Definitions are instructive: “Fascism, a political philosophy, movement or regime, (such as that of the Fascisti) that exalts nation and often race over the individual and that stands for a centralized autocratic government headed by a dictatorial leader.”* From “Fasces . . . a bundle of rods bound about an ax with projecting blade, carried before ancient Roman magistrates as a symbol of authority; later the symbol of Italian fascism.”** As bearers of the fasces, i.e. authority, Fascists commit, ethically, legally or otherwise, to impose their beliefs and policies on others.
Next, “smug” the look of a “highly self-satisfied” individual.** While most smug persons are not clever enough to be Fascists, smug is the hallmark of a Fascist leader. See photos of Hitler, Mussolini, and the fellow currently preening for red-capped believers.
A century back, on the heels of a brutish four-year War and equally brutish treaty of peace, Germany was on it’s knees. Within two decades a Fascist stood before delirious hundreds-of-thousands, arms-extended “Sig Heil!”, and pledged to make Germany great again!
Three years back, fed up with government seemingly unable to get anything done, a minority of Americans sent to the White House a man promising, paradoxically, to break the status quo and bring us back together. Today that man stands before mesmerized minions pledging to “Make America great again!”
Many, like me, ask, “When weren’t we?” Despite the curse of firearms, making American the most homicidal culture on Earth, folks clamor for legal American citizenship, some swim the river or crawl through the fence while a multitude pleads for asylum. Ironically, President Trump’s biggest headache is keeping folks out of a country which he views as no longer great.
Our American Democracy sputters along as democracies do, two steps forward, one back. It can be damn maddening! “Why don’t those jerks in Washington do the right thing? Why can’t they do anything? Be reasonable, do it my way!”
In a pluralistic system the laborious work of expressing opinions and negotiating opinions through civil debate is key to peace and progress. I may vehemently disagree with “My Friend From Indiana,” but, as is said, I will defend to the death—well at least vigorously—her or his right to articulate politics and policies.
A Fascist dictator makes it simple. Big Brother knows best. Do as you’re told.
I hope and trust our Government of the People, by the People, for the People will never be dragged down that dead-end road.
* Webster’s New Word Dictionary of the American Language
** Merriam-Webster on-line Dictionary