I didn’t really feel like doing much blogging today, so I started scanning Daily Kos, looking for a quick link to fill some space. It didn’t take me very long: UPDATE: It’s the Jews.”
That’s how close we are.
Watching Frist join the “religious persecution” bandwagon brings to mind the Nazis.
I’m sorry if some of you may think I’m overstating the case. But I see it all to clearly…
Hollywood is evil.
Hollywood? That’s the Jews.
The liberal media is evil.
The liberal media? That’s the Jews.
Folks, we are at a critical turning point in our nation’s history. Make no mistake about it.
Oh, I wish I could just leave it that, and spend the day tending my much neglected garden. But recent events have left me with a head full of dark thoughts, just aching to spill out through my fingertips and onto the screen. Yes, it would be counterproductive hyperbole to call the Republican leadership and their Dominionist backers “Nazis”… and I’m not sure if our nation is quite at the critical turning point that DKos diarist Bob Johnson fears.
But clearly, something is happening in America, reminiscent of the early days of McCarthyism, and we would be foolish to shy away from discussing it for fear of appearing alarmist or paranoid. Something is happening in America, that has given a strange confidence to mainstream politicians to publicly ape the hateful and divisive rhetoric of right-wing Christian extremism. Something is happening in America, where emboldened by Bush’s reelection, and inflamed by the Schiavo case, the Dominionist forces are suddenly willing to openly flex their theocratic ambitions.
It is thus ironic that respectable pundits and editorialists so cautiously and carefully avoid the use of the word “fascism” at the same time the ascendant political elite so callously embraces its tenets.
Still, I take issue with Johnson on one point: it is not the Jews, per se, for the antisemitism has always been there, lurking just beneath the surface. Antisemitism is not an end in itself, but rather the canary in the coal mine of political discourse… an early warning system that tells us that something is happening in America.
When Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist steps to the national pulpit and declares that Democrats are “against people of faith,” he gives aide, comfort, and political legitimacy to religious extremists who preach that people like me are less moral, less human, less worthy in the eyes of God than they. These are people with a devout, unshakeable faith that I am going to Hell (a subject I’ve also touched upon here, here, and here.) These are people who believe that their political opponents are doomed to burn in the eternal flames of Hell… so is it really so alarmist to wonder what stops them from preheating the oven here, in the Kingdom of God on earth?
Yes, something is happening in America, where even my non-Jewish friends nervously joke about their “exit strategy”… imagining what nation they might seek refuge in, should the worst case scenario occur at home. And that worst case scenario is not nearly as far-fetched as we might want to imagine.
A few months back, a former high-level Clinton administration official told me that it was the consensus of analysts he respected — people with higher security clearance than his — that some time over the next five to ten years, there is a fifty-fifty chance that a small nuclear device will be set off in a major American city. In its wake, he suggests that in exchange for a promise of increased security, the American people will be more than willing to surrender their civil liberties. And who can argue that the current administration wouldn’t be more than willing to take them?
Something is happening in America that sets the stage for something much worse… and now is the time to discuss it. Just like we should have imagined terrorists flying jetliners full of fuel and people into buildings, we must imagine an extreme right-wing — un-American and anti-Constitutional — seizing the reigns of government, imposing their theocratic dictatorship, and silencing the opposition through whatever means.
I’m not saying it is imminent. I’m not saying it is likely. But if the genocidal history of the 20th Century teaches us anything… it is possible.