Author Lawrence Britt has examined the fascist regimes of Hitler (Germany), Mussolini (Italy), Franco (Spain), Suharto (Indonesia) and several Latin American regimes. Britt found 14 characteristics common to each:
· 1. Powerful and Continuing Nationalism - Fascist regimes tend to make constant use of patriotic mottos, slogans, symbols, songs, and other paraphernalia. Flags are seen everywhere, as are flag symbols on clothing and in public displays.
· 2. Disdain for the Recognition of Human Rights - Because of fear of enemies and the need for security, the people in fascist regimes are persuaded that human rights can be ignored in certain cases because of "need." The people tend to look the other way or even approve of torture, summary executions, assassinations, long incarcerations of prisoners, etc.
· 3. Identification of Enemies/Scapegoats as a Unifying Cause - The people are rallied into a unifying patriotic frenzy over the need to eliminate a perceived common threat or foe: racial, ethnic or religious minorities; liberals; communists; socialists; terrorists; etc.
· 4. Supremacy of the Military - Even when there are widespread domestic problems, the military is given a disproportionate amount of government funding, and the domestic agenda is neglected. Soldiers and military service are glamorized.
· 5. Rampant Sexism - The governments of fascist nations tend to be almost exclusively male-dominated. Under fascist regimes, traditional gender roles are made more rigid. Divorce, abortion and homosexuality are suppressed and the state is represented as the ultimate guardian of the family institution.
· 6. Controlled Mass Media - Sometimes to media is directly controlled by the government, but in other cases, the media is indirectly controlled by government regulation, or sympathetic media spokespeople and executives. Censorship, especially in war time, is very common.
· 7. Obsession with National Security - Fear is used as a motivational tool by the government over the masses.
· 8. Religion and Government are Intertwined - Governments in fascist nations tend to use the most common religion in the nation as a tool to manipulate public opinion. Religious rhetoric and terminology is common from government leaders, even when the major tenets of the religion are diametrically opposed to the government's policies or actions.
· 9. Corporate Power is Protected - The industrial and business aristocracy of a fascist nation are often the ones who put the government leaders into power, creating a mutually beneficial business/government relationship and power elite.
· 10. Labor Power is Suppressed - Because the organizing power of labor is the only real threat to a fascist government, labor unions are either eliminated entirely, or are severely suppressed.
· 11. Disdain for Intellectuals and the Arts - Fascist nations tend to promote and tolerate open hostility to higher education, and academia. It is not uncommon for professors and other academics to be censored or even arrested. Free expression in the arts is openly attacked.
· 12. Obsession with Crime and Punishment - Under fascist regimes, the police are given almost limitless power to enforce laws. The people are often willing to overlook police abuses and even forego civil liberties in the name of patriotism. There is often a national police force with virtually unlimited power in fascist nations.
· 13. Rampant Cronyism and Corruption - Fascist regimes almost always are governed by groups of friends and associates who appoint each other to government positions and use governmental power and authority to protect their friends from accountability. It is not uncommon in fascist regimes for national resources and even treasures to be appropriated or even outright stolen by government leaders.
· 14. Fraudulent Elections - Sometimes elections in fascist nations are a complete sham. Other times elections are manipulated by smear campaigns against or even assassination of opposition candidates, use of legislation to control voting numbers or political district boundaries, and manipulation of the media. Fascist nations also typically use their judiciaries to manipulate or control elections.
Now look at The Republican Party in The United States:
· Republican President George W. Bush and the Republican-dominated Congress used fear of another 9/11-type attack and the possession of weapons of mass destruction by Saddam Husain to whip up patriot fervor to attack Iraq. There were no WMDs in Iraq. He also created the longest war in U.S. history in Afghanistan. At the same times, he reduced taxes on the wealthy and created massive deficits and debt.
· The Republican Party has forged an alliance with U.S. Catholic Bishops , the Fundamentalist Christians, Orthodox Jews, and Mormons to push their conservative Christian agenda. At the direction of their bishops, Catholic priests have preached sermons telling or implying parishioners to vote Republican. Catholics bishops have excommunicated Democratic politicians who vote to allow freedom of choice concerning abortion because it its contrary to church doctrine. So is capital punishment, creating an unjust war, and harming children, but no Republican politician was ever excommunicated for those violations.
· Republican Party media mouthpieces and politicians often indulge in lies, distortions and scapegoating concerning minorities, particularly African-Americans, Hispanics, Moslems, gays and women.
· The Republican majority on the U.S. Supreme Court consistently rules against minorities, laborers, labor unions and in favor of large corporations and corporate interests. They also created a landmark decision which violated the U.S Constitution and over 200 years of U.S. history. The ruling said that corporations have the same rights as U.S. citizens.
· Republican congresses, governors, and legislatures have consistently whittled away at union rights and collective bargaining.
