The Who: Eminence Front Promo
Nope… this isn’t a screed against that tune by The Who. To the contrary, it’s lyrics poetically describe a root cause of where we’re at today as a nation. One has to be old enough to have a functional picture of how this country devolved into codifying the modern false assumptions that currently define what constitutes “extremism”. Living through those earlier times, one realizes that there were far more components that led to the mass devaluation of integrity and empathy than the usual media garbage and social media poison pits passing off their mindless dreck on the public to anesthetize their brains. It was in fact a gradual process that took a long time to reach its azimuth. While neocon ownership of mass media has done a brilliant job of bastardizing the concept of journalistic “integrity” using techniques pioneered by Joseph Goebbels and Leni Reifenstahl, America’s migration into fascist extremism had almost no influence from the Democratic Party after WW2. Conversely, the conservative movement in general and the Republican Party in particular consistently promoted barking mad, carpet-chewing, batshit insane, completely unqualified people from every level of the country’s dregs of intellectual syphilis to lord over our people using gerrymandering, character assassination, libel and bribery to install those miscreants into positions of authority, with the very occasional exception. As has been the case in every civilization and government failure throughout history, public apathy towards the people’s government and the law, and lack of empathy for fellow human beings in their community have led to moral decay and descent into fascism, and eventual collapse. Sad to say, a country tends to select the kind of people for leadership that reflects it’s own morality. Rome had Calligula; today we have Trump. How in hell did THAT happen?
Although if one doesn’t factor in the beginning of slavery as far back as 1619 - or even the character of John Smith’s Virginia Company settlement in 1607 - or later the Indian wars, railroad and mining company towns and the early union movement and the riots it started, the kernel of all this modern version of fascist terrorism goes back some 90 years. In 1934, General Smedley Butler went before the House Un-American Activities Committee (HUAC) to expose a conspiracy against the government. He had been recruited by a group of wealthy pro-fascists — most of which were the captains of industry with very recognizable names — who had hoped to use him in a coup against President Franklin D. Roosevelt. He went along, gathering intelligence about the plot, and then took it to Congress. Thereafter, Butler’s assertions were not aggressively pursued and the matter was largely dismissed (sound familiar? It should). However, an internal report to Congress from HUAC confirmed the veracity of the plot. The coup was avoided when Roosevelt made some strategic concessions, but by then the die was cast: If certain persons became rich enough, clever enough and powerful enough, they could alter the entire course of federal government policies, strategies and decisions. Later, Vice President Henry Wallace wrote on the very subject in 1944:
Wallace: What Is American Fascism?
Just twenty years later, fear of Communist infiltration and Stalin’s ongoing efforts to destabilize Europe resulted in the “loyalty” hearings by republican Joseph McCarthy and in the process destroyed lives and reputations of thousands of otherwise patriotic Americans, which begat the curious alliance between the billionaire Koch family and John Stormer, the founding fascists of the John Birch Society. In the early 60s, conservative republicans placed a bounty on John Kennedy’s head… and they unexpectedly achieved their wish in Dallas’s Dealy Plaza. A short time later, republican Barry Goldwater decried the religious fanatics attempting to infiltrate the republican party in the early 60s, especially with the John Birch Society adherents, to no avail. Then, the passing of the 1964 Civil Rights Act resulted in unveiling every closeted racist in both republican and Democratic parties, infuriating 80% of the white south while militarizing every underground fascist organization in the nation and jumpstarting the resurgence of the Ku Klux Klan and the American Nazi Party. Although nobody was crass enough to admit it, white people back then - especially those in the South - really, truly detested people with skin that didn’t match theirs. The land of cotton, mint julep and Antebellum fashion was still at war for “state’s rights”, working on an underground insurgency that would boil over some 50 years later: and it was important enough to them to settle in for the long game.
From there, after murdering Martin Luther King and Bobby Kennedy, they propped up Nixon on a pedestal by slandering Hubert Humphrey and vilifying the patriotism of a decorated WW2 B24 pilot who flew all of his required missions over Europe in the person of George McGovern. After all, it was more “patriotic” to support killing Asian people en masse over Communism than using restraint and containment.
And it only got worse: Under Nixon’s grooming and in the background, then-young fascist upstarts Donald Rumsfeld and Dick Cheney…together with Newt Gingrich and other future neocon luminaries began burnishing and consolidating their political chops by influencing policy decisions and campaign strategies. After managing to demonize and rig Jimmy Carter’s presidency, they installed a willing neocon gunsel, Ronald Wilson Reagan in the White House- a B-list actor whose governorship in California did much to destroy the state’s higher education system, public service, health care and assistance programs because they were too “socialist”. After he was elected he then then busied himself with beginning to dismantle core components of American society such as collective bargaining, financial regulations, increasing taxes on the Middle Class while lowering taxes on the financial elite, defunding important components of public education and sending the Pentagon on an unprecedented spending spree with blank checks that nearly bankrupted the country. He also started a new national financial policy: keep the country in a constant state of war in order to grow the economy, which republican George Bush the First willingly perpetuated. After defeat in 1992, they immediately set about demonizing both Bill Clinton AND his wife, Hillary. Of course Bill and Hillary didn’t realize that giving the fascists anything at all that could be used against them would immediately result in a massive, withering legal and political assault - but Hillary’s failed real estate dealings together with Bill’s sexual dalliances that ended in impeachment took away time and soured his integrity that otherwise would have been better spent in the service of the people - and sullied the Democratic Party’s image in the 2000 election that ultimately resulted in Al Gore’s defeat at the hands of a predatory republican supreme court.
