The F Word

Before you call someone a fascist, it's good to define your terms. Fascism, writes Ben Tripp, is "an extreme right-wing ideology which embraces nationalism as the transcendent value of society." Further, fascism relies on fundamentalist revolutionary ideas, it's defined through xenophobia, militarism, and supremacist ideals, it employs "mythic beliefs such as divine mandates, racial imperatives, and violent struggle." His point? Bush and his merry band of neoconservatives are fascists, "and they make Mussolini look like a mezzafinook." He writes:
[T]here are three sacred lines with regard to American democracy that can never be crossed: the line between privilege and power, the line between Church and State, and the line between civilian and military leadership. Cross any of them, and you're at fascism's doorstep. Cross two, you're on the threshold with your hand on the doorknob.

George W. Bush, son of unimaginable privilege, crossed the first line when he was selected to be president by the Supreme Court and accepted the job. He crossed the second line when he revealed his divine imperative, such as when (after the disaster of 9/11) he spoke of being "chosen by the grace of God to lead at that moment." (attributed by Tim Goeglein, deputy director of White House public liaison and a barrel of laughs at any party.) When George climbed out of that airplane in his shiny new war suit, he didn't just carry his own cute little self across the deck: son of privilege, chosen of God, and wearing a military uniform, he passed through the doorway from mere wickedness to fascism. Our struggle in the time ahead is to resist the urge to follow him.

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