· The 11 Southern States of the Civil War secessionist South and Arizona are Republican strongholds. They are also strongholds of bigotry, anti-unionism, and Christian Fundamentalism.
· At the end of his second term, Republican President Dwight Eisenhower warned against the grown of an alliance between the U.S. military and industrial corporations, what he called the military-industrial complex. What he feared has come to pass in the Republican Party-which has become the party of the military, the gun, private militias, war, and aggression.
· The middle class has declined, poverty has increased, and the rich have gotten richer in every Republican administration in the last 20 years.
· The political process has become increasing corrupt. There are increasing attempts by Republicans to undermine The Voting Rights Act and to prevent minority and the poor from voting by using both illegal means and by passing laws which create obstacles.
· Republicans are waging a subtle war against women. They not only want to eliminate abortion even in cases of incest and rape, they want to redefine rape to make it harder for women to accuse men of rape. They also want to cut food subsidies for poor pregnant women. Two-thirds of the elderly poor are women but The Congressional Republicans want to cut funding for meals and housing for the elderly. And if that wasn't enough, Republicans are pushing to eliminate all funds for the only federal family planning program. But, Congressional Republican Representative Dan Burton has submitted a bill to provide contraception for wild horses. Finally, the State of Maryland Republicans ended all county money for a low-income kids' preschool program. It was not out of any need. Their stated reason was that women should be at home with the kids and not out working.
· The Republican Party created the U.S.A. Patriot Act which allowed the government to stop some rights guaranteed by law and by The Constitution. The Republicans also gave The President dictatorial powers to detain indefinitely without bringing any charges any enemy combatant.
· Republicans are opposed to all arts, public radio, and public television funding by the Federal government. They understand that most art and public communication depends on government funding and the U.S. spends less per capita on the arts than any major industrial country in the word. The claim is that the arts and educated tastes are elitist and that both public radio and television have a left-wing and anti-Christian bias. Both claims are without much validity.
Now look at Rick Santorum, one of the front-runners for the Republican nomination for President of The United States. So far, he has:
· said that the separation of church and state which is part of The Constitution makes him want to "throw up" and the founders of the country never intended it;
· wants to end and involvement by the Federal or state government in public schools;
· wants to end the availability of contraception for both men and women;
· wants an elimination of all family planning;
· wants to end abortion even in cases of rape, incest, dead fetus, of unviable and malformed fetus;
· referred to the Tenth Amendment to The Constitution that the states have the right to control anything that The Federal govern does not control has "run amok" and should be changed;
· does not believe in man-made global warming. In 2011, he referred to the notion that man was changing the climate as patently absurd. He opposed Federal involvement in clean air and water, and protecting endangered species.
· opposed to raising the debt ceiling but when he was in office voted to raise it 5 times;
· wants an aggressive foreign policy and attack and war with Iran;
· has remained supportive of the war in Iraq in spite of the fact that there were no weapons of mass destruction found there;
· equated being gay with bestiality;
· defines marriage as between one man and one woman. He does not believe that states should be allowed to redefine marriage to their choosing and create 50 different versions of marriage. He supports a constitutional amendment to define marriage as only between one man and one woman. Eleven states now permit gay marriage;
· wants to eliminate the Federal Reserve Bank;
· supports curtailing individual liberties in the name of homeland security;
· supports continuing the longest war in U.S. history, the war in Afghanistan;
· is opposed to economic bailouts of corporations and banks under all circumstances no matter what the cost to national prestige, the national economy, or joblessness;
· supports the dismantling of the Medicare program;
· supports the privatization of non-mandated retirement funds and the elimination of Social Security;
· voted against the Stem Cell Research Enhancement Act;
· willfully distorted President Obama's call for all Americans to obtain some form of education beyond high school, although not necessarily in college, and for the United States to regain the global lead in those with college degrees by 2020. He said, President Obama has said he wants everybody in America to go to college. What a snob. There are good, decent men and women who go out and work hard every day, and put their skills to test, who aren't taught by some liberal college professor (who) tries to indoctrinate them. I understand why he wants you to go to college. He (Obama) wants to remake you in his image. I want to create jobs so people can remake their children into their image, not his.
· has said that President John Kennedy made him want to "vomit" because Kennedy preached religious tolerance and was not Catholic enough. He also said that he "did great harm to America".
It is increasingly evident that the world's second oldest democracy* is flirting with Fascism. It is just a matter of time before the Republican Party takes power again. When that happens, the United States will become a theocracy and a militaristic fascist nation. It appears that the handwriting is on the wall.
* The world's oldest democracy is San Marino.
First they came for the communists,
and I didn't speak out because I wasn't a communist.
Then they came for the trade unionists,
and I didn't speak out because I wasn't a trade unionist.
Then they came for the Jews,
and I didn't speak out because I wasn't a Jew.
Then they came for me
and there was no one left to speak out for me.
- Martin Niemoller (anti-Fascist German pastor and theologian; 1892-1984)