The last 20 years of this so-called “New American Century” certainly has been interesting, though… 8 years of George Bush’s kid perpetuating an illegal war, legitimizing torture, imposing “soft martial law” with the Patriot Act, wiretapping citizens without court orders and nearly destroying the entire economy - all in the name of “fighting terrorism”; and then we as a country sat on our hands as Obama spent 8 years waiting to wake up to a burning cross on the White House lawn while nearly every single program and proposal he made was shot down by the likes of corporate fascists like Mitch McConnell, John Boehner and Paul Ryan. It was practically inevitable that when Hillary Clinton won the Democratic Party’s nod to run for president in 2016, the party’s image and integrity had been reduced to scandal rag optics by fascist radio personalities and a certain televised fascist propaganda outlet run by Rupert Murdoch; the Republican National Committee consequently had no problems endorsing the ultimate Grover Norqust wet dream that proposed inserting any drooling, hate-mongering idiot they could find with no principles or intelligence into the Oval Office: all he needed to do was operate a pen to sign anything a fascist congress put in front of him. And so when Donald Trump announced his intentions to purchase the White House in 2016, the RNC henchmen’s reaction was muted and restrained; but after what they’d accomplished over the previous 75 years, you could almost hear them cloistered in their cigar-smoke-filled rooms yelling, “Hot damn! That’s our boy! We got this country by the balls now, by god!” as they slapped each other’s backs and popped open champagne bottles. Finally the fix was in. The “Eminence Front” they built, brick by miserable brick over all that time was complete. As time went on, certain zealous politicians learned how to tie in religious invectives with inflammatory accusations and jingoistic bloviations. It became an extremely effective tool for them, given that 40% of people by then were dumbed down to become politically ignorant superstitious sheep, manipulated into believing almost anything from salacious rumors to mendacious accusations with no basis. Having spread their mental poison long enough and repeatedly enough, the fascists and oligarchs could then almost walk away with the entire country and everything that belongs to it with nary a whimper.
And four years later, over a million American dead from a pandemic that could have been mitigated but deliberately ignored and politicized early on, almost daily schoolyard shootings, treaties with foreign nations abandoned, old allegiances tossed aside in favor of courting dictators and brutal thugs, sedition, rioting, soliciting foreign financial assistance and strategic election intelligence from active adversaries, court packing to advance the fascist agenda - and has America learned ANYTHING from that experience?
It seems that almost 3 years into his presidency, a good many people are pissed off that President Biden hasn’t fixed everything that the republican party has done over the last 70 years yet - and are now seriously talking about wanting Trump back in the White House.
Are the people in this country really that stupid?
Well yes, actually. They are. Stupidity is as American as Chevrolet, Budweiser, hot dogs, apple pie, Marlboro cigarettes and bribery. The idea that any civil discourse could occur while one side continues to turn over every rock looking for another way to destroy the country’s faith and respect for its own government is a fool’s errand. The DNC continues to embrace that archaic idea of “bipartisanship” with a death grip; and if there’s any expectation of it being real and workable, that naive assumption is a political admission of policy failure. If there’s any doubt about this, closet fascists like Kristen Sinema and Joseph Manchin could never exist without the DNC’s primal fear of committing to it’s platform’s own principles: if it’s leadership is so afraid that they might offend a block of voters by promoting great health care, stable 21st century jobs, a clean environment, voting as a human right, sustainable energy and a woman’s ownership of her own body, then maybe they might be insincere about those issues? Are they just buzz words that get thrown out there to appeal to “lib’rul socialists”, or are they issues that Democrats are genuinely going to put themselves on the line to fight for in a modern America? Just what is an otherwise uneducated, politically emasculated rural voter expected to believe? Many writers here have suggested multiple ways to put an end to this madness, even providing useful tools and insights into the mindset of those people and how to disrupt it. But the Democratic National Committee continues to sit on its hands: so where are the television ads? Where are the online memes? Where are the talk show interviews on the networks and on cable? Why aren’t graphic comparisons between Democratic and Republican principles being broadcast far and wide? Who besides a small faction of the party are calling out what’s happening to our country and trying to do something about it with hardly any support and against nearly insurmountable obstacles? Even so-called Democratic Party Faithful openly decry help from sympathetic outside media developers who create the kind of hard-hitting, no-holds-barred factual content like the Lincoln Project that cuts the fascists to the bone. Meanwhile our people keep throwing online campaign donation money at these candidates and one can’t help but wonder just whose pockets that cash is lining.
Until the DNC is completely purged and replaced with Democrats at large who actually have the courage of their convictions, can look at this country with eyes wide open and aggressively attack the fascists and their cohorts with predatory zeal, the voting public will continue to regard us as weak, disinterested milqtoast wannabes with a lot of great ideas but no integrity to implement them. It hurts to have to say that, but when Biden reneged on his stated commitment to not approve any more arctic petroleum exploration and fails to use his executive order powers to reverse the previous administration’s draconian edicts, what on earth are people sitting on the fence supposed to think? Even if he has done any of this, why hasn’t anyone in D.C. made it widely public? They can create all kinds of strategic excuses and then overthink the hell out of what simpler observations would correctly call “capitulation”, but the fact remains that government is not there to make Kristen Sinema, Mitch McConnell, Joe Manchin and Kevin McCarthy happy or avoid hurting conservative “widdle biddy fee-fees”. It’s far beyond time that the sane majority of the American public grows up, takes their political involvement seriously and realizes that government is supposed to directly represent and support THEM: not some tried and failed conservative philosophy built on fascism and financed by corporate oligarchy.
It seems that perpetuating the eminence front “put on” is far easier to live with short-term for a lot of people than trying to get rid of it. Problem is, long term pacification almost certainly results in government and societal collapse. That is an historical fact. Or is that what they really want?