouble finding one segment of our economy that Bush has either helped or harmed, beyond cutting taxes, to warrant the 'fascist' label.

I could list the industries that are targeted by liberals for their sins against the environment, but that would take too long for my purposes here, and there really isn't any doubt about the notion that liberalism is inclined to fix business through government intercession.

Finally, emphasizing an aggressive nationalism and often racism. That is all so subjective isn't it? One mans aggressive nationalism is another's patriotic duty. The reality is that this President hasn't cloaked himself in the flag anymore than any of his predecessors. In fact, considering the external forces align against our flag, it may do well for Mr. Bush to be more nationalistic. But with the open borders, the free-trade agreements, and continued appeals to the United Nations first in foreign affairs matters, and the fact I missed the memo on it, I can't believe that we are dwelling in an ultra-nationalistic society akin to Germany and Italy in the 1940's.

As to racism, I'm going to leave that alone. My kids don't know anything about that, and that is what my nurture is attempting to instill. I hope they don't learn it from the people who are propagating so many other misconceptions today.

As to his domestic opponents, I wouldn't want to call such things as the rainbow flag, the AIDs ribbons and all its siblings nationalistic, but the emotional strings being tug are related -- to inspire loyalty to the cause.

Where are your loyalties? I think you're free to choose, unless I missed the memo on that too.

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