On top of the many crises in the United States — such as the pandemic, the economy crashing for nearly everyone except the wealthy, income and wealth inequality, deep political anger, our nation’s loss of respect and leadership in foreign leaders’ eyes, the federal government’s further deepening of the black hole of national debt, and its attempts to destroy the government’s financial safety net for middle- and lesser-income families — we are being faced with a growing fascist movement.

Fascism involves dictatorship; the control of the economy to benefit the government’s goals; the suppression of the opposition, including mass media; the political indoctrination of the public, especially in schools; and the use of patriotism to hide the regime’s goals.

It should be noted that when the armed uprising in Munich, Germany, in 1923 failed, the Nazis turned to the democratic voting strategy. Their first attempt at seizing power through a national election was not successful, but through lying, cheating, bullying, and violence toward the opposition, they were successful later.

Do we see any similarity to the political situation in the U.S. today? We are being bombarded with misinformation (or could we say propaganda) every day through certain sources in the mass media and social media. Benito Mussolini in Italy had black-shirt thugs to seize power, Adolf Hitler in Germany had the brown shirts, and pro-Nazis in the U.S. in the 1930s had the silver shirts. Neo-nazis and white supremacists in the U.S. today tend to favor camouflage or the color black.

And, because of political opposition to reforms to civilian gun control, they are armed with semi-automatic weapons. Armed “militiamen” participated in storming the Michigan state capitol this spring. Some armed members have shown up at political rallies.

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These elements of fascism are not America.

Donald E. Maypole

Lake Nebagamon