Before getting to the present, I’d like to briefly remind us of the Vietnam War, a time when thousands of 19-year-olds were sent to suffer horrible deaths, drug addiction and crippling injuries in Southeast Asian swamps in a bipartisan holy war against communism aimed at slaughtering 1 to 3 million Vietnamese peasants. It led to one of the longest mass struggles of the 20th Century other than the Civil Rights and Union movements, which continues to this day into the 21st Century.
Elimination of the draft following the Vietnam War had unintended consequences and tended to depoliticize young men, who no longer faced death and the horrors of war when they turned 19. I recall one of our most popular slogans then was “Bring the War Home.” Today the war is for our country’s very survival. Another description of the times came from a song by the Jefferson Airplane. It’s first line summed up the 60s in a song titled “Somebody to Love.” I cite them because they had a huge effect on the youth.
“When the truth is found, to be lies,
And all the joy within you dies.
Gracie Slick and the Jefferson Airplane
Many of us young folks found out during the 60s that the truth about many things were indeed lies. In many ways the post war years were a reaction to the Disneyfication of the social order with the draft remaining in effect follow by wars in Korea, the Civil Rights Movement and then Vietnam.
You can typically judge a politician’s character based on whether they speak truth or lies. Fascists and Republicans are liars on steroids. It should be remembered that the proponents of the Vietnam War also used mega-lies back then to divide the country. It largely broke down similarly to today, with the countryside and white working class tending to back the war and the youth of the cities, many people of color and even some rural areas rejecting it. Eventually elements of both the right and left opposed the war as the bodies of America’s youth came home in pine boxes by the thousands and the war dragged on until finally there was a military defeat inflicted on the U.S. backed Saigon forces.
Much of the Corporate World Supports the Republicans
The forces of fascism today actually desire and plan for a Civil War if they are unable to destroy what’s left of the right to vote and its legitimacy. They believe ramped up racial conflict will help convince the military to back their side and force the president to declare martial law and end free elections. Trump hoped January 6th would lead to military intervention. The Republican mega-lies are aided and abetted by the almost pathological “neutrality” of the corporate media and the proliferation of openly fascist and right-wing news outlets, which are also covertly backed by certain corporate and Wall Street elements. Leaving the anti-fascist media with a compromised ability to speak to the country. Having deceived many millions of Americans, who have been blinded by their adoration for their leader and fuehrer, Donald Trump, it does not matter that they are a minority. Every terroristic move they make gets covered along with every lie. And few media outlets blame the Republicans.
Finally, the Democratic leadership seems to be more aggressively fighting back. Biden’s early September speech is a sign of how serious the situation is. Took them long enough, but better late than never. The corporate media chose to pan or ignore the Biden speech and cements their position on the wrong side of history and objectively aids and abets the fascists. Republicans in their present form need to be called what they are, which are sponsors of domestic terrorism. Sacrificing their base as the shock troops. Their corporate backers know that their policies are rejected by the majority of Americans, so they must persuade as many as they can that the Democrats and democracy are the enemy, and guns are their friend and will save them. The other half of the Republican’s appeal is pandering to overt white supremacy. The national media is not going to call a fascist a fascist. Is not going to label them dangerous extremist lunatics. Or call the Tucker Carlson’s of the media racists. It’s not going to report on their campaigns on racial voter suppression and jerrymandering. Or their pathological misogyny. Or their virulent homophobia and transphobia.
The Wheel that Squeaks get the Grease
The Democratic leadership must find ways to force coverage upon the national corporate media, which often feels they have to tell the fascist point of view like it’s somebody picking out what color car they want. Every Republican lie should be challenged. Republicans toss their lies like spaghetti on a wall to see what sticks. In the past Biden rarely spoke forcefully to my memory about the big lie that the election was rigged and the terrible consequences of such a lie, nor did many Democratic officials directly challenge the lie in any systematic way. It was incorrectly assumed that few would believe the lie. Trump announces it daily wherever he goes. They were wrong to be so quiet about that and a lot of other things. To borrow from an old AIDS slogan, “Silence = Fascism.
Youth Must be Awakened; Expose the Lies
Young people today in particular will sooner or later realize that they, and especially their children, have little future in a world threatened at home with fascism and facing the accelerating and devastating effects of global warming. Our cell phones will not save us. We must begin to target youth and awaken them from their slumber. The Democratic leadership also is desperate for a voting activist youth movement. It is being pushed leftward by both history and the emerging threat of American and international fascism.
Death of the Two-Party System
There is no longer any pretention that a two-party system still functions, and the Democratic Party has a bleak future if it accepts continued corporate capitalist domination of government. The rejection of Biden’s recent speech demonstrates the strength of corporate power and will either cause major push back on the part of the Democrats or submission to the corporate Republican agenda. The significance of this behavior of the national corporate media is significant and historic. And requires an equally historic response.
Part of that push back needs to be tied to mass demonstrations and the other to get out the vote in November. The days when the Democratic leadership can afford to ignore the popular forces that have moved it to the left are over. Leftward is the only way to go if the Democrats wish to survive. Their own corporate ties have historically limited that direction. The leadership needs to realize that relying too heavily on corporate money handcuffs them to the same crowd that spends billions supporting the Republicans. In many ways, breaking from this influence would be just as significant, but in a positive way, as was the negative takeover of the Republicans by overt fascist ideology.